Speaking of my dad - he caught some flounder yesterday, and saved me the bones. I have recently become enamored of the book, Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman. In this book, Ruhlman instructs us how to think about cooking. Not to think 'recipe', but to think logic, and ratio. I've been doing that, more or less, for over 25 years - I've never been one for following recipes. I use recipes as a base from which to riff my own food. Ruhlman's book takes my ideas much farther. He says that pretty much all cooking is based on basic ratios. Take bread. It's 5 parts flour (by weight) to 3 parts water. Then add yeast, salt, and so on. If you use the 3:5 ratio for bread, you'll get decent bread. It might not be earth shatteringly delicious, but it will be good. That's the basic idea behind the book. There's more, but you'll have to look at the book for yourself, because I want to move on to what I cooked today.
Stock. From the flounder bones my dad gave me.
Here's basically what I did to make fish stock:
Chop coarsely some onion and celery. Put in kettle with a little oil. "Sweat" the vegetables (on medium heat, with lid on) for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not brown them.
Meanwhile, soak the fish bones in very cold water. (See below for a photo of my bones. My FISH bones, silly. Not mine.) Change the water a few times. This gets the blood out.
Drain the fish bones (after offering a bit of sushi to the cat), and add them to the vegetables. "Sweat" the bones with the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Then add water and other herbs (I used parsley and thyme, and a bay leaf, with one leaf of sage). Bring to just under a simmer. Don't boil. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Cool, and strain. Salt to taste. (If you wanted you could leave the fish bits and vegetables in there, you could...especially if making a fish stew... But I discarded my bone scraps since most of the nutrition and flavor has been leached out by the water.). Pretty darn tasty stock! I'm going to freeze my stock in 2 cup portions, and use it to cook rice, as a base for soup, to enrich my clam chowder, and so on.