When I was just about to start my freshman year in high school a new kid moved across the street. His name was Chris and in very short order we became good friends.

Chris had moved up to the Los Angeles area from San Diego with his mother and step-father. When I met Chris he was very studious, not very rebellious and had one aim in life, to be a pilot. While I was no Helion myself, I’d like to think our friendship brought out more of the rebel in Chris than not.

I was a band geek and Chris was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. I had a part-time job in a gift shop, Chris had one at the local airport working with planes. I performed with a theater company, Chris took flying lessons. Let’s just say that while he became a little less buttoned up, the flying bug never left.

Chris achieved his private pilot’s license and very shortly thereafter invited me to go up with him. Knowing my parents would never approve of me going up in the air with a 16/17-year-old pilot, I never told them.

One beautiful, sunny Southern California day, we drove to the airport and Chris checked out a plane. This little two-seater was the smallest plane I had ever been in (my dad, grandfather and uncle all flew private planes) and where a backseat should have been there was only a metal floor narrowing back to the tail.

We taxied to the runway and took off. Chris was very careful and followed (as far as I could tell) every step that he should. Soon we made a turn and was out over the water heading to Catalina Island.

I’d spent quite a bit of time on Catalina as I had a girlfriend whose parents liked to sail over there frequently and I often served as crew. We flew over to the island and started to circle it. There was the town of Avalon with its famous Casino, the airport in the middle of the island with a drop in the runway and finally the village of Two Harbors and nearby Bird Rock (where the adventurous and insane skied in mountains of bird guano). Chris turned the plane and headed back to the mainland.

On the way back he quickly pulled back on the controls and then pushed them down causing the plane to do a hop in the air. During the hop a loud alarm sounded and then a huge THUNK from the tail section of the plane. Chris had started the manuever with a smile on his face but it quickly turned to a look of concern then horror.

We were about half way to the mainland, so if this plane went down it would have been 13 miles of swimming if we even survived the crash. Never mind that waters are filled with sharks!

He scanned the dials and settings and looked back at the tail. Back to the dials and then again. Finally he exhaled and relaxed. He then told me he wanted to freak me out by setting off the stall warning alarm with his manuever (which he did) but the THUNK was really unexpected.

It turned out to be a small metal toolbox in the rear of the plane had gotten airborne and when it landed on the metal floor it made a really loud and scary thud!

Photo Jan 25, 5 21 52 PM copy - Featured Size

This light and airy fish is no THUNK of a dinner.

Photo Jan 25, 4 11 21 PM

As many households keep cornflakes for breakfast, it is one less ingredient to buy. No one in my house regularly eats cereal, so on the grocery list it went.

Photo Jan 25, 4 19 43 PM

Lay out your filets and cover them with the crumbs.

Photo Jan 25, 5 21 59 PM


Lemon and Parmesan Fish

prep 15 minutes ∙ cook 6 mins ∙ makes 2 ∙ source


  • 8-ounce fresh or frozen sole, flounder, or orange roughy fillets, 1/2 to 1-inch thick
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 3 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 teaspoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lemon wedges


Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Lightly coat a shallow baking pan with cooking spray. Place fish in a single layer in the prepared pan, tucking under any thin edges.

In a small bowl combine crushed cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, melted margarine, lemon peel, and pepper. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of fish.

Bake in a 450 degree F oven until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork and crumbs are brown. (Allow 4 to 6 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness of fish.) Serve the fish with lemon wedges. Makes 2 servings.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Baking3, Cheese3, Fruit 2, kosher, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Seafood

Author:The Ranting Chef

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One Comment on “THUNK!”

  1. November 19, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Looks tasty !


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