Caddo Lake is the largest natural lake in Texas. The lake’s history is as diverse as pearls and steamboats, and Caddo remains one of the most beautiful and mysterious lakes in the entire United States.
My Dad was born in Trees City, once a boomtown a few miles from Vivian. Jeems Bayou separates Vivian and Trees. During heavy rains in the area, it will result in water rising over the highway, leaving a boat the only way to get to Trees City from Vivian.
I remember, as a kid, fishing from the side of the road. My parents, Grandmother and I were not the only ones, hundreds of others joining in to reap the harvest of fish from the fabled lake.
There were always fishing camps both on the Texas and Louisiana sides of the lake. These camps would have a ramp for launching boats, and would rent boats, and sell bait, fishing gear and pop. Each camp usually had a restaurant where the locals went for catfish, hushpuppies and Cole slaw.
Kool Point, near Oil City, no longer has a restaurant but Pelican Lodge, not far from Trees City is still open. I always love eating at Pelican Lodge when I visit Vivian. It is far off the beaten path and only the locals really know where it is. One condiment all of these restaurants served is green tomato relish. It is probably best prepared in large batches, and then canned (bottled) but here is a recipe for a single batch, suitable for one dinner.
3 large rough chopped green tomatoes,
1 large rough chopped onion
1 hot green pepper, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp salt
In a small pot, bring the sugar, salt and vinegar to a boil, and then add vegetables. Return contents of the pot to a boil for two minutes. Chill and enjoy.