Sunday, April 19, 2009
Smelts are a family, Osmeridae, of small fish found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They are common in the North American Great Lakes, and in the lakes and seas of the northern part of Europe, and run in large schools along the coastline during their spring migration to their spawning streams.
It is one of the few fish that sportsmen are allowed to net, using dip nets, either along the coastline or in the streams. Some sportsmen also ice fish for smelt. Smelt are often fried and eaten whole.
They run very late at night, so off we go at 11.30am with our nets. This is all new to me... and this is where the 'city girl' on Manitoulin really presents itself. Off I go dressed warm in my Burberry (and my new Burberry ear muffs!) with my farmer boots on ready to do this thing! Sean (hubby) rolls his eyes at me, states he is not going (smart man). The fishing part was fun, there were TONS of them which I guess it hasn't been like that in a few years. When you looked into the creek all you could see is fish! One scoop and we were done which mean you didn't have to sit around and 'fish'. We were out of there in 10 minutes!
OK so the catching them is fun, also the eating... the cleaning?? Not so much! I guess you have to sit and clean them that night or they are rotten by the morning? Can't we just freeze them? or put them on ice and do this tomorrow?? Although I really wanted to fish and have the satisfaction of cooking something I had caught I was super grossed out by this whole cleaning process. For starters there is no way I am putting my hand in this bucket to pull out a handful of these things... Secondly I am not sticking my fingers in the guts and pulling out all the yellow eggs (that looks like puss) and guts etc... So I cut the heads off with scissors and cut the guts open but that was it. (Do you see why Sean didn't want to come now?) Oh and we got really excited about the fish and came back with 2 5 gallon pails full.... 3.30am... still cleaning fish.... I am thinking in my head... is this really happening? I mean I was meant to be in England this weekend for a family reunion.. I could be sat in some swank restaurant with my super hip sister but I am here covered in fish guts hoping that I don't squeeze the damn thing too hard and the stuff doesn't squirt out all over me!!!
It was fun! I had my Manitoulin experience.. and I would go again as long as I don't have to get up in the morning and do 3 hours of ballet then cook for 10 people as we had people coming for supper... See why I am exhausted??? BUT we did have the smelts as an appetizer and they were great! I forgot to take as picture, but tossed in seasoned flour, fried in a little butter and oil... yummy!!! SO worth it!!!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Oh yeah get stuck in the mud out in Burpee in the bush some where with no cell phone service... Actually my hubby got us stuck.
We were heading out to Prov. to go to the hardware store and he had the idea after that we should go and measure another roof he has to do this summer.... Except we didn't quite make it that far.
We got stuck, moved two fallen trees out of the way and needless to say never made it to the cabin or got his measurements....