Tag Archives: angling

Caviar Dreams

Years ago – I probably was about sixteen, give or take a year, so literally half my life ago – I went fishing with my Dad, and – much to my shock – caught a catfish.

Now. I am not particularly fond of catfish. The texture is… weird… (Maybe that’s just the one I caught, or maybe it has to do with the body makeup of cartilage fish versus that of boned fish like the bass and trout and similar that I was used to) and I understand why then get done up in Cajun spice at the grocery store. :-\

However. The catfish I caught had a belly full of gleaming orange eggs (to this day, when I imagine what “orange” would taste or smell like, the fishy scent of those eggs rises in my mind – way more than tangerines or clemintines do, funilly enough…).
I felt slightly terrible, having caught a girl and, thus, kept her from bringing more catfish into the world. Like I’d just wasted a few thousand fish right there. At the same time, though, I wondered if you could eat them.

I didn’t eat them. Not then. But it’s a question that’s come back to me many times over the years – even more-so after I discovered Sushi and the Masago and tobiko that decorate maki like little red and orange jewels, popping so perfectly on your tongue. (Love ’em!)

So, with fishing season Actually Here (fishing license, er, still to be obtained, mind you…), and having just read a couple of posts about trout caviar over at Starving Off the Land, I thought I’d do some poking around.

What I turned up were the following how-to posts on brining your own fisheggs:

Curing Salmon Roe (from The Homebrew Chef)
How to Make Caviar (from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook)

So. Now I know. If, over the coming summer, I somehow manage to catch myself a brown trout full of eggs, I’ll know what to do with the eggs. 🙂

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Crafting Mission: Accomplished!

So it’s been radio silence for the past couple of days – big suprise. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in celebratory stuff and have been away from the computer. However. Friday’s annual Solstice Shindig went beautifully (a small, but significant, crowd full of people I like who mix well together). There was, as per usual, far too much food. Consequently, my Ghost and I are going to be eating like queens for the next week or so. (Tonight, we’re having shrimp alfredo, for example) and – even without the wine we got as gifts – we should be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine for wine-with-dinner for the next… 6-8 weeks? So that’s just dandy. 🙂

My relatives liked their gift baskets – spicy peach-apricot chutney, balsamic fig chutney, apple-red-wine jelly (glaze), apple spice jelly (glaze), cranberry curd, pumpkin-seed-butter fudge (the kind you make with condensed milk), Winter Queen cookies, and chocolate-ginger drops, plus vanilla-orange soap and beeswax candles (one per household, granted, but still). It also appears that everybody liked their knit-wear, so YAY! 😀

Current crafty (as opposed to Crafty) projects include: Knitting myself a tam-like hat (it’s going to be purple, and I’m “Navajo-ing” the yarn so that I can do three-strand knitting without having to unravel and re-ravel the ball of yarn before starting).

I also finished a mini-scarft (for the plastic crow we have on our balcony – this is Scarf V.2.0. It’s tied to the railing so, hopefully, we won’t loose this one) and made something like seven pairs of earrings (out of mostly free, recycled-bits-and-bites materials) while loading up my very, very spiffy new beading caddy. But… yeah. I got all my crafting projects done.
Oh, there’s stuff on the horizon. I’ve got a couple of jewelry collections to finish, a LOT of photos to take (which will involve a trip to the storage-locker to find the CD that goes with my digital camera) and, y’know, an Etsy store to get off the ground.
But right this second? Right this second, I’m blessedly free of Must Get Dones. And I’m really enjoying it! 😀

In other news: I now have a (very spiffy) fishing pole to further my angling endevors. How cool is that? 😀

Anyway. That’s my exceedingly speedy update. More later, I’m sure.

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

On Potentially Fishing for Urban Fish

So, my beloved and I seem to be developing something of a shared brain. Which is an interesting thing to be doing, as we are also both autonomous human beings (as in: merging is not being a Problem here, thank goodness).

Anyway. The point of this post isn’t to comment on our developing tendency to think about the same thing at the same time, so much as to talk about the latest mind-meld that is leading us to this conclusion: We have both been thinking about (re-)learning how to fish, with local food (and cheaper groceries) in mind.


Basically, a year-long Ontario fishing license (including the Outdoor Card) costs about $37.00 Cdn.  Which is the price of about five 2-person-sized fish fillets from the grocery store, but which can – if you’re good at this – net you close to 50 2-person-sized fish dinners over the course of year, if you catch the fish yourself.  (Granted, you’ve also got to factor in rods, lines, reels, hooks, bait, and so-on.  BUT the difference in price is still kind of staggering).  That it would be local fish, at that — I daydream about bass sauteed with mushrooms in cream and seasoned with dill and tarragon, serving baked pickerel with a pickled sour cherries, or doing dried, candied brown trout in a solar dehydrator on the balcony — just makes it all the more appealing.

Basically, what’s giving us – or at least me – the crazy idea that we could do this is that (a) we don’t have a tonne of money, so being able to cut out the middle-man in terms of meat-acquisition is a good idea, but also (b) I grew up fishing (on rare occasions, but still) with my dad.  So I’ve done it before and I know how to use a line (more or less – it’s been about 14 years) and have never had any qualms about dragging a fish to hir death.

There’s a ridiculous variety of fish available in the local (urban) rivers and the wee lake (“lake”) that feeds into (out of?) the Canal, and I already know that you can eat those fish safely.  For a given value of “safely”, at any rate.  According to the Consumption Advisory, we can basically eat Ottawa fish twice a week (plus as much carp-under-two-feet-long as we want), or there-abouts, after-which we’ll be kind of pushing things, contaminants-wise.

The contaminants thing, I have to admit, is a little worrying.  Partly just from a personal health perspective.  I mean, E.coli doesn’t effect cold-blooded people like fish.  However.  You can’t really cook mercury out of a body, right?  Of course, the other reason is:  Dammit!  Why are our fish so damn full of crap??  Which, between Chalk River, pesticide runoff, and the fact that the Ottawa Waist Treatment Plant can’t actually handle the volume of waist that goes through it, is actually an unpleasantly easy question to answer. 😦

But then there’s the next part of the question.  Beyond worrying about getting a license, fish-born contaminants, and seasonal/catch regulations…  Am I really sure I could kill my own fish?  Because, when I went fishing with my dad as a kid, I didn’t do that part.  I’d wait for them to bite, and I’d pull them in, and I definitely held the belief that, if you’re going to fish, you’re going to eat what you catch.  Even if it’s a bony-assed sunfish that’s utterly tiny.  Because you don’t go killing people for fun.  But I never did the actual killing.  Part of me, the part that knows I have no problem with blood and causing physical harm, at least in a BDSM context (I will direct you to Syrens for that side of my personality), suspects that I’d be fine with it, at least once I’d done it once or twice.  But another part of me – the part that hasn’t done this before and is very afraid of messing it up (and, for example, only badly injuring fish that are already gasping for breath and probably terrified, instead of killing them outright on the first go), isn’t entirely sure that I can.  Trick is, I’m not sure how you “practice” something like that. :-\

So, yeah.  For the moment, this is still very much in the “discussion” category of our lives, rather than the “making it a reality” part.  But… it’s rapidly moving towards a “reality”.  Next year, I suspect, I will be trying my hand at fishing. 🙂