Thursday, September 10, 2009

End of Summer Potatoes and Little Fishes

Labor Day Monday we took the homemade net down to the bay and went 'whitebaiting' and got a bucket full of spearing, we deep fried them and they were ok, a bit of a weird gut taste, we did it earlier in the year and they were great, but not quite like the experience of eating New Zealand whitebait, a delicacy, a short lived affair in NZ, delicious in a fritter, I would choose it as my last meal. Here on the beautiful Long Island Sound the NZ'er goes out to shoulder height in the water, and I stand ankle deep by the shore, keeping the pole angled....much shouting from NZ'er, keep it down, keep it down! much heaving reveals jumping bright silver little fish. Our fishing friends think we are a bit strange to be eating 'bait fish' but we enjoy the wading, the haul, and the crunchy reward. I am reminded of eating deep fried sprats for teatime on the east coast of Old Blighty, in a relative's smoky kitchen, condensation on the windows, the NZ'er of whitebait fritters cooked in copious amounts of butter sandwiched between white bread also plastered with copious amounts of butter, and getting seriously sunburned.

Summer savory was the other star of my garden this year, I planted it as a border around the mesclun and tomatoes, it was also the prettiest herb in the garden, with its lovely diminutive pale lavender blue flower and frothy habit. It goes well with tomatoes (lucky you, if you have some) fish, chicken and mushrooms. I started my plants from seed, for some reason nurseries don't seem to stock it, it's just not the most popular herb on the plot, but it hasn't always had such a low profile, the Romans loved its strong flavor and believed it to be an aphrodisiac, it is a traditional ingredient in 'herbes de Provence' this summer I made my own mix, savory, oregano, lavender, marjoram, thyme and rosemary, rubbed on fish and chicken, a great marinade for grilling. Summer savory is the perfect herb for roasting potatoes, I picked big rustic handfuls and sat the spuds on top, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted for about 40 minutes, we were very greedy little piglets and scoffed them right out of the dish, alternating, potato, fish, potato, fish, Moose (the dog) also got some fish. The next day, tumbleweed tuesday, I made soup with the leftovers and the house was once again filled with a pleasant and lingering aroma. When the summer savory disappears, oooh hopefully not for a while, winter savory will appear, just in time for the stewpot.

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