Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The smelt are running

Today I was shopping at Sobey's, I went because they had my favourite chocolate bar on sale but I also checked out their seafood counter. They had smelt. I asked about them, the fish lady said this was their first batch, the run has just started. Smelt from Sobey's is not quite the same thing as eating them fresh from the river, but still, I asked for one meal's worth.

The best way to eat smelt is right by the river, fresh caught and fried up in butter. They are small enough that you pick one up by the tail and just eat it from your fingers. There are hardly any bones. When they are running, there are so many of them in the river that you can catch them in baskets.

Sunday night we were supposed we were supposed to get 5 cm of snow, but by morning it was obviously a bit more than that. More like 15 cm. It looked beautiful, light and fluffy, piled up on all the tree branches. Monday afternoon we got another 10 cm. but it didn't get much deeper because it was fairly warm and the snow was damp and packing down.

Today I took Hapi down to the Kentville ravine. We haven't been down there very much lately because the one public trail in has been a sheet of ice. It is so steep that it is impassable when it is icy. There is another trail, an 'authorized-personnel-only' trail which is not so steep or icy, but on weekdays the authorized personnel are out in force. I've gone down that trail on weekends with good luck.

Anyway, today the ravine was beautiful in the snow. Hapi ran through the snow looking very happy. She does figure eights around me and I swing my walking poles at her; she ducks and swerves and disappears into the woods, reappearing suddenly a few minutes later running straight at me.

A young couple with three pre-school-aged kids followed us down the trail into the ravine. The oldest girl was nervous of Hapi and kept her mother between her and the dog, but the littlest boy, just barely walking, marched up to Hapi and said, Woof! Woof! Hapi backed up and looked at me, uncertain whether she should be scared of him or not.

After the walk in the ravine and shopping at Sobey's I took Hapi to visit her little admirer, Sidney the King Charles Cavalier spaniel. Sidney is so funny, he really is completely enamored of Hapi and Hapi hardly knows he exists. Today Hapi was lying on the floor and Sidney came up and was sniffing her ear. He was literally blowing in her ear and she kept shaking her head and looking at him, What are you doing!?! She can't figure him out.

I've been having trouble with my knee lately. It started some time ago, I noticed that my knee hurt going up the basement stairs with a load of firewood. Then a couple of weeks ago it got worse, a really sharp pain that was there all the time. So reluctantly I went to the doctor. She thought it might be a meniscal tear and ordered X-rays, although she said if it was a meniscal tear it would not show up in the X-ray. However the X-ray showed significant arthritic deterioration which probably better explains the pain. So I've been on anti-inflammatories to bring down the inflammation and I am now on a wait list to see a physiotherapist. I don't know how long that will take.

The anti-inflammatories are tricky, either they are too weak to have any effect or they are strong enough to make the pain go away but they give me heartburn. There doesn't seem to be a happy medium. The latest anti-inflammatory I am barely tolerating, I will take it until the end of the week and then stop; hopefully the pain will too. At least it does not interfere with walking too much, climbing the basement stairs is the main problem. I've decided that it is because the stair risers are too steep and the treads too narrow. There's really not enough room to redesign them, more shallow stairs would just bring my head closer to the edge of the ceiling going down.

Really the only way to fix the problem is to put the stairs back where they were originally, but that's a major renovation I don't want to do. The only other alternative is to not put firewood in the basement. Have to think about that.

But the main thing is, the smelt are running, spring is just around the corner.


Rain Trueax said...

I have to confess I have never eaten smelt. Although I've eaten most other ocean seafood, not that. I guess I should give it a try. They net them at some of our beaches in certain seasons and i guess one of the rivers in the Portland area which also has sea runs of salmon and steelhead. Now I have to wonder if they are in our stores as I haven't looked. Something about the heads looking at me though would be a bit of a turnoff, I think. Although my husband has eaten them and said he didn't eat the heads.

Annie said...

Rain, the smelt I bought had no heads but they (the heads) are edible. I guess you could just get someone to chop them off if you don't like to look at them.