Sunday, November 8, 2009

Vinegar or Deadly Poison? Fishbait or Gross Crap Sitting on the Cedar Chest?

So some days I can see myself through others' eyes.

Today I put fruit bits (apple cores left over from making breakfast bars for the week) in a mason jar with filtered water and some honey. According to a couple of websites, in 2-3 weeks, I will have vinegar.
We'll see. I'll report back.

Friday we got free steelhead (see Unca Pat! You should visit. I often have steelhead in the freezer) at work. I wasn't going to take any fish since they said they only had 100. But, as I walked by looking forlornly at the truck with the GIANT cooler in the back, the guys were just there alone. They hollered and I went over and got a fish. As I was cleaning it (trying steaks this time because I don't have the space or the knife to filet them properly...also lacking in skills). When I cut it open there were 2 large egg sacks full of pretty pink roe. I've cured salmon eggs before, which are larger, to use for bait. I checked and sure enough, you can cure these for bait as well. Well...not "you" so much as "I" can cure them for bait.

Several websites said to use commercial egg cure. Who the hell would buy that? I went back to my old recipe: Let the eggs dry a bit, cut into bite size chunks, pour 1/4inch of borax in a shallow dish or pan, put the bite size chunks in so they don't touch and sprinkly more borax over the top. Let it sit out where it will get some air and turn the chunks over a couple times a day. After 2-3 days the chunks are dry and rubbery. I'll freeze them or vaccuum seal them. There are elaborate little plastic mesh squares you can buy (in this case I do mean "you" because I would never buy plastic mesh squares to feed to fish) and use to wrap up loose eggs into smaller bits, more like amuse-bouches for fish. But seriously. I got the eggs for free and I have the borax on hand for laundry (and will NOT be reusing this borax for laundry or cleaning...unless I clean more fish, I could scrub the fish cleaning board with it or I could pour it on the next dead cat along the road to speed the mummification process or I could flush it and call that cleaning the I guess I will reuse it in some form...anyway...) and I just could not see going out and spending several dollars for commercial cure and tiny plastic mesh squares and handcrafting fish treats. I'll let you know if they get used for fish bait and if they are successful.I was looking around the trailer with 2 living room chairs piled with folded shirts and pants I'm trying to sort for goodwill (because I still do not need 17 tank tops to wear under other shirts or 12 pairs of jeans some in size 8...who am I kidding?), a jar of fruit bits with honey and water covered with a cloth napkin rather than a lid sitting on the cedar chest waiting for natural yeast spores to magically turn it into vinegar, and a world war 2 GI issue stew plate (never used by the military) filled with borax and steelhead trout egg chunks. To me it looks like progress in getting rid of some extra crap and in learning to make things out of what would otherwise be wasted. Things that could later bring some enjoyment (like a nice vinaigrette from the vinegar or more fish caught with the eggs). But if someone stopped by and saw all that, along with the little pail of scraps for compost (worms or regular), two plastic tubs full of worms in newspaper eating old food bits, and laundry hung in the bedrooms; perhaps the observer would not see these as signs of success.

Oh well. To each his own.

In other news it freaking SNOWED all afternoon in Plummer. I drove through it to go watch stickgame for a while at the casino. The snow didn't stick until dark and I haven't looked outside in a few hours. I don't know if it's still sticking and I don't really want to know.

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