Yesterday, a beautiful late summer Sunday, I took a walk on the not-so-wild side.
I decided to buy a whole fish and grill it and serve it up with salads made with the organic veggies I had bought at Vankleek Hill the day before.
Nice weather is a gift in Montreal, most years.
And winter's a'comin'. Indeed, they seem to be predicting a cool autumn.
I took this pic on my road two days ago. Yikes!
A few years ago, in a similar spontaneous mood, I bought a whole sea bass at Adonis on the West Island an baked it, with fennel, and ate it by all by my lonesome, and it was sooooo good.
Too good to be eaten alone, with Foo Foo the cat staring me down.
But, back then, my husband wouldn't eat fish that wasn't breaded and out of a box.
Today, I've convinced him of the pleasures of fish, if it is fresh. Well, a couple of trips to Nova Scotia convinced him. Fresh fish can be a wonder.
Adonis is too far to travel these days with these gas prices, not on a whim, so I went to the grocery store in St. Lazare. It's a nice big beautiful IGA serving the upscale community.
I passed many beautiful horses grazing by the roadside, a bonus for me. (I didn't have time to take pictures of them, but they were brown and glistening and peaceful looking. One roan in particular. I think the colour is roan, kind of beigey/mauve.)
They had no sea bass at this IGA. The only whole fish was a trout. "Truit biologique" said the nice counter lady (fish monger? Fishwife?)
I knew that didn't mean wild trout, but I bought it anyway. 18 dollars.
I stuffed it with fennel and garlic and red onion and my husband grilled it and it was...awful.
It was like eating protein mush, no texture, no taste. Just like the BBQ chickens we get these days. It just turns me of.
On top of it, for some reason, there were flies around. I've never had flies in my back yard gazebo. What's up!
"This trout needs a Hollandaise sauce," I said.
I'm guessing it was farmed trout. Not a muscle on its body.
Anyway, another fish tale about the 'best laid plans.' If you start with huge expectations you are bound to be disappointed.
The last trout I had eaten was at Cafe Mélièz in Montreal and it was superb, presented on a bed of squash.
The very first time I ate trout was in Wabush Lake, in 1958.
My father would go out fly-fishing and catch me a tiny little fish or two and my mother would gut them and fry them in butter. I was, even back then, the only member of my family who liked to eat fish.
Unless the tailings from the iron mines got in the lake back then, that fish was as pure as can be. The butter too. Truit biologique.
Years later, when I was about 14, I spent a few weeks in the summer in the Laurentians, visiting an older friend of my mother's. She had her grandson there, Ti Loup was his name. ( I guess he was Louis the second.) He was about 12 or so (pre-adolescent) so we got along well, very well, I remember.
We spent the days wandering in the forests and playing in the streams and one time we came upon an 'old' man fly fishing and he said if I could guess the breed of trout he had just caught, he would give it to us. "Speckled trout," I said with assurance. He gave us the fish.
Up until then we had been living on hamburgers, almost raw, and peaches, which tasted way better than they do now.
I remember feeling so healthy during those two weeks. (I guess I was freeing my lungs from all the lead in the air in Montreal.)
I bought a basket of peaches yesterday at the IGA, but I'm not sure whether or not they will be edible. It's touch and go these days.
My husband didn't mind the trout. He has no great expectations when it comes to our fishy friends.