Yes, it is rainy here in Prince Rupert, British Columbia on the west coast, the Pacific Ocean’s summer playground for fishermen, but a wet and hard place to be in the other seasons. Wait five minutes if you don’t like the weather, they say, but that seems to only count for when the rain stops and the sun tries to come out from behind the clouds.
Just had a bowl of steamy hot and spicey seafood stew that I had concocted from local cockles the size of extra large eggs with added chunks of snapper and shrimp, all local. The week before I had visited a small First Nation community on another island and had
purchased the cockles. I have had the fruit of clams long time ago when vacationing in the south of France, but the size of these BC babies completely threw me for a loop; they were almost obscene by their shape and weirdness and I was not sure what to cut off and what to cook. By trial and error I found out that the stringy part, which is likely the muscle, a fibry structure an inch or so long, and a few milimeters thick, is not very nice in my mouth, so I cooked that
for extra broth. The part that appears when the clam shell opens up (when the clam is at rest and considers it self safe on the ocean floor) and that looks like a little yellow tongue, is also inedible and tough, and feels as if you are chewing on a piece of tasteless organic rubber.
Left is the middle part, soft and round and tasting of the ocean. I cut those parts of each “fruit de mer” and added those to the broth, with a nice can of Patek curry, added some diced carrots and celery stalks, added sweated green peppers and onions with extra, fresh cut up basil and the fish, and let it all poach in the broth for a few minutes with the shrimp and finished it off with a generous splash of
wine white. In no time I had a wonderfully scented and tasty
bouillabaise. Mmm, just the right remedy for the frigid weather. Yes,
there is always an up side to everything.
In the morning when the weather forecast had predicted a few hours
of dry weather and possibly some sun, it indeed was dry and a bleak sun tried to pierce the fog and clouds hanging low over the bay, its arms and the Skeena river surrounding the island on which the
city is built. After two weeks of indoor entertaining, reading and TV and an hour of indoor yoga here and there, it was so refreshing to be able to walk outside during daylight hours without getting wet,
breathing in the fresh and damp air. Yeah, breathing in and out deeply, in and out, clearing the sinuses, before we have to get back inside. The Butze trail was quite busy; more people had the same idea, apparently. No wolves or bears to be seen, as the sign on the entrance warned us.
This is Tsimshian First Nation territory, bordered by traditional territories of the Gitxsan, Nisga’a, Haida and Heitsuk peoples, their monumental art and fine carvings in any material, often now gold and silver as well as argelite, and the impressive west coast long house building style.
It is good to be aware of, and experience another world, climate and the bounty of what nature has to offer.
We need to take care of it and preserve it for future generations.