Saturday, October 20, 2012

Okarito whitebait story

La Femme d'Oracle

I fish too, once a year, for WHITEBAIT.  A family delicacy.  As the only one of 9 siblings left on the Coast I'm expected to provide. 

The seasons been poor.  Two days ago I squeezed into my wetsuit on a rare day with no wind or rain. After 2-hours scooping I had 50 or 60 bait, my first for the season. They were still swimming in the one egg I whipped up, but died quickly as they hit the frying pan. I ate them all, relieved I was alone, & not expected to share my first taste.  Ahhh!  So delicious !!

So to Labour weekend. Lovely visitors. I determine to treat eldest son who shares my love of whitebait. Still raining. COLD. I join 20 other brave souls and trawl the river for 2 more hours. The bait are so scarce, I'm embarrassed to take home just half a dozen. Or is it 8.

Add 1 egg?? or 2??  They swim in water in the bucket on the kitchen bench while I thaw out under lashings of hot water (solar remember).

But no. They are admired. And photographed. And then, with umbrella to shelter them from the pouring rain, my city visitors return the luckiest ever 8 whitebait to the wetland under the boardwalk,  just over the road from our house.

Delicacies should always be presented frozen!!

The 8 lucky whitebait

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