Today we went to the docks. The Steveston Docks, like rough and tumble raiders to wrestle up tonights grub. We were after the bottom feeders, the ocean's floor cleaners, with their pint sized bodies and needle like legs- the Pacific Spot Prawn. Not necessarily in season they are caught using traps and frozen at sea. According to Taras Grescoe in his book Bottomfeeder: How to eat ethically in a world of vanishing seafood, they are a responsible choice if you are to eat prawns at all... and there are some nasty prawns out there. Even though the book scared us off many of our other favourite seafoods, we love the pint sized morsels and will take on the buccaneers of the high seas to get some. And well our son loves boats, so why not take a drive to the historic seaside village just outside of Richmond? We bought 3lbs of them, shell, legs, antennae and all of the prickly decapods.
With the aid of the three year olds, my husband shelled and clean the prawns. When time came to remove the heads both Billie and Elijah were anything but squeamish. If cleaning them was this much fun would they eat them? He then skewered them another process that was endlessly fascinating, then marinated them in odds and ends he found in the fridge and pantry. While he was doing that, I was cleaning out the fridge. I was pleasantly surprised that many of the things that we had before the holidays had not gone off. I had my sauce that I use for pizza; raw tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper, celery, carrot and leeks all packed in water. Plus fresh veg and fruit. Dinner was forming almost as if by momentum rather than planning. The menu became, marinated prawns on a rice pilaf with a citrus, pomegranate salad.
In the spirit of eating from the bottom of the sea we ate from the bottom of the fridge and the babies loved it! The babies ate the prawns with gusto, probably because they got up close and personal with them, then they dug into the pilaf with the same enthusiasm, asking for more. We learnt a new trick tonight, like marshmallows sticks make food interesting.
photos by me, with the twins new toy camera (mine is in the shop).