Herring Run

This time of year, with the herring running in Town Brook – and lots and lots of other fresh-waterways on the Eastern Seaboard – I have fish on the brain. Good thing it’s brain food!herring watercolor

….a cup of ale without a wench, why, alas, ’tis like an egg without salt or a red herring without mustard.”

Thomas Lodge and Robert Greene A Looking Glasse, for London and Englande (1592)

Which I found quoted in

Red Herring without Mustard - Alan Bradley - a Flavia

Red Herring without Mustard – Alan Bradley – a Flavia de Luce Mystery Novel

I love mystery novels. I read this one last week.

This week I’m reading a memoir: “Shucked”

 Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm Paperback by Erin Byers Murray


Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm
by Erin Byers Murray – so far only oysters have died – but not without a fight

It was also Herring Fest weekend at the Plimoth Grist Mill at Jenney Pond.

herringfest bigFriday night there was a herring documentary film and panel discussion at Plimoth Cinema.

Nancy Carol - Arts Activist - and Shervin Arya of Herring Migration documentary

Nancy Carol – Arts Activist – and Shervin Arya of Herring Migration documentary at the Plimoth Grist Mill at Jenny Pond

The film was very good – and I’m not just saying that. Frankly, most of these sorts of things are not usually described in terms of cinema, but rather as the sort of thing that is accurate or complete or not a complete and total snooze…this was beautiful, thoughtful, provocative…I seriously want to see the full 6 hour series.

And although I appreciate the place of herring in the Natural World, I just don’t like them all that much on my plate.

I don’t mind anchovies…the all natural little dose of fish. Please rinse the salt off before you put them on top of that pizza.

Still Life with Anchovies - Antonio Sicurezza 1972

Still Life with Anchovies – Antonio Sicurezza 1972

I also love mackerel.

Van Gogh - Still life with Mackerel and tomatoes 1886

Van Gogh – Still life with Mackerel and Tomatoes 1886

But herring I could take or leave…mostly leave.

Smoked fish – like finnan haddie – take.

Finnen Haddie with peppers and onions

Finnan Haddie with peppers and onions

Red Herring – smoked and salted – probably take

Red Herring (kipper)

Red Herring (kipper)

but herring, fresh and sweet?

Herring - Clupea harengus

Herring – Clupea harengus

Not so much. Since the moratorium on river herring continues, just as well.

It’s probably not coincidence that when the herring are running I eat more tuna salad, fish and chips, anchovy pizza then at any other time of the year. And wish I had a Donegal tweed jacket to toss on on my way over to the brook….

Donegal Tweed, a herringbone tweed pattern

Donegal Tweed, a herringbone tweed pattern

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