Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gurnard-Perch etc.

I have heard of this game 'cricket' and I used to think it was played in Australia, but alas, I was mislead. (Ashes? What Ashes? And the Sydney to Hobart looks like being er... exciting, to judge by our wind today.

I've had real focus trouble with the book today. Curiously my Amazon bookscan figures show SLOW TRAIN TO ARCTURUS selling better than anything else, although DRAGON'S RING is LISTED as bestselling the figures show two books sold... Worrying.

I put the asparagus - Martha Washington - out today -- for certain values of out, they're still in a very large tub, but outside. I have the intimidating task of filling the next raised bed (believe me we need it and I want it, but it is LARGE). Sigh. At this stage - when the writing is coming hard, there are not enough hours in the day to get my quota of words, cook and do the bare essentials.

We had gurnard-perch Neosebastes scorpaenoides for supper (you know - the fish with the toxic spines, related to the stone-fish etc.) With huge pop-eyes and many spines... they're not pretty. Which makes for a fairly cautious filleting option... and not one where you need a cat climbing your leg while you are engaged in. Gee... guess what La Duchesse thought would be a good idea? I really would like to know a little more about the toxin, and whether it is injected or just on the spine or just in the mucous and how best to inactivate it (and how it survives death and freezing) as they're very good eating. But, Duchesse not withstanding, I don't want to use myself as a guinea pig. Not an ideal grilling fish, it is like crayfish in texture, and better than monk-fish in taste for mock-crayfish.


  1. Hmm. If it's related to the stonefish, you'd think there would be glands at the base of the spines, activated by pressure. But I guess Mama Evolution isn't always so kindly and convenient.

  2. So the DPIW site says - but it also refers to the spines as 'ventral' rather than pelvic and pectoral (and one of those is soft rays - and therefore not dangerous). BTW - had long chat with your friends (they were here for about 3 hours), Dirk, marked places on the map for them, and will if the weather is decent, get hold of them to dive Tues. Must ask them to drop by for tea, anyway. I liked them.

  3. I hope we know where the anti-toxin is......

  4. Ah, Biren. I have great faith in you. Anyway, I suspect immediate hot (as hot as possible without causing burns) water is really waht is called for. But I must tell a certain young man he is not to spear any :-)

  5. Hi Dave. I remember a story about Prof Smith of Coelacanth fame treading on a stone fish in Mozambique. He boiled his foot and survived.
    Presumably there was no convenient hospital to which he could 'hot foot' it.