One of those everyday moments lately that have made me realize that our family is exactly where we are meant to be. Please don’t get me wrong - I would never recommend building a home within a month of starting a new job, all the while mourning the loss of a parent. But when I look out and see views like these I know we’re blessed and that there is something much bigger than us out there.
A beautiful sunset on the St. Clair River in Sarnia, Ontario.
Sarnia, also commonly known as Chemical Valley, sits on the St. Clair River which connects two of Ontario’s great lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Sarnia’s Chemical Valley contains 62 chemical facilities and oil refineries. This section of the St. Clair also sees very high amounts of ship traffic, with ships coming to the Sarnia Harbour from all over the world. Just south of Sarnia sits the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, directly adjacent to the refineries. All of these factors make for very complicated social and environmental issues surrounding the area.
I have a personal connection with Sarnia, my grandparents live there. I’ve grown up on this river fishing with my dad and swimming just north of here in the freezing cold waters of Lake Huron. My grandfather was brought to Canada by one of the oil companies to work in a refinery decades ago. The plants offer employees stable jobs with very good pay, but also very dangerous work.
A small grassroots organization called Aamjiwnaang Solidarity is fighting these issues of pollution and environmental racism surrounding Chemical Valley. If you would like to learn more about the issues and the work being done please check out their website at aamjiwnaangsolidarity.com
For centuries the #roe of many #fish has been sought after as nothing short of a divine #delicacy. Tiny shimmering orbs that, if you gaze deeply enough, resemble the finest #jewels crafted from the deepest depths of the earth. While true #caviar only comes from specific species of #sturgeon the #eggs of other species of fish can be crafted into very fine caviar.
I’m fortunate enough to have studied the art of making caviar with a woman who grew up near the shores of the #caspiansea. This part of the world is where the romance of caviar production was refined.
I’m able to procure stunningly brilliant lake #trout roe from #lakeerie. Whenever we get it we transform it into caviar. The crafting of caviar is nothing to be intimidated by for it's fairly straightforward. Separate the eggs from the membrane that binds them, wash them, massage the remaining bits of membrane away, and finally #brine the eggs. Once brined the eggs are transformed from roe into caviar.
The accompanying photographs illustrate the process of producing caviar from whole roe sack to finished gems.
A few things to note when making caviar: -Use warm, about 80°F, water to wash your eggs. This will tighten up the membrane surrounding the eggs and make it easier to remove. -Work swiftly. The sooner you process the eggs the fresher and and higher quality they will be. This starts with procuring the freshest roe possible and carries through crafting the caviar. -The brine strength that was taught to me is 3 Tablespoons of #salt per quart of water. The brine should be ice cold when submerging the eggs and they should only need to be submerged for 5 to 30 minutes depending on how salty you like your caviar. -The eggs aren’t as fragile as they appear. You will break some but with fresh roe you’ll have a 90% or higher yield from raw to cured. -If you need to freeze your caviar (this can be done without degrading the quality) then enrobe the eggs in grape seed oil before freezing.