March 10, 2011

Yes, friends. She lives.

It was touch and go there for awhile, with both of us sick, but things are definitely looking up. The tea recommendations were taken to heart, as were the suggestions for additions to the chicken broth. But mostly I listened to my body and responded to the cries for rest, the desire for long, hot baths, and ultimately, as I got healthier, the food cravings.

Do you read Glutton for Life – the lyrical blog from Laura Silverman? If you don’t know it, spend some time exploring her way with words. With life, actually. I love the blog’s header, and the way three lovely items are placed there with each post – like a  virtual still life. Do you make little gatherings of objects?  I often have on my kitchen table or desk or even just a corner of the garden a little collection of items.

Lately, Laura’s been on a juice fast. I read about her green drink, her life-altering juice, and I hear in her writing a clarity that comes through now, particularly, after a few days of fasting. Is this for me? It may be just the cleansing element I need to add to my diet.

I’ve listened to my food cravings for years. When my body needed meat, or fruit, or soup, the thought of that particular food would be pervasive and loud in my head – and until I fulfilled that particular craving, I didn’t feel right. At odd times, I’ve craved citrus, I’ve craved kasha, I’ve craved liver (when terribly anemic, as it turned out.) I don’t really think much about my weight, and until recently, rarely worried about anything I ate. I just listened to my body and my cravings and did what I was told. Now, with certain life changes, as I get older – there are cholesterol worries, weight that won’t leave, and aches and pains I’m not happy about – I’m ready to think about a juicer. Thank you, Laura.

In the meantime, just the other day, as the plague receded and I smelled the first wisps of Spring in the air, I began to crave shad roe. I thought about it for two days. Thought about writing about it, cooking it, tasting it. Finally, I found two perfect, lovely lobes of shad roe.

Let me just say, shad roe is not photogenic. (Which is why I led off with pretty flower pictures.)

It is, however, delicious. Shad run every spring in the streams and rivers of the Eastern US. It’s a short season, and fishing is limited, fortunately. For what it’s worth… the day after my shad roe dinner, I began to feel better.




Shad Roe with Capers and Lemon

2 lobes of shad roe, separated and trimmed of connective tissue
1/2 c water
1 bay leaf
6 T butter, separated
1 lemon, juiced
4 T capers, rinsed

This works best with a small saute pan, just barely large enough to hold the two shad roe lobes.
Put 1/2 c water  and bay leaf into the saute pan and bring to a boil.
Gently put the lobes into the water and poach, turning once, for 4 minutes.
Pour off the water, remove the shad roe to a plate, and add 4T butter to the pan, bringing it to a bubbling, browning, nutty beautiful place – about 5 min.
Slip the shad roe back into the pan and crisp on each side – about 3 minutes per side. Treat the lobes with care so they do not burst.
Remove the shad roe to two warm plates, one lobe per, then return the buttery pan to the heat, add the lemon juice and the capers, then the 2 T butter, cut into bits. Whisk and scrape up any goodies in the pan to make a sauce.
Pour the pan sauce over the shad roe.



12 Responses to “spring in my step, shad roe on my plate”

  1. Elycooks

    Ah, I miss those first crocus (croci?) of Spring Crocus and Daffs exist in California but don’t bring that same blast of spring-is-coming that happens on the northern East Coast.

  2. Liz the Chef

    So glad you are feeling better – I, too, miss the crocus and snow drops back home in PA – but not the winters! Shad roe – new to me…I miss East Coast fish as well!

  3. Janis

    Wait! How do you have pretty pretty flowers and allI have is mud and snow and yuck. Where can I get shad roe? I want to try it.

    • Cathy

      Check with your fish market. You may need to special order it. Worth it. Totally.

  4. gluttonforlife

    Cathy! Thank you so much for your kind words. I can’t wait to hear if you go on a fast. Remember: start slowly! On another note, didn’t you ask us to wait until the 15th of the month to post our Charcutepalooza posts? Just checking because I notices a few on your website page…xo

  5. Gail

    SO glad you’re on the mend…..actually, the shad are rather pretty…not as pretty as your lovely crocuses, but lovely just the same.

  6. sallycan

    Is it shad time already? That means there’s hope! Glad you’re on the up, and love the idea of capers with the roe.

  7. Todd

    Glad to hear you’re doing better.

    I’ve done the cleanse a few times ( just google master cleanse ) I usually do it for a week before or after a big holiday, or even after a period of time where I have indulged all my cravings. The fast is easy and I usually drop 10lbs or so, but for me the most important aspect is “resetting” my food intake and reminding me that I can be very happy with simple food.

    All the best.


  8. Celia

    Yay for restored health! I’m always curious when I see shad roe in the market this time of year…thanks for sharing such a delicious way to cook it.



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