Animated picture Emmanuel Pierrot
Jim Harrison must go back to his grave: this year, he could not have teased trout in the rivers of the Morvan, near his friend Gérard Oberlé, writer ogre of knowledge and good things to drink and eat . All of this is the fault of this damn coronavirus that prohibits dipping the wire in water. However, we know a lot of chicks who recognize themselves through the words of Jim Harrison in A good day to die (ed. 10/18, 2003): “I was struck again by the way the fishery helped me to wipe out everything else, at least as long as I was in the river. For a few hours, all the problems – money, sex, alcohol, madness – disappeared in my concentration on the river, the places where the big trout were probably, the clear currents or in the swirls near the grassy shore , or behind the big rocks and pebbles that protruded from the surface of the water, forming pockets of water that always seemed to contain one or two fish. ”
Our old friend Bébert is one of those guys for whom life revolves around three pillars: the factory, the garden, fishing. Turner that he was Bébert. “OHQ” as we said for a highly skilled worker. At the workshop, he was entrusted with the machining of prototypes on his Ernault Somua lathe. You shouldn’t have risked touching his bike, which he burnt like a new penny. He was so proud of it that he didn’t understand anything when the takeover’s combs passed before him without a look or a word. It’s true what, almost forty banks to machine scrap for the same taulier, it deserved at least a bit of chat. He didn’t see anything coming either when the HRD told him that it was not going very much question backlog. It must be said that Bébert is not the kind of guy who gossips at the bistro after work. Him, it is the garden, the fishing which ventilates the mood. So when the big egg spoke “Production outsourcing” in Hungary and China, he simply put his tools in their large rag, emptied his closet in the locker room and then he went home to butter his potatoes. When his wife tumbled into the garden to unpack his chickweed, he simply shrugged, grumbling: “I was told I have enough quarters for retirement.”
Giant of Flanders
Sometimes he misses his turn, the smell of hot metal, the precision of a successful adjustment. But he doesn’t say anything because he always has something to take care of. The garden first: prepare the soil for the end of winter before the spring sowing: transplant, pick, pick, water, and then there is always a blade of grass to pull. You also have to take care of the hens, the rabbits (he is particularly proud of his giant of Flanders, a male), give a helping hand to his wife to hull the beans of the canned goods. Winter, Bébert “Do his wood” as he says in his communal affouage. He cuts, he splits oak, beech, foyard. Logs and quarters of 50 cm (it is precise as in the factory) for the Godin stove which heats a large part of their house. Bébert does everything himself. He never put the words “autarky”, “autonomy” in Scrabble. But the other day, he laughed softly when he heard on TV talking about “transition”, “living and consuming differently”. “I’ve always lived like this, that he thought, and my world will last long enough before I pass the gun to the left. “
And then there is fishing. This year, as usual, Bébert checked his gear in February. You have to see him polishing his rods, disassembling and checking his reels, mounting his lines, classifying his hooks and lures in his drawer box as tidy as that of his wife’s sewing. At dawn on March 14, he was happy as a kid, posted in one of his favorite fishing spots. To tell the truth, he doesn’t care a bit about the fish, especially since the farmed trout that has just been released is a bit like “duck fishing” at funfairs. Bébert especially likes “to take some fresh air” as he says, snack alone with his dog corniaud by scanning the river bed where he hopes to see a real trout, “A savage”. This year, Bébert came back from fishing with a nice … dandelion salad they ate with bacon and a poached egg. When containment landed like smallpox on the low clergy, Bébert sighed that he was “Too old for this kind of bullshit”. But the doctor phoned: with his emphysema (the fault in the scrap metal dust at the factory), he has to stay well sealed so as not to catch the coronavirus. As usual, he shrugged. he “Fuck the coronamachin” and then “Those joggers idiots”, they have the right to run in the countryside. So why shouldn’t he walk his dog along the river?
So the other afternoon, after sowing an 18-day radish plank in the garden, he goes to the water’s edge while the boss goes shopping at Super-U. The dog knows the way alone, over there where the river bends under a large willow. This is where it hides “The memory”, thinks Bébert. A big fario that he spotted a handful of times when she came out of his hideout, a huge strain. Bébert admires him. She fucked all the fishermen in the area. He is afraid it will end up in a landing net. He never had the trophy virus. He would just like to feel it undulate between his fingers underwater like when he was fishing by hand, kid. Today, the wave is clear under a hot spring sun. Bébert leans against the stump under which he distinguishes a tapered shadow. It’s for sure, it’s her. So he plunges his arms into the water to try to catch Memère. But it is already far away when Bébert falls with all his weight into the river.
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“You are going to catch death”, she says Bébert’s wife as he dries himself with a rough towel. Once the anger of his mishap is over, he smiles and thinks he’s twelve years old this afternoon. Then he leaves in a huge laugh when he sees in the middle of his wife’s shopping a bag of smoked trout which she is carefully disinfecting with hydroalcoholic gel.
Like all fish when smoked, trout love potatoes, especially when they are early, like those grown on the island of Noirmoutier. The star is the bonnotte but there is also the earlier sirtema, the iodea, the lady christ’l. Here is a recipe for “Bonnet apples in goat whipped cream and dill, strips of smoked trout and Siltimur pepper” that you can make with the potatoes available in these confined times.
You need 20 medium-sized underwear for six people; 2 slices of smoked trout cut into strips; 20 cl of very cold liquid cream; ½ fresh goat cheese log; 12 small sprigs of dill; 1 lime cut into quarters; Siltimur pepper or another if you can’t find it (black pepper, Espelette pepper …)
Wash and brush the potatoes then immerse them in a large pot of boiling salted water. Allow 10 minutes for cooking as soon as it boils again. Drain and keep warm. Whip the liquid cream with a mixer. In another bowl, whisk the goat cheese with the rinsed and finely chopped dill and stir in the cream. Whisk again and keep cool.
Arrange the bonnottes on each plate (about three per guest), cutting the top to make the flesh of the potato visible. Using a fluted piping bag or a spoon, arrange your cream.
Add one or two strips of trout, a sprig of dill and a wedge of lime. Give two mill turns with Siltimur pepper and it’s ready.
You can zest your lime in the whipped cream.