Category Archives: Cuisine

Grapes are growing on the Great Northern Peninsula

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The Vikings came to the Great Northern Peninsula more than 1,000 years ago. The Sagas of Leif Erikson have named this place “Vinland” or “Wineland”. The land has been a phenomenal source of wildberries, but the presence of grapes have been unfounded, until now…

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The greenhouse in Roddickton is illustrating that grapes can be grown on the peninsula. There are many things growing, from an array of flowers, berry bushes, fruits and a variety of vegetables.

Strawberries, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and greens are just some of the locally grown produce available for purchase.  I bought some greens and my mother used them to make a delicious pot of soup with greens.

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You can visit the greenhouse on Monday to Friday and on Sunday. They are located off Route 433, just a couple of kilometres before you enter the residential area of Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Place your orders today!

Great things are growing on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

Golden Sunsets – Green Island Cove, NL

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The golden sun is setting over the Strait of Belle Isle and will disappear beyond the hills of the Big Land – Labrador. This was a magnificent view I experience from my backyard. A truly joy of rural living when you are at water’s edge.

This has been a summer where we’ve experienced the freshest seafood, either at one of our fine local restaurants or at home. Lobsters have been boiling in the shed and eaten outside. Food definitely tastes better when it’s prepared and eaten outside for some reason.

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The wonderful surroundings, the fresh air, green space, blue skies, sunshine and tranquility certainly provide the perfect atmosphere. The backyard fire pit and entertaining area is still a work in progress, but even the flames of a store purchased pit can provide just what you need for gatherings of friends and family to share song, stories and enjoy the warmth of the fire when the sun goes down.

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It’s always important in our busy lives that we stop to smell the roses and realize the value of rural living.

The Great Northern Peninsula offers backyards that have golden sunsets and everything you need to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Sustaining a Community takes Commitment – Raleigh, NL

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Raleigh is home to the awe-inspiring Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve, boasting over 300 plant species with 30 being rare. The Burnt Cape cinquefoil is found exclusively on the Northern Peninsula, as it is the only place in the world where this species grows. The Provincial Government of Newfoundland & Labrador has failed to live up to its obligations when it eliminated all interpretation at this Reserve. It has also neglected to install appropriate signage, develop educational material such as guidebooks and panels to preserve, educate, maintain road infrastructure and make available our natural areas to interested parties. These short-sighted decisions by Government impact and harm our rural communities. Where is Government’s commitment?

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Additionally, rural communities are facing pressures from out-migration, aging population and changes to the dynamics of the economy that sustained them since their beginning all across the globe. Sustaining our small towns takes commitment and I see that in entrepreneurs Marina and Ted Hedderson  of Raleigh, NL.

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Yesterday, I was amazed by the creativity, commitment and desire to see the Town of Raleigh with a population of less than 200 survive and thrive. The current owners have been running Marina’s Mini-Mart & Gas Bar since 2001. They saw an opportunity to get into the accommodations business to compliment the neighbouring Pistolet Bay – Provincial Park, which is typically at capacity for tents and RVs throughout the season.

I was given a tour of the cottages, which include 4 two-bedroom, 3 one-bedrooms and a newly added vacation home that has the most incredible ocean view. The vacation home is very spacious and family focused with two queen and a twin bed, laundry facilities, BBQ and a view you won’t want to leave. The two bedroom cottages are very immaculate, offering two queen beds, laundry and wooden finished interior. The three one-bedroom cottages have leather furniture and laundromat access, but the best feature is that they sit with a breath-taking ocean view from a large deck to sit and enjoy your morning coffee or evening beverage. There is an entertainment area for evening fires right at water’s edge. There 4-star accommodations are priced at an incredible value, ranging from $109-169.

The Burnt Cape Cafe is a must if you are in the area. It truly understands the importance of experiential tourism. The Cafe takes lobster to a whole new level of fresh. The patrons, if they choose can go to the local wharf and select their own lobster and get their photos taken before and after. An incredible experience!

After stepping into the cafe, my attention was immediately drawn to the back which includes a comfortable seating area, big screen television playing traditional Newfoundland music and I thought was a great place to sit and relax. They also know the value of WiFi, which is provided for free.

The original six hockey jerseys are proudly displayed as in the off-season this area becomes on Monday nights, open to the dart league.  There is a wide-selection of crafts, souvenirs and other products. I purchased a Mummer’s shot glass, as I love the jannies.

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The Newfoundland tartan on the tables is a nice touch to compliment a menu that caters to those who love high-quality seafood dishes. I was treated to some phenomenal chowder, it comes highly recommended to start. It comes with generous portions of salmon and cod, great creamy flavour that is amplified with a touch of cheese melting as you eat. As a main, I’ve had pan-seared scallops and shrimp in garlic butter that would melt in your mouth with Parmesan mashed potatoes that kept you wanting more. To top the meal off, the deep-fried ice-cream was superb. The rich coating ensured the ice-cream was cold and in tact while I slowly enjoyed this treat drizzled with bakeapples. If you have not eaten at the Burnt Cape cafe you are truly missing out.

Small business and innovation is the key to dynamic growth, especially in small communities. Ted and Marina have a vision for their Town, their home. The business currently offers everything you need at your fingertips. However, they have more big ideas on how to  add accommodations, entertainment and experiential offers that appeal to locals and visitors. They are a partner with the annual Iceberg Festival, believe in strong promotion and understand the value of packaging and providing their customers with the highest in services and unique experiences.

Sustaining a community takes commitment and these two truly have what it takes to build a stronger community. I would encourage you to drop by and support this locally owned and independent business that is doing incredibly big things in a small town.

Visit their website at: www.burntcape.com

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Dinner at the Daily Catch

The Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet is located on the top of the hill with a wonderful view. I love dining at this place  because it offers such a great atmosphere.

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It’s a trendy little spot that specializes in seafood dishes. They always have local mussels, crab, lobster and selection of other seafood, paired with delicious salads and rice. They offer unique berry drinks, iceberg beer and cross promotion of local attractions. It is great to see a small business supportive of places like Norstead Viking Village and Port of Trade. The owner also understands the value of WiFi, as an early adopter of offering customers free access to wireless Internet.

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If you like the traditional deep-fried fish n’ chips, they have that too. Usually they serve with homemade fries, which goes down really well with malt vinegar.

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I highly recommend the deep-fried ice-cream served with bakeapples.

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I was also impressed with the delivery of a jug of ice water, which had a big piece of iceberg ice. These little extras go a long way in adding to the experiences on has when dining at The Daily Catch.

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The Daily Catch is certainly delivering on all levels, an all-round incredible product by having great atmosphere, great food and great service. It is one of several fantastic restaurants en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site. I highly recommend dropping by and stay for a while.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

20 Years of Gourmet Meals Served at the Norseman Restaurant, L’anse aux Meadows

L’Anse aux Meadows with a population of 37 residents is a quaint fishing village that has been placed on the map for being the first part of North America to be authenticated as site of first contact for the Europeans, when the Vikings landed more than 1,000 years ago.

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Each year tens of thousands of tourists flock to this community and they are not disappointed by the historical context of the viking discovery provided by both the World UNESCO Heritage Site L’Anse aux Meadows and the social enterprise, Norstead – A Viking Village and Port of Trade. Last year St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) partnered with Norstead and the Leif Erikson Foundation to have placed a statue of Leif to commemorate his discovery, there are only four in the world of this type and this will be the last.

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Additionally, the community is proudly the home to a gourmet restaurant and art gallery and has been for some 20 years! The only of its kind on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula.

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The Norseman Restaurant and Gaia Art Gallery (http://www.valhalla-lodge.com/restaurant.htm) is a local treasure. It has been a thriving success due to the entrepreneurial owners desire to provide the best visitor experience possible. Their quality food during lunch and dinner meals have a wonderful presentation. I always enjoy the duck or lamb dishes served with a nice glass of red wine. They have an extensive wine list. If you enjoy seafood it is locally caught and the lobster, well you will not get fresher than the Norseman. The lobsters are kept in an enclosed crate in the ocean, just feet from the restaurant where you can pick your own with the chef.

There is local music playing on many evenings, by the talented Wade Hillier of St. Lunaire-Griquet. I love it when he belts out the tune, “Aunt Martha’s Sheep”, it has to be one of my favourites. The service is extremely friendly, professional and they ensure all your questions about ingredients are answered. Truly a great front line and kitchen staff.

The restaurant also supports local artists through their artwork all for sale, which is displayed on the walls, the tea dolls in glass cases and the carvings from antlers on the tables.

The view as well is picture perfect as you see icebergs around every corner of L’Anse aux Meadows. I would encourage you to experience the wonders of the Norseman in its 20 years of operation! There is much more to say about this business and other initiatives by owner Gina Nordhoff, which I’ll save for future postings. Enjoy all L’Anse aux Meadows has to offer, come stay for a while.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North 

 

Coffee in the Cove Serves Only the Finest and Fairest Brews

Coffee in the Cove, Hay Cove is literally located in the backyard of L’anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site. This bright orange homestead offers fresh, friendly and fair specialty coffees, teas and authentic homemade treats. It is also home to Radio Quirpon (www.radioquirpon.com).

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure to drop by this brightly coloured and welcoming local business in which I’ve wanted to visit for some time. As I walked up the stairs some customers greeted me. They were in fact distant relatives visiting from Stephenville and Ontario. It was quite an exciting feeling as we exchanged hugs, took photos and also talked about seeing each other again at the Family Reunion planned later in July.

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We are so fortunate to have such a cool and groovy coffee shop with the perfect atmosphere and ambiance to enjoy freshly brewed coffee beans. I had a delicious almond flavoured latte and date square. I hear there cinnamon buns are a must try too!

Proprietor, Cheryl McCarron took time to have a friendly chat with me about how her business got off the ground,  exciting new additions such as the on-line radio station and the nifty Newfoundland sayings that are written all around her establishment. She has big ideas, is optimistic about our small rural communities and the promising future we have if we tap those opportunities.

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The back deck or a table by the window presents the most perfect viewing area for the icebergs, which dominant her backyard. The experience simply can not be matched by any city shop or cafe.

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Coffee in the Cove is to be enjoyed not only by tourists, but the local market too! It was positive to hear so many local residents are dropping by to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and support a local business.

One can sit down with one of the shops books, such as the Treasury of Newfoundland Humour and Wit by J. Burke, listen to the traditional music of Radio Quirpon, get lost in conversation or the tranquility and beauty of the view.

Coffee in the Cove is one of our newest gems. I encourage you to embrace this social space and enjoy their offerings. You simply could not be disappointed. Eagerly looking forward to my next visit.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Homemade Bread

The aroma of freshly baked bread has filled our rural homestead following the early French settlers introducing their ovens that made breads from wheat on the Great Northern Peninsula.

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Large families kept women particularly busy in the kitchen. I’ve heard many stories from my grandparents how their mother would mix a bread and prepare many loaves. Freshly baked homemade bread was a fixture growing up. However, it seems to be a traditional that is less practiced with more and more people purchasing breads and rolls from grocery stores.

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My mother made bread recently, her first is a very long time and it was truly delicious. I remember when I was younger she always used a small metal jam dish to make me a little “Tommy” bread, which was essentially I small bun or roll.

We enjoyed the homemade bread with a large serving of homemade baked beans and a scoop of turnip hash. My mouth waters every time I see this picture.

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Keeping tradition alive on the GNP!

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Fresh Newfoundland Crab Meat is a Delicacy

 

This is the season for Newfoundland & Labrador crab meat. It is such a delicacy.

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The taste of freshly cooked crab legs leaves you wanting more. I enjoy making a crab meat sandwich, it makes a great lunch. One can also enjoy some lovely crab cakes at the Daily Catch in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse aux Meadows.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

Serving up freshly steamed mussels

As a child, mom and dad would let me take my little bucket and go down to the beach and pick a few mussels close to shore. I remember one time going with my father near the head of Green Island Cove where ice was still in the harbour. I was on the ice pan with the bucket and my father would pass along the mussels he collected in the deep water wearing his long rubber boots and used a rake.

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There is nothing like collecting your own or buying locally grown in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Be sure to add mussels to your list when you visit the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

 

Duck a delicacy on the GNP

I love traditional foods, especially those that focus on local moose, caribou, rabbit, seal and other game animals. Earning a living from the sea for so many on the Great Northern Peninsula brought an abundance of seafood to our diets, which was supplemented by local farming of root crops, especially potatoes, carrot, turnip, cabbage and beets.

Growing up, duck was not served at the table. My father always hunted turr and we had the odd partridge. I believe in the Straits the presence of duck is less, making them more difficult to obtain than other parts of the Peninsula.

The more I travelled, the more opportunity I had to try duck on the menu of restaurants that served it. I love duck, and consider it a delicacy.

I’ve been quite fortunate to have an avid duck hunter from the tip of the Peninsula share with me. This meal will not be forgotten.

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Duck served with rice, potatoe, carrot, turnip and bread roll.
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If you have the opportunity to try local duck on your visit, I highly recommend.

Bon apetit! 

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A little custard goes a long way…

Crème brûlée is a favourite dessert of mine when it is an option at a restaurant. I think, in part it comes from my upbringing. I have strong memories of mom making homemade custard to pour over jell-o, cake or vanilla pudding on Sunday evenings. The sweet taste of custard would always tantalize the taste buds.

We have a little blue china mug that my father used to help beat the powder using a spoon to make sure the custard was a perfect formula, assisting my mom in the process. There was a lot of love and co-operation that went into this sweet dessert that was enjoyed by the whole family.

Even today my sister makes a great custard sauce. It was a great treat, served over a rich chocolate cake.

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Additionally, my Aunt Iris made a traditional bread custard served after Sunday dinner. Everyone, even my grandmother was delighted by this dish.

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It is evident, a little custard goes a long way…

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

 

 

Our Culinary Treats

In rural Newfoundland & Labrador “Sunday Dinner”, “Hot Dinner”, “Cooked Dinner” and “Boiled Dinner” are common terms used in reference to a meal at noon on Sunday.

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I will share with you how to prepare Sunday’s Dinner, since it is my favorite traditional Newfoundland meal. It is chicken or turkey with stuffing, potatoes, carrots, turnips, greens, cabbage, potatoes, gravy, peas pudding and our famous salt beef. We also have a selection of other puddings that may be served with the meal: bread pudding, raisin pudding (locally referred to as “figgy duff”), molasses pudding, blackberry, partridge berry and there are many others! My grandmother makes the best raisin puddings and molasses puddings. Yum!

SUNDAY DINNER

  • 1 Whole Chicken, Turkey, Moose Roast or other meat product
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • 6-8 medium potatoes
  • 6 carrots
  • 1 medium turnip (peel and slice)
  • 1 medium cabbage (cut in wedges)
  • Slices of slightly stale bread
  • Onion
  • Ground Pepper
  • Salt
  • Spices (thyme, basil or rosemary)
  • Butter
  1. Prepare stuffing by soaking slightly stale bread in water. Squeeze to remove excess water. Add melted butter, salt, black pepper and seasoning (basil, rosemary or thyme).
  2. Prepare chicken or meat, lightly salt. Place stuffing inside chicken, excess can be wrapped in foil. In a roasting pan, place chicken and add water. Cook on 350 F, lightly baste and add an onion for flavour.
  3. Soak salt meat overnight, drain and place in large cooking pot. Tie peas in cloth bag (locally referred to as “peas pudding bag”); however, a mason jar with a few holes punched at the top will also be sufficient. Put peas in pot with salt beef. Cover beef and peas with water. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Prepare vegetables. Small carrots and potatoes may be left whole, larger ones are to be cut in half. Slice turnip and cut cabbage into wedges. After meat and peas have cooked for 2-2.5 hours add vegetables and cook until tender, adding the cabbage last.
  5. Remove peas from bag, place in bowl and mash with butter and black pepper to make peas pudding.
  6. Remove salt meat and slice. Remove vegetables and place on platter and serve.

FIGGIE DUFF

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk or water
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • Pinch of salt

Combine dry ingredients, add milk and egg. Put in a cloth or spring container and boil for two hours.

MOLASSES PUDDING

  • 1 cup of molasses
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 cups flour

Mix together molasses, sugar and spices in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to first mixture, then add melted butter and raisins. Mix well. Add sifted flour a little at a time. Put in greased pudding mould and steam 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Many great talks or yarns happen around the kitchen table in rural Newfoundland, both in the past and still today.

Hope you enjoy!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Squashberry Jelly & Dark Tickle Tea for Breakfast

On a recent visit with my Grandmother Pearl, she gave me a bottle of her homemade squashberry jelly. I truly love this stuff! This morning, I’ve been able to enjoy it with a mug of Dark Tickle’s Crowberry Tea. The only thing missing, was a nice hearty slice of homemade bread.

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When you experience the Great Northern Peninsula, visit Dark Tickle Company in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO Site (Viking Settlement). If you are interested in tasting squashberry jellies, jams and spreads, you can buy them on-line at www.darktickle.com.

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One of the many wonders on the Great Northern Peninsula.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

Baked Beans and Buttered Bread is a Traditional Scoff

What a delicious traditional meal yesterday’s supper turned out to be with homemade baked beans and a slice of homemade bread. Normally it would be beans and bologna (“Newfie steak”), but we substituted for ham and Zest mustard pickles.

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The one meal I would never eat as a child was baked beans, not even to taste them. I even lived and worked in London, England from January to September 2007 where I would get an English breakfast served everyday with a helping of beans. I would not even consider touching the stuff. It was not until a stopover in Belfast, Northern Ireland during December 2007 that I re-call ordering the traditional breakfast one last time before I would return the Czech Republic to complete my studies and then home to Newfoundland for the holidays. On my plate again, were the ever present baked beans, likely predicting their faith of being left behind. However, after rejecting them for twelve straight weeks that summer,  something in me decided I should give them a try, especially when in the UK. It might have been my last time to experience that traditional cuisine. Who knew when I would return? To my surprise, I did not detest them.

Why then for 22 years had I been so unwilling to try them? I guess there are always decisions we make around our likes and our dislikes as children when it comes to food. I never liked spaghetti sauce, just “plain noodles for me”, or gravy, many of the condiments and a few others. Today, a nice helping of well-crafted sauce adds so much flavour and excites the taste buds. There is nothing I can think of now that is an outright NO when I look at a menu or pick up ingredients at  a grocery store. Taste is certainly acquired and if at first you’re not quite sure, then I would suggest to try it at least another time.

Expand and broaden your palate, especially when it comes to traditional Newfoundland foodstuffs.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Missing Grandma’s Raisin Pudding…

I always manage to have a big helping of my Grandmother Mitchelmore’s raisin pudding. It has that great vanilla flavour, bountiful amount of raisins and texture of sweetness, creating a perfect pudding – ones only grandmothers seem to know how to prepare. The raisin pudding during a Sunday dinner at Nan’s house is truly a treat. Maybe the art of food for traditional meals get enhanced by the younger generation over time.

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It has been quite awhile since I’ve had the pleasure of Nan’s homemade soups, puddings, bread and other treats. While on vacation this past August, I got news that my grandmother at the ripe age of 81 years had broken her leg.

My Nan is a very active senior, as she maintains large flower beds, vegetable gardens, does crafts, makes quilts and also does quite a bit of travelling. Although, the past few weeks have been the quiet road to recovery, no doubt in the coming weeks she’ll be back on her feet as busy as ever.

I’m certainly looking forward to sitting with her, chatting and enjoying her traditional meals in the near future. The time we spend with our family in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, will be treasured memories.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

A Great Viking Feast for St. Anthony & Area Boys & Girls Club

Saturday, September 28th – Leifsburdir becomes the gathering place for the St. Anthony & area Boys and Girls Club for a Great Viking Feast and annual fundraiser.

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I attended my first fundraiser in September 2011 and missed 2012 as I was in Liverpool, England touring the hometown of the Beatles. However, I was very pleased to come out and support this worthy cause in 2013 and hopefully for many more years to come.

First of all, Leifsburdir, is the only sod hut restaurant in North America. They offer a viking performance of sagas by rein-actors over dinner throughout the summer season. I encourage you to take this experience in while visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. For more information visit: http://www.fishingpoint.ca/feast.html

The owner gives back each year, by donating their space and providing the meal to all patrons who take in the evenings event. The viking staff also give back by volunteering their talents and providing entertainment. The business community is involved by contributing prizes, including Provincial Airlines providing return airfare to St. Johns for two. The Boys and Girls Club had staff involved and youth helping to serve at each table – coffee, tea and desserts. It is a great sense of coming together for a cause everyone believes in – that is, providing much needed funds to ensure programming can continue and expanded for St. Anthony and area youth.

The club is now in its 13th year and has more than 200 youth registered at its centre. The success of the club, also demands increased supports whether from Government, grants or funds raised from outside sources. The Boys & Girls Club is a charity and can issue a tax receipt if anyone would like to support a local cause. Please contact 709-454-2582 or colleen@stanthonybgclub.com for any further information.

I had a wonderful time and ended up winning a prize. It is great to gather in our unique social spaces, enjoy the talents of those around us and help organizations thrive. If you were not able to take in this year’s event be sure to mark your calendar for the last Saturday in September. It will be a fun-filled evening.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

L&E Restaurant Serving For 25 Years

25 years for many of us is a lifetime committed to serving the public. For my entrepreneurial aunt, well she’s been self-employed in the food service business for nearly 40 years. That is a milestone for any business owner.

Long before the L&E Restaurant moved to its new location in 1988, owner Linda Rose was serving up chicken and chips from her former business, Rose’s Snack Bar. The move was contemplated as a new high school was being built on Route 430 to replace the aging one in Flower’s Cove. The new location, adjacent to Consumer’s Pharmachoice, Brook’s Boutique & NL Liquor Express has driven traffic to this business over the years.

She is a fully licensed restaurant, with a broad menu offering that goes well beyond the original chicken and chips, burgers and hotdogs to include a variety of seafood dishes, soups, sandwiches, salads, turkey, beef, breakfast and other dishes. She also has soft serves, ice creams, sundaes and a variety of coffees.

I’ve been eating treats at L&E for as long as I can ever remember. This past Wednesday, I dropped by for a feed of chicken & poutine. It was more-ish! After the meal, I gave my Aunt a certificate recognizing her 25 year business milestone and wished I could have been there on the anniversary. She told me, it was quite a busy day, with an in-flux of customers as she had a giant cake and offered 25% off all purchases for the day.

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She recognizes the importance of giving back to her customers and community, from customer appreciation day to donating to a local event. Before I left, I was reminded about the 50-50 draw to support the Straits Regional Volunteer Fire Department.

The restaurant has changed a little over the years, from softer color tones, the addition of a fish tank to a gallery of folk art painted by her talented son, Danny Rose. His art work is not only displayed at L&E but in many homes throughout the region, province, country and beyond. It is great to see the passion of entrepreneurship and love for rural Newfoundland & Labrador that exists within our family. However, some things will never change – like the red chairs, the nostalgic jukebox or the atmosphere created by local people loving the food and joining the conversations in one of our social spaces on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Congratulations on 25 years L&E Restaurant! Let’s hope to see many more, as this place has been a local fixture in the region.

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Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

It’s All About Regional Marketing…

In 2010, my mom and I traveled to Ireland. We rented a car and went from Cork-Kinsale-Killarney-Galway-Sligo-Belfast-Giant’s Causeway-Dublin-Kilkenny-Waterford-Wexford-London. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city (about the size of St. John’s, NL), however, just a short distance away is Kinsale, a small town that is known for its food culture. With 2,257 people it is about the size of St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. The regional marketing had us take the drive to the neighbouring community. It was an experience!

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The Provincial Government has cut its marketing budget by 25%. Despite winning 183 awards and being internationally recognized, the market for the International, out-of-province and local market is highly competitive and stakeholders will have to do more to market their business to maintain their bottom lines. I believe it’s all about regional marketing, let’s pool our resources and develop vacation guides, business directory, updates, mini-sites and more in a modern Viking Trail Tourism website.

Check out how Kinsale market’s itself: http://kinsale.ie/.

The Great Northern Peninsula has many reasons for which one must visit. Here is a short-list:

  • Gros Morne National Park, WORLD UNESCO Site – home to the Table Lands and 155,000 visitors annually.
  • L’Anse aux Meadows, WORLD UNESCO Site – more than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America. The only authenticated North American viking site. Nearby, Norstead Viking Village & Port of Trade is home to the replica viking ship, the Snorri. Wonderful cuisine en route: The Daily Catch, Northern Delight, Snow’s Take-out and The Norseman Restaurant.
  • Community of 50 Centuries, Bird Cove – for more than 5,000 the Maritime Archaic Indians, Paleo-Eskimo, Gros-Water Eskimo and recent Indians. As well, a Basque presence and Captain James Cook cairn. Port au Choix National Historic Site has unique interpretation of archaeology and history.
  • The French Shore (Petit Nord) – Conche’s Interpretation Centre is home to a 222 ft tapestry depicting the French history, the Granchain Exhibit is found in St. Lunaire-Griquet
  • Grenfell Historic Properties – highlights the legendary Sir Doctor Wilfred Grenfell, his International Association, residence and his economic development through the co-operative process. Grenfell Historical Foundation and Handicrafts remain an integral part of the continuing story. Grenfell Memorial Co-op is the Newfoundland & Labrador’s oldest consumer co-op. Nearby are the Jordi Bonet Murals, Northland Discovery Boat Tours, Polar Bear Exhibit & Fishing Point Park.
  • Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve – home to more than 300 plants, 30 of which are rare and one Burnt Cape cinquefoil, which the Great Northern Peninsula is the only place in the world where this species grows. Raleigh is also home to a fishing village and carving shop.
  • Leifsbudir – The Great Viking Feast is the only sod restaurant in North America, built into the rock of Fishing Point, St. Anthony
  • GNP Craft Producers – a unique gift shop that makes seal skin products and shares the history of seal skin boot making. In nearby Flower’s Cove one will find “Seal Skin” boot church. The community is also home to thrombolites (existing on just a few places on earth).
  • Deep Cove Winter Housing Site – a National Historic Site is an open air museum which highlights the way of life residents experienced in both summer and winter living. It is south of Anchor Point which is home to the peninsula’s oldest consecrated cemetery.
  • Torrent River Salmon Interpretation Centre - the Interpretation centre in Hawke’s Bay is a must for the salmon enthusiast. Beyond the mighty Torrent, many salmon rivers exist in Main Brook. Roddickton-Bide Arm is a great place to also participate in recreational hunting and fishing, it is home to the natural Underground Salmon Pool.

An array of walking trails, nature, wildlife, icebergs, whales, recreational hunting and fishing, picturesque outport communities, attractions, shops, restaurants,  crafts, festivals, events,  local culture and heritage and people who will make any visit a treasured experience on the Great Northern Peninsula. We make need to take a page out of Kinsale’s book, and work as a region to pool our marketing resources and create a more dynamic on-line presence that takes in our region’s unique offerings!

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula & start planning your vacation today!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Marketing Outport Newfoundland & Labrador

Newfoundland & Labrador has marketed ‘outport’ or rural parts of the province in its award-winning tourism ad campaigns.

Innovative rural companies like Auk Island Winery in Twillingate are continuing to add flavour to the tourism experience. Newfoundland & Labrador takes pride in its unique local berries, such as patridgeberry, bakeapples, squashberries, as well as our very own Screech Rum. This company typically makes berry wines and sells quintessentially on Newfoundlandia.

I have tried bottles that are called, “Moose Juice”, “Krooked Cod”, “Jellybean Row” and “Funky Puffin”. I believe part of my purchasing of this product is curiosity, but primarily to support a local business that prides itself in all things Newfoundland & Labrador.

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The imagery on Outport Wine, which includes an iceberg, outport boats and fishing rooms. The splash of Screech just adds to the authenticity and certainly begins the storytelling process.

This season I hope to tour Auk Island Winery and taste many other wines they have produced in various shapes and sizes. Let’s keep being creative and expand the rural economy and our visitor experiences as we celebrate traditional and modern-day outports.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Scoff at the Cabin…

I woke up at 5 AM today, the wind was howling and the weather temperature rang in at -20 degrees. The windchill made it feel like -37 degrees outside. It is on days like these I think of the warmth of the old wood stove, a nice cup of tea and fond memories at the cabin.

Every Christmas we draw family names on my Dad’s side where 7 families exchange presents with one another. This year, my Aunt Linda gave us presents. She gave my mother a lovely print our cousin originally painted of “A Scoff at the Cabin” in February 2008.  Depicted below are many of Newfoundland & Labrador‘s favourites, from Purity Hard Bread, Lemon Cream Biscuits served up with some Eversweet Margarine, Purity Jam, Homemade Bread, “Newfie” steak (bologna), a cup of tea with Carnation Milk, a shot of Newfoundland Screech and for dessert some Purity spearmint knobs.

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A cup of Tetley tea in the woods simply can not be topped! There must be something about the purity of the water flowing from the brook  and then boiled in a cast iron kettle over an open fire. While thinking about the cabin, I was able to enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate from one of the mugs my aunt also gave me for the holidays. A wonderful glimpse of another Newfoundland tradition of Christmas Mumming! I had the pleasure to dress up for the 3rd Annual Mummer’s Walk, spent a night mummering in my home community and attended the Mummer’s Dance in Flower’s Cove dressed up with the gang (a post to follow).

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I like many Newfoundlanders & Labradorians enjoy our foodstuffs and traditions that are quintessentially ours. I thank my thoughtful aunt for the presents as she knows how much I love consuming culture.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Rabbit with Sunday’s Dinner

Newfoundland & Labrador has a traditional Sunday’s Dinner with some form of meat, potatoes, turnip, carrot, cabbage (greens when available), peas pudding, salt meat, puddings and gravy.

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Sunday’s Dinner is a meal that us rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians look forward to, especially if grandmother is cooking it. A near mornings work with many pots, pans and hands in the kitchen serves up a delicious meal.

The rabbit was snared during last season. I look forward to getting a fresh  one as this past weekend a light powder of snow fell on the Great Northern Peninsula. My father would spend a week or two after Christmas with his buddies in what we referred to as the rabbit camp, as it was located way inside the country. Each year, he always brought back a good bounty of rabbits for our family and his parents. I remember when I was younger, going in the woods with him to check his slips. He showed me how he set up the snares and how to increase your chances of catching a rabbit.

I do not eat rabbit that often, and still today only enjoy the legs. So there will be no fighting for the head when I sit at your table, as is in most cases. One memory that comes to mind when I eat rabbit, is off my late Uncle Douglas. He spent many hours in the countryside, trapping, snaring and berry picking. He would always supply me with a rabbit, either bringing it to my house  or  I would be equally as happy to go to his small trailer to pick it up. He may have been hard to understand at times, despite at times calling me or others a “Frenchman”. I believe this was his ironic sense of humour and whenever he was around he was a mountain of local knowledge as he knew the daily catch of local fishers and other happenings in the community. He would always ask if I spotted a moose or caribou on my drive from work and listening attentively for the answer with details. Uncle Douglas was a gentle man, who loved children and gave freely of what he had to the benefit of others. I miss sharing those conversations with you, but still enjoy a feed of rabbit whenever I get the opportunity.

RIP Uncle Doug.

I hope when traditional food is placed on your table, you can think of a memory, occasion or person that brings a smile to your face.

Live Rural NL-

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Traditional Newfoundland Cuisine – Rabbit

A visit to my Grandmother from Nameless Cove after being in the cabin was quite the treat. A wonderful meal of wild rabbit, stuffing, peas, carrots, turnip and potatoes – all topped off with gravy. I enjoy this traditional meal as it brings back memories.

As a young boy, I would go with my father to check his slips (or rabbit snares). We would go on his Yamaha Bravo! He had the skill to well place a slip, adding twigs or tree limbs to ensure the rabbit would have to hop through the hole. Sometimes we would take our snowshoes to prevent us from sinking too deep into the snow.

My uncle Douglas, who has since passed. He would spend a significant amount of time in the woods, whether it would be trapping, rabbit catching or berry picking. I would be assured that there would be a rabbit or two for me each season.

For me it is important to now learn the process of rabbit catching from my uncles who continue this tradition. I must learn these skills to pass on to future generations. As well learn how to skin a rabbit and prepare the meal.

For me it is important to learn the ways of the land, that has enabled people to survive for thousands of years – well before the Vikings came more than 1,000 years ago to this Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

 

 

 

A Feed of Moose Meat in the Woods

A little salt and a shake of pepper at the flavour to savour as I cook the moose patties and thin moose steaks. The result – A double moose cheese burger, steak and well we had some hash browns as a side. This is not a menu item you will find at McDonalds or other fast food chains in Newfoundland & Labrador. If you are lucky you may find a restaurant or two that actually sells moose on the menu. This is surely not for lack of demand. Moose Burgers are a hot item at Jackladder Gas Station outside Deer Lake on Route 430 or the MayFlower Inn & Adventures, Roddickton, NL.

Since we had an extra burger we opted to share between the three, creating the 1/3 burger not the 1/3 pounder or 1/4 pounder but the 1/3 burger. Maybe these will catch on with a toothpick as a party appetizer?

The Great Northern Peninsula would not be the place it is today without a feed of moose. We have to be careful, and may need to reduce licences in the Straits-White Bay North as moose are getting scarce. Even in the Moose Capital of the World – Roddickton, there are fewer and fewer moose.

If you get the opportunity when visiting, try a moose burger! Why are moose not being ranched to produce moose meat for retail at supermarkets and restaurants on a larger scale, without impacting the annual hunt?

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Feed of Fish n’ Brewis

Fish & Brewis is a traditional Newfoundland Specialty. I enjoyed this meal of fish, brewis and boiled potatoes on January 5th, 2012.

I’ll share with you the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Cakes Purity Hard Bread
  • 2 lb salt cod fish
  • 1 cup of salt pork (finely diced)
  • Drawn Butter: 1/4 Cup Butter, 2 Med. Onions (chopped), 2 tbsp Water, 1 Cup Water (Optional)

Soak Hard Bread overnight. Use lots of water. Soak cod-fish in a separate bowl overnight. In the morning change water and cook cod-fish for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Put hard bread in saucepan with water to cover and bring to a boil. Remove Hard Bread from heat and drain. Optional Add cooked flaked fish and mix if you would like what is called Fisherman’s Brewis. Keep hot. Fry pork until golden brown and crisp, serve with fish and brews.).

Drawn butter: melt butter in saucepan, add onions  and  fry until golden and soft. Do not brown. Sprinkle flour over mixture and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat. Stir in half water. Place on heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Beat until shiny and smooth. Slowly add remaining water, cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Serve over fish and brewis.

My friends from Europe certainly enjoyed our traditional Newfoundland & Labrador cuisine.

Love Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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