Category Archives: Cuisine

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

Newfoundland Bakeapple Cheesecake Recipe

Bakeapple, the Cloudberry or the Chicouté is a delightful wild berry that grows on the marshes of the Great Northern Peninsula, Labrador and other parts of Northerly climates. Late July-early August is a great time to head to the barrens with your jugs and buckets to get some for yourself. The other option may be to purchase them at roadside.

I enjoy the berry in a pie, served with vanilla ice-cream but especially served as part of a Cheesecake. I’ve been using the following recipe for a while and decided to share it with you:

Crust
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

Filling
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour, all-purpose
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup blend cream (10%) or undiluted evaporated milk
2/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon rind (zest)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups bakeapple jam or sauce

Bakeapple Sauce
2 cups bakeapples
water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch spring-form pan.
– Melt butter, add crumbs and sugar; mix until mixture is moist and crumbly. Press against bottom and sides of greased springform pan. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350°F. Cool.

Filling
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Beat cream cheese well. Beat in egg yolks, then add l/2 cup sugar, Dour and salt. Beat well. Add cream, vanilla, lemon rind and juice; beat mixture until free from lumps.

In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until they reach the soft-peak stage. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until whites are stiff but not dry. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture.

Pour cream cheese mixture into baked crumb crust and bake at 325°F for 40-60 minutes or until it sets. The mixture will be a bit quivery when removed from the oven, but will set as it cools.

Cool cheesecake to room temperature, apply bakeapple sauce over the top, then refrigerate until serving (preferably 3-4 hours).

Bakeapple Sauce
Simmer bakeapples in a little water until tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar and simmer another 5 minutes.

Mix cornstarch with enough water to form a paste. Stir into bakeapples and continue stirring until thickened and smooth.

Please visit http://newfoundland.ws for more superb recipes of Newfoundland & Labrador cuisine.

A visit to a restaurant in Newfoundland & Labrador, especially during summer will likely have this berry in a dessert, alcoholic beverage or as a garnish to a main course. Embrace the bakeapple along with so many residents of the Great Northern Peninsula – it truly is a treat that will tantalize the taste buds.

Live Rural NL -

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

A Great Viking Feast -Leifsburdir

Most likely the only place in North America where one can eat in a sod hut and enjoy a Great Viking Feast is on Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL.

Last September 2011, I attended the final feast of the season which was a fundraiser for the local Boys & Girls Club. An incredible meal of meat, potatoes and other root crops. One will quickly notice there are no forks – simply because the Vikings did not use forks. It can be quite challenging trying to eat certain foods without this utensil. Although, one never really thinks about it until he or she does not have it. Funny how we take for granted some of the items we use daily that makes life a little easier.

As that evening progressed we were treated to theatrical performances, music, ballads and even served by people dressed up in Viking attire.

My friend from Switzerland certainly enjoy the walkabout the Leifsburdir and the view of St. Anthony in the backdrop.

The crashing waves and rocky shores are something to see as you walk to the entrance for service. If you can in 2012, you may want to dine and experience a Great Viking Feast on Fishing Point.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

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

Caribou Stew – Don’t Mind If I Do!

In Rural Newfoundland & Labrador it would not be uncommon to enjoy wild game as part of the regular rotation of meals from the kitchen. Upon returning home we were greeting by a pot of caribou stew – after only hours before experiencing a live herd crossing the main highway. I assure you we did not take any bounty for the road.

A delicious mixture of chunks of caribou meat, celery, potatoes, carrot and turnip. I recommend if you ever have the opportunity while in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador to try caribou.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Find Yourself on Bell Island, Newfoundland & Labrador

On January 2, 2012 – My friends & I set out on our first adventure of the New Year. We hopped in the car, drove to Portugal Cove-St. Phillips, after a few minutes waiting in line and a fare of less than $10 return ($6.25 for passenger + car/$1.75 for each additional passenger) we hopped on the MV Flanders and worked our way across the tickle.

The ferry ride is short about 20 minutes on the water ~40 minutes total. If you visit the City of St. Johns, consider adding Bell Island to your agenda as it truly is a stark contrast of life and beauty in itself.

Bell Island was once home to an iron ore mine that made it the second largest populated area, next to the  capital. It has a rich vibrant history, one that may be re-explored  as an announcement came a day or two after our visit that the mine may re-open.

No visit to Bell Island can be complete with at least one visit to Dick’s Famous Fish & Chips. It has been a fixture to the island for 60 years. This is quite a milestone for any small business.

The fish and chips were likely battered with a secret recipe, surely only available to family. I bet the workers are not even privy to such a lucrative combination. Enough for my selling pitch, before I get to a point of exaggeration. :) The fish n’ chips were served golden brown and would not  disappoint as they tantalized the taste buds.

I was quite happy I ordered the three-piece meal, as it truly has been the best fish n’ chips I’ve tasted on the East Coast of the island of Newfoundland & Labrador. There was no choice but to leave satisfied and with a full stomach.

Dick’s Fish and Chips has done a remarkable job of marketing itself as a fixture – one which may have evolved over time. This was present from a wall of cartoons and notes posted in the hallway leading up to the take-out and restaurant seating area as past patrons noted how much they loved “Dicks”.

I have noted before the importance of truly marketing the rural experience. I challenge other retailers and small businesses to find their niche, stand out and create a following that will help you continue adding loyal customers into multiple decades whether you use humour, appeal, facts or some other means to market.

If you find yourself on Bell Island – Do not dare leave without some of Dicks’s Fish & Chips.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
 
PS. I’ll be  following up shortly with more of our Bell Island Adventure….

The House of the Original Fairmount Bagel – Montreal, QC

There are certain things you must do where you visit certain places – like having a Beaver Tail on the Rideau Canal, drinking a Mojito in Cuba and tasting a crepe in Paris. In Newfoundland & Labrador we have many traditional dishes you should try while here, including:

  1. Split peas soup & dumplings
  2. Lassie Bread
  3. Toutons
  4. Fisherman’s Brewis
  5. Baked beans & hash
  6. Jigg’s Dinner
  7. Fish & Potatoe w/ Pork scrunchions
  8. Rabbit & Paste
  9. Moose Burgers
  10. Caribou Steak
  11. Moose Stew
  12. Fish Cakes
  13. Figgy Duff

During a visit in late-June to Montreal, I was introduced to a traditional taste enjoyed by many Montrealers – the bagel. The overpowering aromas filled the air of freshly baked bagels. There were racks upon racks – several being loaded on a truck to go to market. It was great to be able to purchase directly from the producer at “La Maison De L’Original Fairmount Bagel”.

My friend who lives in Montreal introduced me to this place and also to Smoked Salmon Spread, which we was delightful to the taste buds. Although, I must admit that I was skeptical at first.

It just goes to show sometimes we need to be open-minded. You may realize that by giving something chance you may find a new joy.

Consuming culture can be as simple as eating the sesame seed bagel with salmon dip from a local bagel shop. When you visit a new place, I encourage you to try local foods. As I try to  prepare often local dishes for myself and those who come and visit me in Rural NL.

Bon A petit!

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

 

Deep Fried Ice-cream – A must have treat at the Daily Catch, St. Lunaire-Griquet, NL

On several occasions I have seen Deep Friend Ice-cream on menus at various restaurants and have wanted to try the dessert. However, the portion sizes are often quite large, leaving little room for the sweet delights.

The The Daily Catch Restaurant in St. Lunaire-Griquet, en route to L’Anse Aux Meadows (World UNESCO Heritage Site) specializes in seafood. The food is delightful. In fact, they were even mentioned in the Globe and Mail.

And on the Great Northern Peninsula where the Vikings settled long before Columbus sailed from Spain, a sophisticated little establishment called The Daily Catch in St. Lunaire-Griquet (www.thedailycatch.ca; 709-623-2295) is an oasis of finely prepared seafood. The basil-buttered salmon is on par with the very best in Water Street dining. (Source Article – Click)

This is a true gem of the North, with superior food, excellent menu options, great wine list and the atmosphere to match. I have enjoyed the pleasure of the cook’s culinary skills a few times at this venue. They produce inviting salads, savouring seafood mains and create a happy mood as the traditional Newfoundland & Labrador music plays in the background.

Today was my time to shine – I was prepared and would certainly get my must have treat of Deep Fried Ice-cream today.

I ordered up their Drink of the Day, which was a surprise concoction known only by the server. I was presented with a bakeapple flavoured martini, which had the traditional berries at the bottom and was topped off with real iceberg ice. The iceberg ice really adds to experience, with purity and crackles as the shards gently melt. In 2010, a Youth Ventures participant pursued bagging the shards of icebergs as ice to sell during summertime at a local service station. Why are we not selling the ice on a larger scale? Opportunity knocks.

As I awaited my appetizer – the steamed mussels,  I took notice of the two icebergs positioned perfectly in view of the two windows in front of where I was sitting.

I struck up a conversation with the table adjacent. We talked about icebergs, local area, opportunities, culinary experiences and more. It was so fluent that I did not take a picture of the delicious mussels. However, I would not forget to snap my first trial with delectable Deep Fried Ice-cream.

The dessert menu claimed this is a “Must Have Treat”. It had the option of being served with Partridgeberry or Bakeapple. I am a fan of the bakeapple, as I find the partridgeberry a little tart. Served with whipped cream, a generous portion of local berries and wrapped in a secret coating – certainly makes this a field trip for the taste buds.

A nicely brewed cup of coffee with deep friend ice-cream was a culinary experience. I only wondered if this could have been enhanced, if I added some of my Screech Chocolate Sauce, purchased earlier at the Dark Tickle Company just a short jaunt down the road.

I left the Daily Catch completely satisfied, which is no surprise. So local or  traveller alike, if  you have never tried this treat, you can at this venue for a price of $4.75.

Get lost in a world of experiences on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Twitter/LiveRuralNL

25,000 Year Old Iceberg Water Makes the Perfect Brew

Photo: Taken at The Daily Catch, St. Lunaire-Griquet.

The Quidi Vidi Brewing Company located in St. Johns, NL is home to award-winning beers, notably Eric’s Red. I am a fan of the Traditional 1892 Ale. However, since introduced to the Iceberg Beer®produced by this local company, I have a new favourite. My first taste of the sweet bubbly was at The Daily Catch Restaurant, when owner Terry Hedderson provided me with a sample. I was sold from the very first taste!

Quidi Vidi has done a fabulous job setting this beer out from the rest, with a simple white label, long neck and beautiful blue-bottle. The bottle is elegance – as different rays of light hit it, parts change to darker and lighter tones of blue, yet the clarify remains. Once poured in a glass, it is absolutely pure. The senses are peaked with the taste, as it is truly a clean and refreshing beer worthy of its premium price point of $17.98 for 1/2 dozen at a Newfoundland & Labrador Liquor Store/Express. Beware, not all outlets carry it. I have only found this product at Hedderson’s Store, St. Lunaire-Griquet en route to L’Anse aux Meadows. This business carries a large selection of beer and variety of wines, including local products.

If you would like to drink a beer that is Made with pure 25,000 year old iceberg water, then it can be experienced right here on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Wild Mussels from the Strait of Belle Isle

I enjoy a pot of delicious mussels at home from time to time. There is something quite awesome about being able to walk just two minutes and be on the beach. It is even better when  the tide is low, allowing you the pleasure to move about the rocks and find wild mussels growing.

I remember once picking mussels with my father in my community of Green Island Cove. He had taken a rake and we were both wearing our long rubber boots. It was near the cemetary, with the water quite deep.  So my father plopped me up on an ice pan to put the mussels he scrapped off the ocean floor into a 5 gallon bucket. We had some very large mussels, much larger than the ones in the image below.

Make a memory when you come to the Great Northern Peninsula – Experience a Mussel Boil by picking your own wild mussels! If you would like to add to the authenticity, use a Salt Beef Bucket to empty your shells.

Dig in & take a walk on the wild side!

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Newfoundland Seal Flipper Pie Recipe

While everyone awaits the development of a local seal flipper food stand., I will share with you all a Newfoundland Seal Flipper Pie Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 seal flippers
  • 1 small turnip
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 parsnip, sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 ounce Newfoundland Screech
  • 1/2 lb fat back pork
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Dumpling Pastry – Ingredients:

Directions:

  1.  Cut all fat and slag from flippers.
  2. Place them in a deep dish with enough boiling water to cover.
  3. Add vinegar and set aside to cool, then wipe dry with paper towel and place in baking pan or large casserole dish.
  4. Add pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Cover with sliced onions and sliced fat pork.
  6. Dribble Newfoundland Screech over contents.
  7. Cover and bake in pre-heated oven at 375 degrees F for 2 hours.
  8. Boil turnip, carrots and parsnip in 2 1/2 cups of water for about 20 minutes.
  9. When vegetables are ready, place in baking dish with flippers.
  10. Use vegetable water for gravy and thicken with flour.
  11. Make dumpling pastry and pat over flippers and vegetables.
  12. Cover and bake gently until pastry is done. This should take approximately 15 minutes.

Enjoy traditional seal flipper pie.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Molasses Raisin Bread Recipe

Ingredients -

Dissolved yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water, to which the 2 tsp. sugar has already been added.

Ingredients -

  1.  Combine 3 cups of lukewarm water, molasses and melted butter.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Add raisins to dry ingredients.
  4. Stir dissolved yeast into molasses mixture.
  5. Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture and knead for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until it doubles in size, which will take approximately 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Divide dough to form into loaves.
  8. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise for 1 hour.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour. Baking time may vary.
  10. When you take hot bread from oven, remove from pan, grease with butter and let cool.

Enjoy Your Molasses Raisin Bread!

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Jumping Bean Blueberry Tea

I look for products that are Made Right Here, in Newfoundland & Labrador. Sometimes, I am able to find them when I catch NTV‘s Danielle Butt on her weekly segment, Made Right Here. However, on this occasion I was at visiting Gros Morne Cabins and Endicott’s Convenience in Rocky Harbour. This business has a wide-retail selection of food items, convenience goods, camping supplies, crafts, tour options, information and some locally made products. I found Jumping Bean’s Blueberry Tea.

I enjoy the local berry teas, especially the ones I have sampled from the Dark Tickle Company, St. Lunaire-Griquet (one of our many Northern Pen Gems). You may purchase their product online by visiting www.darktickle.com.

This particular tea caught my attention as it was loose tea. Only a few weeks prior my grandmother told me how the tea they would get came in wooden boxes. It was loose tea leaves packed in a foil to protect it from getting damp. I’ve had loose tea before when I was in Egypt, but never prepared a pot myself.

I got a chair, my arms extended to the top shelf of the cupboard to carefully pull out a tea-pot that my mother received as a wedding present more than 30 years ago. She has an exceptional memory and told me the people who gave her and dad the present. It is remarkable! She remembers birthdays, telephone numbers and other every life events. If an elephant never forgets, my mother is like an elephant. However, that may be the only similarity as she has quite the petit figure.

I normally would have asked my mother how to make this stuff; however, she is not a tea drinker. I am not sure if she has ever had a cup in her life. My father, on the other hand would always have a cup of Tetley with his morning breakfast meal. Since this was my first preparation, I looked at the directions, which read:

Directions: Place the desired amount of tea leaves in the tea sac and twist the top to close. Steep for 4-5 minutes in freshly boiled water and enjoy!

Somehow, I feel the directions should be written with more structure to appease the novice tea drinker. I really had no idea how much of the stuff I should be throwing in  and what amount of water to use. Some recommendation would be nice, in combination with…. or as your tastes desires.

In the end, I must have done something right as my cup of tea turned out to be a hit. It had natural berry flavours that were silky smooth and relaxing. I look forward to another cup of tea with my raisin cake in the near future.

If you would like to find out more about Jumping Bean, you can visit them on the web at www.jumpingbean.ca. They also make a variety of coffees, which include East Coast Roast and my personal favourite, Newfoundland Screech!

If you have the chance, pour yourself up a cup of loose blueberry tea from Jumping Bean.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Brewis and Eggs for Sunday Dinner

“HAM AND EGGS – A day’s work for a hen; A lifetime commitment for a pig”

- Anonymous

Purity Factories continue to provide me with the Hard Bread (Hard Tack) that I need to make a meal of delicious brewis. Most of us have beloved memories of foods that are the heart and soul of our upbringing – Purity Factories does just that for many Newfoundlanders & Labradorians.

This company continues to provide the staple foods demanded by locals, which includes a diet of Jam Jams, Syrups, Hard Bread and more. It was such a relief when the lock-out ended and the company started producing again. Before Christmas there was no hard tack to be found anywhere. If other bakeries did not consider making the stuff, I could only imagine the rioting that may have happened in the streets. :) Well maybe that is a little far-fetched, but Newfoundlanders & Labradorians feel a close connection with Purity Hard Bread. It truly is part of our traditions, passed on from generation to generation.

There are times when I get a craving for the foodstuff that is uniquely ours. Last night, the hard bread was soaking in preparation for brewis in time for noon, which we refer to as dinner, not lunch. I love the fluffy stuff with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top, served up with a couple of eggs. It is a real treat!

My mother made the comment, “wondering why local restaurants do not promote this and have brewis and eggs on the menu for breakfast and dinner?” It seems like a good idea to me. Maybe a local restaurant will add this traditional delicacy to their menu or maybe one already has it, if so, please let me know and I will update this post.

We have an opportunity for a rural food revolution, to have culinary experiences and foodstuffs on menus that are not found elsewhere. We have a history that spans 50 centuries, with so much to offer. The Great Northern Peninsula can be a great place for some good grub.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Recipes From Grandma Pearl – Raisin Buns

I stand by the fact that my Grandmother Pearl is a wonderful baker. One of the enjoyable baked goods I love is a good raisin bun with a cup of tea. This makes for a quick breakfast or a nice snack at break time.

Ingredients

Directions -

Mix all dry ingredients together except custard powder. Add to milk. Add butter to dry ingredients and beat eggs. Add to dry mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen buns.

Molasses Buns & Tea`

Now you have the opportunity to make your own. If you would rather purchase this traditional foodstuff, you can stop by the Gros Morne Resort Gas Bar, St. Paul’s, NL. They sell a limited selection of baked bread, buns and rolls.  Six raisin buns sell for a low price of $2.99 or twelve for $5.00.

 
Enjoy!
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
 

A Seal Flipper Foodstand?

Why are we not serving up Seal Flippers throughout the summer season?

Moose Burgers, Moose Stew and Caribou Steak have made the menus of some local restaurants and have made appearances at various festivals and special events throughout the summer. They sell like hot cakes. But seal meat does not make the cut? I have been hearing that seal flippers have been for sale recently at the waterfront at St. Johns, NL in a large supply over the local radio network. However, that is not Rural NL.

Crepe Stand, Paris, France

After travelling to many countries, there always seems to be a mobile food service stand that sells something significant to the culture. In Paris there are crepes made at street vendors. They are incredibly delicious. In Switzerland and the Czech Republic at Christmas, roasted nuts appeared to be a staple. New York has their famous hot dogs and Belgium – waffles, of course.

 
There may be room for an outlet that sells seal, wild game and other traditional cuisine of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador for those on the run.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
 

 

An Opportunity for More Rural Social Space – The Coffee Shop?

Treats at the Coffee Shop, Northern Ireland

Where are the local coffee shops in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador? I am not talking about the Tim Horton‘s that are springing up practically everywhere, including rural areas. There is even a Tim Horton’s in St. Anthony, NL on the peninsula’s tip that has a town of under 3,000 people. Some residents from the Strait of Belle Isle region, where I reside have even driven more than 100 kms to get a “cup of Joe” combined with a high calorie sweet to match. This is the power of branding and the importance of changing to fit with market demands.

It was not too many years ago, that there was a local bakery in Flower’s Cove, NL. It operated for a number of years under the Dot’s Pantry “franchise”, to later be operated as Sweets & Eats. As a youth, I did not appreciate the business as a venue to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee; however, they never really promoted themselves as a coffee shop in the traditional sense.
 
For me, it was really more of the bakery, a place to get a cake for a birthday or other special occasion. One could also get freshly baked bread, pies, squares and other desserts, as well as a limited variety of lunch choices, which included jigs dinner, soups, sandwiches and chili. However, the coffee was limited to just basic brewed. Additionally, there were only two small tables with a couple of chairs.

Espresso and Latte in Paris, France

 
A coffee shop in rural parts of Europe have a variety of good java. One can get a selection of freshly brewed coffee with flavours to choose. There is also mocha, cappuccino, latte and espresso. I certainly love a good espresso! As well, there is an array of teas, herbal, chai teas, decaffeinated teas, coffees and of course hot chocolate. Tim Horton’s has even adapted a number of these products to their menu, but offers them at a low-cost price. This is reflective of quality, as Tim Horton’s  is less generous with whip creams and syrups.  European coffee shops exhibit a nice relaxing and inviting atmosphere, versus the cafeteria or institutional/fast food stylings of Tim Horton’s.
 
There is an opportunity for more  social space in Rural Newfoundland and Labrador, with the decline of the local lounges. The social commons is changing from the local wharves and the kitchen tables, as we have become more integrated into larger regional communities. We need a fitting space for those to mingle and discuss events of the day. We require a space that is senior, seasonal employee, family, youth, tourist, handicap and professional friendly to survive and thrive in a sparsely populated rural setting.
 
Gros Morne National Park has a gem of a coffee shop in Java Jacks! I highly recommend it. Only time will tell if there is room for a coffee shop in the Strait of Belle Isle region and if it can fill the need of creating a social space that is acceptable by those living and passing through our rural region.
 
Live Rural NL -
Christopher Mitchelmore

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette

The Lingonberry in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador is referred to locally as the “Partridgeberry”.

After reviewing From Our Atlantic Woods -Non-Timber Forest Product Directory 2009-2010, a recipe supplied by Pure Labrador seemed like a delicious use of for local berries.

Apple, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Lingonberry Vinaigrette (Serves 4)

Ingredients (Vinaigrette)

Directions -

Mix all together and shake well

Ingredients (Salad)

  • Mixed baby salad greens
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) crumbled blue cheese

Directions -

  1. Spread a bed of salad greens on 4 plates
  2. Core and quarter the apple
  3. Thinly slice each quarter into 6-8 slices and place on the greens in an attractive fan
  4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp (15 ml) each walnuts and blue cheese over the apple and greens
  5. Drizzle the Lingonberry Vinaigrette over the salads.

 I am looking forward to trying this salad, which will have local wild berries. Be creative with locally grown products and start your own FOOD REVOLUTION!

Squashberry Jam from Grandmother Pearl

My youthful Grandmother Pearl at 66 years of age is a wonder in the kitchen. She tends to prepare large meals for her extended family on a regular basis. On Sunday, one can suspect that she has a massive pot of salt beef, vegetables, meat and bread pudding cooking for a Sunday dinner.

She ensures to hold onto local tradition of ensuring recipes of wild game, fish and beans are mainstays at her table. There is nothing like a piece of fresh halibut out of her pan during the months of summer.

Her specialty skills come as a baker. She makes all sorts of squares, buns, rolls, cakes and my most loved item – her freshly baked pies with apples or local Newfoundland berries. There is nothing like a cut of bakeapple or partridge-berry pie and a scoop of ice-cream.

Spreading Squashberry Jam on Toast

Last time I was at her house, she gave me a small sample of her squashberry jam. I can not re-call if I have ever tasted such a local treat. I was eager to place this jam on a piece of toast. It is quite delicious. I look forward to berry picking this summer.

If you would like more information or to purchase some Squashberry product, you can visit locally The Dark Tickle Company in beautiful St. Lunaire-Griquet, Great Northern Peninsula at http://www.darktickle.com/squashberryinfo.aspx

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Rabbit Soup on Saturday

 

Wild Rabbit Soup

The utilities company noted they would be doing some upgrades to the main power line, leaving local residents from Castor River to Eddies Cove without electricity until 11:00 AM. This delayed my traditional lunch at grandma’s house.
 
 Early in the morning, I lit a fire. The heat from locally cut wood, provided much warmth. I did some chores and brought out some light trash. I dropped in to visit my grandmother, who faithfully had the pot on the stove and noted she was cooking “Rabbit Soup”, but it would not be ready until about 1:30 PM. We chatted for a bit  and she had also proudly showed me all her knitting. She certainly keeps quite busy.

Rabbit

The table was prepared, with homemade bread, the salt & pepper shakers, the rabbit had been taken from the pot and soup ready to be poured into each bowl. The rabbit was delicious. My grandmother and I always have a good chat, whether it is about the hockey game, curling, gardening, weather or past times. I had told her I was looking at old photos earlier, some of which included my grandfather, father and of  course my childhood.RabbitMany good memories.
 
I enjoy traditional recipes of rural Newfoundland. My grandmother and I discussed how traditions are dying as far fewer people of the younger generations are cooking with wild game. Modernization and the convenience of pre-packaged food is having an impact on the dishes that have been served on Newfoundland tables for centuries.
 

 

RECIPE FOR NEWFOUNDLAND RABBIT SOUP
 
 1 lb. Salt beef
2 qts of cold water
1 Wild game rabbit (cleaned and cut up)
3 carrots
1 lb turnip
4 med. Potatoes
1 med. Onion
few drips of gravy browning
3 ½ – 4 qts. Cold water
 
Cut salt beef into small pieces. Place in large saucepan and add 2 qts. cold water. Bring to a boil. Place salt beef, rabbit and remaining 3 ½ qts (cook 1 ½ hours). Add vegetables  and browning. Cook 30 minutes.
 
Bon Apetit!
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 

Fisherman’s Brewis for Sunday Dinner

Cod fish soaking

The fish has been soaking the night prior. Whenever a Newfoundlander says “fish” he is referring to cod fish. If he is talking about other types of fish, he will call it by name.

Today for dinner, I was able to enjoy a great meal of Fisherman’s Brewis.

Brewis, Fish, Potatoes and Fried Pork and Onions

The recipe is simple, yet big on delivery. You need hard tack (Famous Purity Hard Bread). This should be soaked in cold water until soft. We used three cakes for our meal. We had some already filleted cod, so we did not need to be as worried about the bones. One must fry fat port until a little brown.

Preparing Fisherman’s Brewis

Cook fish, add the hard bread and mash it all together and served. This meal can be cooked within a short 20 minutes.

 
We had a side of boiled potatoes, homemade pickles and buttered or Crosbie Molasses “Lassie” bread. 
 
Fisherman’s Brewis Spread

This is a treat to the standard brewis on Sunday, when hot dinner is not being served.

 
The conversation was around how we should have this heritage meal more often.
 
After the meal, I steeped a cup of Screech tea made locally by The Dark Tickle Company, St. Lunaire-Griquet on the Great Northern Peninsula.
Screech Tea from Dark Tickle Company

There is truly something great about Living Rural and enjoying traditional recipes that have been mainstays of Rural Life for centuries.

 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

NL Moose Soup on Saturday

Saturday in Rural Newfoundland, has long been known as Soup Saturday. In September 2009, I returned to my community on the island of Newfoundland. Since that time, I continue my previous tradition of visiting my grandmother who makes soup every Saturday to enjoy a drop.

Moose Soup from Grandma's Kitchen

She makes traditional split pea soup, turkey neck, rabbit, partridge and my favourite – Moose Soup.

I love the flavour of the all the garden vegetables mixed with salt meat (beef) and of course the moose. I also love the fact that she adds macaroni noodles. Those who know me well, know I enjoy macaroni in my soup. In fact, my Aunt Viola always added extra to her soup when she knew I was coming over.

Moose Meat from the Soup

When I enter my grandmother’s kitchen on Saturday, she had the moose meat placed on the table, salt & pepper shakers are always in the same location, homemade bread is sliced and strawberry flavoured drink mix readily available.  One has to dig in and can not simply stop at one bowl.

Freshly Sliced Homemade Bread

Soup is a great dinnertime meal (we do not call it lunch in Rural Newfoundland), especially when it is complimented by some of grandma’s freshly baked bread.

 
Over the cooling of the soup, we usually share memories of the past, talk about my grandfather, family and days from my grandmother’s childhood.
 
Tetley Tea & Biscuits

We continue the conversation over a cup of Tetley Tea after our meal and marshmallow biscuits that I’ve enjoyed at grandma’s ever since I can remember.

 
I just called asking for the recipe, which all spoken like a true Newfoundland cook, not with exact measurements.
 
She uses moose meat, with some bone (if possible), a handful of salt beef in a 4 qrt. pot adding water and letting simmer for a couple of hours. She dices carrot, turnip and potatoes (about 3 or 4 handfuls) and adds to the pot for about 45 minutes. A chopped onion is added. She adds 1/4 cup of rice and macaroni for about 20 minutes. She adds a can of tomato soup and beef oxo cup for additional flavour. Grandma’s secret recipe is out! I’ll still prefer her pot to mine any day.
 
This is one tradition, I am happy to continue as I live in Rural Newfoundland and will cherish always.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

Culinary Cork – Strasbourg Goose Restaurant

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce & Fresh roll

Strasbourg Goose Restaurant – Culinary Cork, Ireland 
 
After arriving and getting settled at Sheila’s we decided to walk the streets of Cork. The night was warm and the lights and decor of festive season had dressed and connected the main streets. There appeared to be lots of places to shop and great places to eat. We walked passed the Town Square passed the Christmas tree to find the Strasbourg Goose Restaurant, neatly tucked away.Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce & Fresh roll
 
 
It was a more than delightful experience with the most hospitable service and fine culinary cuisine.
To start I had Steamed Mussels with a White Wine Sauce with a fresh roll.
 
My mother had the bruschetta, which also looked quite delicious.

Bruschetta

 
The presentation of food was very appealing. I think much can be learned from others in terms of creating a culinary experience.
 
My mother had a salmon dish for her main, while I had the duck, which was served with potatoes au gratin and a side of green vegetables.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Salmon Dish, Duck w/Potatoes au Gratin and Vegetables

Chocolate Cake and Hot Chocolate Sauce

 
The restaurant was small with some tables with chairs and others semi-private booths. The atmosphere depicted black and white images of well-known people throughout time. There was a fireplace lit that was giving it some rural charm.
 
 

Dessert included a chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce and cream. I have to say it felt like a little piece of heaven.

 
My mom had a trifle, which she claims was very delectable.
 
Throughout the meal we were able to talk about the next leg of our Irish journey and where next we would go in Cork.
 

Mom's Trifle

Murphy's Beer

Our tummies were stuffed. To our pleasure this fine dining meal only cost us 42 Euros, which is equivalent to less than $60 CDN.

 

 
I almost forgot to mention that included a glass of Murphy’s beer, Ireland’s Own.
 
I highly recommend the Strasbourg Goose Restaurant to anyone visiting Cork. It certainly was a culinary experience.
 
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore
 
 

 

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