Blog Archives

The Old Wood Stove

The old wood stove has provided heat to Newfoundland & Labrador homes for hundreds of years. Like many rural homes, the primary source of heat is wood – which helps to keep demand for electricity low.

At the cabin – one simply can not miss out on the experience of enjoying a cup of tea made from the pristine pond water and boiled on the stove. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast with Tetley tea.

I remember as a child making toast bread using an old wire coat hanger. Those hangers are getting harder and harder to come by. So if you have one, keep it for the cabin so you too can make toast over the heat of the old wood stove.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

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

Behind every door…there is always a story

A story behind every door in Ireland

The above photo was taken while visiting the streets of Dublin, Ireland in late-November 2010. I could not resist snapping an image of iconic and colourful doors, which are found in both urban and rural settings throughout the country.

Behind every door there is a story to be told – I find this especially through in rural regions. As I have been invited passed the door and into the home of the owner. Usually our conversations would be had at he kitchen table over a cup of Tetley tea, with a view of the water. I enjoy striking up a conversation with the elderly to tell me about the past, the stories that bring smiles to their faces and mine. I am inquisitive, asking about the way of daily living, how they earned a living, how they lived from the land and sea, what they did for entertainment, what it was like to raise a family, how the holidays were spent? I can only try to envision the way it use to be, as I have been raised at a much different time for rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

Most doors of rural Newfoundland & Labrador are no longer painted with vibrant color. Locally, my aunt Glad is the exception with the bright orange doorway. Despite a trend of white washed doors – there are still good stories to be told to those willing to listen.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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