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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
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