Blog Archives

Summer Squash & Other Healthy Foods Growing in Roddickton!

Roddickton-Bide Arm is a region of the Great Northern Peninsula where hay is baled, and sheep would go to pasture. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow more agricultural products and ranch animals.

There are a number of individuals that are hobbyists farmers, planting root crops for subsistence, while others are growing on much larger scale. I enjoy purchasing fresh herbs, spices, teas and other organically grown items from Elsie and taking a walk on her trail of memories (See past article at: https://liveruralnl.com/2014/09/21/fresh-vegetables-herbs-teas-creams-and-a-blast-for-the-past/).

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Recently, I dropped by the large greenhouse of Calvin’s on Route 433 outside the Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm. Last year they experimented with growing grapes. This year, many new items are growing including yellow summer squash, depicted below:

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I was impressed by the range of product from cauliflower, zucchini, green onion, tomato, squash, greens, carrots, flowers and many more root crops and berries.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff are more than helpful, taking the care to find exactly what you are looking for to eat a little healthier. The cauliflower was so sweet,likely the best I’ve ever tasted.

Buying local creates jobs, builds a stronger economy. Sourcing your food locally helps with food security, reduces reliance on green house gases and gives you an understand of where your food came from, how it was grown and handled. Basically you can trace it from the source to your plate.

I encourage you to visit local farms, farmer’s markets, greenhouses, community gardens, grow your own and/or share with a friend or neighbour. We have incredible opportunity to grow good nutritious foods on the Great Northern Peninsula. We’ve been doing the basics for centuries.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Delectable Seafood Dishes served at Lightkeeper’s Cafe, St. Anthony, NL

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The Lightkeeper’s Cafe is perched on the edge of Fishing Point, St. Anthony, NL overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is a whale watchers and iceberg hunters paradise as the restaurant has a beautiful view with many glass windows. Lightkeeper’s has been recommended in Where to Eat in Canada year over year and is known for its delectable seafood dishes of chowder, fish cakes and pan or deep fried fish meals.

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The salted fish cakes with scrunchions and pickles were a perfect appetizer, as is the seafood chowder with exceptionally generous portions of fish.

One never goes wrong with deep-fried or pan fried cod. I opted for the halibut dish on this visit (depicted in the gallery below), it was so wonderfully prepared.

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I was impressed to see Ben Poughman of Port au Choix’s art hanging on the wall. I would highly recommend this restaurant when visiting St. Anthony on the Great Northern Peninsula. It has the perfect location, great atmosphere, superb staff and delectable seafood dishes that caters to those craving something authentic and local.

If seafood is not your thing, you can also dine in the only sod hut restaurant in North America, enjoying Viking Dinner Theatre and a Great Viking Feast next door!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

An Abundance of Fish n’ Brewis

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Newfoundland and Labrador cuisine has long roots in our history, as the meal of fish and brewis (pronounced “brews”) has been a traditional favourite since sailors came from Europe in the late 1400 and 1500’s.

Fish and Brewis consists of codfish and hard bread or hard tack. Sailors and fishers would spend months on board schooners and the salt cod and hard bread would last the journey. With the abundance of cod around the outports of Newfoundland and Labrador this meal became a staple at many homes. Our Purity Factories has been producing hard bread for nearly one hundred years!

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The basic recipe will have the hard bread broken into bite-size pieces and soaked in water overnight. Next day the fish and hard bread are boiled separately until tender then both are served together.

The traditional meal is served with “scrunchions” or salted pork fat which has been cut into small pieces and fried. Both the rendered fat and the liquid fat are then drizzled over the fish and hard bread.

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Here is a recipe for four servings:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cakes Purity hard bread
  • 1 lb salt cod
  • 6 slices salt pork (3” x ¼ “ thick)

In two separate bowls, soak salt fish and hard bread in cold water for approx 6-8 hours or overnight. In the morning drain and replace both with cold water.

Bring salt fish to a slow boil and let simmer for approx 20 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Skin, bone and flake fish – set-aside.

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Bring to a slow boil and simmer for approx 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Squeeze out excess water from the hard bread and mix in flaked fish.

In a frying pan, low heat, fry salt pork until all fat is extracted and cook until golden brown. Spoon fat over fish and brewis. Garnish with scrunchions (rendered salt pork).

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I enjoy this traditional meal best with a cup of steeped Tetley tea and fresh homemade bread with old-fashioned Crosby molasses. Truly authentic Newfoundland and Labrador cuisine.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Because it’s Budapest

I spent 6 days in Budapest in August 2014 and was compelled to return to this cultural capital just a couple of weeks ago for another couple of days. It is always a good indication when you enjoy an experience, that you choose to return on a future vacation. I often hear from operators on the Great Northern Peninsula that before the season begins they have bookings from past guests that are coming back to experience more of this special place, we get to call “home”.

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My first evening in Budapest, I walked by the breathtaking Parliament building and viewed the Palace and Fisherman’s Bastion on the Buda side of the river since I opted to stay on the Pest side of the city. Since I did not have a reservation, I was given the option of a 45 minutes time slot to enjoy a meal at a highly ranked traditional restaurant near where I was staying. Although, it was highly ranked by TripAdvisor, I opted to go to another restaurant. I feel sometimes these review sites can be a real curse at times, as they tend to create over capacity as tourists flock to those highly ranked spaces. There is certainly value in being reviewed and ranked by such sites.

I walked to a place called “Dracula” which was decorated with bats and themed to reflect cuisine from Transylvania. I ordered up the famed goulash soup, a traditional dish and an espresso, skipping dessert. The service was exceptional and the food extremely well prepared. The soup reminded me just how my grandmother use to make it.

One piece of decor captured my attention. It was the red sign that instantly made me smile – Praha or Prague. More than 7 years ago, living, studying and experiencing this city forever changed my life. It is where I met my European friends in which we have our annual reunions, it open my eyes to so many different cultures and where I fell in love only to return many many times and hope to have many more returns. Prague will always have a special place in my heart.

My morning included a nice breakfast of meats, cheese and pastry before I would walked many kilometers to do some shopping near the chain bridge, stopping to view the bronze shoes on the Danube (a memorial to the Jews killed in Budapest in World War II). In the afternoon I would finally tour the Parliament building (after-all this was my third trek and well lets say I have an interest in politics). The structure was as impressive inside as it was outside. The interpretative tour was of exceptional quality and well worth the entry fee (Note: EU citizens pay 1/4 of those outside the economic region pay).

That evening I would attend a jazz concert and listen to the up and coming stars. There were many concerts at this cultural facility, built only a decade ago. I really feel the nightly entertainment offering in Europe, whether large or small venues creates high-value for the tourist visiting. After the concert, I would return to my favourite restaurant in Budapest – “The Spoon”. It is a riverboat that has exquisite views to the Royal Palace and food to match. It is always nice to end a vacation on a high note – Budapest certainly would not disappoint.

From the starry nights to the early morning walks, I was in good company. Until the next visit, I’m sure the Spoon will be there waiting too!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA, The Straits-White Bay North)

That evening I would attend a jazz concert and listen to the up and coming stars.

A Mountain of Relaxation in San Marino

After leaving Malta, I took a low-cost flight with Ryanair to Bologna for $75, a bus to the Central Train Station for a couple of Euro, a train to Rimini for $20 and then a bus for $7.50 to find myself in what is known as the “Most Serene Republic of San Marino”. San Marino is a micro-country of just 61 square kilometres with a population of just 32,000 people nestled in the northeastern peninsula of Italy near the city of Rimini. This country is noted as the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. I spent three nights and two full days in this European country before moving on to my next destination. I would advise that this is sufficient time to enjoy the sights and surroundings.

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I enjoy all the public transportation options that exists in Europe, even in the smallest of countries. This leg of the journey involved planes, trains, buses and automobiles. It was lovely to see the snow-covered Italian mountains from the plane, but a little chilly in Bologna with snow covering the ground. I was very happy that I only have a couple of minutes to catch my train versus waiting in the chilled air of the Central Station. If I had known more Italian, I could have had a great conversation with an older woman who was travelling home after a nice visit with her granddaughter. You can purchase your return bus tickets to San Marino at the Tourist Information Centre for 10 Euro. I basically had a private ride on the bus to my hotel that night, saving the 50 Euro taxi ride. The hotel shuttle unfortunately was not the Lamborghini shown below. It was at the airport and I had to snap a picture. A ride in it would simply be amazing!

The Grand Hotel San Marino was simply perfect – an amazing view from the balcony of the mountains, delicious food at the restaurant and an extremely help staff. Upon arrival after being awed by the bright lights I decided to check out the restaurant. I ordered the Menu of Tradition which consisted of bread to start, Italian salami with mousse of cheese, potato gnocchi with porchini mushrooms and gratinated green lasagne, the second course claimed a small mix of grilled meat from the territory and seasonal vegetables. Dessert was homemade cake with mascarpone and coffee cream. It was a little overwhelming all the first plates I would eat that night, but I ate like the locals and feasted for quite some time. When I requested my typical espresso, I also received some powdered biscuits. It was unbelievable for 25 euro. Needless to say, I was unable to have breakfast the next morning. On my last evening in San Marino, I decided to return to the hotel restaurant and it was recommended I try to the fish tasting plates, which consisted of Scottish salmon with brioche bread and curls of butter, tar-tare of sea bass marinated in soy and lime, swordfish carpaccio with pink pepper as an appetizer, noodles drawn in bronze with local sepia, clams, mussels and calamari as a first plate, the second catch was an assortment of grilled local sea fish and dessert was a lemon sorbet with a caramelized piece of fruit and a coconut cookie. The food was simply amazing, high-value and very well-priced. I would only imagine as tourism season begins the menus are adjusted.

The morning or evening views were so enjoyable. I just would sit and read and sometimes just stare off into the distance, reflecting upon the Maltese experience, the wonder of San Marino and the next steps of my journey. I would also get lost in local author and Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite storyteller, Earle B. Pilgrim as I turned the pages of the Day of Varrick Frissell. It was intriguing to read about the tragic event on the sealing ship the Viking of the Great Northern Peninsula that should have brought so much more promise and attention with a film crew getting the last images needed for a film “White Thunder” that would be produced and distributed by Paramount Pictures.  IMG_20150211_145336

I enjoy reading on vacation and this time I decided to take a little piece of home with me. Exploring San Marino was easy by foot, but one has to be prepared to walk up and down multiple stairs or inclines given the terrain of this fortress city.

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There are three towers that are a must when visiting, getting panoramic views, seeing the gardens or visiting the museums. such as the armory in tower two. There is a nature park that allows you to circle around the city and give you a tranquil feeling of being in the great outdoors. I toured the palace and House of Parliament, cathedrals, museums, galleries and shops. I enjoyed a couple of local brews and a nicely prepared diavola pizza. There are more than 20 sites and attractions listed on their map and I was able to see most of them, enjoying the walk down to the Museum of Natural History but taking the cable car back up to the main city.

The San Marino guide was a great publication outlining the area attractions, local business and events. There is still value in print and publication to promote a region to travellers. No question, there were times when I felt I was the only tourist in San Marino, but there were others enjoying the peacefulness of the countryside. Tourism is peak during the summer, but in San Marino they too treat it as a year-round business. It lives up to its slogan of serenity and for me – a mountain of relaxation. If you want a couple of amazing days to rejuvenate, add San Marino to your list.

The next leg of my travels took me to Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA

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