Blog Archives

My Kitchen Spa – Handmade Newfoundland Soap

The owner of My Kitchen Spa has a tremendous opportunity – she makes a natural product from items found around the kitchen. I have had the opportunity to purchase several bars of the soap.

The “Perk Me UpCoffee Soap may be just the cure for those heading to work on Monday morning. The ingredients are listed as lard, olive oil, caster oil, sodium hydroxide, ground coffee, coffee beans and fragrance.

Fun at the Beach” is a pleasant bar that is nice and refreshing.

Peppermint Pattieboasts a scent that can almost be eaten. I love the mixture of chocolate and vanilla coming together to produce something truly delicious.

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey” is full of relaxation. One can only imagine the good these products can do to moisturize the skin.

Who knew that I would be critiquing soap?

My Kitchen Spa has prepared a good product that is well-packaged. It is environmentally friendly, with a small paper strip that is big on branding. The playful soap name, business name, location and ingredients are clearly listed. As the business develops it may wish to list a website and email for questions, comments or to re-order.

When considering a product, I look so see if it is locally made! I crave these items for myself and gifts for friends and family members. The Dark Tickle Company’s products have been delivered as far as Ireland, Switzerland and Edmonton to date. Those visiting our region will also be looking to see if an item is locally made and most likely will factor in their decision-making process.

The gift shop at Norstead – A Viking Port of Trade, is ideal for finding local products. This stems from jewellery, painting, Norse games, Dark Tickle products, pottery and of course, My Kitchen Spa. One can purchase a small bar for $4 and a large bar for $7!

Find your niche in business! There is lots of opportunity to grow our rural economies…

Live Rural NL|

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Step Back in Time…1621

Scenic Viewscapes on the Irish Loop

On August 16, 2010…I finally traversed the Irish Loop on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland after years of saying I would visit. Well, to all you readers it was well worth the wait! The 316 KM road links the capital, St. Johns to the “southern shore” which is predominantly descended from Irish roots and back again.  For those of you who can remember, the Government ran cheesy tourism ads that went something like “come to the Irish Loop…Whales and Birds Galore….something, something, something explore” It was forever played on our independently owned NTV channel, “coined Canada’s superstation”. The tourism ads have greatly improved, especially depicting the scenic beauty of the Irish Loop. Visit the follow Youtube video at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aRFuguc7bk

Mansion House

We stopped at scenic Ferryland. It has incredible heritage structures, beautiful landscapes, historic cemetery, stone church and its own colony. Ferryland was formerly the “Province of Avalon”. A place that is the first permanent settlement and founded by Sir George Calvert. I read about him in a Newfoundland History course during my last semester at Memorial University. He was later titled “Lord Baltimore”. After spending one winter in what is now Ferryland, he returned to Britain and left hired help (the first settlers, commonly referred to as “planters”). These planters began what is most likely the oldest continuously occupied village in British North America. For those who know me, they know how patriotic I am when it comes to my province of Newfoundland & Labrador. I often get the opportunity to educate people about the oldest street in North America, the most easterly point in North America, George Street (most bars, pubs & clubs per sq. ft/capita in North America), only province to land a space shuttle, have four flags, have its own set of encyclopedias, its own dictionary and of course, the oldest English settlement in North America. 

As a freelance “journalist” :), I was given a remarkable tour. It started with a short video, followed by artifacts and interpretative panels. Next a guide provided an interpretative tour. It was very windy, but that can be typical in Newfoundland. We started at the outside herb garden, which was very informative. Apparently, “apple mint” was an early form of deodorant. Our tour continued with a stop at the Gentleman’s garden before entering the area that is known as the Colony of Avalon. The start consists of a 400 ft cobblestone street, which we were able to walk later in the tour. 

Which seat do you care to take?

 We were offered the option to take a rest at one of the benches (refer to image on the left). The guide said, she would not judge us. I love the sense of humour we have in this lovely province. As we continued the tour we were able to see the remains of the forge, Lord Baltimore’s mansion-house, other dwellings, as well as the archeologists continuing to excavate the site and uncover more evidence of the past. It was noted that more than 1 Million artifacts have been unearthed and catalogued over the past 20 years. We had the opportunity to visit the conservation laboratory at the end of the tour. 

This Colony has a history and is plagued with drama. Baltimore left for the United States. In 1638, Sir David Kirke, his wife Lady Sarah Kirke and their family took up residence in Baltimore’s mansion-house. This settlement became known as the “Pool Plantation” and took on a more business-like role. Tavern licences were sold and Kirke developed a prosperous fishing mercantile business. Unfortunately for him, he did not pay his taxes and was jailed in England. The settlement was disputed among the two families as to who had ownership for years. Eventually, Lady Sarah Kirke took over the enterprise and began most likely North America’s first successful female entrepreneur (another first)! The settlement prospered until its destruction by the French in 1696. 

Newfoundland & Labrador’s history books show constant political battles, which led to frequent wars among the English and French over land ownership. This is why the oldest settlement in North America & the youngest province in Canada has very little structures that are more than 100 years. As most structures older than a century were victims of fires. However, what remains continues to be part of our living history. 

A Puzzle Jug from a 17th Century Reproduction Kitchen

The tour ended with a visit to the 17th century Reproduction Kitchen. My advice is not to end the tour early, as this is worth the visit. It gives a good reflection of the everyday lives, hardships and even some luxuries of the early colonists. 

There is a unique history, Beothuk Indians, early European fishermen from France, Spain, Portugal, Britanny, Euskal and West England are all part of this unique history. If you would like more information, visit: http://www.colonyofavalon.ca/ 

I will be posting more images on the Facebook Group, “Live Rural NL”. 

The Colony of Avalon is another place one can experience something rural – CCM.

Fill Your Puddick: Fish Recipes from Grandmother’s Kitchen

Hello again!

Today I’m sharing with you some local fish recipes that we still add to our palate. Since the recreation cod fishery is ongoing you might be able to enjoy some fresh fish if you come to our provincial paradise. Just a piece of insider information, for readers unaware, in Newfoundland & Labrador we say fish, we mean “cod” and if we talk about other fish species we name them specifically such as Salmon, Trout, Herring. Certainly, the cod fishery has been the mainstay of Rural Newfoundland & Labrador well before the days of Giovanni Caboto some 500+ years ago.

Puddick – (defined in the Newfoundland Dictionary as Stomach).

RECIPE #1: Fried Cod Tongues

Fried Cod Tongues

  • 1 lb cod cheeks
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Pepper

Wash cod cheeks. Beat egg. Coat cheeks in beaten egg. Put cheeks in a bag with a mixture of flour, pinch of salt and pepper. Shake until cheeks are well floured. Fry in a pan until golden brown.

A simple but delicious recipe! When the opportunity arises, drop by a get yourself some cod tongues.

RECIPE #2: Fish Cakes

  • 2 lbs salt cod fish (boiled)
  • 8 medium potatoes (mashed)

    Golden Brown Fish Cakes

  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 savoury
  • small piece of salt pork
  • Pepper

Cut salt pork into small pieces and fry until brown in frying pan. Remove pork cubes, leaving fat in pan to fry fish cakes. Mix fish, potatoes, onion and savoury together. Shape into round cakes and coat with flour. Add a dash of pepper. Fry both sides until golden brown.

My grandfather would take great pride with drying fish and then placing it in brine. I’ve always enjoyed salt fish. This technique of drying and salting forms a lovingly delicious appetizer or meal that can be found in almost any local restaurant. If you are ever in the neighbourhood, drop by for a “scoff”.

RECIPE #3: Baked Cod Fish

  • Choose a firm codfish. Remove head, tail and sound bone. Wash and clean skin with a sharp knife. Wipe dry.
  • Salt pork (optional) 

Dressing:

  • 3 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp savoury
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 small onion (finely minced)

Mix dressing ingredients together and stuff the fish. Tie securely to a skewer. Place dressed fish in a roasting pan in which salt pork has been fried. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees F. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F and bake for one hour. Baste occasionally and add sliced  onion to roasting pan for flavour during final 20 minutes of baking.

I will share with you other recipes from the Rural Newfoundland kitchen in the coming days.

Cooking up a storm –

CCM

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