In rural Newfoundland & Labrador “Sunday Dinner”, “Hot Dinner”, “Cooked Dinner” and “Boiled Dinner” are common terms used in reference to a meal at noon on Sunday.
I will share with you how to prepare Sunday’s Dinner, since it is my favorite traditional Newfoundland meal. It is chicken or turkey with stuffing, potatoes, carrots, turnips, greens, cabbage, potatoes, gravy, peas pudding and our famous salt beef. We also have a selection of other puddings that may be served with the meal: bread pudding, raisin pudding (locally referred to as “figgy duff”), molasses pudding, blackberry, partridge berry and there are many others! My grandmother makes the best raisin puddings and molasses puddings. Yum!
- 1 Whole Chicken, Turkey, Moose Roast or other meat product
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 6-8 medium potatoes
- 6 carrots
- 1 medium turnip (peel and slice)
- 1 medium cabbage (cut in wedges)
- Slices of slightly stale bread
- Ground Pepper
- Spices (thyme, basil or rosemary)
- Prepare stuffing by soaking slightly stale bread in water. Squeeze to remove excess water. Add melted butter, salt, black pepper and seasoning (basil, rosemary or thyme).
- Prepare chicken or meat, lightly salt. Place stuffing inside chicken, excess can be wrapped in foil. In a roasting pan, place chicken and add water. Cook on 350 F, lightly baste and add an onion for flavour.
- Soak salt meat overnight, drain and place in large cooking pot. Tie peas in cloth bag (locally referred to as “peas pudding bag”); however, a mason jar with a few holes punched at the top will also be sufficient. Put peas in pot with salt beef. Cover beef and peas with water. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
- Prepare vegetables. Small carrots and potatoes may be left whole, larger ones are to be cut in half. Slice turnip and cut cabbage into wedges. After meat and peas have cooked for 2-2.5 hours add vegetables and cook until tender, adding the cabbage last.
- Remove peas from bag, place in bowl and mash with butter and black pepper to make peas pudding.
- Remove salt meat and slice. Remove vegetables and place on platter and serve.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups of flour
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk or water
- 1 cup of raisins
- Pinch of salt
Combine dry ingredients, add milk and egg. Put in a cloth or spring container and boil for two hours.
- 1 cup of molasses
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup raisins
- 3 cups flour
Mix together molasses, sugar and spices in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to first mixture, then add melted butter and raisins. Mix well. Add sifted flour a little at a time. Put in greased pudding mould and steam 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Many great talks or yarns happen around the kitchen table in rural Newfoundland, both in the past and still today.
Hope you enjoy!Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North
I always manage to have a big helping of my Grandmother Mitchelmore’s raisin pudding. It has that great vanilla flavour, bountiful amount of raisins and texture of sweetness, creating a perfect pudding – ones only grandmothers seem to know how to prepare. The raisin pudding during a Sunday dinner at Nan’s house is truly a treat. Maybe the art of food for traditional meals get enhanced by the younger generation over time.
It has been quite awhile since I’ve had the pleasure of Nan’s homemade soups, puddings, bread and other treats. While on vacation this past August, I got news that my grandmother at the ripe age of 81 years had broken her leg.
My Nan is a very active senior, as she maintains large flower beds, vegetable gardens, does crafts, makes quilts and also does quite a bit of travelling. Although, the past few weeks have been the quiet road to recovery, no doubt in the coming weeks she’ll be back on her feet as busy as ever.
I’m certainly looking forward to sitting with her, chatting and enjoying her traditional meals in the near future. The time we spend with our family in rural Newfoundland & Labrador, will be treasured memories.
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North