Well, we have been on the island for one week now. It took about 30 hours of driving, including a surprise scenic trip through a national park in Maine and two ferry crossings. We ate at some amazing truck stops, lots of balogne and eggs and home made pie with coffee. Mmm baby. I had an awesome time on the empty i95 in Maine seeing how fast our Buick could go, wahahaha.
We got off the little ferry onto the island Sunday evening and drove straight to the Inn. I saw my first caribou on the way! A big silver grey beasty standing by the side of the road munching a moss like it ain’t no thang. We pulled up the hotel and were greeted by the chef who was in the middle of a very busy dinner service. We sat and had some tea and were invited to stay for dinner. The dining room was gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to try the food so of course we said yes please yes please. Immediately we became acutely aware of how grubby we were from an overnight ferry trip and about 8 hours of driving that day when we were seated in the middle of the dining room amoung well dressed hotel guests. We went from eating m&m’s and doritos in the car to 5 star dining and it was very surreal. In front of us was 2 story wall of glass with a view out to the ocean. The sun was setting and the sky was lit up turquoise and orange over the rolling waves. It was pretty incredible to be in such a place. Everyone was so warm and hospitable, excited to meet us, and I was so relieved to be here finally and that it was as perfect as it looked in pictures.
The next morning was my first day of work! I got to meet my ladies, who are two of the most genuinely nice and hard working gals I’ve ever met. They have been working without days off to keep the pastry kitchen afloat and I was proud of them before I even met them. That first day I fucked up nearly every single thing I touched but they were very gracious and understanding about it. I mimicked stabbing myself in the stomach when my sourdough bread came out of the oven looking like a burnt football. Ahhh, first days.
This week has been amazing. One of the highlights for me was making a batch of juniper jelly. I needed juniper twigs and berries and just ran outside and looked around the rocks for a creeping juniper bush and took what I needed. That was a nice feeling. I get to play with all kinds of native berries right now like tons of tiny sweet blueberries, partridge berries, cranberries, marshberries and little black crowberries. Even the elusive bakeapple, or cloudberry, but there arent any growing on the island this season so the price of them has gone up to $100 a gallon!
I tried my first cod cheek! I made some hard tack! I have developed a love of molasses which is a good thing because it is in every single baked item! Partridge berries are amazing, like funky cranberries. I had seared newfoundland scallops and they were fresh and sweet and juicy. Ive eaten little fat hamburgers on a beautiful sunny evening and walked to work picking berries on freezing cold windy mornings. I love my job and coworkers and environment very, very much. Can’t wait for week 2!