Crocus Pocus

 

Heeeey y’aaaaalll

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It’s been a pretty nice last couple of weeks here. I think it’s even safe to say spring has sprung! Yesterday it had to have gotten upwards of 20 degrees, I got a sunburn on my arm just driving home from work! I pulled up into the driveway and CB was puttering around in the shed, making a nice cozy spot in eager anticipation of the arrival of our motorcycles back from Newfoundland. The dog was racing around through the woods like a psycho, chasing rabbits, being happy. Coming home is the best feeling.

By the time we went into the house, the temperature had dropped about 10 degrees and the fog tumbled in eerily fast. It went from a beautiful sunny saturday afternoon to a scene from a gloomy horror movie in an instant. Complete with a crow sitting in a creaky old tree out front. The air was so thick with fog it was deathly silent, save for the occasional cawing of a crow. So we ate a dinner of very spicy beef rolled in lettuce leaves and pretended it was summer.

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Last weekend CB’s Nan Marie came out to stay for the weekend. We hung out, and ate nice meals, and shot BBs at beer cans, enjoyed the sunshine. It was the weekend of the Cod Fish Supper at the church in Gabarus, and she came down for that. That was SO GOOD. OH MAN. It is a salty fish fantasy.

We went out to the church about 4:30, and you buy your ticket which has a number and sit in the pews to wait for your number to be up. When they call you, you get to have your supper. The ladies had set up long tables with baskets of fresh buns, tea & coffee, chow and curds. They serve you a very generous plate of salt cod with baked potato, mashed turnip, and tons of scrunchions. I learned allllll about scrunchions in Newfoundland, and oh my lord, let me tell you about it. These are little nuggets of salt pork fried up golden until its fat is rendered out, cooked down all day with onions, and when you ladle (yes, I said ladle, do not judge me!) it over the salt cod and potato, it is what heaven tastes like. And then a little chow pickle to cut the richness, sopped up with buttery homemade bread… …. yeah…. oh yeah… YEEEEAHH!

And lemon cake for dessert. Hoo. Boy.

On a completely unrelated note, I went into the hospital this week because of my high blood pressure. BUT, it’s all sorted out now, and Im being very good and healthy. I will consider the Cod Fish Supper my last salty Hurrah before I knock it off and be good. Still going again next year though….

Also the ladies said I could come help for the Strawberry Festival at the church in July. It’s mostly to help hull thousands of strawberries but then I get to eat them with tea biscuits and cream, so I dont mind the cramped thumbs and red stains on my fingernails for the next few days afterwards.

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These are some cool bottles I found in the forest out back. Two of them are old Javex bleach bottles. I like old bottles.

Yesterday at work we made a few hundred macarons. They are going to be: chocolate mint, vanilla rolled in sprinkles, orange, blueberry, red velvet, cookies & cream, and strawberry. These are… very popular..

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This is some rickety old haunted house thats probably 100% full of bats. Sweet Pea and I walk past it very night around 7pm, and every time I stop out front and think about having a peek in the windows. But then I get scared about ghosts and hobos getting bent out of shape at me about it and we go on our way.

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This is the house next door. Its super cute, and also tempting for a little casual evening B&E action. CB says I should refrain from breaking into abandoned houses around here because of the law and whatever but I WANT TO SEE IF THERES COOL STUFF INSIDE. Not to steal– that would anger the spirits and I hate being haunted– just to look at and say “oh, cool!”

Is that too much to ask?

There’s an old house across the street from us that makes me hungry for law breaking. The paint has peeled away long ago, and the driveway has been eaten up by the forest. But its windows are intact and the roof is good, all the angles are straight. They say, like a lot of houses around here, it was built by shipwrights and that is why its still so straight. I bet there is some kind of cool pirate booty in there. I think thats where my fox friend lives. He comes out around the same time as we go for a walk every night and sits in the middle of the road having a look at us. Nosey bugger!

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AHhhhh.. thats that. There’s probably more to drone on about but I’m sitting at an awkward angle and my legs have gone numb so Im going to go eat .. some plain celery and.. I dunno, some other thing a healthy person pretends to love eating.

Sigh.

K BY E LOVE Yo U

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Newfie Voodoo

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This is Fisherman’s Brewis, and it will make you very, very quiet, and very, very full, and very.. very.. happy.

We haven’t made this at home before, but we’ve had it at a couple of places around Newfoundland. It’s a traditional dish and comes from when the boys were out on the boat and they didnt have a whole lot of stuff to work with. Some hard bread, some salt fish, a couple potaters and fatback pork.. oh baby.

CB made this for us before he left for work this afternoon so that when we were done adventuring we just had to heat it up in the cast iron pan before dinner. We had it with scrunchions, and mustard cabbage pickles! WAAAAH!!

It was the perfect thing to eat tonight because the day is cold and foggy and the kind of damp that gets in your bones and makes you want to nap all day. Its going to be a go to winter meal I think. Oh by the way, this ain’t no health food.

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Fisherman’s Brewis & Scrunchions

4 cakes hard bread

4 potatoes

1 lb salt cod

6 slices salt pork

1 small onion

Soak salt fish in one container, and hard bread in another, in cold water overnight.

In the morning, boil the salt fish in clean water, and on top of the pot steam the hard bread for about 20 minutes until the bread is soft and the fish flakes.

Remove from heat and drain. Skin, bone and flake fish – set-aside.

Boil potatoes. Mix them with hard bread and salt fish until its all together, smashing the potatoes up a bit as you go.

Scrunchions:

In a pan on low heat, fry salt pork until all fat is rendered out. Add onions and cook until golden brown. Spoon fat and onions over fish and brewis like a beautiful, fatty gravy. Oh gawwwrrdd…

 

AND THEN THERE WAS PIE.

 

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This is a local speciality, a lassie tart, and I had never eaten it or even heard of it until I moved here. It is the stuff of legends, everyone’s mum makes it the best and one lady, Margaret, has become somewhat of a mythic, legendery pie hero to me. Everyone whispers in hushed tones “not as good as Margarets..” but thats ok because Margaret is obviously using some awesome Newfie voodoo pie magic and one day I will learn her dark arts! The crust is like a gingersnap cookie, made with molasses and black tea. Its rolled out thin and spread with funky, sour partridgeberry jam — not too sweet! And then a lattice crust is assembled on top and you back it for about 20 minutes until the jam starts to bubble. Serve it with ice cream, it’s SO GOOD! But not as good as Margarets……

 
‘Lassie Tart

Dough:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup molasses

2 cups flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp clove

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup strong brewed black tea

Partridge Berry Jam:

6 cups partridgeberries

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup brown sugar

To make the dough, cream the butter and molasses. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. In a small bowl or cup, stir the baking soda into the hot brewed tea, then add immediately to the butter-and-molasses mixture and stir well. Add dry ingredients to the same bowl and mix until just combined. Pat the dough into a ball and flatten, wrap in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.

To make the partridgeberry jam, place the berries, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Set aside and let cool.

To assemble the tarts, roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thick and 10 inches round. Transfer to an 8-inch tart pan and trim the overhanging edges. Form a ball with the scraps, roll out the dough and cut out strips for the lattice top.

Fill tart with 1/2 inch of partridgeberry jam. Place the lattice overtop and use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry.

Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes or until the top is dark brown and the jam is starting to bubble.

 

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