comes today’s postcard. We’re referring to the beautiful Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Please accord a warm welcome to our guest contributors. They will try to respond to comments and questions.
Who’s the gorgeous Gujju gal whose food, music and endearing qualities we’ve all come to love? She needs no introduction to regulars here. If you still don’t know who we’re talking about, check out one of the coolest food blogs on the Internet.
Trupti grew up in Newfoundland, then moved to the U.S., realised there’s no place like home, convinced her hubby to relocate, and they both know where they want to raise their two little boys. Trupti and Kartik own two food franchises in St. John’s. It’s hardly surprising that The Spice Who Loved Me caught the eye of Food Network Canada, and she is now a Guest Blogger on their blog, Food for Thought.
When Bee asked me to contribute to the Postcards series, I was only too happy to share my part of the world in the Limelight.
“The huge island … stands, with its sheer, beetling cliffs, out of the ocean, a monstrous mass of rock and gravel, almost without soil, like a strange thing from the bottom of the great deep, lifted up, suddenly, into sunshine and storm, but belonging to the watery darkness out of which it has been reared; the eye, accustomed to richer and softer scenes, finds something of a strange and almost startling beauty in its bold, hard outlines, cut out on every side, against the sky.”
- Newfoundland and Labrador according to Author R.T.S. Lowell, 1840
A brief history and geography lesson on Newfoundland:
Newfoundland is a large island in the Atlantic off the east coast of Canada. Together with Labrador it forms one of the four Atlantic provinces of Canada. Newfoundland is separated from Labrador by the Strait of Belle Isle.
A brief history on the island: Newfoundland was originally settled by Indians and Inuit (Eskimos). The first Europeans to set foot on Newfoundland, were the Vikings. However, the island’s official discovery by Europeans was in 1497 by John Cabot, who claimed it for England.
During the 17th and 18th centuries there were numerous different settlements established on the Newfoundland coast, chiefly by the English and French. Some of them, such as Cupids and Ferryland, were formally planned; others were composed of over-wintering fishermen and developed spontaneously. It was not, however, until the second half of the 18th century that a considerable population came to live permanently in Newfoundland.
In the early 19th century the expansion of the fishing industry in Newfoundland, together with the economic depression in Europe, led to increased immigration from Europe, particularly Ireland. Hereby Newfoundland became an island with a mixture of Scottish, French, English and Irish influences. In 1949 Newfoundland voted to join Canada.
Newfoundland has a quiet stillness that invades the very core of an individual. The landscape is larger than life, and the people – one of the friendliest on earth with a culture that is authentically Canadian.
Witness the Regatta – the annual summertime Festival of the races on the Quidi-Vidi Lake, Visit the Puffins on the Cape Shore, swim with the whales in the midst of the Atlantic, come shop with us in the City of Legends – St.John’s, or just walk through one of the most famous National Parks – Gros Morne.
Newfoundland and its Food:
Newfoundland and Labrador has its own rules when it comes to cuisine….meaning, not anything goes…there’s a ‘proper’ “Jiggs Dinner” to be had when in Newfoundland. No bones about it. What’s a “Jigg’s Dinner” you say?
It consists of Salt Beef, Peas Pudding, Cabbage, Turnips, Carrots and Potatoes. It is an all day affair usually in many Newfoundland homes. Kitchens fill with the smells of cooked cabbage, boiled vegetables and salt beef boiling away on the hot stove. Along with the peas pudding and homemade bread aroma not to far off in the distance. Blankets of condensation steam the windows..the door is always opened for friends,family and neighbors.
In Newfoundland when theres a “scoff” planned (referred to by many Newfoundlanders as an awesome meal on its way) there is most often leftovers. Always too much cooked!
The best part of the meal are the homemade desserts (Bakeapples, tea breads, jam and the like) that are placed onto the counters with piping hot tea on the stove, its usually the time for stories and laughter to be shared by all.
One such Dessert that is my favorite is the Newfoundland Partridgeberry Tea bread:
What you need:
2 cups flour,
1.5 cups dark brown sugar,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp baking soda,
1/2 cup butter ,
2 eggs (well beaten),
Rind and juice of 1 orange,
1 cup light raisins,
1-1/2 cups partridgeberries.
What you do:
Mix dry ingredients together, crumble butter with dry ingredients (by hand).
Add raisins, eggs, orange juice and rind. Add berries. Mix well.
Bake at 350F for one hour or when straw inserted in middle comes out clean.
** The teabread in the picture has apples – my addition, though not traditional.
When I walk among its streets, history walks with me…St.John’s the capital city is the oldest city in North America.
If ever I am stuck in the snow…I can guarantee that half the neighborhood will come and dig me out…( this is my experience talking!)
We have our own time zone! Newfoundland time.
We have some of the best fishing sites in the world.
Newfoundland is known for its rugged scenery, majestic valleys and of course its fish!
It is a place, where you can experience the beauty of a city one moment and the quietness of a coastal village the next.
It is a place where neighbors still meet over the fence just to “catch up”.
Winters are true winters here…blizzards, Ice storms and all…but the smell of the chimneys and woodstoves in the winter
snow…is enough to chase the chills away.
We are known as the “Far East of the Western World“.
This place is relatively unspoiled and untouched by human advancements.
A wise man once said….”Around here, not every work of art hangs on a wall“. Borrowing on pieces of its present, this province offers a window into the distant past, retracing the complex metamorphosis of an island that once stood alone. Yes, this is Newfoundland and Labrador.