July 11, 2007

I asked earlier for Nfld recipes and received a couple of good replies. Also got people to talk about gardening and the harvest in Gander. Of course as you hear these, if it brings to mind any special story on the topics, be sure to send them along to faye@villagereporter.com


Hi Faye, having just come in from a very humid evening and moving yet another plastic bag full of rocks to plant one little echinechia plant, I am motivated to write about gardens.

When we lived in Gander my parents were not interested in gardening at all. The soil was quite poor and full of rocks so it was hard work to make a garden, or even a lawn. We did have a lawn, but barely.  However, I felt the need of some flowers, so I bought some glads and planted them in a row along the front of our house. They did come up and I thought they were quite nice, but looking at a photo of them they were rather sparse and not very straight.

I guess that I must have been meant to be a gardener, as I always like to make a garden and surround myself with flowers. So satisfying to see them bloom and grow.  Bouquets in the house are so lovely too.

In my city garden I am trying to just have flowering shrubs and keep it all low maintenance, but a visit to the garden center sends me into a frenzy of buying new varieties, new colours and whatever looks good.  Sort of like grazing I guess.

From my very humble beginnings in Gander, Vance and I did go on to have a garden in Halifax which won a prize for the most improved garden - the previous owners receiving tickets for unsightly premises and we always won prizes at the rose show and the flower show for arrangements. Since buying a cottage we do not stay in the city on the weekends so we don't go to flower shows any more.  Still love growing veggies and flowers though.

Our project this week is to put a tiny pear in a wine bottle.  At this point, the pear points up, but as it matures it bends and drops down.  When mature, you break off the pear stem, top up the wine bottle with vodka, or cheap wine and you have a pear in a bottle and the wine becomes flavoured with the essence of the pear.  Quite a conversation piece.  Especially when the bottles are all still tied to the tree and the pears are growing inside. Can I lie down now, I am so tired.

- Michal Crowe, Class of 1960


The best berries in the world, I have ever eaten (and I have traveled to most countries in Europe plus many others), were wild strawberries that I harvested from bushes that developed when the "new Gander" was under construction. They sprouted everywhere and I spent a solitary day picking them, bringing them home for Mother to make strawberry pie. (For the record today's strawberry you find in the store is mutated and tasteless) I believe I was around 10 years old. She was singularly and properly surprised at my industriousness, made a dozen pies, froze them, and presented one to me as a reward. Gawd! My very own pie!....one of my favorite Gander memories.

- Ken Barnes, Class of 1960


You mentioned in your last report about Bakeapples. Here is some info for you. Known as Bakeapple berries in Nfld, the official name is the Cloudberry because of its shape. Also see attached pic and the description from Google. These make a very good liquor imported from Finland known, of course, as Cloudberry Liquor.

They normally grow in the drier portion of marshy/boggy/tundra areas of Nfld and Labrador (and other parts in northern Canada I'm sure). Known as a delicacy to some in Nfld desserts. Has a spicy, tart and acid flavour. 

 From Google

Cloudberry: Found in northern climes such as New England, Canada and Scandinavia, the cloudberry looks like an amber-colored version of the raspberry to which it's related. The berries are too tart for out-of-hand eating but make excellent jam. Cloudberries are usually wild and therefore hard to find in markets. Other names for this fruit include bake-apple berry, yellow berry and mountain berry.


- Jack Pinsent, Class of 1960




Blueberries grow just about anywhere in Nfld.  and they taste better than any I have had anywhere else.  My brother Tom has many blueberry bushes just behind him house in St. Phillips.  He has a big property.  I remember picking them on the way to school and that must have been in early Sept. I guess.  Anyway, Bakeapples grow in bogs.  Bogs are getting more scarce in Nfld. I guess and once you pick the berries they do not replenish straight away. 

I understand it takes a few years for the berries to grow again in that same place.  Hence, they are now scarce and hard to get.  They only have these berries in Nfld. (from what I have been told) and in Finland where they are called Cloudberries. 

- Elizabeth Bursey Lyons, Class of 1960


The only food recollections I have are of enormous blueberries growing in a cemetery in Gambo (left unpicked) and fishing in rapids with Gary Dyck when the brown trout were so hungry they jumped at bare hooks.

Dave Naish , Class of 1960


 Faye, something I forgot to add when talking about gardens in Gander was the fact that few people had much of a garden, but one exception to the rule was Enid Jones, wife of EPA pilot Marsh Jones.  They lived on Wilcox Crescent and she had a truly lovely garden - obviously hours of work.  They are retired now of course and have a home on St. Margaret's Bay.  I have not seen them in many years but know that the Warrens' and the Browns' see them at pilots reunions. Marsh wrote a small book of the first 15 years of EPA.

Glads are very hard flowers to arrange, but one tip I can pass on is this. Should you have Solomon's Seal in your garden, it is the perfect greenery to add to an arrangement of glads.  It softens the stiff look, adds greenery, and best of all can last up to a month without withering.  You need a very study vase so that the flowers do not topple over as they are top heavy.

And when I asked about seal flippers Bob Pelley came out of the woodwork…

Here is it Faye:

Newfoundland Flipper Pie

2 seal flippers
1 small turnip, cubed
3 carrots , sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 parsnip, sliced
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 oz screech
1/2 fat back pork
2 tbsp vinegar

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
small pat of butter

Cut all fat and slag from flippers, place them in a deep dish
and add enough boiling water to cover, add vinegar and set
aside to cool, then wipe dry with a paper towel and place
in baking pan or large casserole dish. Add pepper and salt
to taste, cover with sliced onions and sliced fat pork,
dribble the screech over the contents. Cover and cook for 2
hours in a pre heated oven , 375 degrees. Boil turnip,
carrots and parsnip in 2 1/2 cups of water for 20 minutes.
When ready place in baking dish along with flipper. Use
vegetable water for gravy... thickened with flour. Make
dumpling pastry and pat over flippers and vegetables. Cover
and bake gently until pastry is done (about 15 minutes).

Here's another, watered-down, no Screech version:
# 4 seal flippers
# 1 L water
# 500 ml soda
# 125 ml fat pork, diced
# 1 cup milk
# 2 onions, chopped
# 5 ml salt
# 60 ml flour
# 250 ml cold water
# 5 ml Worcestershire sauce

Soak flippers in 1 L of water and soda. Trim off excess fat.

Dry flippers and dip in seasoned flour.

Brown in pork fat. Add onions and make a gravy of flour, water, and sauce.
Pour over flippers.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 2-3 hours.
Make a pastry and cover the flippers. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes

- Bob Pelley, Class of 1962


(Where’s Morley, he has to help me with this ml, stuff)…Faye Lewis Raynard


Wait I’ve got the Screech, go back to the first recipe…


 David Naish-Class of 1960


I just answered Bob that every NL'er has to have at least one meal of seal in the spring. For one thing, it cleans you out and gets you set up for summer.  

- Ron Mosher, Class of 1959


So that class of 1960. Did you notice. They are the gardeners, I would say. What about those other Gander classes. We want to hear more from you all.

Next topic? Moose and other animals we encountered in Gander. Tell us about ‘em. Thanks, Faye