June 6, 2008

I’ve asked you all to attend a potluck supper and bring along your favorite food memory of growing up. And this is what we got. Thanks for participating everyone. It’s been fun gathering this stuff. We got quite a spread, wouldn’t you say? Keep sharing those fond memories, we love to read about them. Enjoy. Haven’t decided who should be on clean-up duty. Maybe we’ll call the maid, we’ll be too stuffed to move when this is over.

Faye: Great . Keep collecting.  Here is ( or I should say “was” ) my favourite meal. Picture out in the woods with the boys on a cold winter day. Pond frozen , and we are trying to catch ( never my specialty ) a few trout. You started a fire, took out your trusty SCOUT KNIFE to open a can of BEANS (and weiners, if lucky), placed the can over the fire to heat. Someone had a large can in which we boiled tea over this same fire. Then we sat in the snow,  wolfed it down with homemade bread.

Life was good. We thought that we had the world by the tail.

PS:  Bob (Warren) , no brandy or cigars then.

Take care all.

Morley Smith, Class of 1959


Hi Faye, Favorite meals as a kid, eh? I don't know if it was a favorite then, but it would be nice right now; boiled salmon. Dad was an avid salmon fisherman, and we ate lots of it every summer. Sunday mornings it was Boiled (poached} salmon and home-made bread for breakfast, with a hot cup of tea. Funny how some of the things we took for granted in our youth, are now precious memories.

Years after Dad had passed away, I was on a layover in Gander, and I was at the Legion having a beer and a game of darts. One elderly gentlemam who was playing called me aside and said; "What did you say your last name is?"

I told him, and he said; "What was your father's name?"

I said ‘Spencer’, and he chuckled, and said; "I new your Father well, he was a fine fisherman. I was a fish warden, and I was walking in the trail one day down to Travers Brook, and I met Spence coming out. He had his limit of 5 salmon on a skiver, and I remarked he had a fine day. He laughed and said, yes sir! After we passed on the narrow trail, I looked around, and I could see the tails of a few more salmon sticking out of the tops of his long rubbers."

Denny Pritchett, Class of 1963


Salmon and bread for breakfast, eh. Can't say I've ever had that except for supper with all the fixin’s. Usually it was eggs and bacon (from the pig farm). Salmon would have been better for the arteries. Wonder if anyone had a chicken coop or if eggs were imported to Gander. So Mr. Pritchett went over the limit. Could you call that poached salmon??

Bob McKinnon, St. Joseph’s Class of 1961


Thanks for the invitation to attend you Newfie Potluck supper. I know most people will be bringing the "tried and true" Newfoundland scoffs; flipper pie, baked turrs, jiggs dinner, fish and brewis, etc., but I have to confess neither being a 'gourmet' cook or a lover of these "treats". I always preferred a piece of seal carcass to the flippers. There were too many bones to deal with in the flipper pies. Baked turrs and seal meat always tasted the same to me, and looked the same, too, both being a dark, oily, fish-tasting meat.

 My childhood meals were of the more mundane (and predictable) variety. "If it's Saturday we have pea soup and doughboys (dumplings) for lunch." Sundays was almost always 'cold plate' for supper. Only on special occasions were we privileged with sliced ham, usually a can of Klik, Kam or Spam (yes, it actually used to come in a can at one time). But I digress!

 The reason I started this response was to tell you about one of the most vile concoctions any child was expected to endure. When I list the ingredients you may ask why all the fuss. And I know Mom's intentions were good and there were probably all sorts of nutritional value it the drink.

 Growing up in Newfoundland, all families did not have access to fresh milk or other dairy products. So instead of drinking tea at mealtime, as most people did, I was expected to drink a mixture of canned milk and hot water, with a little sugar mixed in "to help the medicine go down". Within our family this drink was called "hot water". I'm sure it was far more healthy for a growing boy than tea, but, boy, for the last two or three years, before I worked up courage enough to tell Mom that I absolutely refused to drink it anymore, I had great difficulty getting it down and keeping it there!

 I cannot remember exactly when I stopped drinking it, I was probably 12 or 13 years old. I do remember drinking it at some Church social function (a soup supper, or something along those lines) and one of the ladies serving commented with surprise that I drank it. I do remember, more clearly, however, that within a couple of weeks of my refusal to drink it anymore, my younger brother, by 4 years, stopped drinking it as well. I always resented the fact that I had to drink it four years longer than he did!

This is probably not the kind of article you expected when you extended the invitation, but it is a vivid childhood memory for me!

Jim Butler, Class of 1959


We had powdered milk also. It was pretty lumpy in those days. And it didn't taste much like skim milk.

Bob McKinnon, St. Joseph’s Class of ‘’61.


Jim's Carnation Tea beats us all!.  I also remember having to use Carnation Milk, or powdered milk, mixed with water. Ahhh! uggg.  And we sure weren't fed pop if we didn't like the milk.

Audrey Mingo Grantham, Class of 1958


Sorry I'm going to miss the 'scoff''.  A dish that I remember with fascination was Pat Dempsey's father's one pot stew concoction that he called 'lob scouce'. I guess I remember it well since I was called the 'star boarder' for a while. Don't ask the ingredients, I'm no authority but I have seen it referred to in an old Newfie cookbook. 

Doris Moss Cowley, Class of 1956


‘Lob scouse’ was passed down to our family by my maternal Grandmother Elsie Green (also ‘Mom Green’, as we called her, to Vera, Joan, Gwen & Marilyn Green - hi cousins).

Here’s how it was made: Salt meat,cubed into 1" chunks with carott, turnip, potatoes (1" chunks)- cooked as a jigs dinner - when almost cooked it was transfered to a roaster, 1 cup of rice sprinkled over everything, enough of the pot liquer added to cook the rice.

A crust dough was made, placed over the entire area - and cooked another 20 min or so in the oven till the crust was golden brown.

A great scoff!

We still cook it today on special occacions (Christmas Eve, occasional birthdays (my son Kyle likes it and puts in a request now and then) and of course when we have other Newfies drop by. My husband , Pat, makes a MEAN BATCH OF SCOUSE. Drop over sometime. Lob scouse is an old receipt origanally from Britain during the 2nd WW - a great gut filler as my Dad use to say.

Jane Dempsey Donnelly, Class of 1961


I'm surprised nobody mentioned that old Newfie delicacy turnip tops or maybe dandelion greens. Mom used to make pea soup also with chunks of ham in it. She often made corn chowder. For desert there was sometimes (in season) blueberry grunt, sort of a stewed blueberry dish with dumplings in it. And then there was bakeapple jam to spread on toast.

Bob McKinnon, St. Joseph’s Class of 1961


Growing up in Gander, we were mostly influenced by American and Canadian style food, but once in a while Mother would cook up a Newfoundland speciality such as seal flippers (spring of the year), Newfoundland rabbit (winter) and turs (winter), salt cod (anytime) and off course JIGS dinners.

Years later Mother came to visit us in Ottawa in late May.  While she was there, she insisted on cooking a JIGS dinner for us, even though the outside temperature was in the mid 80's.  She spent the afternoon in the kitchen cooking cabbage, potatoes, carrots, peas pudding, salt beef, etc, etc.  It just about did her in.  

At supper time, we all came in from the pool and sat down for this huge scoff.  The meal would have been delicious in the cool Newfoundland weather but on that day it was just too much, both for Mother and us.

Eric Smith, Class of 1956


I will be bringing my mother's home baked beans, that was always served on Saturday night at our home.  That dish was probably  served for as long as I can remember.  And Mom always made her own bread, and that went with it.  If there wasn't bread, then Mom made biscuits.  Delicious. We never added hot dogs that I remember, but I often add them now.  While visiting Bob and Mary Warren right after the reunion 05, they served us delicious homemade beans. Even got the recipe.  I am serving this with my old apron and oven gloves. Hope to see you all at the website dinner,  

Audrey Mingo Grantham, Class of 1958


I remember my mom making finnan haddie…a smoked haddock dish. She par boiled it then put it in a milk and butter sauce in the oven. It was yellow and white fish, having been smoked to a delicate flavor. Really good. Rabbit stew was another favorite. And she would sometimes cook it together in a roast pan with pork. Each meat seemed to complement the other.

Faye Lewis Raynard, Class of 1959


I remember  Finnan Haddie well.  That was a staple in our home, and the only fish Mom could get us to eat. 

Audrey Mingo Grantham, Class of 1958



That’s it for this time. Send along any memories that you recall about Joey Smallwood. That is our next topic. Stay safe, healthy and happy. Thanks for the memories. faye@villagereporter.com