Blowing A Gale

It’s been extremely windy here in Newfoundland and the forecast for the next few days, is gale force winds. I recall fishermen saying it’s blowing a gale.

Many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are familiar with the devastating damages and loss of life caused by those extreme winds. Some of us have first hand experience and respect it’s power.

Those are a few pictures that I took today down at the end of Cherry Lane. The wind was gusting up to 100 kmh or higher.from the west. It was a mixed bag of weather as one minute the sun was shining and then we had rain and wet snow flurries.

That’s Kelly’s Is in the background. I would not want to be out there today. When I was sixteen, I spent a summer as a mate on a tuna boat. I recall one day we were steaming from Cape St Francis to Long Pond after a day sport tuna fishing. The wind was blowing down the bay. It was a rough ride coming up the bay. The bow of the boat would dig into the waves and throw water back over the bridge. You had to hold on so as not to be knocked around on the deck.

A number of years ago  a relative and I were turr hunting and as we went around the eastern end of kelly’s Island the wind changed direction. We were met with high winds and waves similar to what’s in the photo.  My relative was able to turn the boat and get back into the shelter of the island. We did make a decision to cross over to Long Pond.  It was a little nerve wrecking, however; my relative was good at reading the water and the waves.

Looking down the shoreline towards Manuel’s Head.


Come Home Year Newfoundland

My sister put up, on Facebook, an old photo from from 1966. It was a photo of the Queen Elizabeth Regional High School Volleyball Team.
This is the photo

The photo brought back many memories of my time in high school especially the many sporting activities that I was part of. I loved team sport and through much practice, I became pretty good at most sports. Basketball was one exception. I spent too much time being called for traveling so I dropped basketball. Many players on the volleyball team also played basketball.

The date 1966 was what really reminded me of  an important time in Newfoundland’s history. It was what made me think about the topic come home year newfoundland. The year 1965 was when The Trans Canada Highway was finished across Newfoundland. In my opinion that is when we really started to feel Canadian.

The then Premier, Joey Smallwood decided that with the Trans Canada finished we should have a Come  Home Year in 1966. There was a lot of planning and promoting leading up to the start of Come Home Year.

We were all excited. For me and my family, we would be meeting relatives that we never knew existed.

I recall cousins from the Boston area. They were fun to have around. One memory of their visit was a trip to Bellevue Beach. The caplin were in and my aunt, who was rather big decided to go for a swim with the caplin. She looked like a whale with her long black dress floating on the water. The caplin scattered but I still have a vivid picture of that event.

Another memory from those celebrations were the many out of province license plates that were around.  We would play games trying to guess which province or state plate, the next car going pass, would have. Ontario plates were in the majority as many Newfoundlanders had moved to Ontario for work.

My parents had plans for us to go to Ontario, when we moved in to the St John’s area from Creston PB back in 1957, however; my father found steady employment in St john’s and area as a carpenter.

I consider myself a Canadian with Newfoundland Labrador my home.

Do you have memories from the 1966 come home year Newfoundland  Labrador celebrations?

Our Own Small Vegetable Garden

When we were young, our parents and most people in our community grew their own vegetables. If I remember correctly, all gardens were planted on raised beds with trenches separating them. The fertilizer was manure and capelin.

When we got married, each year, my wife and I would plant our own small vegetable garden. There were the staples, potatoes, carrots and turnips. Some years we tried growing, with little success, tomatoes, cabbage and strawberries. I always found it rewarding and inspiring to see the plants growing and to harvest our small crop.

We are now in our senior years.  From 2008 to 2016. we were living in the Ottawa valley region of Ontario. When we returned home, we looked forward to having our own small vegetable garden.

We now have a twenty by twenty garden, that’s located behind the garage in our daughter and son-in-laws garden. Thus far we have planted a row of carrots, beet and  spinach. We still have two more rows left.

Just showing the grand-children, the eenies clapsies game. I believe it should be easies

easies, clapsies, twirl around tabapsies, right hand, left hand,
high as the sky, low as the sea, touch my knees, touch my toes,
cross my legs and under it goes
Can anybody remember the correct wording??
We played this game with an indian rubber ball




Will I Be Eating Sea Urchin

My son and I were watching an Anthony Bourdain episode, from newfoundland Labrador where sea urchins were on the menu. He asked me if I would ever consider eating sea urchin? My response was ,”I might, if I knew they were cooked properly.”

A few days later we were out for a drive, with his two year old son, my grandson and we noticed a number of sea urchins on the parking area where boaters launch their boats. They had been dropped there by sea gulls as a way to break them open. The following is a you tube video showing sea gulls dropping the urchins.

I have picked up sea urchins from tidal pools and from rocky beaches. I wondered what happened to the insides of the ones we picked up on the beaches and road ways.  Most of my sixty something years have been spent near the ocean and fish plants, however; I did not hear of anyone eating the flesh of this crustacean.

Will I eat the roe of an urchin? I have eaten the dried roe from a capelin and the roe from a codfish but a sea urchin!

I’m subject to gout so I have to check to see if sea urchins are one of the foods that I should not be eating.  Lobster, crab and other shellfish as well as other seafoods and trout are foods that are not recommended for gout sufferers.

If I should eat a sea urchin, I will take a photo and place it here.

The Japanese are the biggest consumer of sea urchin roe.

Traveling To Newfoundland

“We are traveling to Newfoundland, for five days, what do you recommend” was the question an acquaintance asked me?  They were leaving in a few days and had made reservations to fly into Deer Lake and return from St John’s. This was their first trip to Newfoundland.

My wife and I were born on the island and I had visited most areas of the province. We had moved to the Ottawa area, for eight years, so our view of home was a little different because of this. Also, I had spent many years as a travel consultant so I knew the questions to ask.

They had already booked their accommodations and as they told me what their plans were I knew that they were going to be rushed. This was not a holiday but a marathon.

Their itinerary was as follows.

Day 1: Arrive in Deer Lake in the afternoon. Over-night

Day 2: Visit the Corner Brook area and then drive to L’anse aux meadows. Over-night in St Anthony.

Day 3: St. Anthony to Gander with an over-night in Gander

Day 4: Gander to St John’s

Day 5: Leave St John’s, in the afternoon, to fly home

I looked at the schedule and quickly figured that they would be driving and or sleeping most of the time with very little time for sight seeing. They wanted to see icebergs and the best place to see them, this time of year, would be Twillingate.  My suggestion to them would be to see if they could change their itinerary and eliminate l’anse aux meadow until their next visit. They were planning another five day trip for the following year.

By making this one change, they would have time to visit Twillingate and spend an extra day in the St John’s area. I suggested a few short side trips and the main attractions that they could visit.

I didn’t speak to them, after their return but our friends said that they had a really good holiday and were looking forward to returning to Newfoundland next year to visit the west coast, l’anse aux meadows and Gros Morne national Park. They told them to thank me for my suggestions.

We hope you have an enjoyable and memorable time here, whatever your reason for visiting our province.

Photo taken during a cod fishing trip.



Steak Marinades

I find it difficult to cook a steak that’s tender and tasty. Today I tried the following marinade by Melissa Jennings. I substituted newfoundland savoury for the parsley.  Also, we didn’t have any dried basil.  Link here.

I used a striploin grilling steak that we bought at Sobey’s…on special. The steak will be in marinade for 90 minutes.

2 large steaks, (we used sirloin)
¼ cup soy sauce (I used gluten free)
½ cup olive oil
1 lemon, squeezed (remove seeds) – I used fresh
¼ cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
2 TBSP dried basil
2 TBSP dried parsley flakes I used Newfoundland grown savory.
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 TBSP garlic powder
Add steaks to a ziploc bag
Add all of the marinade ingredients
Mix Well
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better)
Remove from marinade and grill to desired temperature
Discard Marinade
You will NOT need steak sauce. This is seriously an amazing marinade!

My review: I only marinated the striploin for 45 minutes..placed it in a frying pan that had been oiled with olive oil. The steak sizzled when it hit the pan. I let it fry on both sides for 3 minutes each and then transferred the steak to a warmed one inch high baking dish. Baked in a pre-heated 400f degree oven for 10 minutes. The internal temperature was 150 and I let it rest for 10 minutes.

Served with, broccoli, sliced carrots, whole canned mushrooms and sliced fried potato. (baked the potatoes in the microwave, let them cool before slicing)

The steak was juicy and tender. My wife said the meal was delicious.

Weather Conception Bay South

Is the weather in Conception Bay South different then the St John’s and Mount Pearl area? I am not a meteorologist, however; I have lived here for over fifty years and have driven for, work purposes, to St John’s for over forty of those years. There is definitely a difference in weather patterns.

Surprisingly, this morning, it’s plus 1 in St John’s and minus 1 here in CBS. Below are some of observations and the reason for the difference. I have driven on both the old Topsail Highway and The Manuel’s Arterial.

The biggest change is in the winter season especially when the temperature is in the freezing or near freezing mode. We have left home in the morning and as we drove we noticed that there was frost on the ground and the vehicles coming towards us had snow on them. If we were having drizzle, it would be freezing rain as we drove towards St John’s. There would always be more snow outside of CBS.

Also, we get less fog and drizzle. The area on The Manuel’s Arterial, near Fowler’s Rd or what locals call Weir’s pit is where we run into or out of fog and drizzle.

The reason is the difference in elevation and I would suspect the waters of Conception Bay. Whatever the reason, we know that we have some of the best weather on The Avalon Peninsula here in Con Bay South.

Photos to follow and hopefully some daily updates. Enjoy your day.

Bottling Plums

This was a bumper year for our plum tree. The summer was warm with very little rain so I guess that was the reason for such a good crop. Check out the following photos.

Last year we picked a couple of dozen but this year there were a few hundred plums on the tree.

We decided to use some for jam and bottle the rest. The children and their friends as well as some of us adults ate a number of them. They were delicious.

For bottling the plums we used three cups of water to one cup of sugar. We doubled the recipe  as were going to bottle most of the fruit. The mixture was brought to a boil and left to simmer for five minutes. We put the plums into the pot and began bottling them when the skin started to crack.  Each 500ml jar took 10 to 12 plums.

Thus far we have 24 bottles and we still have about the same amount left to bottle.

We also bottled some pickles today. A busy morning in the kitchen. My wife did the pickles, although I did help with the peeling, slicing and dicing.