Sunday, August 20, 2006

kiss a cod

well we are back on the "mainland" safe and sound.
we successfully surprised my nan for her 85th birthday and her heart is still in working order.
In addition to surprising my grandmother we surprised my mom's seven brothers and sisters, spouses and cousins.
We had a great time and lulu looooved all the east coast hospitality.
I never go to Newfoundland for the food or the weather but I must admit I was pleasantly surprised this time around.
The sun was shining and the ocean was glistening and everything seemed greener than I remember it ever being.
We had some nice meals, a few new restaurants have opened and are quite decent.
I actually had some amazing sushi that I was really impressed with.
The last time I visited, the food was...well not good.
The famous Chess's fish & chips was nothing to write home about...grease, grease and more grease.
The majority of menus consist of typical Pub grub and not the good kind.
I guess food is an after thought on George st.
Pints and screech being the main attraction.
they do like to party on "The Rock".
So I was pleasantly surprised by some nice light seafood (cod) dishes that I had.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to go out to my favourite uncle's country house this time.
(set on an ocean cliff in Lower Island Cove)
Breathtakingly beautiful, yet rugged and untouched.
Last visit he made us a kick ass Jigs Dinner and peas pudd'in.
Jigs dinner consisting of corn beef, turnip and their greens, potato, carrot and a bunch of other stuff boiled in the same pot.
Sounds kind of gross, but is actually really tasty.
Oh we also had "spotted dick" for dessert.
I wouldn't begin to try to figure out was it actually was, other than very good. I'm a mainlander afterall.
No cod tounges or fish n' brews this time either. awe shucks.
But the main reason we were there was for family.
and what a family it is.
My nan looks good and I believe has quite a few years ahead of her.
she had four boys and four girls, all so similar yet all so completely different.
I find it fasinating to watch them all interact with each other.
It's hard not to have a few favourites, and lulu seemed to gravitate to the same people that I do.
They are all pretty great, with maybe one or two exceptions, but what an incredibly loving family.
She fit right in. The piano playing, singing and dancing.
Those crazy newfies.
It was so nice to be a part of a large family.
Whenever big daddy and I are at a park we always look enviously at the large families having big family barbecues.
All the generations having so much fun together.
I grew up away from all my relatives so it was always pretty quiet and low key for my parents, brother and myself.
Definitely no kitchen parties and spoon playing happening at our house.
It was amazing to witness lulu with all my cousins (mostly high-school age)
even the 14-16 year old boys wanted to hold her and give her hugs and kisses.
It was so sweet. They are all such good, down to earth teenagers.
I was impressed.
In some ways I wish we had a huge family that lived closer so that she could experience that love and closeness more often than every few years.
But for now it's just us.
Fortunately she will grow up close to one set of grandparents
(I was never that fortunate)
My mom and lulu have really bonded, especially after this trip.
Come to think of it so did my mom and I.
It must have been hard for her to move away from all that love and closeness when she was just 18 years old,
I see that now more than ever.
But I am grateful to her for showing me so much and exposing me to so many new and exciting places.
we may have been a small family, but we were (and are for the most part) a happy one.


Sheena said...

Ha ha!
I figured you were going south or something. Sheena got Screeched in at a wedding in the late '90s and ate Chess's with full dressing and loved it. Lucky... would love to go back, especially now that I'm shacked up with a part-time Newf.

Back then I was with my ex hubby, and we took the ferry from Cape Breton, camped in Gros Morn and brought back lots of Savory spice and Bakeapple wine...

Anonymous said...

Boiled dinner...did you pour maple syrup over it? Some newfs do!!

Mrs. Chicky said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all.

That boiled dinner sounds a lot like a traditional New England boiled dinner. Except we usually have a roast beef instead of a corned beef and instead of turnips lots of potatoes and vegetables. We save the corned beef for St. Patrick's day. Now I'm hungry. I miss those sunday boiled dinners.