Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

Nova Scotia’s Traditional Foods


  • Please log in to reply
222 replies to this topic

#31 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:53 AM

Digby Chicken is not chicken at all and doesn't necessarily come from the town of Digby in southwest Nova Scotia. It's herring that has been cured using smoke and salt. The small fillets are dark and oily and extremely flavorful:

Posted Image

They're so powerful - it's a challenge to eat them as is, I'd much rather chop some up for a fish stew or chowder. I will also smash them up with the mortar and pestle along with some salt mackerel to get a potent fish paste that can be used like a Mediterranean anchovy paste:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Edited by Peter the eater, 16 June 2008 - 04:45 PM.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#32 prasantrin

prasantrin
  • legacy participant
  • 5,468 posts

Posted 16 June 2008 - 06:04 AM

Have you ever tried using your Digby Chicken in something like Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice? It looks an awful lot like Chinese salted fish, and I bet it just might be a good substitute. It's used sparingly, though I like to fry up some salted fish, crumble it, and eat it atop freshly cooked rice (kind of like one would eat furikake).

#33 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 16 June 2008 - 09:35 AM

Have you ever tried using your Digby Chicken in something like Salted Fish and Chicken Fried Rice?  It looks an awful lot like Chinese salted fish, and I bet it just might be a good substitute.  It's used sparingly, though I like to fry up some salted fish, crumble it, and eat it atop freshly cooked rice (kind of like one would eat furikake).

View Post


Fish and chicken together in a single dish is unusual for me - but that one looks very good. That frozen salt mackerel looks similar to ours.

Wherever people live near the ocean I think you'll find salted fish. Here it's cod, herring and mackerel at the grocery store - even though everybody's got a fridge at home, it's still so popular.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#34 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:47 PM

Blue mussels are a clam-like bivalve mollusk that grow profusely in the waters around Nova Scotia. There are actually two discrete species (Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus) that occur together and apart in the wild but from a culinary point of view they're pretty much indistinguishable. It's more important to know if they are farmed or wild, mostly from a preparation point of view.

The wild mussels are more irregular in appearance and often grittier plus you have to collect them yourself or know somebody that does. The aquacultured product is what you'll get at the grocery store - they're much more uniform in size and they generally lack the unpalatable byssus thread that's used for attachment to a substrate.

In the 1970's somebody figured out how to grow your own mussels using the long line technique: place a 500+ foot rope on the ocean's surface, anchor it to the floor with concrete at both ends, place floats every so often to keep it up, and hang mesh collectors for the immature mussel spat to settle on. When the spat are 1/2 inch they're stripped off the collectors into mesh "tube socks" and then taken to the aquafarm where they'll grow to a 2" market size in a year or three (depending on conditions) on another long line.

A traditional way to enjoy mussels would be to go the beach and find some, then boil them over a camp fire. Some beaches and bays have posted warnings not to eat the shellfish - another reason to buy farmed.

A safer way would be to steam your farmed mussels for 5 to 10 minutes or until they've opened up and turned a bit pink/orange. Celery, onions, garlic, beer and wine all help in the steaming:

Posted Image
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#35 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:12 AM

A week from Saturday, on June 28th, I'll be in Englishtown, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for the annual Mussel Festival.

Englishtown is the place along the scenic Cabot Trail where you catch the cable ferry across St. Anne's Harbour, and it's the home town of Angus MacAskill. During the mid 1800's he was known for his remarkable size: 7'-10" and 580 lbs. He traveled with P.T. Barnum's circus and you'll find his picture in Ripley's Believe It Or Not as well as The Guinness Book of World Records. Apparently he would jog down the street with a 300 lb barrel of pork - under each arm.

One of the festival activities is a seafood cooking competition complete with professional judges and prizes. I missed it last year but did well the year before - a first place finish and a new set of pots. That day I felt as big as the Giant MacAskill himself.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of that 2006 entry but I'll look for a concept sketch. I cut cedar shingles into 3" squares and layered on steamed mussels and cured salmon, then "planked" them on the gas grill for a smoky look and taste. There was a sour cream dollop on top with chives and lemon.

This year I'm thinking Japanese, as some members over in that forum will guess since they've graciously answered many questions about mirin, dashi and sashimi. Here's what I'm thinking:

Posted Image

Posted Image

It's steamed mussels maki style, rolled up with carrot and chive. It's placed on a half shell with a wasabi pearl.

The shell makes a nice little vessel for mixing soy and wasabi, which until recently I had no idea was so controversial.

I also tried it this way:

Posted Image

and this way:

Posted Image

Esteemed Society member Hiroyuki tells me sushi chefs in Japan never use mussels simply because they are not native to the region, and that they are basically regarded as a classic French cuisine item. Unlike oysters and even clams, mussels are never eaten raw - as far as I know. I'm pretty sure uncooked mussels would not go over very well.

As the contest is just over a week away, I'm hoping to get some constructive criticism here. . .

Edited by Peter the eater, 19 June 2008 - 06:24 PM.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#36 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 19 June 2008 - 08:49 AM

As a Nova Scotian currently residing in Japan, I feel especially qualified to critique :biggrin:


Posted Image

Is that sushi rice in the shell?

Huh. I don't know how I feel about that - how easy is it to eat? Do you have to scrape it out with your teeth? Is it finger food? On the lower roll, are those sesame seeds on the outside? I'm not sure, but I can't tell if you've toasted them or not. I think toasted sesame seeds have a more assertive flavour, and make for a nicer contrast as well.

The maki rolls look more accessible to me. I would definitely eat one of those if it were put in front of me right now. Why not serve it with a dijon/mayonnaise dipping sauce? Nothing goes with maki like mayonnaise! And dijon mustard has a similar bite to wasabi.

Is there some way you could do hand rolls with dulse?

Another recipe that comes to mind is a maze gohan - a cooked rice with seasoned mussels mixed in and formed as little rice patties, garnished with black sesame seeds or maybe katsuo bushi. The cookbook I'm working my way through right now, "Harumi's Japanese Cooking" lists a maze gohan recipe with asari clams - basically, you take cooked clams, and saute them with slivered ginger, sake, sugar, soy sauce and mirin, and then mix it into steamed rice. It can then be made into rice balls (onigiri).

I see this looking really cool - the orange of the mussels, contrasting with the white of the rice, then a garnish of black sesame seeds, and maybe serving them on a bit of dulse or something green like a shiso leaf...can you get shiso in Halifax, I can't remember? Wow, I wish I was there to see it and taste it!

#37 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 19 June 2008 - 10:44 AM

As a Nova Scotian currently residing in Japan, I feel especially qualified to critique  :biggrin:

I knew I could count on you nakji!

Is that sushi rice in the shell?

It's actually Rooster Brand Superior Sweet Rice from Thailand. In French it's Riz Glutineux, so I figured I'd be alright sticky-wise, and I was. I've got other types that work better.

Huh. I don't know how I feel about that - how easy is it to eat? Do you have to scrape it out with your teeth?

Yes, it's not easy getting all the rice out unless it's sloshing around in soy sauce.

Is it finger food?

That's the plan.

On the lower roll, are those sesame seeds on the outside? I'm not sure, but I can't tell if you've toasted them or not. I think toasted sesame seeds have a more assertive flavour, and make for a nicer contrast as well.

Yes, it's untoasted sesame seeds and I agree darker seeds would be better.

The maki rolls look more accessible to me. I would definitely eat one of those if it were put in front of me right now. Why not serve it with a dijon/mayonnaise dipping sauce? Nothing goes with maki like mayonnaise! And dijon mustard has a similar bite to wasabi.

Maki and Mayo? Another Japan/France fusion element . . . wasabi mayo maybe? I still like the idea of a wasabi pearl inside the shell.

Is there some way you could do hand rolls with dulse?

I've tried and failed. Plain dry dulse is very difficult to cut never mind tear with the teeth. I'd need to make a paper first, something like nori.

Another recipe that comes to mind is a maze gohan - a cooked rice with seasoned mussels mixed in and formed as little rice patties, garnished with black sesame seeds or maybe katsuo bushi. The cookbook I'm working my way through right now, "Harumi's Japanese Cooking" lists a maze gohan recipe with asari clams - basically, you take cooked clams, and saute them with slivered ginger, sake, sugar, soy sauce and mirin, and then mix it into steamed rice. It can then be made into rice balls (onigiri).

That sounds promising. The one I made with white seeds on the outside was actually a ball cut in half - one for each shell.

I see this looking really cool - the orange of the mussels, contrasting with the white of the rice, then a garnish of black sesame seeds, and maybe serving them on a bit of dulse or something green like a shiso leaf...can you get shiso in Halifax, I can't remember? Wow, I wish I was there to see it and taste it!

I don't know about the shiso, I'll look.

Thanks so much for the input. I'll definitely post here whatever I do at the event.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#38 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 19 June 2008 - 06:45 PM

It's actually Rooster Brand Superior Sweet Rice from Thailand. In French it's Riz Glutineux, so I figured I'd be alright sticky-wise, and I was. I've got other types that work better.


Sorry, what I meant was, is it su meshi - rice dressed with vinegar and sugar?


Yes, it's not easy getting all the rice out unless it's sloshing around in soy sauce.


I wouldn't find that very easy to eat as finger food. A nigiri sushi-style log would be easier to eat, and you could still present it in the shell. In which case, I would split the mussel in two, lengthwise, and put a hint of wasabi under - like scallops are presented at sushi shops. Although the wasabi pearl looks and sounds nice, I'm not sure I'd want a big hit of wasabi in the mouth like that - especially since it's probably the tube stuff, which is really strong. How about an extremely fine julienne of homemade pickled ginger, in a small rosette in the corner of the shell, (a la Richard in Top Chef, with his rosette of pickled radish on pork belly).

Anyway, I'll try and do a sketch and see if I can't upload it later. In the meantime, have fun eating your experiments. Ca Hoa grocery, on the corner of Queen and Victoria in Halifax, often has exotic produce - more reliably than Peet's. When I was home at Christmas, I asked for a green papaya, and the owner pulled one out of the back refrigerator for me.

#39 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:25 AM

It's actually Rooster Brand Superior Sweet Rice from Thailand. In French it's Riz Glutineux, so I figured I'd be alright sticky-wise, and I was. I've got other types that work better.


Sorry, what I meant was, is it su meshi - rice dressed with vinegar and sugar?


Yes, it's not easy getting all the rice out unless it's sloshing around in soy sauce.


I wouldn't find that very easy to eat as finger food. A nigiri sushi-style log would be easier to eat, and you could still present it in the shell. In which case, I would split the mussel in two, lengthwise, and put a hint of wasabi under - like scallops are presented at sushi shops. Although the wasabi pearl looks and sounds nice, I'm not sure I'd want a big hit of wasabi in the mouth like that - especially since it's probably the tube stuff, which is really strong. How about an extremely fine julienne of homemade pickled ginger, in a small rosette in the corner of the shell, (a la Richard in Top Chef, with his rosette of pickled radish on pork belly).

Anyway, I'll try and do a sketch and see if I can't upload it later. In the meantime, have fun eating your experiments. Ca Hoa grocery, on the corner of Queen and Victoria in Halifax, often has exotic produce - more reliably than Peet's. When I was home at Christmas, I asked for a green papaya, and the owner pulled one out of the back refrigerator for me.

View Post

I seasoned the rice with sweet mirin, it really does make a difference.

My wasabi is the green powder. I realize it's not authentic wasabi, but I like that I can control the paste's thickness - maybe I'll add powder to mayo then pipe a tiny pearl onto the shell.

I've pickled ginger for this purpose before but I've never been fully pleased with the results - I can't bring myself to use food colouring.

I went to Ca Hoa for the first time - what a place! I felt like I was back in Toronto.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#40 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:43 AM

I seasoned the rice with sweet mirin, it really does make a difference.


Oh, I've never tried that. What does it taste like? Doesn't the rice go gloopy?

My wasabi is the green powder. I realize it's not authentic wasabi, but I like that I can control the paste's thickness - maybe I'll add powder to mayo then pipe a tiny pearl onto the shell.


Wasabi and mayonnaise go together really well! I bet that would taste super.

I'm glad you enjoyed Ca Hoa, it has just the right level of chaos for me. I love how I know what a lot of the things are for, now, too. And they carry Trung Nguyen coffee.

I wanted to upload a sketch, but then I realized I didn't have a scanner. Anyway, please post a picture of your final dish. I can't wait to see it.

#41 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:31 PM

The 4th Annual Englishtown Mussel Festival Seafood Cook-Off has come and gone and I'm a little saddened to report I was shut out of the winner's circle. :sad: I will admit that the winning entry did taste better than mine plus the creator is a scuba-diving marine biologist who harvested the scallops, oysters, lobsters and mussels himself - so I guess he earned it.

I called my entry The Englishtown Roll: steamed mussels and cured salmon in a maki-style rice roll with chives and a pearl of wasabi cream cheese. Here's what I did:

Atlantic salmon tail fillets cured overnight in salt and sugar, rinsed and patted dry:
Posted Image

Five pounds of cultivated mussels steamed on a portable butane stove:
Posted Image

This is the meat from 5lbs, I only chucked four or five shells for not opening:
Posted Image

The steaming juice - just water and mussel - is fantastic despite the color:
Posted Image

The roll laid out:
Posted Image

Sliced up on the half shell and loaded onto a Wilton cake caddy:
Posted Image

The big moment . . . me on the right, the winning chowder guy in the center, a guy with smoked mackerel on the left, and the judge below:
Posted Image


It was a lot of fun to participate in such a casual event. Some students from Dalhousie University had a salt water petting zoo full of edible critters: lobsters, three kinds of crabs, urchins, star fish, anenome, abalone, scallops, mussels, sea cucumber, plus other mollusks and echinoderms. I'd never held a sea cucumber before - I can't exactly say it felt appetizing.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#42 nakji

nakji
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 3,659 posts
  • Location:Shanghai

Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:35 PM

Congratulations, nonetheless! It looks like you had a fun time conceptualizing - and eating!

I love a good saltwater petting zoo. Did they have any octopuses? :raz:

#43 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 03 July 2008 - 06:46 PM

Congratulations, nonetheless! It looks like you had a fun time conceptualizing - and eating!

I love a good saltwater petting zoo. Did they have any octopuses?  :raz:

View Post


No octopi(?) but it seemed like half the tank was trying to eat the other half.

BTW, cream cheese with a bit of green pseudo-wasabi powder is in fact an amazing spread.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#44 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:44 PM

Although John Cabot visited Cape Breton in 1497 . . . .


I finally made it to the spot:
Posted Image

The spot looked like this last week, it's not hard to visualize the ship appearing from the fog:
Posted Image

Not all scholars agree on the exact landfall spot, but this place has a cool plaque and a statue so that's good enough for me. If you drive another 10 km north to the tip of the province you'll find the Bay St. Lawrence Community Centre and some real good eats. Here's the menu:
Posted ImagePosted Image

We had the fish chowder and the lobster sandwich. The deep fryer was busted so we got potato chips, but $14 for the lobster was worth it:
Posted ImagePosted Image

From the $1 menu with curious spelling, we had two potato bannock, two tea biscuits and a molasses cookie:
Posted Image
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#45 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:24 PM

Englishtown is the place along the scenic Cabot Trail where you catch the cable ferry across St. Anne's Harbour, and it's the home town of Angus MacAskill. During the mid 1800's he was known for his remarkable size: 7'-10" and 580 lbs. He traveled with P.T. Barnum's circus and you'll find his picture in Ripley's Believe It Or Not as well as The Guinness Book of World Records. Apparently he would jog down the street with a 300 lb barrel of pork - under each arm.


Some clarification:

After the big mussel festival we walked down the street to the Giant MacAskill Museum. It's a small shrine run by the big man's descendants and what I was reminded of there is that you can't rely on Wikipedia for accuracy. The MacAskill family says he probably was 7'-10" but never reached 500lbs, and he may not have traveled with PT Barnum. He did however make a fortune using his unique size in the entertainment world and returned to Englishtown to buy land for his family, and many are there today. And so is this unsettling wood likeness:

Posted Image
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#46 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 07 July 2008 - 05:18 PM

Hodge podge is a hot vegetable dish that I had never heard of until I moved to Nova Scotia. Its the kind of thing you can get at church suppers or in the kitchens of fifth or sixth generation blue nosers. There are many opinions as to what goes in and when it should be made but the fundamentals are always the same: ultra fresh veggies served with cream . . .

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I went searching at the farm market in Wolfville, NS on Saturday morning and came home with new potatoes, snow peas, sweet peas and carrots. Onion and chives are softened in butter and the cooked veggies are dumped in with some cream to make it all come together. Purists might insist on salt pork instead of butter to get things going but since I had none butter was more than fine. Other traditional ingredients may include cauliflower, turnips or broccoli.

I'm not clear on the etymology for hodge podge, the non-culinary word I know means a mixture or a random collection of things. There's a French verb that I can't remember but it means to cook with a shaking motion, like you're doing popcorn on the stove.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#47 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 13 July 2008 - 07:54 AM

I've been thinking about beer . . .

Every country in every region around the globe seems to have a variant. Off the top of my head, I can think of a dozen or so Nova Scotian breweries. Some are better than others, here's a list of my faves:

1. Propeller Brewing Company
2. Garrison Brewing
3. The Rare Bird
4. The Granite Brewery
5. Oland's Brewery
6. Alexander Keith's
7. John Shippey's Brewing Company
8. Paddy's Pub Brewery
9. Moosehead
10. Pumphouse Brewery

Numbers 9 and 10 are actually in New Brunswick but they're close enough. All of these places have at least some excellent products - personally I like the microbrews the best, and I rarely buy the same beer two times in a row.

For the hardcore traditionalists, consider spruce beer:

"Take 7 pounds of good spruce and boil it until the bark comes off. Take the wood out and add 3 gallons of molasses and boil again scumming frequently. Cool, then add a pint of yeast and mix well. Put it in a barrel and let it work for three days, keep filling it up as it works out. Bung with a tent peg to give it a vent now and then. Use in 2 or 3 days."
- paraphrased T.H. Raddall's 1949 work "Halifax, Warden of the North".

A more practical approach from Marie Nightingale's 1970 book "Out of Old Nova Scotia's Kitchens" :

"Dissolve 1.5 c sugar in a 1 qt of boiling water. Add 3 qt cold water and 1 tsp vanilla. Sprinkle on 5 packages of dry yeast and combine. Lastly add 2-3 tbsp spruce extract. Cover and set in a warm place to ferment for 12-16 hrs. Remove scum and bottle. Keep in a cool place."

Edited by Peter the eater, 13 July 2008 - 10:27 AM.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#48 newbie

newbie
  • participating member
  • 127 posts
  • Location:Prince George, BC

Posted 14 July 2008 - 10:44 AM

One of my favourite summer beers is from the Pumphouse Brewery, which is located in my hometown of Moncton, NB. Their Blueberry Ale is quite tasty and I'm looking forward to having a few while sitting on their patio on a hot, summer day when I'm back there next week. I'm not usually a fan of ale beers and am more of a dark/stout beer drinker. But the Blueberry Ale is an exception for me.
A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous

#49 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 14 July 2008 - 11:57 AM

One of my favourite summer beers is from the Pumphouse Brewery, which is located in my hometown of Moncton, NB. Their Blueberry Ale is quite tasty and I'm looking forward to having a few while sitting on their patio on a hot, summer day when I'm back there next week. I'm not usually a fan of ale beers and am more of a dark/stout beer drinker. But the Blueberry Ale is an exception for me.

View Post


Posted Image

Indeed, the Pumphouse Blueberry Ale is a standout for me, as you can see from the photo we keep a few fruity ales around this time of year. Garrison's Raspberry Wheat and St. Abroise Apricot Ales are also excellent summer sippers. The latter is from McAuslan Brewery in Montreal which is why it didn't make my top local ten list. They also make an Oatmeal Stout which is out of this world! A chocolaty black pour with molasses and coffee notes . . . a head of light tan and tenacious lacing . . . mmmmmm.

I can only wonder what spruce beer tastes like, or if one can dry out the spent ingredients for firewood.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#50 CaliPoutine

CaliPoutine
  • participating member
  • 2,927 posts
  • Location:Santa Clarita, CA

Posted 14 July 2008 - 01:22 PM

We're currently in Halifax enjoying a much needed vacation( after a 3 day family reunion in Cape Breton). I dont drink, but Robin much enjoyed the Alexander Keith's she consumed over the weekend. She usually drinks Blue Light which is a lager. She was surprised she enjoyed the ale as much as she did.

#51 CaliPoutine

CaliPoutine
  • participating member
  • 2,927 posts
  • Location:Santa Clarita, CA

Posted 14 July 2008 - 01:26 PM

Can you talk about what an oatcake is? I've seen them in almost every coffee shop/bakery/market we've visited.

I had one today at the Citadel( I was starving). IMHO, it sucked. Of course, I have no frame of reference. Where can I find a good one so I can compare?

#52 Adam Balic

Adam Balic
  • participating member
  • 4,882 posts

Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:00 PM

Hodge podge is a hot vegetable dish that I had never heard of until I moved to Nova Scotia. Its the kind of thing you can get at church suppers or in the kitchens of fifth or sixth generation blue nosers. There are many opinions as to what goes in and when it should be made but the fundamentals are always the same: ultra fresh veggies served with cream . . .

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

I went searching at the farm market in Wolfville, NS on Saturday morning and came home with new potatoes, snow peas, sweet peas and carrots. Onion and chives are softened in butter and the cooked veggies are dumped in with some cream to make it all come together. Purists might insist on salt pork instead of butter to get things going but since I had none butter was more than fine. Other traditional ingredients may include cauliflower, turnips or broccoli.

I'm not clear on the etymology for hodge podge, the non-culinary word I know means a mixture or a random collection of things. There's a French verb that I can't remember but it means to cook with a shaking motion, like you're doing popcorn on the stove.

View Post


Both “hotch potch” and “hodge podge” are terms being derived from an Anglo-Norman root “hochepot”, which in term derives from the French term “Hocher” – to shake. While this there is an ancient culinary connection, the other meaning of a jumble or mixture is pretty ancient as well. Chaucer was able to write “but ye han cast alle hire wordes in an hochepot”, with the expectation that people would understand his meaning. Variations on the dish occur all throught western Europe, but in the UK hotch potch/hodge podge became associated with a Scottish dish:

Scotch Hotch Potch (19th century).

"Make the stock of sweet fresh mutton. Grate the zest of two of three large carrots; slice down as many more. Slice down also young turnips, young onions, lettuce, and parsley. Have a full quart of these things when shred, and another of young green peas. Put in the vegetables, withholding half the peas till near the end of the process. Cut down four pounds of ribs of lamb into small steaks, trimming off superfluous fat, and put them in stock. Boil well and skim carefully; and the remaining peas and white pepper and salt; when you think it thick enough serve the steaks in a tureen with the hotch-potch. - Obs. The excellence of this favourite dish depends on mainly on the meat, whether beef or mutton, being perfectly fresh, and the vegetables being young and full of sweet juice, and of being boiled until of good consistance. The sweet white turnip is best for hotch-potch, or the small, round, smooth-grained yellow kind peculiar to Scotland, and almost equal to the genuine Navet of France. Mutton-chops make excellent hotch-potch without any lamb steaks. Parsley shred, white cabbage, aparagus points, or cauliflower may be added to the other vegetables or not at pleasure. The meat may be kept wholeof served seperately."

I've put some more information here if you are interested.

I think that food histoy in Nova Scotia is really interesting. I have a book called "Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" which gives a good account of some of the food traditions of the region. A lot of the recipes (like the hodge podge) have a very 18th century feel to them. Can you still get "Solomon Gundy" cured herring in Nova Scotia?

#53 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 14 July 2008 - 03:55 PM

Thanks Adam for shedding light on the term hodge podge, and also for bringing to my attention The Art and Mystery of Food. I've enjoyed your posts for years now, particularly where seafood is involved, but never got around to clicking your link.

I think that food history in Nova Scotia is really interesting. I have a book called "Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" which gives a good account of some of the food traditions of the region. A lot of the recipes (like the hodge podge) have a very 18th century feel to them.

I've posted an excerpt from that book put together by Marie Nightingale at the bottom of post #47 talking about spruce beer. You're right it's an excellent resource and it came out ahead of the pack when there was nothing like it around.

Can you still get "Solomon Gundy" cured herring in Nova Scotia?

Check out post #4 upthread.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#54 Adam Balic

Adam Balic
  • participating member
  • 4,882 posts

Posted 15 July 2008 - 02:59 AM

Thanks Peter, that is very kind of you. I love the look of the veg. in the Hodge Podge, especially the potatoes. I can almost taste them and feel the "pop" of the skin breaking they look so good.

I'm really pleased to see that Solomon Gundy still exists. As you may know Salmagundi (and various spellings) was an extremely popular mixed salad in the 17th and especially 18th century. In many recipes a main ingredient was pickled herring. The origin of the word is unknown, the oldest form of it is "salmigondin" which was used by the French write François Rabelais in the 16th century. He was fond of nonsense words, so it is possible he made it up or is is related to earlier culinary terms like Salomene etc.

The upshot of all this is that I was pretty amazed to see that that word survived in Nova Scotia. It would be a great lark to make Salmagundi using Solomon Gundy, unless it would make the Universe implode of something.

Edited by Adam Balic, 15 July 2008 - 03:22 AM.


#55 newbie

newbie
  • participating member
  • 127 posts
  • Location:Prince George, BC

Posted 15 July 2008 - 09:17 AM

One of my favourite summer beers is from the Pumphouse Brewery, which is located in my hometown of Moncton, NB. Their Blueberry Ale is quite tasty and I'm looking forward to having a few while sitting on their patio on a hot, summer day when I'm back there next week. I'm not usually a fan of ale beers and am more of a dark/stout beer drinker. But the Blueberry Ale is an exception for me.

View Post


Posted Image

Indeed, the Pumphouse Blueberry Ale is a standout for me, as you can see from the photo we keep a few fruity ales around this time of year. Garrison's Raspberry Wheat and St. Abroise Apricot Ales are also excellent summer sippers. The latter is from McAuslan Brewery in Montreal which is why it didn't make my top local ten list. They also make an Oatmeal Stout which is out of this world! A chocolaty black pour with molasses and coffee notes . . . a head of light tan and tenacious lacing . . . mmmmmm.

I can only wonder what spruce beer tastes like, or if one can dry out the spent ingredients for firewood.

View Post


I'll have to take a look at those other fruity ales you mentioned. And that Oatmeal Stout sounds like it would be right up my alley. Did you buy them at the liquor stores? Hopefully I'll be able to find some when I am back in Moncton.
A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous

#56 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 16 July 2008 - 04:55 AM

I'll have to take a look at those other fruity ales you mentioned. And that Oatmeal Stout sounds like it would be right up my alley. Did you buy them at the liquor stores? Hopefully I'll be able to find some when I am back in Moncton.


All three were purchased a large NSLC. MCAuslan is only now starting to get it's product into the stores here - the Oatmeal Stout wasn't in the NSLC, I can only find it at the specialty store in Halifax.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#57 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 20 July 2008 - 03:46 PM

Ah hah! I think that molasses cookie might be a Nova Scotia specialty called a Fat Archie. It so happens that I spent a lot of time in the last few weeks driving on the 401, 401, 416, 417 and 40, and spent Q time with CBC1. There's a new regional Canadian regional cookbook out (can't remember the author) and she referred to a NS puffy molasses cookie as a Fat Archie. (She also said they were often spread with butter.

Have you ever heard this cookie referred to as a Fat Archie?
Posted Image

View Post


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#58 Peter the eater

Peter the eater
  • participating member
  • 2,610 posts
  • Location:Halifax, Nova Scotia

Posted 20 July 2008 - 04:14 PM

. . . . There's a new Canadian regional cookbook out (can't remember the author) and she referred to a NS puffy molasses cookie as a Fat Archie. She also said they were often spread with butter. . . . Have you ever heard this cookie referred to as a Fat Archie?


Yes indeed. In my world, such as it is, a Fat Archie is a big molasses cookie with cinnamon and usually raisins. I think I've always assumed that it was a broader-reaching phenomenon like the Whoopie Pie but now I'm not so sure.

I believe you are referring to Anita Stewart's new book - haven't got it yet but I will because she's quite awesome.
Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .
Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .
Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

#59 maggiethecat

maggiethecat
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,053 posts
  • Location:Chicago Burbs -- West

Posted 20 July 2008 - 05:23 PM

Yes, Anita Stewart was her name, and I'd better get the book too. She did compare the Fat Archie to the Whoopie Pie, but mentioned a couple of spicy differences, and said the butter spreading thing was unique to NS -- like the swell name.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."
Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com


#60 moira27

moira27
  • participating member
  • 37 posts
  • Location:Halifax, NS

Posted 20 July 2008 - 05:32 PM

In our family "Fat Archies" would never have raisins and were not quite as puffy as the ones shown above. The biggest difference between a fat archie and a regular molasses coookie made by my mama was that the fat archies were made with the bacon grease that was saved in a cup on the stove. When there was enough Mama would make her fat archies for us. I can still taste them now :rolleyes: although I haven't had a cookie made with bacon grease in 25 years or more.