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eG Foodblog: Peter the eater - Nova Scotia Eats


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Crabs!

This is a local (cooked) Jonah crab:

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We had planned a trip to a herb farm but it was too rainy, so instead we went to some seafood markets in nearby Bedford.

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I figured this was a good time to challenge Sandra to a "black box". We have done this a few times before while posting on eGullet - its a lot of fun to get a few surprise ingredients together, spring them on your spouse and then say "can you have dinner ready in two hours?"

Here are the box items:

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That's 3 Jonah crabs, local maple syrup, leeks from who-knows-where, and an emu steak which although not indigenous to Nova Scotia came from an organic farm 75 km away in Windsor, NS.

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a delicious curried soup with crab leg and claw meat:

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a rare emu steak with a hot spinach salad and basmati rice:

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hardly looks like bird meat to me, very lean and mild:

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maple angelfood cake with maple whipped cream and maple candy:

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It was a delicious way to stay out of the rain.

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

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Great dinner Peter! The shot of rainy Bedford looks exactly like it did when I was there at Easter, just slightly before the snowstorm began!

I really enjoy emu, in fact one of the earliest emu dishes I had was at the restaurant in the Prince George hotel in Halifax, probably more than 10 years ago!

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Peter you are doing some fine cooking down there! What does EMU taste like? It looks like steak.

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Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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maple angelfood cake with maple whipped cream and maple candy:

gallery_28661_4647_7953.jpg

It was a delicious way to stay out of the rain.

Oh my gosh, I would be in heaven with that plate in front of me. I love maple flavored everything and anything. Can you share the maple angelfood recipe???? pretty please?????

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[The English asked the Acadians to swear allegiance in 1730, but later got nervous about the whole affair and shipped them off...

Oh my. What an understatement. Anyway. Back to topic.

How Acadian food evolved into Cajun food is another question entirely.

eGullet member Marcelle Bienvenu coauthored a book on this subject, "Stir the Pot". (how do I add one of those flamingo colored tags here?)

Since I don't see that anyone else has addressed the crawfish question, I'll answer. They are freshwater crustaceans closely related to and resembling lobsters. And $6.99 a pound for boiled then frozen whole crawfish is a ludicrous price, IMO, though that's probably what the market bears in a vast area that doesn't have a local source. I just ordered some live from crawfish last week from Louisiana that was overnighted for $3.40 (American) a pound including shipping.

So Peter, how'd your culinary interests and talents develop?

And kudos to you for feeding your kids what you eat.

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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How Acadian food evolved into Cajun food is another question entirely.

eGullet member Marcelle Bienvenu coauthored a book on this subject, "Stir the Pot".

Sounds like a book I'll check out. Just say out loud: "Acadian" and then "A Cajun". Hmmm.

So Peter, how'd your culinary interests and talents develop?

My food interests have been escalating steadily for 20 years but I have never worked in a restaurant or taken any classes. I think we all need an avocation.

And kudos to you for feeding your kids what you eat.

We often offer the kids our food but they don't always go for it. Every day is different.

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

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[The English asked the Acadians to swear allegiance in 1730, but later got nervous about the whole affair and shipped them off...

Oh my. What an understatement. Anyway. Back to topic.

Hehe. My sentiments exactly.

Peter, the blog, the food, the kids, the kitchen ... all fabulous.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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I'd add that today the second most spoken language in Halifax is Arabic. There are thriving Lebanese and Greek communities here and its easy to find food associated with those cultures.

This is my biggest surprise so far, with the monkfish's appearance a distant second. Your veneer smoker wrapping was brilliant!

Do you yourself like to cook or eat Lebanese or Greek food? You mentioned upthread the possibility of a lamb tagine (which is neither, I realize). I'd be all for that. If you have time and inclination to show some of the Middle Eastern influence up there, that would be great too.

Your photos show off the area to its picturesque best. I don't envy you your location - especially given how short your days must be during the winter - but oh, that seafood! I'd love to have access to fresh lobsters and crabs such as those.

I'm enjoying the blog. Thanks for doing it!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Do you yourself like to cook or eat Lebanese or Greek food?  You mentioned upthread the possibility of a lamb tagine (which is neither, I realize).  I'd be all for that.  If you have time and inclination to show some of the Middle Eastern influence up there, that would be great too.

Greek and Lebanese food seem to have a lot in common - Cyprus is probably not even a hundred miles off the coast of Lebanon. Around here there's such high quality Mediterranean take-out its hard to do much better at home. I like to make moussaka and hummus but thats about it. I guess kebabs count too. We just had a chicken tagine and I took pictures so they'll be posted soon, and if I remember I'll take some pics downtown of the best stuffed grape leaves I know.

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

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The other day we drove to nearby Ketch Harbour House to meet up with Joel and Kim, two extremely enthusiastic and hospitable foodlovers. They have fixed up a very old cape style house right on the ocean and are now set up offering tasting menus out of their home/restaurant. What a place! Next time I am going by boat.

The two of them have considerable experience in the food industry, including their time Toronto’s Avalon Restaurant. Joel is one of the few people in Canada right now who is doing artisinally cured meats. His products are also being sold around Nova Scotia (Hubbards Farmer's Market, Salt Shaker Deli, Fleur de Sel in Lunenburg)

You might also recognize him from FoodTV’s “Man Made Food”.

Here’s what we sampled:

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From L to R: Toscano salami (pork), goose prosciutto, beef bresaola, and Moroccan-spiced cured lamb leg.

And then we had littleneck clams steamed on the wood stove with white wine, garlic finished with fresh jalapeño, cilantro and crispy housemade tesa (a flat-style pancetta).

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Here's the dining room:

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And here's the fridge in the dining room:

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And I can't help but sense a strong dedication to craft when I see Joel's forearm tatoo:

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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

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The green stuff (aka tomalley) is the liver equivalent and it is one of the best tasting parts, to me anyways.

Very interesting!

So, what about the similar stuff in crabs? Do you eat it and do you like it?

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The green stuff (aka tomalley) is the liver equivalent and it is one of the best tasting parts, to me anyways.

Very interesting!

So, what about the similar stuff in crabs? Do you eat it and do you like it?

Hiroyuki, let me say I enjoyed very much seeing Honshu through your eyes a few weeks ago in your eGullet foodblog.

I was served the crabs by my wife Sandra and ate only claws and legs. Interestingly, when I asked the salesperson about eating the Jonah crabs, she told me most people sick to the appendages but her Asian customers (Mandarin I think she said) like to eat the shell meat as well.

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

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Joel has some terrific ideas - roman style cured bacon from organic pig cheek and jowl sounds pretty cool - and a very impressive tattoo. Good stuff, Peter!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Here are a few close-ups from our yard yesterday. For the gardeners out there we are a zone 5b/6a but we also get quite a bit of fog in our bay so things that like a lot of sun don't do so well here:

the rhubarb looks good to go:

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lots of chives:

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wild strawberries, delicious but tiny:

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lupins, not edible but will be colourful:

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tomato transplants ready to go, plus some seed potatoes:

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this one is from last year, shows the wild irises:

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Shad Bay sunset:

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There are also plenty of wild blueberries and blackberries around, but my favourite is the pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea). Why? Because it is carnivorous. They grow all over the bogs and barrens of granitic Halifax County. I'll look for a photo to post later.

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

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So what color do lupins turn when they mature? Are they native to your area, or an European import?

The only time I'd heard of these prior to this picture was a Monty Python sketch about a highwayman who held up stagecoaches and demanded everyone's lupins.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Before starting this foodblog I was assured that there would be something to go wrong, and not to despair because readers love the bloopers and they are very understanding. The closest thing yet to a blooper was other day - we had some family over for dinner and I had a small fresh turkey in fridge. I love doing birds of all sizes on the gas grill, behold this plate of delicious quail:

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The last time I did a barbecued turkey it turned out great :

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So my goal was to bone and butterfly like before. I started the surgery and began to notice strange deposits of fatty material. I'm thinking "some kind of enlarged lymph glands?" and "do turkeys have lymph glands?" This shiny yellow gooey stuff is . . . butter. Its a butterball turkey - it never occurred to me what the interior of a butterball looks like. Its quite disgusting, all I could think of was a crazed machine with a dozen arms and in each was syringe full of liquid butter, stabbing the carcass over and over, leaving behind these yellow subcutaneous deposits. I think the butterball concept relies on roasting the whole bird in the traditional holiday breast-up position, without removing the back and other structures. It was a complete mess, the butter had mixed with the raw juices to make a weird slurry and I wound up placing the mangled pieces on a tray in the oven. It tasted fine, the wings were especially buttery.

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

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One more topical blooper from the archives!

I have some extended family in New Brunswick, one province over. They have a long-standing tradition of baking soldier beans overnight with pork and molasses and various spices, in an cast iron pot, and buried in the ground over smoldering coals. For the record its called "Uncle Jimmy's Bean Hole". This was something I had to do. I followed all the instructions and slept well that night in eager anticipation. Well the morning's "big reveal" didn't go quite as planned:

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My guess is the temperature was about 800 degrees too high - these were clearly has-beans. I now use the electric crockpot.

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

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I would like to taste your crab and know the difference between it and our Dungenous crab.

I haven't had Dungenous (Dungeness?) crab since living in Vancouver over a decade ago, but if memory serves they are very similar: sweet, tender, slightly stringy white meat. They kind of look the same, too.

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

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My guess is the temperature was about 800 degrees too high - these were clearly has-beans. I now use the electric crockpot.

Look on the bright side - at least you were cooking outside! I did this to a pot of beans once in my oven. The smell lasted for months! Pee yew.

Thank you for your postings. Blog on!

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"Has-beans"! I love it! :laugh:

I'm also curious about your lupines, to repeat MarketStEl's question. Here in Minnesota we get beautifully intense blues (almost purples), pinks, near-magentas, and whites. Sometimes the colors are solid, and sometimes they're variegated. In Coastal California last weekend I saw yellow lupines, which I'd never seen before. What color(s) do you get up there?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I consider gravad lax (gravlax) to be one of the greatest contributions Sweden has ever made to the modern world, ahead of Ikea, ABBA and Mats Sundin. Alright, I'll include Daniel Alfredsson considering he'll be skating around with the Stanley Cup over his head in a few weeks. Can't forget Claes Oldenburg, either.

I recently made some gravlax and salmon ceviche at the same time for a side-by-side comparison. I bought a small fresh piece of Atlantic salmon and cut it into chunks and placed half into a container with 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar. The other half went into a container with the juice of a lime and a lemon plus a few capers. I left them overnight in the fridge and got this:

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The gravlax on the left became very firm and the colour deeped, whereas the ceviche was soft and flaky and pale - similar to cooking with moist heat. I gather most would have applied a weighted pressure to the gravlax to flatten it out while curing, and they'd add dill, I did neither. As well, overnight in the fridge is longer than ideal for a traditional ceviche.

I took bits from each and put them on cukes with a little sour cream/cream cheese mixture.

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I like them both despite being very different in texture and taste. If I had to pick a winner I'd say gravlax is more appealing with its salty sweet sheen and chewiness. It seemed as good or better than the comparable product at the grocery store, which has a considerable mark-up beyond the price of raw salmon.

The ceviche was more like a cold piece of poached salmon with a little citrus dressing. Both are really tasty, easy and affordable, and faster than smoking.

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

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[The English asked the Acadians to swear allegiance in 1730, but later got nervous about the whole affair and shipped them off...

Oh my. What an understatement. Anyway. Back to topic.

How Acadian food evolved into Cajun food is another question entirely.

eGullet member Marcelle Bienvenu coauthored a book on this subject, "Stir the Pot". (how do I add one of those flamingo colored tags here?)

Since I don't see that anyone else has addressed the crawfish question, I'll answer. They are freshwater crustaceans closely related to and resembling lobsters. And $6.99 a pound for boiled then frozen whole crawfish is a ludicrous price, IMO, though that's probably what the market bears in a vast area that doesn't have a local source. I just ordered some live from crawfish last week from Louisiana that was overnighted for $3.40 (American) a pound including shipping.

So Peter, how'd your culinary interests and talents develop?

And kudos to you for feeding your kids what you eat.

Bavila,

Thanks for getting the crawfish question.

A folk tale I suppose, but, the story is often told that when the Acadians were forced out of Canada, they began their long trip to Louisiana. Their friends, lobsters, decided to follow them south. By the end of the long trip, the lobsters had lost so much weight that they were now crawfish.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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