What do Newfoundlanders and Labradorians do when someone they care about is feeling down? We feed them up!
From lost loved ones to broken hearts and failed grades – doesn’t matter the woe when it comes to grub. If there’s a tear to be shed or a bawl to be bellowed, it’s usually done over either a bowl of some appropriately titled comfort food or a steaming mug of tea and a piled up plate of homemade sweets.
If you are a parent, I guarantee you’ve hustled to the kitchen to rustle up a favourite meal for a child in need. My oldest child’s favourite Mommy meal is baked beans. Anytime that kid had a crisis, the beans went right in soak. My daughter’s go-to is homemade chicken soup, and it’s literally good for the soul as well as a perfect pick-me-up when feeling a wee bit under the weather.
You don’t even need to eat the food to get the feels either. Anytime I smell fish frying I think of my Mother pouring love into her perfectly pan-fried to perfection portions of fish fillets, and who hasn’t thought of Nan when they smell Sunday dinner or catch the whiff of freshly baked bread?
You knows you’re a family favourite when you get invited over for a sometimes scarce meal of turr or a fresh but dear feed of lobster or halibut. From births and baptisms to sick bed sides and funeral homes – if comfort or care is needed throughout the province then there’s a filled-to-the-brim tupperware or reusable multi-purpose ol’ Quality Street tin to the rescue.
Our NL food brigage is a real cradle to the grave crowd. Have something worth celebrating? Let’s eat cake, and lots of it! Feeling down? Come here I feeds ya and fills ya up, me ducky, luh!
Of course the reverse is also true. I always knew I was in the dog house if rabbit was served or if there was no reminder to save room for dessert, though thankfully those times were few and far between.
Food is part of our memory banks when it comes to Christmas too. From baking cookies for family and friends – and Santa too of course – to stogging the freezer with moose for the bay-crowd kin guaranteed to drop in on Tibb’s Eve for a swalley and a bowl of stew, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians show their love with home-made grub.
But of course love doesn’t only come from a nose covered with flour or hands made raw from all the veggie peeling. Sure it wouldn’t be the holidays if you weren’t filling the pantry with on-sale tins of milk for the tea lovers or buying back-up bottles of Purity syrup for the youngsters, now would it?
It all boils down to what’s on the stove on boil, I suppose. From fish on Christmas Eve to turkey on the table come Christmas Day – family around a table filled with food simply means the world.