Fisherman’s Brewis

Today I had the nerve to fool with a Newfoundland favourite: fisherman’s brewis (pronounced bruise). Not to be confused with fish and brewis. Fisherman’s brewis is traditionally fish and brewis mashed up together and smothered with scrunchions. More on those in a second.

Fisherman’s brewis with condiments.

This is the fish:

Salt Cod

Sorry, I forgot to snap a picture before it was cooked and mixed in. I bought it at Carla’s Seafood Market in Digby, NS. It is the best salt cod I have purchased in NS.
This is the brewis:

Hard Bread

It is also known as ship’s biscuit, hard bread or hard-tack. It is made in Newfoundland and a bit hard to find elsewhere.
There are no pictures of scrunchions because I don’t eat scrunchions. Scrunchions are diced salt pork which is fried until rendered and crisp and then poured onto the dish, rendered grease and all. Some people fry up onions with their scrunchions, some fry onions seperately, and some don’t use onions at all because there is always a kid in the family who doesn’t like onions (was that you Mary, or was it our brother?) Scrunchions are to condiments what pork rinds are to chips. Shudder. I never liked them. Even if they were good for me (they are not) I wouldn’t like them. So when I was little and refused scrunchions Mom would give me butter and molasses to put on my fisherman’s brewis. Today, to get the grease, I carmelized onions in a lot of olive oil and mixed that in.

I should tell you that if you bought fisherman’s brewis from the Lion’s Club booth at the carnival it would be mashed finely but I like it more on the chunky side so I just chop instead of mash. Tonight I did a taste test with three condiments and here are my thoughts on that:
1. Salsa. Don’t bother. It clashes. As would ketchup although I hear there are some who like it.
2. Sweet mustard pickles. This was good. It adds the element of acid to the salt of the cod and the sweet of the onions, not to mention a bit of colour to a very beige dish.
3. Table butter and maple syrup. This was the best; less intense than molasses. (In NL we called margarine ‘butter’ and we called real butter ‘table butter’) So good in fact, I had seconds and when I fry up the left-overs for breakfast I will grace them with more Nova Scotia maple syrup. Lance had his with just butter and says it was tasty and worth a repeat.

How do you like your fish and brewis?

© Judy Parsons 2022

Sad Easter Sunday

We are heart-broken this morning by the passing of Lance’s brother Bill. 

If there’s a heaven for Bill it has venison cooked to just south of rare, bacon jam, good wine served in proper glasses, and a continuous loop of Buddy Guy playing the blues.  Once met, never forgotten……rest in peace, our gentle giant.

Easter Sunday 2022

Easter Decor

It’s Easter weekend and all manner of weird and wonderful Easter decorations are on full display at the thrift stores. These two leave me with a few unanswered questions.

  1. Why is there a teddy bear in this slice of cake? 2. Was it baked in there or inserted later? 3. How can it possibly be a happy about it? 4. Why hasn’t it eaten any of the cake?
Unashamed bear disguised as a bunny invades carrot cake .

5. What is this deranged bunny about to do to this frightened little frog?

Folks, please don’t slap your friends/colleagues/teachers/pets/anyone/anything. It just isn’t nice.

6. Who comes up with these marvelous items? 7. What do they really have to do with Easter?
But I guess that could be asked about a lot of things and I don’t want to discourage the idea of chocolate egg and bunny eating so I’ll stop my enquiries here. Happy Easter faithful readers.

© Judy Parsons

Ken and Sven at Riverbend 4

Or the continuing saga of Sven’s search for a clock for the boatbuilding workshop.

Babs continues to transport Sven back and forth to the thrift stores so that he can complete Ken’s shopping list.

This oughta be the last trip.
Too big.
Too fancy.
Too not a clock.
Just right.
You’re sure now, Ken?

Ken is pretty sure he has everything he needs to start building his boat. Better check that list twice, Ken, while you’ve still got Sven’s attention.

© Judy Parsons 2022

Ken and Sven at Riverbend 3

Sven has made quite a bit of progress with Ken’s shopping list.

All in all, it was a pretty good haul.

Ain’t it always the way; a doll might work from sun to sun, but a partner’s work is never done.

Ken’s already been up late putting that jigsaw to good use but it looks like Sven has a little more shopping to do.

© Judy Parsons 2022

You can now find me on Instagram as JudyPBee.

Way Down Yonder

or Three Lessons I Learned While Biking.

The adventure began at one of my favourite places to ride: the seven mile loop at Crystal River Preserve State Park. It was a rough go. We had had thunderstorms recently and there was a lot of water on the trail. Therein lay my first lesson:

  1. NEVER PEDDLE THROUGH A PUDDLE OF WHICH YOU CANNOT SEE THE BOTTOM

Yep, I got my feet and one knee good and wet on this one. There was a second where I wondered whether I would ever stop sinking. On the up side, because this experience led me to walk around some of the larger puddles (until I got brave enough to bushwhack) I got to stop and smell the flowers. Wherein came lesson number two:

2. YOU CANNOT SNEAK UP ON A BUTTERFLY

“I don’t see any butterflies” you may well be asking as you view this picture of a huge thistle (and I mean huge, this came all the way up to my hip). I rode past many of them and almost all were hosting big beautiful black and yellow butterflies but try as I might I could not capture a photo. I know, I know, that’s as annoying as talking about the fish you didn’t get but I assure you that they were there, collecting nectar and pollen and contributing to our greater ecological good. Here are a few other flowers I stopped to admire.

Tiny violet
Not so tiny iris
Atamasco lily
Flag pawpaw

Yes, boys and girls, that is a picture of a flag pawpaw. Now some would say “what happens in the pawpaw patch stays in the pawpaw patch” but I have to share my next lesson because had I not learned it I would possibly not be here to share it. For as much as I love the drama, yesterday I learned:

3. LET SLEEPING ALLIGATORS LAY

Yep, I saw my first gator in the wild at this little rest stop. Can you find him/her in the next picture?

No? Here’s a zoomed photo. I thought about getting close because I only had a cheap phone camera but I quickly recalled reading about those travelers who fell to their deaths while trying to take the perfect selfie at the Grand Canyon and decided to practice some restraint. Next time I will take a better camera.

I was a little overconfident because I could only see the arse end of it. Now with hindsight I am wondering if that is just a trick gators use to lure in their prey. Maybe they know that some of us homo sapiens are as stunned as children who cover their eyes and think “you can’t see me because I can’t see you.” Like I said, I didn’t push my luck. It looked to be about eight feet long and very well fed. Hopefully not on unleashed puppies. The white pole in the picture probably once held a sign warning about the possibility of alligators (likely a popular sign to steal for rec rooms). I can’t help but wonder now, looking back at this1. why they would put a park bench right by the gator hole and 2. why you have to walk past the gator to read the warning sign.

See ya later alligator…

© Judy Parsons 2022

Pancake Day 2022

It’s pancake day down at Riverbend and Ken and Sven can’t agree on whether you should cook all of the pancakes then sit to eat, or eat them as they come out of the pan. I’d have to go with waiting so you can get into the art of pancake toppings but if you are persuasive you can usually snag the first couple out of the pan because they are usually test pancakes.

© Judy Parsons