Customs and Kitchen Memories
This page is from a heritage partnered project. It was written in 1998 by students from Mount Pearl Junior High and edited by their teachers. It has not been vetted by the heritage website's academic editor.
The kitchen was a vital part of the home in Newfoundland and Labrador especially in the outport communities. This was not only where the main source of heating,the stove, was located, and where all the cooking and eating was done, but where all the family congregated, told stories and exchanged all sorts of news. The kitchen was definitely the heart of most Newfoundland and Labrador homes.
The following kitchen memory is from an interview with Mr. Edgar Mudge who grew up in Norris Point, Newfoundland and began teaching in a small community on the Northern Peninsula. As a young teacher, he boarded in a private home and recalls some special meals he shared there.
"All the special little things in a community that you could get like for meals--oh, a can of fruit and cream--that sort of thing--this was special stuff. Right? Like, the family didn't have that. They couldn't afford it. But they would buy it for the teacher. My meals were specially prepared. They were different sometimes from what I was used to. I did like game and things like that and there was lots of that. I remember eating seagull. I did! I did!"
Many people remember good times in the Kitchen. This passage is taken from an interview with Mr. Edgar Mudge:
"If there was no fresh meat of any kind of course--Sunday dinner was always a big cooked dinner, of course, which is typical of a lot of Newfoundland families today. And if there was no fresh of any kind--like you couldn't go to the store to buy fresh meat of any kind like you can today because most of the stores didn't have any kind of electricity for refrigeration. So you would get your rabbits, and your turrs, and your moose and your rabbits and what have you. If there was none of that, on occasion, what would you make gravy from? The lady of the house where I stayed--she would fry bologna and she would make bologna gravy and that's what we would have for Sunday dinner."
"I remember as kids, if there were baked rabbits for Sunday dinner, we would fight over who would get the head. You'd break it apart and the brain was inside. Actually, it's quite tasty, quite tasty.""
View a list of Newfoundland and Labrador original recipes here.