Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

#Folklorephoto Is there something wrong with this picture? How do you open a can of Carnation milk?

At our recent Tea Bun Workshop, a can of Carnation milk was opened like this, to the shock of many participants. How do you open a tin of evaporated milk?

Friday, December 16, 2016

8mm Films of Church Lads Brigade Camps in the Grand Falls-Windsor Area

In October, I began working on digitizing Nineteen 8mm film reels from the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society. Without labels or a way to view the reels, the contents of the films was a mystery to the Society so they sent them along to us to have digitized. The films are now ready to be shared and I hope with your help we will be able to identify some of the individuals or locations in the films. The films have a variety of topics, but the bulk of the collection show formal events and camps of the Church Lads Brigade. The Church Lads Brigade has had a major presence all over the province, and while these reels are of the Western Division, they are a good example of the activities of the C.L.B as a whole. The films are interesting not just for those connected with the C.L.B, but for anyone who was involved in other groups that went on similar camping trips.

This first film was previously posted, but I was able to record a clearer copy so I decided to share it again. The reel shows a C.L.B. Parade with band that march towards an Anglican church. At the church there is an inside service as well as an outdoor event with many people in attendance. This is one of the few C.L.B. reels which showed a formal event.

Next we see what looks to be an open air church service conducted by the cadets of the C.L.B camp. Their families look on, visiting the camp for the day. This reel also shows some other camp activities, as well as title cards. There are fourteen titles, created by the filmmaker Albert Hillier, that may relate to this reel or others in the collection. They identify that at least some of the camps had taken place in South Brook, and one was identified as filmed in 1947.

Another reel that was previously posted shows various C.L.B scenes. I was able to reattach a broken section adding 4 minutes on to the film, as well as improving the quality. The reel showed various camp activities including swimming and sports as well as local events at the Grand Falls War Memorial and the railway station.

Unfortunately none of these films have sound, and in the following film the sound would be an important part of the event. The footage is dark, filmed at dusk while a music group with a female lead is playing for the camp. The campers can be seen dancing between the tents, having fun with a night of music.

The next film identifies the camping group as the Church Lads Brigade Western Division, and at least this particular camping trip took place in South Brook in 1947. It shows a formal event and some footage of the camp grounds including a C.L.B crest with the division, location, and year laid out in white stones. I hope this information will help to identify some of the people in the films.

While the image of the C.L.B is often thought of as uniforms and parades, this film shows some foolish behavior by the adults at the camp, starting with some sort of silly march where they all pull up one pant leg and march around the campsite. I am curious to know if this was a unique event or some tradition at the camps. Next is a meal scene, with all adults and a priest sitting at the head of the table. The mood is jovial, with members making faces at each other and the camera, and one man wearing a fake nose. We then see an informal wrestling match, and the boys line up to go swimming. The last scene in this reel shows the adults joking around and hitting each other with a strap.

The adults at camp can also be seen in the following film playing baseball and getting ready for a swim. They pose in front of a sign that reads "Our Summer Resort" and lists rules for the camp site. I believe this is also located in South Brook. We also see a female camp visitor laughing and joking with the men. This visitor seems to be in some connection with a inspection and parade that takes place at the camp and ends the reel.

The next film is a good example of everyday camp life. It shows the serious side with a camp inspection, there are various clips involving food and eating, We see how the campers bathed, and some recreation activities like baseball and boxing.

The campers also had to deal with the elements, in this case rain and the flooded camp. We can see that the tents have been raised off the ground and both the men and boys are working in a line to bail out puddles of water. It is not just necessary work, but they can be seen having fun as well, throwing a bucket of water towards the camera and tossing the bucket in the air back to the beginning of the line. 

The final film in this set is a short clip showing the more serious side of the Church Lads Brigade, with all members in uniform and lined up for an inspection

I hope you enjoyed viewing these films, I look forward to posting the remaining nine soon. If you recognize any locations or people in these films, please contact 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Traditions at Risk - Saving Traditional Mustard Pickle Recipes! #mustardpickles

As some of you may have heard, mustard pickles under the Zest and Habitant labels have been discontinued by producer Smucker Foods of Canada Corporation. Mustard pickles are an important part of Newfoundland and Labrador foodways, and people have been upset!

Of course, there are other options for pickle lovers (Belbin's makes mustard pickles, as does the Newfoundland Jam and Pickle Factory).

Numerous people have responded on social media saying, "I'm not worried, I make my own mustard pickles."

So here at the intangible cultural heritage office, where we are always thinkings about traditions in flux, we want to help! We want YOUR mustard pickle recipes! In the tradition of sharing and transmitting knowledge about local foodways, we will share those recipes and get people making pickles the old fashioned (and maybe new-fashioned?) way!

You can send your family mustard pickle recipe to:

and we'll share them on

Let's get pickling!

- Dale Jarvis

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Living Heritage Podcast Ep028 Multi-ethnic food, music, and festivals, with Zainab Jerrett

Zainab Jerrett is the Executive Director of Tombolo Multicultural Festival Newfoundland and Labrador. She is also the Coordinator for International Food and Craft Expo and owner and operator of Multi Ethnic Food Kitchen. She obtained her PhD in Folklore at Memorial University in 1998. We discuss her move to Newfoundland, her PhD work on folk songs in Nigeria, her start at food and craft fairs, starting her business, and her work with the Tombolo Multicultural Festival and the International Food and Craft Expo.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ICH @UVic Day Two - From Chicken Feet to Cowichan Sweaters

Tuesday was day two of the course on Intangible Heritage I'm teaching at the University of Victoria. We started out this morning, bright and beautiful, at the Gates of Harmonious Interest, marking the entranceway to Victoria's Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in Canada.

We had a busy morning, with the students starting off by doing quick sketch maps of the district, and then locating within the district examples of the five domains of intangible cultural heritage as defined by UNESCO:  Oral Traditions and Expressions; Performing Arts; Social Practices, Rituals, and Festive Events; Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe; and Traditional Crafts.

We then met up with Chris Adams of, who gave us a great tour and talk about Victoria's Chinatown and the link between the tangible, built heritage of the district, and the intangible cultural heritage that permeates it.

It was my first time meeting Chris, but I've met his father and company founder John Adams before (we even were on a panel together about ghost tours, back in 2009). Chris was a fabulous guide and raconteur, and introduced us to some fabulous places, a highlight being the Tam Kung Temple on the top floor of the Yen Wo Society building.

It is an incredible gem of a space, and one I'd never seen before.

After that, we had a quick lesson in the game of Fan Tan, and a lecture on opium dens, and then we went to the famous Don Mee restaurant for Dim Sum, including my requisite feed of chicken feet and egg tarts.

After lunch, we rushed back to UVic, for a chat about ethnographic documentation, including my tips for oral history interviewing

Then we had another treat, a visit from the very charming Alice Trueman, a knitter from Salt Spring Island. Alice grew up on Vancouver Island, and doesn't remember a time when she didn't knit. I conducted an oral history interview with Alice while the class listened and watched.

Alice was another gem of the day; she was a font of knowledge about knitting. We talked about the tradition, her involvement, and how the tradition of knitting has shifted over the years, and the knitting retreats she runs on Salt Spring Island.   

Alice spoke knowledgeably about many aspects of knitting, but particularly interesting was the discussion we had about Cowichan sweaters, a very specific type of sweater made by First Nations knitters in one region of Vancouver Island.

You can download an mp3 of Alice describing Cowichan sweaters here, or in other formats here, or listen below. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Living Heritage Podcast Ep007 Food Knowledge and Skills with Sarah Ferber

Sarah Ferber is the Education Manager at Food Security Network NL. Their mission is to actively promote comprehensive, community-based solutions to ensure access to adequate and healthy food for all people in the province. Sarah works closely with community groups across NL to gather, share and preserve food skills and knowledge. In this podcast, folklorist Dale Jarvis talks with Sarah about the "All Around the Table" film series, creating food celebrations with seniors, traditional knowledge, food skills workshops, and advancing farm-to-school and school gardening initiatives.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Roy Hiscock of Champney's West - Weekly Meal Pattern

Snelgrove, Eric and Olive. Vegetable storage in their historic Quidi Vidi home.
LaDuke, John.
Photo courtesy of Memorial University's Digital Archives Initiative.
What is your weekly meal pattern? Do you have one? Have you ever followed the one below?

Today I have a short video clip of Roy Hiscock of Champey’s West which is located on the Bonavista Peninsula in Trinity Bay, NL. If you saw the video earlier in the week of Ben Hiscock, Roy is Ben’s older brother. During a trip to Port Union and Champney’s West doing some workshops Dale and I interviewed these two older members of the community.

Ben and Roy Hiscock are brothers whose families have been in the community for generations. They had great memories of growing up in the community, ship wrecks and rescues, square dancing, old graves, and local characters. Both brothers had great stories and I would like to showcase a couple of their stories on the blog.

In the short video Roy describes the meals the family would eat during the week. I did a quick search on Memorial University’s DAI and came across a thesis on traditional Newfoundland foodways written by Pamela Gray in 1977. I included two pictures below of Gray’s work with examples of weekly meal pattern. I’ve seen the tradition of the weekly meal pattern mentioned in other articles but it isn’t something my family followed growing up.

How about your family - do you follow a weekly meal pattern? Is it similar to these examples of the traditional weekly meal pattern? Do you still have a cooked dinner (Jiggs dinner) on Sunday? Let us know in the comments below!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo: Something fishy this way comes

Plowing under caplin for fertilizer [VA 110-32.2] 1930
International Grenfell Association photograph collection
Fred Coleman Sears photographs
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
Although it is not quite caplin time – the weather we have been having for the majority of June could be considered caplin weather. The RDF (rain, drizzle and fog) which prevails during Newfoundland’s “spring” and early summer is also known to coincide with the appearance of caplin which roll across our shores late June or early July.
Caplin used on field as fertilizer [VA 14-105] 1939
Newfoundland Tourist Development Board photograph collection
Gustav Anderson photograph album
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
In honour of the lovely caplin weather and the hope that summer is just around the corner I took this opportunity to select some caplin related pictures for today’s folklore photo.
Caplin used as fertilizer in garden [VA 14-106] 1939
Newfoundland Tourist Development Board photograph collection
Gustav Anderson photograph album
Photo: Courtesy of The Rooms Provincial Archives.
These pictures from The Rooms Provincial Archives show one of the many uses for caplin – as an all natural fertilizer!
Home Gardening, Decks Awash [vol 11, no.1, February 1982]
Photo: courtesy of MUN's Digital Archives Initiative 
In my search for garden fertilizers I also came across this lovely article from the Decks Awash newsletter proclaiming all the benefits of seaweed and fish offal as a natural soil conditioner and compost.
Gathering kelp on Back of Beach [Kenneth Nash]
Jackie Nash personal photo collection
Photo: courtesy of MUN's Digital Archives Initiative 
What do you use for fertilizer and compost in the garden? Any tips on what could help a garden grow on this rock?
The benefits of kelp and caplin seen in a potato garden [William Snelgrove]
Terra Barrett personal photo collection
Photo: courtesy of Digest [vol 3, issue 1, summer 2014]
For more information on the local food system check out these videos done by Root Cellars Rock showcasing seniors’ food knowledge.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday's Folklore Photo - Waterfront Gardening

I've heard that because of our cold start to Spring, locals gardeners are feeling a bit anxious to get started. Surely things will soon warm up and people will be able to get their seedlings in the ground....right? Hopefully this photo will provide a little bit of inspiration, and remind us that the wait will be worthwhile.

Taken in Conche on the Northern Peninsula in Spring 2010, a family works together to dig potato trenches, getting the ground ready for planting. This waterfront garden plot is one that this family has been using for decades. Its location near the ocean ensures that it gets optimal exposure to sunlight, is easily accessed by boat, and can easily access kelp, which is an effective soil fertilizer.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grey Socks, Pidley Stick, and Traditional Food

In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: we introduce the Grey Sock Project, linking the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War with traditional knitting skills; the Food Security Network on their "All Around The Table" seniors' oral history project; and researching tiddly, hoist your sails and run, and other children's games and pastimes.

Download the newsletter in PDF and other formats

Photo: The Williams children in front of their family home on Cable Avenue, Bay Roberts, undated photo.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rugelach on the Rock: a delicious Jewish pastry-making workshop!

On Sun. November 24th, Memorial University’s Public Folklore class will host “Rugelach on the Rock,” a pastry baking workshop at St. Thomas’ Church Hall. This instructional workshop led by Jonathan Richler will teach participants how to make rugelach (roo-guh-lakh), a traditional Jewish pastry packed with sweet or savory filling. Participants will learn to roll, prepare, shape and bake this crescent-shaped treat with a Newfoundland twist.

The workshop is organized by Folklore 6740: Public Folklore, a graduate student course at MUN on local traditions, in partnership with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Jonathan Richler, a St. John’s native, is president of the local Jewish Community Havura and an organizer of the J-Deli pop up deli at Chinced Bistro.

The event will take place from 2:00pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, November 24th at St. Thomas’ Church Hall, 8 Military Road, St. John’s. Registration is $20 and includes all materials and detailed instruction. Space is limited. To register, contact Nicole Penney at the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador at 1-888-739-1892 ex. 6 or

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut

Fermenting your own sauerkraut is simple to do and takes very little preparation time--all you need is a head of cabbage (or more if you wish), salt, and a fermentation pot. I made some last week to help get excited for our Newfiki Festival. This Celebration of Eastern-European Cultures in Newfoundland takes place from March 20th-23rd. I myself am from an Eastern European family in Alberta and so had access to homemade sauerkraut throughout my childhood. When I was older, I realized that I would have to learn how to make it on my own in order to help keep our family tradition going. Mine is nowhere near as delicious as my grandmother's, but I am getting there. Here's a photo-guide of what I do:

Step 1: Clean and chop or shred cabbage (shredding is ideal but if you don't have a shredder, a sharp knife will do the trick).

Step 2: Mix chopped cabbage with salt until each piece of cabbage is lightly covered (I try to use the least amount possible, but too little will be detrimental).
Step 3: Put the cabbage into a fermentation (stoneware) pot, a large glass container will do nicely as well. A lid is not necessary.
Step 4: Pack the cabbage down as much as possible, until its natural juices leave the cabbage. I pour in a little bit of cabbage at a time, and punch it down in layers. I am using an official sauerkraut puncher here, but you can utilize any kind of blunt tool, as long as it has been cleaned in very hot water.
Step 5: Once punched down, place a large heavy weight (such as a plate with a heavy sterile stone on it), onto the cabbage. This helps push the cabbage under the salty juices which is very important to prevent rotting--it cannot be exposed to air. If you weren't able to extract natural juices, that is no problem, you can add salted water and keep it submerged under that. Cover the top with a clean kitchen towel to keep dirt and dust out, then store in a warm place
For fermentation to take place, there must be adequate salt and the pot must be stored in a warm place. In about 4-6 weeks the cabbage should be fully fermented and ready to eat. When it has started doing its job, it will take on a sour smell (which you will notice throughout your house), and it will also start bubbling. Be sure to check on it once a week to remove any 'scum' that might be forming on or around the plate. If there are signs of mold, simply remove before it takes over the whole pot. I once met a Bulgarian woman in St. John's who claimed that she could save any ailing sauerkraut, so if something goes wrong, there's always hope.

Good luck making your own sauerkraut and let us know how it goes.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's themed ICH newsletter, sealed with a kiss!

In this special February edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador, our contributors get all romantic. Learn about the Heritage Foundation's celebration of Heritage Day 2013, enjoy some traditional Czech pernicky (gingerbread), explore love stories from the appropriately named community of Heart's Content, see how an outport nurse celebrated her honeymoon, and lock up your loved ones. We love you, folklore!

Download the PDF

Contributors: Andrea O'Brien, Christina Robarts, Lisa Wilson, Nicole Penney, Dale Jarvis

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ponies, Perogies, Skateboarding and more

ICH Update for January 2013

In this month's edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador is conducting a needs assessment survey to measure the type and amount of ICH related training needed in the province; work continues on the Foundation's documentation of the Heart's Content Registered Heritage District; intern Joelle Carey starts work on a project identifying living Newfoundland Ponies; new ICH intern Christina Robarts works with Memorial University Department of Folklore professor Dr. Mariya Lesiv on "Newfiki" - celebration of eastern-European cultures in Newfoundland; the Rooms announces a scrapbooking workshop; and Nicole Penney presents on a collection of skateboard videos which will become part of the province's inventory of intangible cultural heritage.

Contributors: Nicole Penney, Lisa Wilson, Joelle Carey, and Christina Robarts
Download the PDF

ICH Conference in Flanders

Recently, ICH Development Officer Dale Jarvis was invited to take part in an ICH conference in Mechelen, Flanders. The topic was participative methods for inventorying or documenting elements of ICH, and the conference included presentations from Joanne Orr - Museums Galleries Scotland (Scotland), Paulo Ferreira da Costa - Institute for Museums and Conservation (Portugal), Hans van der Linden - Agency for Arts and Heritage Flanders (Belgium), Jorijn Neyrinck & Ellen Janssens - tapis plein – Center of Expertise for heritage participation and intangible cultural heritage (Belgium), Eva Van Hoye & Kim Van Belleghem - Heritage units Mechelen & TERF (Belgium), and Marc Jacobs - FARO. Flemish interface for cultural heritage; VUB - Free University Brussels – Heritage Studies and Ethnology (Belgium).

Download Dale's presentation on ICH inventory work in PDF

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Help wanted - The Cultural History of Jam Jams, Billy Boots, and Pineapple Crush

Purity Jam Jams, Billy Boot garbage bags, and Pineapple Crush pop have become iconic Newfoundland products, with unique ties to Newfoundland history and culture.

Morgan Murray at The Scope is trying to unravel/uncover/figure out the history of the cultural significance of these products in NL, e.g. how and why they have become so popular, and the important political, historical, and social factors that have made them, and kept them so.

If you have any information, theories, insights, or wild guesses about any of these products, please contact Morgan at

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Take a peek inside a Newfoundland mill worker's lunch basket.

"You would never go into another man's lunch basket."

It was a refrain we've heard more than a few times over the past few weeks from current and retired mill workers from Corner Brook to Grand Falls-Windsor. Lunch baskets were not something you would poke around inside, certainly not without the owner's permission. Doing so wasn't just considered rude; it could lead to blows if you were not careful.

This afternoon we hosted the second of our Tea 'n' Baskets events, with today's workshop taking place at the Mount Peyton Hotel in Grand Falls-Windsor. It was a great success, with lots of baskets, and lots of public sharing of memories and stories.

On this occasion, we were allowed to take a look inside the baskets, and indeed, people were delighted to let us do so. A couple folks went to the trouble of packing a lunch, wrapped up in what were known as "samples" - the ends of paper that men would take home from the mill.  I was even lucky enough to be given a bottle of moose by Mr Dave Peddle.

So have a peek below at what's inside a mill worker's lunch basket. Some are full, some are empty, but they each tell a story. Keep your hands off the moose, though, unless you are looking for a scrap. That's mine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Two Tasty Riddles

I started off my Food, Folklore, and Tourism talk on Monday with these two riddles, and I figured I'd include them here for other lovers of traditional riddles:

Riddle One:

Flour of England,
Fruit of Spain,

Met together

In a shower of rain,

Put in a bag

And tied with a string,

If you tell me this riddle,
I'll give you a ring.

Riddle Two:

Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old.
Spell me that in four letters?

Guess away!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thoughts on pudding, folklore, and culture

Folklorist and Intangible Cultural Heritage Development Officer Dale Jarvis introduced the Food, Folklore and Tourism Workshop in Cupids, Newfoundland on Monday, 15 August 2011, with some thoughts on steamed and boiled puddings, and on how food, folklore, and culture are intertwined.

Download Dale's talk as a MP3

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Century Farms, Newfoundland ponies, a building floats to a new home, and more

In this edition of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Update for Newfoundland and Labrador: the Seeds to Supper Festival gets underway with a workshop on culinary tourism, featuring Canada's Top Chef participant Todd Perrin; we celebrate our agricultural history with an evening of stories of farming past, present and future; a local woman keeps the tradition of Newfoundland ponies alive; news on the Culture, Place and Identity at the Heart of Regional Development conference coming this fall; a historic merchant's shop is hauled (and floated) to a new home; and, our root cellar roundup.

Download the pdf

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Food industry guests at Food, Folklore and Tourism Workshop

Our "Food, Folklore and Tourism" workshop is taking place at the Cupids Legacy Centre, this coming Monday, August 15, 2011 from 1pm – 4:30 pm

This is a free workshop, but people must pre-register with Melissa at or by calling 1-888-739-1892 ext 3.

Our food industry guests for the workshop are:

Todd Perrin
The Chef’s Inn

Chef Todd Perrin believes that the ingredients are the star – he is just the mechanic. Todd began his career in the early 1990’s, enrolling in The Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in PEI. Upon graduation, he worked at The Lodge at Kananaskis in Alberta and then at a private hotel near Zurich, Switzerland. Currently, he owns and operates The Chef’s Inn, a B&B in downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland that he runs with his family. With his own place, he sources the freshest local ingredients from his own backyard, neighbours’ farms and his root cellar, practicing farm-to-table whenever possible. His goal as a chef is to bring simple food to the next level.

Viola Wells
Skipper Ben’s Bed and Breakfast and Dining Room

Viola is the owner of Skipper Ben’s Bed and Breakfast and Dining Room, a heritage property (circa) 1890 situated in historic Cupids. Under Viola’s management Skipper Ben’s has become known as a quality casual fine dining experience on the Baccalieu Trail. Her expertise in food preparation and her hospitality are renowned and have made her much in demand for special events and weddings. The dining experience at Skipper Ben’s is second to none. With a selection of fresh produce and her own creative recipes, she serves meals with a unique style from health conscious menus that continue to satisfy her visitors.

Kelly Jones
Britannia Teas and Gifts

Kelly Jones loves tea! From her earliest memories tea has played a part in her family life. This was especially true when visiting Nana Leawood, her grandmother, at her home in Britannia, Random Island, where tea was a five-times-a-day experience. Today, Britannia Teas is Newfoundland's first tea shop selling loose and bulk teas, tea-related merchandise and treats for the tea lover. Kelly loves passing on what she has learned to other people; she enjoys letting people know the proper way to brew different teas, discussing health benefits and talking about her current favourite tea.