Showing posts with label words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label words. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2013

Brushing up on your Sheila folklore

Perhaps the most memorable of those occasions was on the night of 'Sheila's Brush,' which is to say the 18th of March. Newfoundland has two 'brushes,' Patrick's and Sheila's; that is to say, storms supposed to be connected with the birthday of St Patrick and that of his wife... The word 'brush' is not always used, however; you will hear Newfoundlanders say: 'We have our Sheila dis time o' year.'
- George Allan England, 1877—1936, Vikings of the Ice (Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1924) as quoted in the Dictionary of Newfoundland English
I'm waking up this morning to snow, reports of school closures in other parts of the province, and Twitter and Facebook status updates mentioning Sheila's Brush. In Newfoundland English, a brush is a "sudden gust of wind, a spell of wet weather; a [snow] storm." You can read up on more Newfoundland snow words on the DNE blog, Twig.

Most Newfoundlanders, I suspect, know that Sheila's Brush refers to a snowstorm after St. Patrick's Day. Some say it is meant to represent Sheila sweeping up after St. Patrick. Who Sheila is supposed to be, exactly, is something of a mystery, be she wife, sister, maid or mistress. 

For info on that other Sheila, check out Dr. Philip Hiscock's A Perfect Princess: The Twentieth-Century Legend of Sheila na Geira and Gilbert Pike.

Note on image above: Photo by rebfoto. If you know the name of the original mural artist, post a comment!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Looking for information on "paderah"?

I had an interesting question from Kathleen Tucker, who is the researcher on SABRI's oral history project in and around St. Anthony. She asked if I'd ever heard of anything called "paderah" pronounced PA’-de-ra (rhymes with ‘ha’). I said it was a bit of a mystery to me, and she has written to the local paper asking for help. Here is her letter:

"Years ago when the fishery was in full swing, fishermen set aside their nets at dinnertime to cook a simple meal. Often the meal was cooked in a bake pot, either on board the vessel or on the beach. A fire was lit and salt pork was diced into the pot. When it was sizzling, the fishermen might have added onions, fresh cod, and fresh bread. The older fishermen often cooked up this marvelous meal while the younger fellows looked for driftwood along the shore to use as spoons. Once the meal was cooked, they’d all sit around the bake pot and eat their meal.

Would anyone be able to tell me if they cooked this meal, how they cooked it, and what they called it? The name for the meal might differ from community to community, but I’m sure many of you have enjoyed this simple dinner while fishing. And, perhaps many of you still do."

The dish sounds similar to fish and brewis, but made with fresh cod and fresh bread. If you have a memory to share, you can email me, or leave a comment on this post.

For info on fish and brewis, you can check out:

UPDATE: May 13, 2009.

William Lee of Petty Harbour writes, "when my dad cooked in the boat when fishing it was simply called a fish feed, and consisted of fresh cod, salt beef and salt pork,potatoes, the cod's tongue and roe sack (britchant), and hard bread. Some times they would add a mackerel or small salmon. The cooking was done aboard the boat, and the time would vary but mostly it would be around nine or ten AM ,as they were on the go from 3:30AM.
PS. the fire was contained in what we called a galley, which is simply an old metal wash tub with a sod covering the bottom."