The Royal Canadian Legion in St. Anthony in the northern part of Newfoundland is holding a good old-fashioned Newfoundland scoff (and this is not another word for bar fight) ever Wednesday during the summer month. From 4 to 8:30 pm a delicious supper with traditional Newfoundland dishes will be served while enjoying live entertainment.
We just couldn't miss the opportunity to go and we just had so much fun. This Wednesday they served either a Jigg dinner or Fish and Brewis. The Jigg dinner consisted of various root vegetables and a piece of salted pork as for the fish and Brewis was a platter of Cod fish and a re-hydrated bread cake (if you are interested the recipe is at the end of this blog). We enjoyed that these were traditional dishes cooked by regular people like you and I and not "touristified" by a Chef in a "bus-stop restaurant". They were rather bland but there was salt and pepper on the table to season them to our own taste.
Beside this food experience we got Screeched in and became honorary Newfies together with 16 other participants - if you get a chance to become initiated don't push it away! It's called Screeched In from Newfoundland Screech - the rum that's used as part of the procedure. Screech was once a colloquial term to describe almost any cheap high alcohol spirit but now it is a top selling brand of rum.
You have to dress like a Newfie, eat like a Newfie, speak like a Newfie and drink like a Newfie: At the initiation you may end up to be dressed in yellow fishing gear, eating capeling (dry, salted small sardine-like fish), Newfie steak (Bologna ... ) and bread & molasses, bottoms-up a shot of Screech and kissing a Cod. This all while learning to speak like a Newfie. At the end you will most likely take home a bona-fide certificate confirming you as an honorary Newfoundlander.
After kissing a Cod you are certainly ready for another Screech or two .....
Recipe for Fish and Brewis:
How to prepare BREWIS: Split crakes of hard bread, allow one per person. In a large saucepan place hard bread well covered with water and let soak over night. Next day, using the same water, salt to. Taste and bring hard bread to near boil. DO NOT BOIL, DRAIN IMMEDIATELY. Keep hot
To prepare with SALT FISH: Skin dried salt fish, cut fish into serving size, cover with cold water and soak overnight. Next day change water and bring to a boil for 20 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Drain, remove fish bones. Combine fish and prepared hard bread (Brewis). Serve with "Scrunchionus" (small cubes of fat back pork fried to golden brown). Use as a gravy over Fish and Brewis.
To prepare with FRESH FISH: Cut fish into serving pieces and place in bake-pot with fat and scrunchoise. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until it is cooked and remove the bones. Combine the coked fish with prepared hard bread (Brewis).