Roots, Rants & Roars

Every September my hometown of Elliston, Newfoundland hosts a culinary festival called Roots, Rants & Roars. Chefs from all over (local, Canadian and even some American) gather and prepare meals from locally sourced ingredients.

Considering the fact that Elliston has less than 400 permanent residents, and that Saturday night there are generally over 350 attendees – none of the local, it’s a pretty impressive feat. The festival gets great press and it seems to be growing more popular as time goes on.

The past two years, I have been traveling at the time of the festival and have not been able to attend, this year I knew I had nothing major planned so I decided to go home for the weekend to volunteer. If any of you reading ever want to go to an expensive event (weekend passes for this event are $250 each) I highly suggest trying to volunteer for it. Not only do you basically get to try/do/see everything, you get the added bonus of being able to get in on all the behind the scenes action.

My friend Diana is a big foodie, and this year she accompanied me to the event, she enjoyed herself so much that she thanked one of the event coordinators for letting her volunteer! Needless to say, we’ll be back again next year. My thoughts on this event are more of an overview, bit if you want more in-depth information on all the food from the event, I suggest checking out Diana’s blog.

Here is a brief photo essay from the weekend.

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On Friday night we got to attend and “enjoy” the festival in advance of volunteering on Saturday. That night’s theme was the “King of Cod” in which each chef prepared a different dish featuring cod. At the end of the night the participants vote on their favourite and that chef it crowed King. Although I didn’t get a pic of the food, this was my favourite dish.
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This was the winning dish – cod ramen!
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Cheers for food festivals!
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I snapped this pic of my nan that same weekend, I’d like to caption it “75 and still picking” (blueberries, that is!)
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Diana and I ‘burlapped’ abut 40 tables before the big multi-course supper on Saturday. We were servers for the night (it was intense, I’ve never served before).
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A bit of liquid courage before we start our intense night.
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Anddd we’re done! It was hard work but really fun, I must say. Here’s a shot of the crowd, post food and enjoying some entertainment.
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This was my favourite food of the entire festival – build your own creampuffs in which you could choose your fillings!
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This is what happens when you know most of the organizers of the event…

Weather Misery

It’s no secret that the weather where I’m from isn’t always the best. In the past we’ve been known to have months that were commonly referred to as “Juneuary” and “Fogust”. This year, however, is a special kind of hell. It’s currently the 21st of July and we’ve seen a total of THREE days that have reached 20C so far this summer. THREE. The high arctic has even been warmer than we are. ┬áCheck out this extended forecast for the next week and please feel free to weep with me:

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Yeah, that’s right. You see that daytime HIGH on Saturday? Nine freaking degrees. Compound this shitty weather with the fact that our main airport is undergoing renovations and no flights can get in/out if the weather is anything less than ideal, and you’ve got one pissed off population.

Obviously, there’s nothing anyone can do about the weather issues. But when you live somewhere that generally only gets 2-3 months of decent weather a year, it’s depressing to a have a full month that feels just as cold as October.

Please send warm vibes that it changes soon, and socks, lots of socks.

Be a Tourist at Home – Brigus Edition

I don’t know about you, but for me, it’s pretty easy to get a case of the extended winter blahs. I have a love/hate relationship with my province, in that it is spectacularly beautiful, but at the same time very finicky when it comes to the weather.

With our spring feeling more like late fall, myself and two friends were dying for a bit of fresh air and sunlight, so we decided to take a brief day trip to a small town about an hour from where we live.

We chose Brigus because Shane had never been there before. He fell in love with it right away. Brigus is one of the oldest settlements on the island of Newfoundland and although I didn’t get any great pictures of the town centre, it’s definitely worth a visit to see the vibrantly coloured houses and small quaint streets.

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For me, it was just what I needed for a little introspection. The blue sky, fluffy clouds and rugged landscapes reiterated what I love about this big province and just put me in the best of moods.

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Sometimes a trip doesn’t have to be fancy and elaborate, just getting out of your normal zone for a few hours does the body and mind good.

Please note that all we’re taken on an iPhone 5S with no filters or editing applied. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

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