Sunday, September 30, 2012

Andie's Big Adventure: Exploring Portugal Cove

The backyard of our rental house.

The first week we settled in. We wandered the neighborhood, took lots of pictures, picked the last of the blueberries from the bushes behind the house, lost internet for two days, got internet back, met some of the neighbors, had a tropical storm and lost power for two days, then got power back. It was exciting!

Tropical storm or no, Dinky still had to go outside. Yes, those are real foulies. We used to have a sailboat, remember? My, that's a good look for me, don't you think? As is the nice rear view of me taking pictures. Dinky is always a hit with the kids.  And those are all the blueberries that were left.

Of course, internet and power were restored and normal operations could begin.

This, ladies and gentlemen, sums up "normal operations".

We grocery shopped, as I mentioned. But I'll delve a little deeper here. It is a food blog, after all.

One of the grocery stores is named Dominion. They have the same private label brand (President's Choice) as the Teeter back home. The one we went to had two stories. Talk about feeling like a gawking hillbilly. They have these cool cart escalators next to the regular escalator. You attach the cart to it and it rides up (and back down) next to you. Pretty slick.

Now I will make observations about the differences in grocery shopping here and back home. These are OBSERVATIONS, not COMPLAINTS. I honestly couldn't be any happier. This place rocks. The first thing I noticed was that there isn't nearly the selection of fresh vegetables that we have back home. Perfectly understandable, since we're on a rocky island and most everything has to be shipped over. But for you guys back home, appreciate our variety. I was a little surprised that there wasn't more seafood available. But again, colder waters, so I suppose maybe sometimes less is available. Shrimp aren't up here in abundance, for example. They are also a little lacking in the Hispanic food area. They have Old El Paso taco shells, jarred salsa and fajita kits, but finding canned beans and chilis is a challenge. So we may be eating at La Costa for three straight months when we get home. They also have things we don't. Like little tins of herring.

And of course, they have cod. Delicious filets! And heads. I guess maybe you make fish stock out of them. I'll find out. Here's the cooking part of the blog. I got a fresh cod filet, salted and peppered it and sprinkled it with paprika and sauteed it in a hot pan. The end. The fish is so good you just really don't want to smother it with a bunch of flavors. It tastes clean and fresh and is flakey and tender. It ain't Mrs. Paul's. Although I confess to liking those when I was nine.

They also have gummi worms, Dad. So it's safe to come on up for a visit. See the cool cart escalator? If there hadn't been a bunch of people there, and ice cream in my bag, I probably would have stayed and played with that for a good hour.

And of course, besides cooking cod myself, I had to get to a local cove restaurant lickety-split to try the traditional fare.

Brown food. Just my thing! The fish and chips were amazing. Wild Horses Pub and Restaurant is a couple of blocks away from the house, so we just walked. Which was good, since it burned off a couple of chips. Maybe. I won't be eating that too often or I'll have to have my own separate ferry to get me back to the mainland in April.

Besides buying groceries and eating, we spent some time taking pictures of the gorgeous scenery here in Portugal Cove. It's a small community about 15 minutes from the MUN campus. We're renting the lovely blue cottage from Coleen and John. It's on North Point Road, which dead-ends into a field running over the rocks at the edge of the water.

I walk Dinky there in the mornings.

The bottom picture is Bell Island, across the water from us. I've been informed that the body of water between Portugal Cove and Bell Island is called the "Bell Island Tickle". Y'all didn't know I married Encyclopedia Brown, did you?

The houses in the neighborhood are saltboxish and painted lots of different colors.

There's a ferry just down from us that runs back and forth between here and Bell Island all day and into the night.

Mornings are beautiful. Even the fog is pretty.

And the sunsets are even better.

I'm sure I'll want to go home eventually, because I'll need some Mexican food. But for right now, I'm just fine.

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