Michael Flaherty









The Grey Islands

Everyone asks me what I ate while I was living on the Grey Islands. I have to say that I've never eaten so well in my entire life. In fact I'd go as far as to say that I've never felt so healthy in my entire life - good food, lots of exercise and sleep, no television or internet, and no access to my vices. Food turned out to be not only my nourishment but also my entertainment. Before heading out I had meticulously prepared lots of food. I had dried meats, fish, fruits and vegetables, and my staple meals and snacks were beef stew, rice and lentils, oatmeal, popcorn, pasta and cheese, and my favourite, Grey Islands Curry. The trip also prodded me to try baking for the first time in my life, which resulted in an adequate but not exciting whole wheat bread. The bread was an interesting link to history of the place, as the north coast of Newfoundland is peppered with bread ovens made by migratory French fishermen who, after the French Revolution, began demanding fresh food during their summers abroad. I have heard rumours that there is a bread oven somewhere on the Grey Islands, but I was unable to find it while I was there.

I was also able to forage quite a bit. There were berries everywhere so I had no lack of fresh fruit. I occasionally ate shellfish, and although there isn't much meat on a rock crab I found that it could really contribute to making a tasty broth. The real treat were the delicious trout I was able to catch straight out of the ocean or from the numerous gullies and streams.

Having all those bricks made cooking a pleasure. I spent a lot of time hovering around my stove and often cooked extravant meals with three or four courses.

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