Monday, July 25, 2011

Lobsters and What??

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. 
~Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, Pavarotti, My Own Story

You will find many unique dishes that are served up in homes and restaurants all over Nova Scotia. We like to eat...and we will eat almost anything! Some great local dishes, served up best right here in Nova Scotia would include, Rappie Pie, Fish Cakes, blueberry grunt, hodge podge, smoked kiacks, Solomon Grudy and the list goes on.
The dish I am going to introduce you to today, I was introduced to about 23 years ago by my then boyfriend's mom, who would later become my mother-in-law. One thing I should tell you is that I'm not a big fan of seafood and I'm not a big fan of trying something new. Although, I will admit, since having the job of Tourism Manager for Shelburne County, I have tried A LOT of new things (and actually liked most of them, including raw oysters from Eel Lake Oyster Farm...try them!). So, you can imagine my then 15 year old self having to try a new dish and having it made out of seafood, but we all know teenage girls do many things to impress boys...and make a good impression on their mothers too! I have been told that this dish is exclusive to The Hawk, which is where I was when I tried it for the first time. For those of you who aren't familiar with Shelburne County, The Hawk is the most southerly tip of Nova Scotia, located on Cape Sable Island....home to some of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen!
Sunset on The Hawk
So, I'm sure by now you are wondering what exactly this dish that I've been rambling on about now is! Ready for it? Lobsters and gravy. Yes, I said gravy....but it's not what you are thinking! It's not chicken or beef gravy poured over lobster, it's just gravy....lobster gravy! Still not convinced? Yeah, I kinda figured you wouldn't be. Neither was I! I guess that's why you won't see it on a menu in a restaurant or why you've probably never heard of it. But I will tell you, it's my favorite way to eat lobster (well, besides right out of the shell dipped in hot butter).
I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give out this recipe, but I will share it with won't tell anyone, right? Like most recipes handed down through the generations, there really aren't any actual measurements for this recipe, so you will have to bear with me and trust your judgement if you happen to decide to try it for your self.
Here is what you will need:
Nova Scotia Lobster Meat (already cooked and depending on how many you are serving will determine how many lobsters you will need. Let's go with two lobsters for this recipe)
Butter - the real stuff....not margarine!
White Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Water & Flour mixture (typical gravy mixture)
Start with cutting up your lobster into bite size pieces. In a hot frying pan add butter (I use lots; this isn't a low fat recipe!). Add your lobster to the butter and fry the lobster until golden. 

Add vinegar (about 1-2 tablespoons) and sprinkle the lobster with brown sugar. Stir it all around in the frying pan until the brown sugar dissolves and coats the lobster meat. I usually add more butter at this point too. (I told you it wasn't low fat!)

At this point you will now add your gravy mixture to the lobster. It thickens really quick, and you may need to add water to the frying pan to thin it out some...I always do.

Serve it over toast or mashed potatoes (I prefer potatoes) and serve with a veggie of choice. For some reason, I always serve mine with peas. There you have it, a traditional "Hawk" dish, Lobsters & Gravy. You gotta try it for yourself!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

UFO's, Whirligigs and Sharks, Oh My!

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

~Oprah Winfrey

I was recently at a workshop where someone made a comment that we (Shelburne County) are always celebrating something. The more I thought about that comment the more I agreed with them!
Shelburne County has a vast array of festivals and events throughout the year.  We celebrate the "normal" things like Canada Day, the fall harvest with a pumpkin festival, and Christmas with two festivals in the County!  We also celebrate our history and heritage with such festivals as Lobster Festival (June 7-10, 2012), Shelburne Founders' Days (July 21-24), and Lights Along the Shore (Sept 17-18), in conjunction with the rest of the South Shore, celebrating our famed lighthouses.
lobster pageant 085.JPG
What some might not know however is that we are also home to some very unique festivals.  Coming into its 6th year, Harmony Bazaar - A Festival of Women & Song celebrates female singer songwriters.  Located in the beautiful seaside town of Lockeport, this year's festival  brings in Country music star Michelle Wright centre stage in the newly built Seacaps Memorial Park stage. It's a weekend long festival of entertainment, workshops, artists and so much more. 
Harmony Bazaar

August 5-6 we celebrate unidentified flying objects! Yes, that's right, UFO`s! Shelburne County is home to one of few Canadian Government recognized UFO sites, located in Shag Harbour.  It was back in October of 1967 when an impact of an unknown large object was reported in the waters near Shag Harbour.  Today we boast a UFO designated look-off site, an interpretive centre and of course a festival! Fun & games, great food, boat trips, entertainment and high profile UFO experts are all brought in for this fun filled unique weekend!
UFO Interpretive Centre
In August we also celebrate a few species that are found in and around our great coast destination. August 12-14, Lockeport Sea Derby celebrates 20 years! This is the longest running sea derby in Nova Scotia.  Excitement builds as the "catch of the day" are brought in and weighed.  New this year, we are host to the 1st Annual Shorebird Festival, August 26-28.  Shelburne County has long been known as a birding hotspot. Our beaches are home to many migratory and nesting shorebirds, including the endangered Piping Plover.  This is a must for any birder, from beginner to advance! 
Lockeport Sea Derby
From sharks and shorebirds to Whirligigs!  In September, the Shelburne Waterfront comes alive with the sights and sounds of colourful whirligigs and weathervanes humming in the breeze.  From the basic to the elaborate, you will be amazed at the creativity that goes into making these fun and whimsical creations! The Whirligig & Weathervane Festival runs from September 17 to the 18th. Join in the fun and enter your own creation!
Whirligig Festival
For a full list of our great festivals & events please visit our website at Discover Shelburne County and join us in our celebrations all year long!