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 ShelburneCounty, The Hawk is the most southerly tip of Nova Scotia, located on Cape SableIsland....home to some of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen!
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 you...you 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!
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!
Your Nova Scotia vacation couldn't be spent in a better place than Shelburne County, the "heart of the South Shore". Many who visit us come back again, some to make their homes here. Our secret to hospitality... it's in our nature!