Rough Food

An excerpt from Rough Food: The Seasons of Subsistence in Northern Newfoundland by John T. Omohundro "One afternoon in October 1992 Meg and Peter were serving us tea in their kitchen in Conche, a fishing outport on the Great Northern Peninsula. On the table were home-made bread and squashberry jam, cabbage pickles, some crackers, and molasses for Peter's tea. 'Do you like this rough food?' Peter wondered. I asked what that meant. 'Rough food is your staples, your winter diet,' Meg said, 'the things you got in the fall to see you through 'til spring.' Before the road was built into Conche in 1969, Meg and Peter bought nearly all their staples in bulk using the income Peter made selling salt fish and salmon. 'When the schooner came in the fall you bought your flour, sugar, and salt in sacks, Barbados molasses in butts, puncheons of butter, big chests of tea, barrels of salt meat and salt pork,' Meg said. these few essentials were supplemented with produce from large gardens, wild fruits, meat and dairy products from sheep, fowl and cows, and game and fish. Dried, pickled, hung, frozen, bottled or cellared, these victuals fed Peter's family of seven until the schooner could nose through the ice in the harbour in April or May."