I’m trying to organize my photos because my computer says I’m totally out of memory and need to delete items to make more room. I read somewhere that if you’re disorganized in the real world, you’re most likely just as equally disorganized in the digital world as well, and that sure fits as far as I’m concerned. But in all this deleting and sending to a cloud and whatever, I came across the photos I took at Peggy’s Cove this last summer. It's an adorable fishing village on the Atlantic just about 40 minutes or so from Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the Atlantic Maritimes, a group of islands east of the Canadian mainland
I’d been to Halifax once before, and while it’s a lovely sophisticated city, several other people I know have traveled to Peggy’s Cove. So with one day in port, we decided to go there. Of course, a lot of people had the same idea, and at first the person selling tickets for the Grayline tour said there wasn’t any space left. I must have looked really pathetic because they let us board the bus!
The ride through along the rugged shoreline is beautiful and our tour guide, dressed in a kilt (but not carrying bagpipes) was very informative.
Peggy’s Cove has that adorable fishing village thing going on. Dating back more than 150 years, their lighthouse is the most photographed in Canada. The houses and shops strung along the coastline and the bay that cuts through the large smooth boulders are painted bright colors of blue, red and yellow. But it really is a fishing village, and lobster is one of the main catches here. In 2014, our kilted guide told us, some 700 license holders on Nova Scotia’s South Shore caught nearly 6,000 metric tons, or tonnes as it’s written up on the island. That’s the most ever recorded going back to the 1800's. Now I did the math so you don’t have too, but that’s 12,000,000 pounds. It’s no wonder there’s an abundance of seafood shacks selling lobster rolls for an amazingly cheap price and that lobster in all sorts of forms—grilled cheese and lobster sandwiches, lobster BLTs, lobster mac and cheese and, of course, steamed lobster served with melted butter—are served in restaurants
And, it turns out, lobsters come in more colors than just brick red. Blue lobsters are rarer but they’ve been turning up here, and there are also yellow shelled lobster as well. So since we were in lobster central, our guide gave us a lesson in how to differentiate between a male and female. Here are the basic rules if you decide to do this at home: pick up the lobster with extreme caution, being careful to stay away from the reach of its claws. Flip it over so that the soft side is exposed. The mid-section of the female has two little soft antennae-like features pointing towards the thorax; the males have the same feature only they’re firmer and thicker. Bottom line, females are tastier, he told us, because you get the roe or lobster eggs as a bonus.
Now, unfortunately, lobster is not plentiful or cheap in Northwest Indiana. But people at Peggy’s Cove told me you can substitute other seafood such as shrimp and scallops to make a delicious seafood sandwich—kind of a mock lobster roll.
Recipe courtesy of Taste of Nova Scotia.
1 pound uncooked frozen shrimp, thawed, cleaned and deveined
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped
4 hot dog buns or Kaiser rolls, split
1-2 tablespoons of butter, softened
4 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine the mayo, lemon juice, celery and dill. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Place the shrimp on the baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil (making sure all the shrimp are lightly coated). Sprinkle with salt and a small amount of pepper. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
Lightly butter the insides of the buns or rolls and toast them until golden brown. Then line with lettuce leaves. Set aside.
Add the shrimp to the mayo mix and gently fold until all of the shrimp are coated. Stuff the shrimp filling into the buns and serve immediately.
Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt
4 cups Nova Scotia wild blueberries (fresh or frozen) or just good old Michigan blueberries
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
2 cups flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup butter
About 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425F.
Pour blueberries into oven-safe deep-dish pie plate and add sugar and lemon or lime juice.
Stir well, then place dish in oven and bake berries uncovered. 10 to 15 minutes for fresh berries or 20 minutes for frozen berries.
While the berries are in the oven, make the biscuits: in a large bowl whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt to mix.
Break butter into pieces with hands and add to flour mixture. Cut the butter into flour with a fork until butter and flour are combined in small crumbly pieces.
Crack egg into a measuring cup and top with milk to 3⁄4 cup. Mix egg and milk with a fork.
Add to flour mixture and blend with fork until combined — mix in any remaining dry bits with hands.
Take hot blueberries out of oven – scoop biscuit dough with a 1⁄4 cup measuring cup and arrange on top of hot berries (approximately 11 biscuits).
Carefully cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and return to oven.
Bake, covered, 15 minutes. Remove dish from oven and carefully remove foil. Place dish back in oven and continue to bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes or until biscuits are lightly golden.
Let cool for 10 minutes or so —the longer the grunt sits, the more blueberry liquid the biscuits soak up.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
Note: To make it less sweet use 3⁄4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup.