The Fives’ Best of Newfoundland

We’ve only been away from Newfoundland for a few days now, and we’re already feeling nostalgic for all that we did and saw during our six weeks there. To help us get through this hard transition to life on the mainland (if you can call Cape Breton Island the mainland), we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites.

Most Spectacular Sights

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Waterfalls (this one is by Blow Me Down Mountain).

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Icebergs (we spotted many on our travels through the Great Northern Peninsula from late-May through early-July),

Best Place to Visit

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Goose Cove: A short drive from St. Anthony, we spent hours here watching whales and icebergs, climbing the rocky shoreline, and playing on the playground.

Favorite Thing to Do

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Rock Climbing (the rugged coast offers endless opportunities)

Best Place to Go Swimming

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Pistolet Bay Provincial Park (the water was refreshing, to say the least)

Best Food

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Partridgeberry Jam (we put this on EVERYTHING)

Best Hike

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Camel’s Back Trail, St. Lunaire-Griquet

Best Animal Watching

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Moose, Caribou, Whales…Do we really have to choose?

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What We’ll Miss the Most

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The St. Anthony Public Library and the wonderful librarian there.

St. Anthony Sliders

Staying in St. Anthony, Newfoundland for a month provided us with great opportunities to see icebergs and explore the beauty of the Great Northern Peninsula. However, the local food store challenged us in terms of finding ingredients to maintain our vegan lifestyle. After discovering early on that we would not reliably be able to purchase tofu (our go-to protein source for many meals) we had to brainstorm other possible substitutes. With tofu, tempeh, and black beans unavailable to work with we turned to canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas) which were stocked regularly on the local grocery store shelves. Thus becoming the inspiration for a new mealtime favorite that we affectionately refer to as St. Anthony Sliders. Served on homemade focaccia rolls with pickles, mustard, and ketchup these burgers taste great after a day of hiking or exploring the windy Newfoundland coastline. Enjoy!

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Burger Recipe:

540 ml can of Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (flakes)

1 Cup Fresh Bread Crumbs (We put a roll or a couple pieces of bread in the Cuisinart)

1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley

1 tsp Garlic

1/2 to 1 tsp Liquid Smoke (more if you like a real smokey flavor)

2 Tbs Oil (we have been using grapeseed oil but olive oil works well too)

– Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place in a food processor on high until they are in small pieces.

– Add all of the ingredients listed above in a large bowl and work together until well mixed.

– Form burger patties using your hands.

– Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

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Focaccia Roll Recipe –

2 Cups Warm Water

2 Tbs Sugar

2 Tbs Yeast

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Dried Oregano

1 tsp Dried Basil

5 Cups Unbleached White Flour

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

– Mix together water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl and allow to sit for a few minutes.

– Add remaining ingredients and stir/kneed together into a workable bread dough.

– Allow the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.

– After the dough has risen dump it out on a floured surface and cut it into 12 pieces which you will then form into your rolls.

– Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

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Canada Day in Pictures: St. Anthony and Goose Cove, Newfoundland

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The parade in St. Anthony begins, on its way to the Polar Center.

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The Fives decked out in maple leaves, with town hall and the library in the background.

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Five of Hearts and Five Ball enjoying a maple lollipop at the playground in Goose Cove.

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Climbing the rocks at Goose Cove.

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Getting a better view of an iceberg drifting by at Goose Cove.

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With temperatures in the 20s (Celsius), this large tide pool was very inviting.

Getting to Know Sir Wilfred Grenfell

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Mission! The Extraordinary Adventures of Sir Wilfred Grenfell. Written by Colleen Shannahan, Illustrated by Raidel Bas and Willie Stevenson

Spending the past month in St. Anthony, Newfoundland, we have heard the same name over and over again: Grenfell. We pieced together that he had done something with the local hospital, and that he had gotten stranded on an iceberg once. However, we didn’t really start to appreciate the extraordinary life of Sir Wilfred Grenfell until Jocelyn, the wonderful librarian whose generosity and knowledge of the area has made us feel right at home during our weekly visits to the St. Anthony Public Library, recommended Mission! by Colleen Shannahan and illustrated by Raidel Bas and Willie Stevenson.

The book does a wonderful job blending together the fascinating story of how Dr. Grenfell survived nearly 24  hours floating out at sea on an ice pan with the background of how we left England to provide medical care to the people of rural Labrador and Newfoundland. The book begins by telling the true story of how Dr. Grenfell set out on dogsled on Easter morning to make a house call to a sick child. As he was crossing over a patch of frozen sea ice, it broke off and he found himself drifting out to sea for an entire day and night. Every other chapter goes back to to explain how Dr. Grenfell decided to leave his home of England and devote his life to providing life-saving medical services to the fishermen and their families in Labrador and Newfoundland. As the book then returns to Grenfell stranded on the ice pan, it details how his quick thinking and tough decisions end up helping him survive the ordeal.

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The house in which Dr. Grenfell lived with his wife for many years. It has been preserved as a museum of his life and legacy.

It is truly fortunate that Dr. Grenfell did survive because he went on to international fame as he left his mark on the region: starting schools and hospitals up and down the coast, creating cooperative stores to make goods more affordable, outfitting boats to become mobile hospitals that could reach remote communities, and creating an infrastructure to sustain his medical mission that endures to this day. As St. Anthony was his home and headquarters for all of his work, we were eager to visit the various Grenfell Historic Properties and explore the Grenfell legacy first hand.

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A view from the Tea House Trail, a place where Dr. Grenfell and his staff could go for some peace and relaxation after a busy day of service.

After visiting the Grenfell Mission Store and the Grenfell Museum, we set out for a leisurely hike on the Tea House Hill. This maintained gravel trail, with well-placed wooden steps and benches, was unlike any other hike we have done here in the Great Northern Peninsula. Being sheltered from the strong coastal winds, the trail winds through a quiet canopy of trees that could not survive on the edge of the sea. The song of countless birds and the warmth of the heat radiating from large trees were a nice contrast to the sound and feel of the cool sea breeze was are accustomed to while hiking. The view of water connecting the communities of St. Anthony was unbeatable (the harbor appears in the foreground of the above photo and the bight in the background), and we could picture the feeling of release the staff of the Grenfell Mission must have felt looking out over these same waters. Heading back down the hill towards St. Anthony, a town forever transformed by the vision of one man, we felt truly awestruck by the extraordinary legacy of Sir Wilfred Grenfell.

The Berg in the Bight is No More: The View from St. Anthony, Newfoundland

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For the past month we have had the daily ritual of checking in on an iceberg just below our apartment overlooking St. Anthony Bight. Whether we were coming or going, we would take a look to see if the iceberg looked different (which it usually did). Alas, the warm weather over the past few days has finally melted our 10,000 year-old frozen friend that likely calved off of a glacier in Greenland close to a year ago. Here is a look back at a month of daily observations.

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