I had a most enjoyable afternoon gadding about southwestern New Brunswick with Lisa and her Other Half, G. You could call it a real Mari-Time.
We headed out of Saint John on Highway 1 in a driving rain and stopped in Pennfield, home of McKay’s Wild Blueberry Farm Stand, the consumer end of G’s family’s blueberry business. We hung out at the stand for a while and I got to see the Monumental Industrial Process by which McKay’s blueberry pies are made.
I cannot speak for other Farm Stand Operations, but I can tell you that these pies - should you be wandering the highway east of Maine - are made entirely by hand. Strawberry-Rhubarb and other fruity gems are all part of their repertoire, but to me, the quintessence of Berry Pies is the noble Blueberry...and that is what was in production when we showed up.
G showed me around the facilities, after which we stopped in at one of the local wineries. We sampled blueberry, cranberry, and strawberry-rhubarb wines, flavors which perhaps are best enjoyed in Pie Context...but that did not stop me from nabbing a few bottles of the local Blueberry Liqueur. (For medicinal purposes only, don’tcha know. Heh.)
We then headed out to the berry fields. It is, of course, fairly early in the season, and the berries themselves will not appear for some time. All we saw was greenery, a few beehives (ya gotta have Bees if ya want Berries), and a random deer that had wandered into the road. To look at these misty fields, you would never imagine the sweet bounty they will yield over the next few months.
We then went over to St. George, there to see Gorgeous St. George’s Gorgeous Gorge (and Fishway). Lotta water...and a lotta fish. Looking at the alewives put me in mind, somehow, of the Boston T.
After that, we dropped over to Blacks Harbour for a fish dinner at Silver King, a place that had been recommended by several of the local folks we had been talking with. All I will tell you is, this little place, well off the beaten track by any reasonable standard, offers up some of the finest Fried Seafood I have ever put in my mouth.
[Hours later, as I watched a co-worker at the Salt Mine snarf down her take-out fish ’n’ chips, I could not help but mentally compare the ethereal, crispy, perfectly prepared fillets I had enjoyed at Silver King to the sodden chunks on her plate. Silver King, 1: Vito’s, 0.]
After our Fishy Dinner, it was back to Saint John, where we exchanged pies: I presented Lisa and G with a box of Moon Pies (a Southron staple, best enjoyed with a cold RC Cola into which a handful of salted peanuts has been dropped), and in turn I received a freshly-baked Blueberry Pie.
I cannot help but think I got the better of that deal.
[I’ll post pictures upon my return home. Meanwhile, Esteemed Readers, use your imaginations.]