Food Day Canada - Seven Oakes Island and Cottages, Change Islands
By Anita Stewart
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In Beulah Oake you’ll see the spirit of real Newfoundland…strong, fun-loving and determined. There has never been a loaf of ‘store-bought’ bread on her table. She bakes it all — no mean feat for a woman who is managing an inn on her own in her mid-70′s. Her freezers (note the plural) are full of jam and berries and good island chickens. Her neighbour Larry grows her vegetables and from time to time supplies her with the moose he hunts. She makes the best pickled beets I’ve ever tasted not to mention marvellous buttery tea loaves that, warm from the oven, take the chill off a Change Islands morning.
Beulah was born nearby on tiny Edwards Island and her life has been always by the ocean. She took care of her four siblings while her mother worked curing cod and she met her late-husband, Eddie, at Fisherman’s Hall.
While I stayed with her a substantial storm rolled through. In the morning I came down to the smell of coffee and met her coming in, pajama bottoms rolled up above her rubber boots, from putting buckets out to catch the rainwater that she uses to wash her sparkling white tablecloths. Then she made sure that we all sat down to a blueberry pancake breakfast.
Seven Oakes Island Inn, a relatively short ferry ride into Notre Dame Bay north of Gander, is an authentic Newfoundland experience and Beulah Oakes is a very real north star!
Seven Oakes Island Inn is one of about 300 restaurants that celebrate Food Day across Canada.