Conquerall Bank Fire Dept. Annual Planked Halibut Supper
Aug. 21, 2011
Conquerall Bank, NS
It was a humid Sunday in August, as we arrived in the fire hall parking lot. I was expecting a fire fighter directing traffic, but sadly the crowds had not arrived and there was no need for someone to coordinate the parking.
Who knows why these suppers are crazy one year and slow the next? There was a competing roast pork supper in Lahave that day. Perhaps the winds had blown from surf to turf? No matter, we were determined to feast upon planked halibut. Have I whetted your appetite? Then read on....
Before we went in, we ventured behind the fire hall to see the halibut cooking in front of the open fire. Folks were sweating, especially those whose job it was to tend the fire, like this 'fullah':
Some commented on the small size of the halibut fillets, while others chatted about the dwindling supply of that fine fish...others, stood beside their pokey stick and looked manly:
We were lucky to witness a plank get removed from the fire and made ready for the dining hall. Wire cutters at the ready, the men began the slow task of releasing the delicious halibut from its wired prison:
It was too much to bear, we needed to eat that fish! We headed inside. The room of chairs that in years gone by had been filled overflowing with hungry diners lay vacant. We quickly made our way to our seats. I love the custom place mats they print up for their summer events:
Before long, a very, very sweaty server greeted us, took our tickets and before we knew it, flavour country had arrived:
When you have a formula as good as this one, you don't change a thing. Some of the best mashed potatoes I have ever tasted were on my plate. How do they do it? Perhaps it's better to leave good things, like those scrumptious scoops of starch, a mystery. A simple slice of cucumber and tomato graced the plate and....sweet baby reekris, that halibut.
Some in the hall felt the need to complain that the fish was slightly dry. Others, like myself, didn't feel the need to critique the meal, as if they were dining in a four star restaurant. The 'secret sauce' the dehydrated workers had basted on the fish made for a delectable skin on the generous portion of halibut before me. Dining bliss.
We cleaned our plates, leaving room for pie of course! The coconut cream was the only selection made from scratch, it did not leave us wanting.
Before long, the staff started clearing tables around us as we realized...that was our cue to leave.
Another successful outing, at least for our dining party. Here's hoping for a better turnout next year!