FOOD FOR THOUGHT GUIDO'S There's a certain addiction many possess that is unique to our area: The sweet, fluffy, swirled delight that is a perfect home-baked cinnamon bun. I am a great connoisseur of these rolled up desserts, so I thought I’d share with our readers my favourite bun spots on the North Island. At the Northern tip of Port Hardy is Guido's, an eclectic cafe and boutique that prepares in-house treats and gourmet coffee. Although they aren't known for cinnamon buns, I was told their pecan rolls were similar and delicious. I was quite looking forward to trying one so when I saw three under the glass dome on the counter, I was excited. I sat down and stabbed my fork in—or at least tried to. Sadly, the roll was burnt, rock hard, and dry. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and asked for a different one, but, once again, it was overcooked and hard. The kind lady behind the counter offered to microwave the bun but I didn't think nuking it would remedy the situation. But I was starving, so I chomped in. Once. Because Guido's does not have what it takes to be on my Bun Run—the cafe will survive on its other strengths without me raving about their rolls. My Sweet Sweet North Island CINNAMON BUN Run JME ANDREW Back on the road, I could still use a bun. After all, traveling gets a person hungry. Heading south into Roberts Lake I was drooling over the famous buns that everyone raves about— huge and fluffy; not too sweet, not too bland; the perfect amount of raisins, the perfect creamy butter to go with. There is a reason these buns are famous—they have a home made goodness that fills any size tummy right up. But although the glaze is delicious, it's a little thinner than what I demand from a perfect bun. ROBERT'S LAKE Just a few kilometers down the road is Tammy's Cafe, a cute little roadside stop popular with truckers. Tammy serves up cinnamon buns that are full of flavour and iced to perfection, but they're quite messy and not really recommended if you are wearing a good shirt or eating on the move. DAVE'S Once in Campbell River there are a couple places to find a great bun. GreyDog Diner is a cozy little spot where you may or may not find a cinnamon bun, depending on the day of the week, but they are worth the wait. Soft, sweet, and the perfect serving size. Down in Willow Point, Daves' Bakery only sells buns on Friday so you have to plan ahead if you want their yummy cinnamon bun goodness. Reserve one and pick it up in the morning so it doesn't dry out—it's well worth it. But the place I found my favourite bun is Mary's Cafe in Comox. The taste, light fluffy texture, icing, and price were all bang on for my style of cinnamon bun perfection. My only complaint is the serving size for a glutton like me—I always want more. NORTH ISLAND COMPASS | ISSUE 8 MARY'S So if you are traveling down the Island and want to enjoy the cinnamon buns everyone talks about, stop in to these great little cafes and taste for yourself what deliciousness the North Island has to offer.
FRED NUNNS An Early Campbell River Pioneer Sources His Dinner Photos courtesy of Campbell River Museum ERIKA ANDERSON Frederick Nunns and his brother Jack arrived in the Campbell River area from Ireland in 1887, intent on starting a farm. They came from a big family and had hopes of more siblings joining them in this remote land. Over the years some of their siblings visited but decided not to stay, and then Jack left for the United States, leaving Fred to live alone as one of the few European settlers in the area. By then, the Nunnses had preempted hundreds of acres about a mile up from the mouth of the Campbell River. There were no stores in Campbell River at that time, and it was a long trip by canoe to the nearest settlements. Nunns depended on a combination of hunting, fishing, gathering, bartering and growing his own food to keep well-fed. During the summer he had more options, including a well-stocked garden and plenty of fish. In the detailed diary Fred Nunns kept, he outlines some of his successes and failures with procuring food. Saturday July 20: Beautiful Day. Got up late and was just busy cleaning house when Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bryant, baby and Tom Backus came in. Luckily I was able to give them a good dinner, pickles, salmon, bacon, poached eggs and potatoes. They left 3 pm. I went out to fish same time, caught a salmon, which I gave them. Nunns grew ample turnips and potatoes, oats and lettuce, pumpkins and cucumber. He would sell the extras to cover the cost of trips to town, and would occasionally buy food from other residents. In one case he was taking a canoe full of pumpkins and squash to sell to a logging camp when the canoe was overturned by the tides, sending the pumpkins floating away. Luckily many of them were salvaged and then sold. He baked bread and he kept hens, so he often had fresh eggs. Meat was brined and smoked, and frequently extra food was shared with visitors passing through. Saturday August 30: Fine. Out fishing, no luck. Got a brace grouse. In evening went round sloughs for duck, no luck. Cattle have been in and destroyed the greater part of my garden. All sweet corn. Got my pumpkins in, about 80. In evening baked, washed and made some pumpkin pies. It was a simple diet; however, it was diverse enough to keep Nunns quite healthy. The generosity he experienced and that he showed others helped to ensure everyone was taken care of, even if they were having bad luck with their fishing or the cattle got into their garden. Photos: 1. Fred Nunns on his homestead, 1912. The woman with him may be his sister, Annie; 2. Fred Nunns (on the right) on his porch in Campbellton, 1912. WWW.NORTHISLANDCOMPASS.CA | 19