Jan 23, 2009

OK gang, I’m cleaning house. The Christmas tree is down, finally, and now I’m going through email gathering tidbits for a January ‘clean-up column’. You know little gems that people sent that never got worked into a column.. Jim Butler’s Pumpkin Muffins for example. So here’s his recipe and  I think he’s in the kitchen now making up a batch. So have a seat and they’ll be coming out of the oven shortly for everyone to enjoy.


1 1/2 cups All purpose flour.

1 tsp. baking powder.

1 tsp. baking soda.

1/2 tsp.salt.

1/2 tsp cinnamon.

1/2 tsp. nutmeg.

1/2 tsp. ginger.

1/2 cup raisins.

1/4 cup walnuts (optional).

1 egg (or 2 egg whites).

1/4 cup sugar (or splenda).

1/3 cup cooking oil (I use canola).

1 cup pure cooked (and mashed) pumpkin (or zucchini).

1/2 cup skim milk.


Combine first 8 (or 9) ingredients in a large bowl. Stir thoroughly.

In a small bowl beat egg until frothy. Mix in sugar, cooking oil, pumpkin (or zucchini) and milk. Pour into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until moistened. Fill greased muffin pan (I use Pam) cups 3/4 full. Bake in 400 deg. oven for 15 to 20 min. Let stand 5 minutes and remove from cups. Makes 12.

-Jim Butler, Class of 1959


Speaking of buttering pans, did anyone ever hear of the tradition/superstition of ‘BUTTERING noses’? What was that all about?

Superstitions and traditions:I did not know of "buttering noses " until I arrived in PEI , where it is a tradition. So Rolla has always had fun buttering noses when she is with her brother in laws in Newfoundland on their birthdays.

They did not know of it or expected it so the surprise was really something. Even if we are not there  when the family gets together for a birthday , she will send instructions with one of the sisters to " butter his nose for me". It has been a lot of fun.

Morley Smith, Class of 1959


My daughter Cheri and I were talking about traditions and she has a friend whose family always has a practice of sneaking up on family member who is celebrating a birthday.  The object is to come up from behind and suprise the birthday gal or guy by 'buttering their nose'. In fact, this 35-year-old woman was planning to drive up to her sister's place one morning this week  for her birthday, just so she could rush in and butter her nose. Cheri was asking me if I had ever heard of this before, and I said that I had not. Thanks for sharing Morley, we aren’t the only crazy people here in Boston area!!

I do remember we used to get spankings on our birthdayS, one for each year of our age. Not hard, but I never liked it when someone older captured me and gave me the traditional birthday 'taps' and 'one to grow on'  when I was little.

These and other forms of traditions, might make for some interesting memories? Anyone?

           I know we have heard of the Guy Fawkes bonfire tradition in Nfld and when we lived in Hartland, New Brunswick I remember the 'Chivaree'. Or maybe it is ‘Shivaree’. That is the celebration when the bride and groom came home from their honeymoon and the first night back everyohne gathers at her home where the men try and ‘capture’ the bride and run away with her. All of this while tooting car horns, banging of pots and pans, etc. After the ‘steal’ and runaway with the bride, everyone is invited inside for refreshments.

...and on May Day, the children in this area of New Brunswick would make 'May Baskets' and hang them on peoples’ doors, ring the bell and run away.

           So with this in mind, any traditions that you might recall to share with our 'readers' on our gaflight.org website would be most welcome. Even if it is not something well known but something, say that your grandmother always did...maybe superstitions that were passed down, generation to generation...Thanks, I appreciate it.

How many of us have dropped a dishtowel, or a fork or knife on the floor? What about the cracks in the sidewalk? Some familiar and some, not so.

-Faye Lewis Raynard, Class of 1959


We talked about clotheslines quite awhile ago and Ross Patey sent along this tidbit about Old Town Gander.


“The one thing that you forgot to mention was the fact that you had to make sure that the wind was blowing the right way because of the steamplant otherwise you had black clothes. I dont remember too much white snow on Washington ave because of that plant, ” said Ross.

- Ross Patey, Class of 1959.


And on the subject of pets or livestock?


‘As far as livestock goes, I don't remember anything other that pigs and chickens in Gander but I did see some huge horses near Trapper's Brook that the Anglo-Newfoundland Development (AND) Company used to haul logs out of the woods. Kind of like those big Clydesdales that Alexander Keith used to haul his beer around. I think a lot of meat, eggs and dairy were brought in to Gander. From where I don't know. NF was not a big agricultural province, except for the west coast where the weather was a bit milder. Maybe produce came in on the Newfie Bullet. I wonder if anyone remembers anything about the Newfie Bullet?’

I can still hear the conductor walking up and down the cars reciting the name of the next stop. ‘Gambo... Gambo... Gambo next station. Sint Jans... Sint Jans... Sint Jans next station.’

Bob McKinnon, St. Joseph’s Class of 1961




And finally for Faye, I did bring my GAHS class ring with me, complete with tarnish (to the Ontario reunioin), chipped onyx and faded lettering. Jane is my witness. I showed it to her just before we left Angus with a final beer in the trunk from Pat. As I told Norm Hounsell on Friday evening, I did learn at least three words in engineering school: "another beer please."

 All the best to everyone.

Dave Naish, Class of 1960


Now where did we say Jim was with those Pumpkin Muffins?


We are still looking for comments on ‘mail call’. The stuff you would get in the mail as a kid. Things you mailed away for…that decoder ring, or special order from the catalog. Can you think of anything to add to this topic. Please email me at faye@villagereporter.com