The Art of Learning How to Butter Your Toast the Right Way — From the Pen of Noreen Tyers of Perth




Now here was my very own smocked dress not a hand me down, it has quite a good size hem to let it down. Photo- Noreen Tyers

There was nothing I liked better than going down the street to Grandma and Grandpa’s on a Saturday Morning. It was so enjoyable to just visit and chat. Grandpa was always a wealth of information, and told you stories and things that happened when he was just a boy enduring The Great Ottawa Fire that his family was involved in. It was also breakfast time. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much it was quiet and you were not in competition with your siblings,  which I had three. I would be asked if I had breakfast and would say yes but Grandma would asked if I would like a piece of toast.
Image result for great fire ottawa
The Great Fire of Ottawa 1900

Grandma and Grandpa had an electric sandwich toaster, and their toast was better than toast at home. Our toast was made on top of the coal stove, which had been wiped clean with a piece of waxed paper, (wrapper off bread) usually recycled from something. In those days you were taught waste not, want not. The toast at my grandparents always tasted better not scorched on a coal stove but toasted to a golden brown. Grandma would bring the plate of toast in and always there was some kind of home made jam or honey. It just tasted so good and I would savour the taste.
This is my great grandparents John and Jessie LAHEY–Noreen Tyers
Sometimes Grandpa would ask if I would like to butter his toast and to me that was an honour, grandma usually did this job. There was always home made butter made from cream,  and on occasion I was shown how to beat the cream into butter. (Mind you I did have tired arms after this experience.) The skill of buttering toast did not just happen and you had to be taught the right way to do it. Grandpa would tell the tale why so many children did not eat their crusts, as this was due to the fact that the toast was not buttered properly and the corners would be dry. He would also say people who didn’t eat all their crusts did not have a restful night as the crusts would sit on the end of your bed and haunt you.

These creatures were in the shape of the crusts you did not eat. And left on the plate. (Now today this might be considered child cruelty). But grandpa would explain to take a good sized piece of butter and place it in the centre of the toast. You would then spread the butter to a corner, you continued this until you did all four corners. If you did it properly the butter was evenly spread and every inch of the toast was covered with no bare spots. Now what I learned was that the toast was so goooood and the butter had soaked in everywhere.

If by chance you did not do it right it would be handed back to you to do the right way. Today I do butter my corners and no I don’t leave the crusts but gobble them up, the only thing missing is the homemade butter and raspberry jam, which the berries came from the bushes in Grandma’s back yard.

From the Pen of Noreen

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)


About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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