Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lord tundering jesus, whazzat in me gandy, ma?

In the Wikipedia entry for "Pancake Day", one finds this little morsel of information:
In the Canadian province of Newfoundland, household objects are baked into the pancakes and served to family members. Rings, thimbles, thread, coins, and other objects all have meanings associated with them. The lucky one to find coins in their pancake will be rich, the finder of the ring will be the first married, and the finder of the thimble will be a seamstress or tailor. Children have great fun with the tradition, and often eat more than their fill of pancakes in search of a desired object.
Maybe I've been living under a rock when it comes to life on the Rock, but I have never, ever heard of this. Mummering, yes. Codfish kissing (sometimes with tongue), yes. But intentionally feeding your kids foreign objects? Go on witchya, b'y!

Could somebody please confirm this for me? (Surely there must be one Newfoundlander who reads this blog. It is a loverly seafoam green, after all... and smells strangely of fish heads. Anyone? Okay, somebody who knows a Newfoundlander. A guy with a dinghy?)

And if it's true, please tell me there are limits on what goes into the batter -- because otherwise, that could be a damn traumatic way for little Matthew Murphy to learn he's destined to become the town's next forensic pathologist.

Got de heaves, b'y?


At March 01, 2006 12:12 a.m., Blogger SkookumJoe said...

jaysus b'y, tot you'd given up.

At March 01, 2006 12:46 a.m., Blogger dief said...

I grew up in BC but we used to do this with birthday cake

At March 01, 2006 12:57 a.m., Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Did you ever find a guy with a dingy?

At March 01, 2006 9:20 a.m., Blogger Havril said...

Don't bleve nuttin ya 'ears and only 'alf ya sees, Joe.

At March 01, 2006 12:06 p.m., Anonymous Gozo Geek said...


Don't turn around too quickly but rumour has it that such things have been known to occur at Christmas time in Bloor West Village.

Talk to your pillow!

At March 01, 2006 12:12 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Dief... Come to think of it, we did that too, but the money was between the layers, wrapped in saran. I can't imagine rings or sewing implements... or whatever grim morcel the poor Murphy boy got.

Miss C... Nobody with even that level of connection to Newfoundland has come forward yet. Why, you have a thing for dingies?

Gozo... Um, okay. Any chance somebody spiked your flapjacks with, oh, I don't know -- something hallucinogenic? Not judgin', just askin'.

At March 01, 2006 1:33 p.m., Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, can't you just see a thimble "threading" its way through your intestines?

At March 01, 2006 5:31 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Sorry, ohts, no time to think about sewing, as I'm still trying to decipher Gozo's troubling 'pillow' reference, which could be a veiled threat to have me killed in my sleep. I may be paranoid, but that doesn't mean that Maltese gansters aren't out to get me.

At March 02, 2006 6:08 a.m., Blogger Mark Dowling said...

never heard that for pancakes but they (used to? still do?) make a "brack" (kind of dark bread) in Ireland for Halloween and put stuff like that in it.

At March 02, 2006 7:51 a.m., Blogger K-Dough said...

Havril- I hafta say I've never heard of this tradition.

The closest we came to that kind of thing when I was growing up in Toronto was this:

On Easter morning, we'd all gather around the sandbox in a nearby 20 foot squared parkette. Then we'd take our shoes off and jump around, and the first kid to find the dirty used syringe stuck in their foot got a stale Easter Creme egg and a swig of some guy's mystery bag of booze to help the pain.

Ahhh, the memories....

At March 03, 2006 3:44 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Not a Newfoundlander in the house? I can't beleive it. So much for my imagined coast-to-coast appeal.

At March 04, 2006 6:19 p.m., Blogger newfygirl said...

well I'm from Newfoundland and yes I have heard of this tradition on pancake day. It was great fun to find coins in your pancakes and my mom would always put her wedding band in one of them...my sister would always get my it, but we've yet to see if the saying is true!

At March 04, 2006 7:23 p.m., Blogger Stephen Eli Harris said...

Yup, it's real. I've partaken in this tradition annually for a great part of my young life. It's just too bad we didnt' have toonies back then.


At March 04, 2006 7:57 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Thanks, newfygirl and newfystephen. You can hear me out there. Glad I shelled out a few bucks for that stronger blog antenna.

So there it is, straight from the Great Cod's mouth: It's true. I mean, it was on the internet, so I figured it had to be true.

Sounds fun. And a dangerous, but just a little - nothing some cosmetic dentistry or a quick Heimlich can't fix.

Thanks again, and congratulations on the renaming of your province to New-Finland. (It was on CNN, so it has to be true.)

At March 05, 2006 7:20 p.m., Blogger Stephen Eli Harris said...

LoL. Yeah, Larry King knows everything.

Yeah, it seems like it could be a dangerous tradition but, you have to realize that it's known that something is in your pancake and therefor not much is eaten before finding it.

Something funny that always happened in my household was if nothing was found (like something wasn't put in there) my mom would say "Must have been a hair. You'll be a Hairdresser".

Of course, the thought of eating hair is a little offputting... which is what makes it funny.


At March 13, 2006 10:05 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tis true, my mum remembers this tradition fondly. I, like you, find it more than a little disturbing to think of my sweet grammy hiding objects small enough to choke on in her childen's pancakes, but my mum insists they were always warned beforehand.

At March 13, 2006 4:27 p.m., Blogger Havril said...

Good thing your sweet grammy was so diligent, Anon. I'm easily distracted and just might forget the warning. So if I were to ever do this for my (to my knowledge nonexistent) kids, I think I'd err on the side of really large objects... like fuel pumps and laptops.


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