This and that: Butter Tarts and Canadian Thanksgiving

Monday, October 8, 2012

Butter Tarts and Canadian Thanksgiving

Today, October 8, 2012, the second Monday in October is Canadian Thanksgiving.  Yes, Canada has a thanksgiving and it is in October not November like the American Thanksgiving.  Did you know that 48 years before the pilgrims gave their thanks in 1621, Martin Frobisher an English explorer held a formal ceremony to give thanks for surviving his long journey to Canada.  This ceremony took place in what is known as Newfoundland, in 1578.

The origins of Canadian thanksgiving is more closely connect to the traditions of the European then the Americans.  The Europeans had celebrations to thank for the bountiful harvest for many years and this celebration was in October.  In Canada for a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in late October or early November.  It was declared a national holiday in 1879 and at that time November 6th was the day set aside for Thanksgiving. It was on January 31, 1957 that the Canadian Parliament announced that on the second Monday of October, Thanksgiving would be
"A Day of General Thanksgiving to
Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with
which Canada has been be
observed on the second Monday in October."

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving with parades, gatherings of family and friends, pumpkin pies  seasonal products and lots and lots of Turkey.  Now the meals consist of other foods particularly if the family is of non-European descent.  Do you have a tradition that you carry out when you celebrate Thanksgiving? If you do I would like to know.

Growing up my family always had a Thanksgiving meal of turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie.  We would at times either get together with my mom or dad's family or have them over.  Now as we have grown older and have our own family and live in different parts of the country and the world it is harder to get together.  Although the ones that are still living around where we grew up, still get together during the Thanksgiving weekend.

My own celebration of Thanksgiving is kind of hit or miss, depending if I have to work or not.  As my husband is Togolese, we really don't have any tradition. This year I did make a bigger meal of cornish hens and a couple of sides.  I also made Butter Tarts....something that I think is truly Canadian and something that I have been craving for a long time.  I love Butter Tarts and I think this is the first time that my husband tried them and he also said "they aren't bad."

Butter Tarts
adapted for the Lucky Lake Community Rink Cookbook
Pie crust - either bought or homemade
1/3 cup butter (or margarine)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 egg, well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins (or currants)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Makes 12 tarts
Spray muffin tins with Pam. Roll out pie crust and cut into 5 inch circles and place in muffin tins. Prick bottom of dough.  Set muffin tin aside.
In mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar together.  Add milk and egg and beat until well mix.  Add vanilla and then mix in raisins.  I measure raisins and let sit in hot water until I am ready to use, drain water and then add to sugar mixture.  Fill tart shells about 2/3 full.
Place in oven, bake for 8 minutes at 450 degree oven.  Reduce heat to 350 degree and continue to bake until pastry is brown.  Enjoy!


information about Thanksgiving:

Links: Sweet Confession Sunday Link PartyFoodie Friends Friday,Freedom FridaysYou're Gonna Love It


  1. Good Morning Marlys, Happy Thanksgiving. The butter tarts look interesting, I've never heard of them before so it will be fun to "give them a go". I hope you don't have to work today and that you can enjoy Thanksgiving. Have a lovely day, Best Wishes Daphne

    1. Thanks Daphne and no I am working... and am at work right now. We did have a good meal yesterday, although a quick one as I had to go to work and my husband had to go to school to work on one of his projects... I hope that you enjoy these and let me know if you make them... Marlys

  2. Mmmm, those look scrumptious!! Happy Thanksgiving! :)

  3. My dad used to love butter tarts! Thanks for the nice little history lesson.

  4. Those look so good! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your family!

  5. I am so excited to try these, Marlys! Thanks for sharing your recipe with everyone. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Marly! Your butter tarts look so delicious :)

  7. I loved all the history on the Canadian Thanksgiving. We always have a big and usual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family that are in the area. I always have loved Thanksgiving!

  8. Delicious butter tart. Lovely post, Thanks for shedding light on Canadian thanksgiving

  9. These butter-tarts look unique and beautiful :)
    Happy Thanksgiving to you Marlys

  10. Dear Marly, I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving holiday!! Your butter tarts look delicious. I just came by from Foodie Friends Friday. Please do visit soon. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  11. Your Thanksgiving dessert looks really good! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE

  12. Your Thanksgiving tarts look delicious! Thanks for sharing at Foodie Friends Friday! Please come back on Sunday to VOTE

  13. Butter tarts are the best!! We always have them at Christmas. For Thanksgiving we always have turkey and pumpkin pie. Thanks for that bit of history. I always thought our Canadian Thanksgiving was a month earlier because of the weather!

    1. I always made butter tarts on Christmas eve, so that they were fresh... I need to start that tradition again as my husband loves them now... In my research Canadian thanksgiving started out in November but was moved to October as that is when harvest was done, although the weather probably plays a big part in it... Sorry, it took me so long to respond and thanks for stopping by.

  14. Mmmm. I haven't had a butter tart in ages. You have my wheels turning....

    (an Ontario ex-pat in Iowa)

    1. Laura, did you ever make butter tarts? Thanks for stopping by and sorry it took so long for me to respond.


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