Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rapid-Fire Faves: Childhood Nostalgia (giveaway)



Robertson’s Candy These treats are the taste of my childhood, associated especially with the Christmas holidays.   Chicken bones, maple kisses, “uglee” mints, and sponge toffee (Dad’s favourite).  Glass toy candy was a special treat we would buy at the end of a day of Christmas shopping, heading home to wrap gifts.  I still find them beautiful  - try a quick search through Google Images to see what I mean.  As delicious a treat as they are, one word of caution: do not attempt to enjoy one while wrapping gifts...    

More delights...  Salt-water taffy is a Maritime confection I bring back to BC whenever I visit family in NS.  The Satin Mix of hard candies reminds me of old "Mr. Gordon" who lived up the road and who was kind enough to help us "city folk" learn the ins and outs of farming, draft horses, and old school veterinary care.  And at this very moment, I am having an absolutely wild craving for toasted coconut marshmallows with tea.  (What have I started?!)   All of Robertson's factory-made candies are free of peanuts and gluten.  Check out their selection of natural candies for treats without the guilt!  Available throughout the Maritimes, and orders can be placed online.


 Sharon, Lois, and Bram - Apologies 33 years after the fact to music teacher Mrs. Kemp and my grade 2 teacher, Mrs. Lewis, at The Halifax Grammar School for having had to endure my constant renditions of Cookie Jar and Skinnamarink!  I loved Sharon, Lois, & Bram.  This Canadian musical trio’s songs were a constant in the soundtrack of our early elementary school lives.  I have a distinct memory of Mrs Lewis remarking, with a mix of affection and tested patience, “You sure do like to sing, don’t you, Dawn?”  Yes, and dance.   I should have had an agent.  But I digress…   

If you are looking for lively children’s music that incorporates elements of jazz, calypso, rock, and folk don’t miss out on Sharon, Lois, & Bram.  Fair warning, though…don’t blame me if you’re caught singing Peanut Butter and Jelly full force in the produce section while trying to find the perfect grapes.  *cough*   The tunes are extremely catchy. Available through iTunes or your favourite CD retailer.


Woozles – My brother and I were frequent visitors to Woozles back when “Choose Your Own Adventure”  books, Judy Blume novels, and the Usbourne’s How to Be a Detective/Spy series were all the rage.  Woozles is a wonderful gem, one of the few remaining independent children’s bookstores. (They have a great selection of toys, too.)  This space has such a warm atmosphere, friendly staff, and it holds great memories for me.  The heartwarming “Woozles Memories” section of their website, tells me I am not alone in my affection for this store. The bright yellow, wolf-whistling budgie I received for my 11th birthday was named after Woozles.  Now that’s devotion!   Visit Woozles on Birmingham Street in downtown Halifax, or order through their website.



Dulse –“Uh, what are you eating??”, my boyfriend cautiously inquired the first Christmas my parents sent a care package to me from Nova Scotia.  “Dulse!”, I exclaimed gleefully, grinning ear to ear and exposing a mouthful of purple-flecked teeth.  “Would you like to try some?  It’s really good!”  He politely declined, but his face had, “This must be another weird Maritime thing.” written all over it.

Dulse is a red seaweed that grows in the North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific oceans and is typically harvested June through September.  Dulse harvested off Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy is said to be the best in the world. Once harvested, it is sun dried (turning dark purple), packaged, and sold to be consumed as a snack or condiment.  We would typically munch it straight out of the bag (a healthy alternative to chips that satisfies one’s salt cravings), or toast it lightly in a cast iron pan or on the wood stove. Dulse flakes can also be purchased.  The flakes are nice to sprinkle in salads, on fish chowder, roasted potatoes, or California rolls. Dulse is low in calories and is an excellent source of vitamin B6, B12, iodine, iron, and other minerals.  It is common to find it in grocery stores and farmers markets on the East Coast, and in health food stores across Canada.   To purchase it online, check out Real Raw Food.  To learn more about dulse, or to make wholesale inquiries, check out Atlantic Mariculture, Roland's Sea Vegetables, and Fundy Dulse.


The Plaid Place - Ciad Mile Failte!  
I was always drawn to this shop, even as a young child.  It felt like home.  Colourful tartans, shelves of books, cozy Fisherman’s Knit sweaters, silver jewelry bearing Celtic designs in gleaming display cases.  Traditional music playing in the background while customers browsed.  This is where we bought our family clan badges for the kilts my mother and I wore.  The Plaid Place is a wonderfully Scottish piece of real estate in an already strongly Scottish province! 


Browse through their online shop to find a wide variety of tweed caps, Irish knits and linens, Buchan pottery, fine Celtic jewelry, shortbread molds, rugby shirts, CDs, tartan dog collars and leashes.  Children’s wear (the child's tartan poncho is my favourite item), Highland dress, and kilts (custom made and ready-to-wear) are offered in over 500 Scottish, Irish, and Canadian tartans.  The Tartan Finder will help you select your preferred tartan.  Beautifully packaged imported treats abound, including vanilla fudge and whiskey cakes, butter toffee, shortbread, and Edinburgh Castle Rock (a soft, crumbly, and highly addictive confection).

 
My personal wish list includes this gorgeous lambswool blanket and any one of the engraved silver quaichs pictured on The Plaid Place's Flickr photo album.  Either would make a spectacular and treasured wedding gift for a loved-one.

 
If you would like to see many more photos of The Plaid Place and some of the wonderful items they carry, I encourage you to join their Facebook page.  To shop The Plaid Place, drop by their store on Barrington Street or order online.





Giveaway!


Enter to win Sharon, Lois, and Bram's, "One Elephant, Deux Éléphants".  

This CD features 35 of their best-loved songs and playground chants.   

One entry per person.  Entry period ends 11:00pm PST June 6, 2013.   

The winner will be selected using Randomizer.org and has 48 hours to reply to my notification.  If no reply is received, another winner will be randomly selected.

This contest is open world wide.

Note  In order for comments to be counted as bonus entries, please assure that the name used in your comments matches the name you submit in the form belowIf posting under a different username, indicate your name or email address at the end of your comment.

This giveaway has ended.  Congratulations to Stacey K. of Edmonton!

18 comments:

  1. Met Sharon, Lois and Bram. I think that my connection was that my Mother was a teacher in Toronto. I bought one of their VHS tapes (used)for my kids but it broke :(

    Played the toy drum with the Toronto Symphony. My mother was an auxiliary volunteer and that was somehow my connection.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
    Finding Humour in Everyday Life
    journeysofthezoo at hotmail dot com

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  2. I eat seaweed all the time (my husband thinks I'm weird too) but I've never had Dulse. we're heading out East "soon" (hopefully next year) so I'll have to remember to try some.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo
    Finding Humour in Everyday Life
    journeysofthezoo at hotmail dot com

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  3. I AM FROM THE MARITIMES AND I HAVE NEVER EATEN DULSE MYSELF, BUT I CERTIANLY KNOW WHAT IT IS. MY BOYFRIEND AND HIS SISTER, ON THE OTHER HAND, LOVE IT!

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  4. I grew up in a yarn store that my mom owned for many years. As a result I have a deep passion for knitting and crocheting. I have made lots of Irish Aran Sweaters and several with Celtic knots. I wish I had The Plaid Place near me, I would be in there all the time.

    I'm also a raw vegan and I eat seaweed all the time. I usually just grab a wrinkles piece and toss it in my smoothie. It tastes great and is so healthy for you.

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  5. I won a local contest when I was young and got to go up on stage with and then later meet Sharon. Lois and Bram. For an eight year-old at the time, it was like meeting rock stars :)! I recently saw a DVD that they have out and had to pick it up for my kids!

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  6. I love Sharon, Lois and Bram. They are still played in many classrooms today; I should know, I'm a teacher who plays them!

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  7. I remember singing the elephant song with my sister when we were growing up

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  8. They sell dulse at the little market near our house. Being from Montreal, I have never tried it but have been curious about it. I am definitely going to pick up a bag next time I am there!

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  9. I was the fairy godmother in our grade 3 Cinderella play, and Kaa the Snake in our Jungle Book Play in grade 4 - I can still remember singing Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo for the former and "Trussst in me..." for the latter. I still know all the words to "Bare Necessities" after all these years!
    patricia(dot)pickett(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. That is a gorgeous lambswool blanket, I agree! I would love to check out The Plaid Place if I am ever in the Halifax area!
    patricia(dot)pickett(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. Woozles is one of my favourite stores in Halifax and I remember spending a great deal of time in there when I lived in Halifax. We now make a point of visiting it every time we are back out in Nova Scotia to visit family. I could lose hours in that store.

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  12. I remeber going to See Sharon Lois & Bram as a kid and having elephant sign a record we bought at the concert. I loved my clarinet lessons growing up.

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  13. I grew up listening to Jerry Lee Lewis and the Big Bopper. We would take road trips listening to their tapes.

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  14. I love Celtic music. I think The Plaid Place would be a fun place to visit and look around.

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  15. I remember watching Sharon Lois and Bram on tv when I was younger! I think my daughter would absolutely love their music as well. My favorite music memory was my 6th grade Christmas concert, it was a country music themed concert, and I was one of Dolly Parton's line dancers! I will never, ever forget that :)

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  16. The summers I was 11-13 I traveled with 30 other young tweens in a musical group called the Young Continentals.

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  17. Our elementary school did 'Oliver' and I was in the chorus. It was great!

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  18. I taught my kids Skinnamrink a Doo! I'm sure they would love all of Sharon, Lois and Bram's songs!

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