A Taste Of Tatamagouche

Divided pond with behind Main Street in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia with areas blocked off for hockey and figure skating, circa 1961. Photo courtesy Tatamagouche Heritage Centre.

"The old people of New Annan often used to tell how on a Sabbath that their Pastor was not to preach there, they would skate on the ice to Tatamagouche and even to River John, attend two services and return home the same day." - Frank H. Patterson, "A History Of Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia", 1917

Do you know what's a good time? History. Do you know what's an even better time? Food. Today, we will blend the two with a brief look at the history of The Tatamagouche Figure Skating Club and a selection of delightfully eighties Nova Scotian recipes from the 1985 cookbook "Cherished Recipes Of The Tatamagouche Figure Skating Club".

Clipping courtesy Tatamgouche Heritage Centre

Back in 1971, plans were drawn up to build a multi-purpose arena in Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia. By 1973, the first phase of the project - a natural ice rink enclosed by a fence - was completed. In 1975, the North Shore Recreation Centre officially opened an indoor rink in a steel building with an artificial ice plant. That winter, Dr. Austin Creighton called a meeting of local citizens interested in developing a skating club and the Tatamagouche Figure Skating Club was born. At the club's first Annual General Meeting in April 1976, Mrs. Marjorie Hatherly reported that the club had been registered with the CFSA and had two hundred and fifty members. Skaters from Halifax came to Tatamagouche that year to reproduce their carnival and the following year, Susan Crowell arrived from Truro to provide the skaters with professional instruction. In the years that followed, Doris Byers organized a series of annual carnivals consisting primarily of local talent and classes were held for both beginner and intermediate skaters. By the late eighties and early nineties, many of the club's skaters joined the competitive skating arena... and in 2009 John Mattatall became the first skater from Tatamagouche to win a senior medal at the Canadian Championships. Now that you have had a quick primer on the club's early history, without further ado, a taste of Tatamagouche from the pages of a tried, tested and true skating club fundraising tradition... the cookbook!

Clipping courtesy Tatamagouche Heritage Centre


1 lb. frozen haddock fillets
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. milk
1 c. shredded cheese
1-1 1/4 oz. env. sour cream sauce mix or 1/-1/2 c. dairy sour cream
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
1-4 oz. can mushroom stems & pieces, drained
1 1/2 c. soft bread crumbs

In a large skillet, barely cover haddock with water. Simmer gently till fish flakes with a fork, 12-15 minutes. Drain. Break fish into large chunks; set aside. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook onion in 2 tbsp. butter or margarine till tender, but not brown. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Add 1 c. of milk, all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add cheese, stir till melted. Use remaining 1/2 c. milk, add sour cream, cheese sauce, fish, peas and mushrooms. Turn into casserole dish. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter, toss with bread crumbs to combine. Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.


5 lbs. chicken pieces
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 tbsp. hot dry mustard
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. water
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic powder

Layer chicken and onions in Dutch oven. Mix together rest of ingredients and pour over chicken. Bake for 2 hours at 375 degrees (covered). Stir around a bit after an hour. If too much liquid, leave uncovered for the rest of baking time.

GRANOLA COOKIES (Janet Mattatall)

1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. melted honey
1 c. shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. wheat germ
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. coconut

Mix in the order ingredients are given. Drop on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees. Nuts and raisins may be added if desired.

POLYNESIAN MEAT (Nancy L. Mattatall)

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Garlic powder
1/4 c. cooking oil


1 small can pineapple juice
1/4 c. soya sauce
1/3 c. vinegar
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
2 c. bite size pineapple
1 medium green pepper

Combine first 8 ingredients. Form into small balls. Fry in oil until light brown. Combine pineapple juices, soya sauce, vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to boil, add 1/4 c. corn starch which has been blended with water. Cook and stir until thick and clear. Add meat balls, pineapple and green pepper. Heat about 3 minutes.

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of the figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating": https://skateguard1.blogspot.com/p/buy-book.html.