Above views out our windows after a light dusting of snow.
Mucky out today, so I promised David I would make ‘Mom’s Banana Pudding. My Mom made this simple recipe for any sick child who needed it. Although sugar was rationed, we had our own cow and chickens when we lived in Texas, Georgia and South Carolina in the 1940s, so you can imagine the pudding was especially tasty and made the sick bed, where I spent too much time as a child, a better place.
Mom was a farm girl and it was she who nurtured the cow and raised the chickens as had her female ancestors for centuries. I have located the immigration records for each of her four grandparents who left the Netherlands as children in the mid-nineteenth century to settle in Holland Michigan, later Grand Rapids. The Dutch government kept track of these emigrants and their descendants for several decades, so I have double the records in many cases.
Cousin Ankie writes that some of her ancestors left Zeeland because they were starving. Those familiar with Van Gogh’s early paintings of the ‘Potato Eaters’ may realize the severe poverty that existed following the 1/ Napoleonic war and occupation, and 2/ mid-nineteenth century potato famine that hit the Netherlands as hard as it hit Ireland. (In fact, the famine affected much of Northern Europe.)
Records I found on my Dad’s tree (British descent Americans) indicate that midcentury, a year without summer affected New England as well.
The Dutch peasants who left the Netherlands sailed to South Africa where they were known as Boers by the British, as well as the United States and places in the East such as Timor where they settled and mixed with indigenous people. Michael Ondaatje, the “Canadian” author of The English Patient, is an extraction from this period, having originally come from Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
Okay, David has walked through the living room five times now, so I better get onto that pudding.