So much has happened this week, I don’t know where to begin. I’ve made a delicious old raisin pie recipe that I found in my great-grandmother’s recipes. I should clarify that it’s the recipe which is old … not that you use old raisins :-)
My family has lived the American dream for so many years now. It was about 200 years ago that my family immigrated from England to the state of Michigan to take up a land grant. I’m not sure of the reasoning but only half of the large family made the move to America while the remainder stayed behind. Did they seek a new opportunity or quest for freedom?
I wish I could go back in time and learn what made a set of brothers travel by boat to the eastern edge of Canada, then ride horses for thousands of miles across Canada, and down into Michigan. It’s not as if it would have been a pleasure trip and indeed one brother died during the trip across Canada.
Regardless, my ancestors settled in Michigan and established a small farm of a few hundred acres. The farm remains in my family and has received a state designation as a historic property. A few years ago my parents, my brother and myself made a trip to the small village of Banham where the family originated. We visited the church and graveyard, and talked with the locals about our family. Many people with our family name still resided there … cousins of distant cousins, each with a bloodline matching mine.
My great-grandmother often told me stories about her parents and the way the world was back when she was a girl in the 19th century. I made this pie recipe recently in her honor, just to get back a little taste of my ancestry. The pie is essentially a custard made with raisins. I substituted an equal amount of chopped dried plums (yes, prunes … I just love ‘em). You make a meringue to top the whole thing. I usually don’t like meringue but it pairs nicely with the heaviness of the custard. Instead of a normal pie crust, I opted to use phyllo sheets to lighten it up on calories … I know, it’s a custard pie … what was I thinking?
Thinking of my ancestry this week is timely given that historic events are happening in our world. I am an extremely outspoken person … just ask any friend or family member who has been on the receiving end of my loud mouth. For some odd reason, I don’t subject my blog readers to all of my thoughts and feelings since many of them don’t relate to food.
This week the first African-American President was elected in a landslide victory. A new chapter in US politics has begun and hopefully he can right the many wrongs made over the recent years. I am hopeful and I am proud of his victory. Inversely, I am saddened by a local piece of legislation on the California ballot as it effects me personally and involves civil rights. I did not speak out on the issue before the election and I regret it. However, I made the decision to speak out yesterday and it will be hard to get me to shut up about it moving forward.
For many of you, you may not agree with me. That’s ok. If it makes you want to no longer read my blog, so be it. I won’t take it personally if you click away and never come back. I’ve since received emails and blog posts in strong support which is encouraging. To all of you, I give my thanks.
I vented my thoughts and feelings on a very personal and passionate issue. I feel that I’ve written it respectfully and tactfully (ok, the photo is a bit jarring … but I had to let one eccentricity slip through!). I was so proud of myself that I didn’t use a single swear word. I’ve received a few emails and read posts that are name calling and downright hateful toward me. I don’t get it and that’s not my style, so while I find it unfortunate … it’s ultimately not my problem. While I can understand a difference of opinion, I do not condone hateful comments and if any are received on this post they will be deleted … that’s just how I roll.
The beauty of America is that we all get to think and feel how we want. I can believe the sky is blue and you can believe the sky is green. However, one person’s rights end where the next person’s rights begin. In my heart, I hope this is why my family went through the pain and agony of immigrating here so many years ago and is why they fought in the Civil War. Not only does this country bring opportunities, it welcomes freedom of speech and provides personal freedoms.