Sunday, March 09, 2008

88 years

Today is my Papa's 88th birthday. Explaining to the crew that great-Papa is 88 years old has been quite the feat, particularly with Iceman and Turtle. That is a mysterious number in their minds. Iceman just finished 100 days of school so he knows how far up into that countdown 88 is. They are in awe of this birthday milestone.
I've recently been reading about the history of my Papa's family. Someone from a branch of it has written a book about the experiences of the family in coming to America and finally settling in southern Alberta. It is fascinating and heart wrenching reading. My Papa's picture is in the book several times as he grew up in that same area. He was very well known for his musical talents. It was his grandfather that brought his family over from Russia. His mother had already lost a husband to the war and came with them in search of a better life for her and her son. It was here that she met my Papa's father and remarried. She is mentioned in the book quite often until her marriage to my great-grandfather and her departure from the family farm to another in the area. I imagine that the hardships experienced by our relatives are not far off of those experienced by my Papa and his family.
I was sharing with Iceman in his weekly journal about how one of his family members from way back created the croissant. I've always heard this story but never saw the lines of connecting this person to my Papa until I read this book. There is talk of an uncle who was working for a wealthy family in Alsace France and his creation of this wonderful bread. It was named croissant after him. The family name was Croissant (pronounced Croix-sent). The book speaks of my great grandfather's memories of this wonderful bread baked by an uncle back in Russia. He speaks of the oven built to cook their bread and the arduous process to bake it. He is remembering this wonderful bread while his own tummy is grumbling from hunger and he is doubting his decision to come and find a better life in America.
I've always joked that my affinity for bread was a genetic disposition and had little to do with self control. I have decided that I must try to make croissants. I've heard it is quite labor intensive. I think it would be a great thing to attempt in honor of our heritage. Anyone have a recipe to share?


  1. No recipe here. I have never made them from scratch. I love hearing stories from other peoples families. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Look in your Nantucket Open House Cookbook under Sterling's Croissants. They are the BEST most WONDERFUL things evah.

    Kind of like you, my friend!

  3. Funny you should mention Nantucket Open House, I did a quick google for recipes after I posted and that came up. I said, hey I have that book and I know the recipes RAWK!!!! I'll let you know how it goes when I finally attempt them.

    *blushing* K