Wednesday, March 1, 2017


My dear cousin Joan lives in Michigan and wrote me an email about Ha-beets.  I know that people have trouble posting comments, so I will pass it on here.  She wrote:
"Wow - did I smile when I read your latest about Ha-beets because the person who first told me about pizza used the very same wording!

"One girl in my class (and I would say it was 7th or 8th grade) told several of us that she had had something so very good to eat over the weekend - Ha-beetsa Pie!  We asked what it was and she told us it was a pie that had tomatoes on it.  I don't know about the rest of the girls but I envisioned a pie which had as its filling over an inch of stewed tomatoes which appeared like a fill of apples in an apple pie and thought that isn't for me.

"Later I realized she was murdering the words pizza pie and here comes the very interesting part.  This classmate was Grace Theissen and she lived on that dead end street that was just up a short way from your home on Prescott Ave.  Did she learn about pizza from the same woman as Aunt Jo as she called it the very same word?  Interesting!"

Indeed, I do remember that family.  There was also a younger girl Margaret who was my age.  I can still picture her face, her thick brown braids, and even the type of dress she wore.  In those days girls wore dresses!  Blue jeans were coming in as play clothes, but our closets held mainly dresses.

We don't know if both families learned about pizza from an Italian family, but obviously there was a source somewhere in our neighbourhood.

Thanks for the comment, Joan.  That was interesting.  I'm surprised my mom didn't share the recipe with your mom, as they were very close.

A LITTLE FAMILY HISTORY:  Joan's mother and my mother were the youngest of a family of 11, 5 girls and 6 boys, all born to a young couple who came from the Netherlands, sometime in the 1890's.  My Mom was the youngest and Aunt Ann was the next oldest.  They had an older sister Sue.  These three little girls were the "tail end of the family."

When I was growing up in New Jersey, my Aunt Clara and Aunt Sue lived next door to each other on Hill St. in Midland Park, my Aunt Ann and our family lived near each other in Hawthorn  and Prospect Park.  An uncle, brother of our mothers, lived on Vreeland Ave in Midland Park, and a brother of my dad and his family lived also on the Hill Ave.  When we got together the place was overrun with cousins having fun together.  I don't remember any fights or disagreements, but that may be because I was on the young end of the cousins.  On the young end there was Walter who was my age, then three girls about the same age, Joanne, Margery and Ruth Ann, and finally a trailer Warren.

In 1948 our family moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and Mom and Aunt Ann missed each other the rest of their lives.  We did visit back and forth, and there were letters, but long distance telephone calls were only for emergencies in those days.  Families dreaded getting a long distance call!  How good we have it now with generous phone plans and email accounts!

By the way: If you'd like to post a comment, click on the icon and when the little window comes up that says "Google Account" click on that.  It will offer other possibilities.  You can use the "anonymous" and if you want to, you can give your name in with the comment.  That should allow you to post your reaction or an addition to what was said.  I'd love to hear from you.  If that doesn't work, just write me an email and I will add your comment to the blog.  THANKS!

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