It can't possibly be 50 years since I graduated from high school, but it works out that way, no matter what means I use to get the answer. I've tried a calculator, pencil and paper, even fingers and toes. Yes, it has been 50 years since I graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1959.
We had and still have today, a very close and active class. We have had a reunion every 5 years since graduation. I have worked on the committee almost every time, and this year is no different. My friend, Joyce and I are working with the hotel catering department to plan the menus, and my good buddy, Jack and I are attempting to put together a cookbook of recipes from our class members. Our idea is to compile recipes that have been passed down through the generations. Kansas City, Kansas was an amazing melting pot of nationalities in the late 1800s. Due to the railroad center being developed in KCKs, stockyards popped up everywhere, and lumbermen set up their offices here. Those three industries drew Europeans to our town, particularly Eastern Europeans. With them came recipes and food traditions. That is what we are trying to accomplish with our cookbook, something we can leave for our grandchildren. Today's young people all seem to know where they are going, but they are not sure where they came from.
As part of my research for the cookbook, I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Strawberry Hill Museun in Kansas City, Ks. The hill overlooks the Kansas River with the stockyards and railroad yards being right along the river. It was ,and still is today, the home of many people who's ancestors came from Croatia. There are also many from Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Belgium, Denmark, and Greece. The Italian immigrants basically settled on the Kansas City, Missouri side of the state line. As in Europe, most descendants have stayed close to home, many living in the same house they grew up in with their grandparents, parents and siblings, but definitely close to Strawberry Hill.
I am just now beginning to receive the requested recipes and family stories. I think this will be very interesting from start to finish. I am facinated as I read these stories. I was born in Columbia, Missouri, a town that was definitely Southern in atmosphere and food traditions. One side of my family had a farm north of the Missouri River in Ray County, Missouri. So, my family food traditions were country/southern. Good food, good cooking, but definitely different than those of Strawberry Hill! I hope the cookbook is a success.