Stories to Connect Us All
Our study of Ellis Island is being celebrated tomorrow with a reenactment. Yet, instead of being a culminating activity this event really kicks off an exploration of our family histories, an exciting adventure for all of us. One of our Western partners has paved the way with sweet tale of a family recipe. Enjoy!
The Baklava Story
My name is Miss McGraw and I am one of the Western students who has been helping your class with the Immigration simulation. One of my 5th grader partners is a wealthy Greek immigrant. When I was trying to create my own character, I decided to be Greek, too. This has been very interesting for me since my own great-grandparents actually emigrated from Greece in the 1920s. The story goes that they met on the boat, fell in love, and were married right after they landed! They moved to a Greek community in Lake Worth, Florida where my great-grandpa opened his own Greek bakery. My grandma was the youngest of their three children. I wish I knew more information, but most of the details about their arrival and their lives in America have been lost. This happened after my great-grandparents both passed away (due to tuberculosis and heart failure) when my grandma was only 5. My grandma has tried to recreate a picture of my great-grandparents for me, but she only has a few distinct memories. She remembers riding on the handlebars of my great-grandpa’s bike when he went to work at the bakery and speaking both Greek and English when she started living in foster homes.
When I started to create my character and “become” my great-grandma I had to ask my grandma several questions. She used her birth certificate to tell me that my great-grandma was named Petroual Vastas Morros. Morros was her married name. Although my grandparents have spent a great deal of time researching our family history (they even went to Ellis Island!) we still don’t know my great grandpa’s full last name. When he arrived, the processors shortened it to Morros!
I decided to bring some of my family’s special food to the simulation tomorrow. It’s called baklava. Hopefully you will get a chance to try some. Baklava is a sweet pastry with layers of chopped walnuts, phyllo pastry, and sweet honey syrup. Like my great-grandpa, my grandma is also a baker. She developed this recipe with the help of several Greek women and some cookbooks. She always makes baklava for family gatherings. Enjoy!
About the Blogger
THE FINE PRINT!!
This website is approved by the school district. All material posted by students will be governed by the Appropriate Use Policy, especially the district policies against bullying and harassment and the district Internet Use policy provisions addressing offensive language and transmission of personal information about self or others. Please take a few minutes to read the Bellingham School District's Appropriate Use Policy as outlined on the Parent Permission Form which is listed under Related Links to your left.