I grew up in a relatively small, rural town in the Allegheny Highlands of Pennsylvania and, like a lot of kids, I dreamed about getting away—far, far away. My town was founded by immigrants from Bavaria and three of my four grandparents came from Bavarian stock. The town was filled with traditions—from food and music to local customs that I took for granted. Then I moved away and found out there were people who never even heard of sultz (a pickled meat) and maultaschen (German ravioli) and Belsnickel (a Bavarian folk figure)—imagine my surprise!
For years, as I moved around the country, living in cities from Texas to Maine, I didn’t think much about my background. I still made pork and sauerkraut every New Year’s Day and sometimes visited my family to enjoy my mother’s Pennsylvania Dutch cooking but there was a part of me that thought the traditions of my heritage were a little bit embarrassing. Read the rest at Monday Musings: Writing My Way Back Home by Kathleen Valentine