Goulash and Picking Pickles
Pearn & Associates, Incorporated, 2012 - 280 pages
If you grew up in the 1950s, you like reading about the era, or you like the solid, no-nonsense delicious cooking of the period, check out Farmington, New Mexico author Louise Hoffmann's autobiography Goulash and Picking Pickles.' Ms. Hoffmann grew up in Wisconsin, a teacher's kid in a German Lutheran family. Her father taught her from first through 8th grade, and he expected nothing but the best school work from her. He also loved her, in his way. So did her mother and four siblings. Therefore Goulash and Picking Pickles' is a zesty mix of tender, frustrating, funny, scary, wonderful, and terrifying moments of growing up the daughter of a fairly important person in a small, homogenous town. Anyone with strong ethnic roots will find something to identify with in Goulash and Picking Pickles.' Hoffmann recalls such things of singing Silent Night' in both German and English, following the strict rules laid down by her father, and learning about her roots from her grandparents. Baby boomers will especially like Goulash and Picking Pickles, ' because it describes the things kids did in the 1950s and 1960s: sleep-overs, sock hops, finding ways to earn pocket money, going to church, wondering about boys, love--and death. Ms. Hoffmann closes each chapter of her book with a family recipe, Grandma's Potato Salad, Zucchini Pickles, or Easy Summer Salad. The simple directions and ingredients will bring back memories to anyone who grew upon family picnics and church covered-dish suppers. A teacher and librarian, Louise Hoffmann writes in an easy-to-read down-home style that will get a lot of older readers saying gee I remember when---, ' and a lot of younger ones asking Grandma what happened when--?' Goulash and Picking Pickles' should be on on every family's list of heritage books to read. It's a great way to get people telling family stories. It's a good example to look at if someone is interested in writing their own memoir or autobiography.
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