The Stubborn Swede and His Pastries

by | Jun 27, 2016

My father was 100% Swede. His parents immigrated from the “old country”. Anyone that knew him would say what a gentle, loving man he was…steadfast patriarch of the family, a good listener, easily brought to tears, adoring fan of my mom, patient champion of his children, and a constant happy whistler.

But Dad was stubborn. My husband always said that if you looked up “stubborn” in the dictionary you would find a picture of my dad as the word’s meaning. Dad believed in democracy so he often asked our opinions of various things. He would listen carefully, nodding his head and saying, “Um-hum”, like our ideas were really making an impression. It was a good feeling. But in the end, Dad would do what he had in mind at the beginning, stubbornly convinced that his way was best after all.

When I went away to college and then married, Dad would always have a special treat for me when I came home to visit. He would go to Feig’s deli and get marble rye and exquisitely lean pastrami. And then he would go to Lutz’s bakery and bring home apple strudel and cherry turnovers. He loved these pastries…I did not. Cherries and apples are wonderful in their original form but I have an aversion to them when cooked. There is especially something funky about a cooked cherry skin. I just don’t want it to venture past my mouth and then wiggle down my throat.

But Dad would have the goodies waiting and soon after my arrival he would offer up the pastries as his special gift. Not exactly on a golden platter but the implication was there. My response, as always, would be, “Thanks Dad, but you know I don’t really like apple or cherry pastries”. His response, as always, would be, “But Judy, they are the best”. I do so miss him.

I am the baby boomer in our little trio. I am a granddaughter of immigrants, making me ¾ Swedish and ¼ Dutch. I am the second of four children to Tillie and Mel (1st generation Americans). I am mother to one girl and two boys, and Oma to one boy and two girls. I am a wife of 47 years who dearly loves the sweet man that I married. I am the human version of mom to a blonde, curly haired, 75 pound dog who likes to attach himself to my leg to better keep track of me. Read More
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