Recipe Card

Recipe card for Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
Recipe card for Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

The ladies on my mother’s side of the family are known for their recipes. This recipe card for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread is one of my favorite recipes that my maternal grandmother, Ruby Tull, has shared with us. Both in recipe form and in decades of Christmas loaves cooked and delivered wrapped in heavy foil with a handwritten note taped to the top. If you had met my great grandmother Amelia you would know that cooking for you (and stuffing you to bursting) was how she showed her love. I wish we had her Russian recipes, but few if any survived in a form we could make out. But my memory is full of Russian delicacies like piroshki and blinchiki. It hasn’t stopped me from trying to recreate them. 
Ruby Rose Martinez was the youngest daughter born to Amelia Shooniff and Joseph Martinez, in San Francisco, California, in 1927. Young Ruby and her family soon left California to return to her father’s adopted country of Guatemala (he had been born at sea somewhere between Savil, Spain and Guatemala). Her mother had come through San Francisco’s Angel Island, in 1920, at the age of 13, from Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia. She would not return to the United States until 1932. She has remained in the Bay Area and settled in Portola Valley for many years. Marrying twice and having her own family. At the height of her baking she went as far as putting in an extra fridge just so she could bake enough Christmas loaves for all of her children, grandchildren and friends. Don’t get me started on her cookies! At 92 years young she can still be lured into conversations about a good new recipe.  

Place(s): Russia, Guatemala, Portola Valley, San Francisco
Year: 1932

– Julie Bly DeVere

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant