The breadboard and rolling pin

Breadboard and rolling  pin made by Great Grandpa Harry
Breadboard and rolling pin made by Great Grandpa Harry

 My great-grandfather was a skilled carpenter. He learned as an apprentice at the age of twelve, sent to live away from his family. To avoid military service, he left his small village home in Hungary for New York in 1907, arriving at Ellis Island on his sixteenth birthday. In 1911, he married my great-grandmother and for a wedding gift, he made her an oak breadboard and rolling pin. She baked delicious pies and cakes for her family. My grandmother wrote detailed poetry about the glistening golden challah for Shabbat dinner and buttery kipelech with cinnamon, nuts, and raisins that would melt in your mouth. Grandma handed the breadboard and rolling pin down to my father. When not in use, they stayed carefully wrapped in handmade linen covers, tucked away in their own part of the kitchen. It was special every time Dad unveiled them, as if my great-grandparents were wrapped up in the linens as well. Dad and I spent a lot of time baking together, especially around the holidays. It always made the house smell spectacular. I remember learning how to mound the flour, punch a hole, crack in and whisk the egg—all directly on the board. I would watch him knead bread and roll out leaves of dough for egg noodles and he would tell me stories about his grandparents and their coming to America. 

Place(s): Hungary, Ellis Island, New York, Minnesota
Year: 1907

– Tobie

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more