One significant fact of my great-grandmother Eva’s life was that she was from Nova Scotia. This was important, because for many summers (maybe even every summer), she and her family would visit the old home place in Manchester. When her daughter (my grandmother) Eugenie was grown, she in turn would take her family there, too. My father and aunt both had fond memories of Nova Scotia.
I don’t know if there’s any particular character traits to Nova Scotians, but Eva was a reputedly straightforward person. She said things as she saw them, but she was a very likable person. My mother, who probably only met her a few times, had only good things to say about her and in fact honored Eva’s memory by naming one of my sister’s middle names after her.
My aunt Cheryl (later known as Cherie) seemed to have a very close relationship with Eva (her grandmother). Eva had saved up for and assembled a silverware set for when Cheryl got married. The marriage never happened, but Cheryl did cherish this gift by guarding it carefully through each of her moves; even when money was tight, she would not depart from the silverware. Cheryl wrote a semi-fictional sketch of Eva and Eva’s cousins entitled “The Club“. In it she paints a picture of Eva, her culture, and her relationship with her granddaughter.
“The Club” alludes to lace being everywhere in the home. Indeed, Eva tatted her own lace, of which I have a couple of pieces.
My final piece of heritage from Eva is her Squash Pie recipe, which my father preferred over Pumpkin Pie. My mother cooked this pie for many Thanksgivings. Here is the recipe:
Eva’s Squash Pie
1 cup sugar 1/4 cup mace
3/4 tsp salt 1 cup squash (butternut squash, from a can)
1 tsp cinnamon 3 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg 1 cup heavy cream/evaporated milk
3/4 tsp ginger 1 pie shell
Add sugar, salt & spices to squash and mix thoroughly. Beat eggs, add cream, and mix with squash. Line pie pan with pastry and pour in filling. Bake at 450 degrees fro 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake 40 minutes till knife inserted in center comes out clean. (Note: Allow to cool to room temperature.)