About me

Born in Berlin in 1942, I was evacuated in 1945 to a farmer’s cottage in Lower Saxony with my mother and grandmother. That was the start of many migrations and emigrations, a boarding school in Vienna, another on the Baltic, s stay in Darmstadt near Frankfurt, two years in Urbana Illinois, a year in New York, and several in London.


Benedict and Mike in Vienna


Max

I picked up degrees along the way, a baccalaureate in Darmstadt, a B.A. at the University of Illinois, an M.A. at Columbia University, and a PhD at the University of London.  I also got married to Derek Robinson, a Scottish mathematician. My son Benedict was born in Urbana to where Derek and I had returned to teach.  After a divorce, I moved to Indiana University South Bend in 1978, for what I first thought was just another temporary stay.  Thirty years later, I am still there and married to Mike, a professor of Sociology at IU South Bend.  Max joined us in 2003. I retired in 2005.
    
I am now at work on a memoir that tells my family’s story through food and recipes beginning with my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book of 1917 where she says things like “add 3 pennies’ worth of yeast,” adding in parenthesis “before the war value.” The book traces my journeys through the nettle and potato soups of our evacuation, my grandmother’s Hungarian cuisine, the recipes of my Scottish mother in law, the popular dishes of the times that I culled from the German magazine Brigitte, finally to the gourmet menus Mike and my son Benedict prepare today.  It’s a travelogue in food.

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