Enjoy the guest post today with Ellen Parker as she takes us back to the middle of the nineteenth century.
Deutsch immigrants in New Dreams are on their way to Elm Ridge,
Illinois. I hope you enjoy this introduction to furnishings and customs of
After a flurry of greetings, Mrs. King leads us to the
large kitchen at the rear of the house.
“I am so glad you came for tea.” Our hostess smiles.
I remove my shawl and drape it over a chair back. The
table, covered with a white cloth, is set for three. The plates are
blue-and-white, the cups dainty, and the saucers deep. A lidded sugar bowl and
matching cream pitcher are in the center.
“Please, take a seat. The water is almost at a boil.” Mrs.
King adds tea leaves to the pot waiting on the corner cupboard. A moment later,
she lifts the teakettle from the stove and adds steaming water. “Do you like
“Yes, very much.” Geraldine, my mother-in-law, and I
respond almost in unison.
Mrs. King sets the teapot on the table. A moment
later, she opens a tin box on one of the deep shelves. “I went to Keil’s Bakery
this morning. Do you trade with them?”
“Not often, Geraldine responds.
“I went for rye bread last week. The scents are always
“The baker’s wife called this a Kuchen. She
said they make them with several different fruits—apple, plum, and apricot—in
addition to cherry.”
“Please, Mrs. King, sit, relax, and enjoy afternoon tea. Tell us how you managed with the language at Keil’s Bakery.
beckons with opportunity during the 1850’s.
Mueller, a baker’s daughter, arrives in Elm Ridge, Illinois with determination
to learn English and work as a baker. Since the death of her sweetheart a year
ago, she pushes aside thoughts of marriage. However, she’s intrigued by a
fellow passenger who tells the most interesting stories.
Desperate for a fresh start, a young thief takes the name Hans Hoffmann when a look-alike passenger dies during the trans-Atlantic passage. Vowing to be an honest man in America, Hans discovers temptation wears many disguises. Will the pair be rewarded as they attempt their new dreams in a strange land?
Hans shook his head. He
ignored the stifling air and stepped toward Louisa. “Welcome, Fraulein Mueller. Did
you enjoy the lecture?”
“Ja. Danke.” She hid her
hands in the folds of her skirt.
“May I be bold and ask you
a question?” He waited for her slight nod. “Where are you going after we leave
the ship in New Orleans?”
“I travel to join my
cousin.” She moistened her lips and shifted her gaze to the floor.
conversation is difficult. He searched for proper
phrases among the crude remarks common in the cheap taverns he frequented. “I…I
would like to become acquainted. May I speak with you again?”
Ellen currently lives in St. Louis. When not guiding
characters to “happily ever after” she’s apt to be reading, walking in the
neighborhood, or tending her tiny garden. You can find her on the web at www.ellen-parker-writes.com and www.facebook.com/ellenparkerwrites.
for New Dreams: