walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Observations about Chromebook, buckwheat, and that whole we-are-German-theory thing

These observations have, as far as I know, almost nothing to do with each other.

The Chromebook (Samsung, 11.6 inch) arrived from Amazon. It was disturbingly easy to set up. T. immediately started demanding either it, or one just like it for himself. I steadfastly insisted that this was going to be a family computer "for travel". It's heavier than I think it should be for its size, because we have a lot of Apple products. The hinge feels like crap (ditto) and I'm seriously underwhelmed by screen refresh and by the trackpad's "feel". R. says this is completely understandable. All that said, it was $258.42 (including tax, but not shipping and handling, because I have Prime). For that price, this thing is Awesome and a Screaming Deal. I am going to try to get Skype set up (I've never used Skype, only Facetime) and see how that works on it.

I've been continuing to make buckwheat pancakes, but haven't made anything more complicated. I remember eating this really incredible buckwheat and sunflower seed toast at the Gravity Bar on Broadway in Seattle, starting some time in the very early 1990s, IIRC. I'd love to recreate it. I remember ordering it because it was the most normal seeming thing to eat on the menu (loved the juices, but I cannot live by juice alone) back when I was even pickier than I am now. Buckwheat seemed normal because I remember having buckwheat toast at my grandmother's when I was quite small, and really liking it then.

So today, I got to thinking about why my grandmother might have been eating buckwheat toast, and there's at least a small chance that it was a habit picked up during her married years, some of which were spent in Steinbach, Manitoba, in a community which had a couple generations earlier come over from what is not the Ukraine. They grow a lot of buckwheat in the Ukraine, and have for a long while.

One of my cousins (who shares the same grandmother) has long been convinced that we are actually of German heritage (this turns out to be fractionally true, but he means that the Mennonites were German, not that grandmother's other mutt ancestry included some Palatine Germans). As I was thinking about grandma, and buckwheat and buckwheat toast (in the opposite order), it dawned on me that I had corrected another cousin (one of my great-uncle/step-grandfather's kids, so a first cousin once removed, unless I've screwed up again) in email a month or so ago, who had a misunderstanding of where our Mennonite ancestors came from.

And I realized, I now know _why_ all those people are so confused. My branch of the Mennonites followed Holdeman in that early schism, and _Holdeman_ himself was Swiss-German in ancestry (just like all the Mennonites and Amish who came to the United States a hundred or more years before my ancestors came over). And apparently the heritage of the church leader became understood as the heritage of all the membership, once a few generations had gone by.

That's just nine kinds of freaky.
Tags: daily activities, food, genealogy
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