Monday, November 26, 2007

Pittsburgh Book Signings

I hope to meet some of you at two upcoming book signings in Pittsburgh, PA - November 28th at Bradley's Books in Macy's Department Store, 6:00 p.m.; Heinz History Center Book Fair on Saturday, December 1st from 11-2.

Speaking of Pittsburgh, I am watching the Steelers play Miami right now as I type thisl GO STEELERS!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

While it is so easy to complain about all that is wrong in the world or hassles in our individual lives--for example, high gas prices, traffic, lines at the airport or the shopping mall (especially as "Black Friday" approaches), work, etc., Thanksgiving provides a chance to reflect and show gratitude for the good things.

This year, I am grateful for:

1. Good health

2. My husband

3. My aunts, uncles and cousins and great friends

4. The love I received from two wonderful parents whom I miss very much. Wish they could be here so we could still share Thanksgiving.

5. The chance to do what I love: Writing and teaching others how to research their genealogy through classes and presentations.

and many other blessings great and small!

What are you grateful for?

I will be taking a few days off from blogging to rest and enjoy the holiday.

Have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Favorite

I thought I would share a favorite Thanksgiving recipe that has been a tradition in my family for more years than I can remember. This recipe (and many) others can be found in my book, Baba's Kitchen: Slovak & Rusyn Family Recipes and Traditions (Gateway Press).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

My family’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert.


Use basic pie crust recipe, or store-bought already prepared pie crust, or graham cracker crust.

Basic Pie Crust

For one-crust pie.

1 c. flour
pinch of salt
¾ c. or more of Crisco shortening (butter flavor Crisco is best)
8 to 10 tbsp. ice water

Blend with pastry blender until crumbly. Then add about 8 to 10 tablespoons of ice water, and mix with a fork to form a ball and roll.

If baking, place in 450 °F oven and bake 10-12 minutes or unitl golden brown.
For a two-crust pie, make two recipes.


¾ c. brown sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
¾ c. milk
1-¼ c. canned or mashed cooked pumpkin
3 egg whites
⅓ c. granulated sugar

In saucepan, combine brown sugar, gelatin, salt, and spices. Combine egg yolks and milk; stir into brown sugar mixture. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in pumpkin. Chill mixture until it mounds slightly when spooned. (Don't let the mixture get too stiff). Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add sugar and beat to stiff peaks. Fold pumpkin mixture into egg whites. Turn into a baked pie crust and chill firm. Garnish with whipped cream.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Heinz History Book Fair

If you live in or near Pittsburgh, here's a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping.

The Senator John Heinz History Center is hosting a Holiday Book Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1st from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Whether you're a history buff or just love Western Pennsylvania, the History Center's annual Holiday Book Fair offers great opportunities for shopping and mingling with local authors. Free with History Center admission.

I will be there to sign copies of my books, including my latest, Sports Memories of Western Pennsylvania (Arcadia Publishing). My co-author, Alby Oxenreiter, will also be there.

Hope to see you on December 1st in Pittsburgh!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Book: Homestead and the Steel Valley

Here's a greatnew book:
Homestead and the Steel Valley (Arcadia Publishing).

Here's a summary of the book:

Homestead and the Steel Valley (Images of America: Pennsylvania); $19.99
by Daniel J. Burns, for the Carnegie Library of Homestead

Book Description
Western Pennsylvania is dotted with what are known locally as mill towns, but few of these communities epitomize this definition more than the municipalities of Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall. Commonly referred to as the Steel Valley, these towns were home to some of the greatest steel-producing operations in the world. As the Mon Valley’s steel production answered the nation’s call during two world wars, so did the workers who unloaded countless barges of coal and fed the mills’ great furnaces that produced the material needed for weapons, armament, and tanks. Workers emigrated from every country in Europe to make their mark in America. Many of these people spoke little or no English and endured long hours of labor in often hazardous conditions. Their families brought with them the traditions of their varied European cultures, filling their communities with ethnic diversity. Through 200 photographs, Homestead and the Steel Valley conveys the proud heritage of three communities and their role in the nation’s history.

About the Author
Daniel J. Burns is the president of the Mifflin Township Historical Society, a police officer, and a freelance writer. The author of many historical and law enforcement articles, Burns has also authored Duquesne, Bedford and Its Neighbors, and Pittsburgh’s Rivers.

This is an excellent book--anyone who has roots in Western Pennsylvania will enjoy taking this trip down memory lane. Each caption is its own little historical vignette--telling the stories of the people, places and events key to the development of Homestead, West Homestead, and Munhall.

Bravo, Dan!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New Web Site: Carpatho-Russians (Carpatho-Rusyns) of Transcarpathia

If you have Carpatho-Russian (Carpatho-Rusyn) roots, you may want to check out a new website on the Carpatho-Russian (Carpatho-Rusyns) of Eastern Europe: <>.

This site was created in tribute to American immigrant Aleksander Simkovich. Check it out for some unique information and photos on the people of the Carpathian Mountains.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Inside Scoop on Genealogy

If you haven't checked it out already, I highly recommend taking a look at Family Tree Magazine's "Genealogy Insider" Blog by Diane Haddad. You can check postings by date or scroll to any number of categories to read about the subjects you're most interested in.

You can subscribe via RSS feed (by providing your e-mail address) so you don't miss any postings!

Love this Blog! It's informative, well-written and entertaining!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Congratulations Binghamton!

Binghamton, New York is the winner of the 2008 Capital of the Pierogy Pocket title sponsored by Mrs. T's Pierogies.

Since my hometown of Pittsburgh was not on the list of finalists, I cast my vote for Binghamton, so I am glad to hear they won!

Click here to read more about the contest and to see images of Binghamton’s pierogy pride.


Monday, November 05, 2007

Another Great Slovak Festival

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk on "Slovak Pittsburgh", stopped by to chat with me at the Pitt Slovak Festival on November 4th. It was great to see many old friends again and meet some new ones! If you purchased one of my six books, I hope you will enjoy it! A special thanks to Chris Metil and Prof. Martin Votruba for organizing another great Slovak Festival. It is one of the events I truly enjoy and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year!