Tuesday, September 11, 2018
I had breakfast with a lawyer friend while I was in Detroit, and mentioned visiting the market. I told her about my family connection, and she said, your father probably knew my uncle Nick, he sold on the market, and had a cafe across the street. Nick spoke about 10 languages. It has to be the same Nick the Greek, he taught my father what would always sell on the market (onions and eggs.)
My father had two favorite Nick stories:
One day a woman asked him if the eggs were fresh, he said, "yes of course, what do you think I am going to say, they are rotten!"
The other story is more complicated. Nick had a small farm, and an old milk cow, she had been around for years, and outlived her ability produce milk (do cows hit menopause?) Nick had the cow slaughtered and sold the market. Legend has it that it was the toughest beef in the history of the market. After that anytime my father encountered tough beef, he remarked about it being "Nick's old cow." (To make something good out of tough beef, stew it, onions, carrots, mushrooms, red wine, and simmer it covered over low heat for hours and hours, add potatoes about two hours before serving, thicken with a roux.)
Yes, I had heard the legend of Nick the Greek at the eastern market, Patti's uncle Nick.
What long lost family connections have you stumbled across?