Saturday, November 03, 2007

Foodies in the Family

Imagine that! Another cousin, what? One? No three at once have surfaced thanks to my browsing on the Internet.

Five years ago I received an email from a lady in Belgium: "No, you don't know me, but I'm working on my husband' Carel's family tree, and I'm wondering whether you and he are related?" She said she'd found my name and contact info online.

At first I thought, and replied to her,"Sorry, but no, my grandparents' names are different from your husband's.."

Guess what? The lady and her hubby visited the archives in their county, in Flanders, looked up the names of my grandparents I had given her, and… Turned out the guy's mother had giving him the names of his great-grandparents, not his grands'. When they checked the names of my father's parents, it turned out the husband of the genealogist was my first cousin, son of my father's younger brother who was killed in 1942.

I already knew my dad was a foodie, and enjoying the art of cooking and "lekker eten" must run in the family, for guess what, this cousin Carel from Belgium had been a chef, in his time catering to the Shah of Persia and the likes. And yes, his wife organized a dinner party when Loveboat and I were in Europe, and invited a nephew of her husband, who's my cousin once removed, and his wife… Can you still follow me?

Some weeks ago I Googled my mother's name, and right away (or Right On!), I found another cousin, one with three sibs, two sisters and one brother. This time all of them Dutch. Of course I Googled their names, and low and behold, my Dutch cousin Carel's a foodie as well! (That's right I've got cousins named Carel on both sides of the family.)

Although he's not a caterer, Dutch Carel sure knows how to treat his clients, friends and family members to possibly one of the best eel and oysters parties in the Lowlands. I couldn't possibly have touched either delicacy, but it sure would've been fun to have been there!

Apparently there are some more relatives in Belgium, and who knows in the Netherlands, that I have never met. But they're not online, and so far the Internet has proven to be The Way to connect. We'll see, perhaps I get another e-mail one of these days.
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