My Grandma Janda mothered six children in Chicago, worked for Sears Roebuck & Co., prayed her rosary, worshiped the Chicago White Sox and baked houska bread.

Making houska became, in her later widow years, what you might call a cottage industry; except she didn’t sell it. She made lots and lots of butter-braided houskas and gave them to her children and her children’s children.

Over time she specialized. For some grandchildren, she made houska without yellow raisins because that’s the way they liked it. For some sons-in-law, she supersized houska because these fellows were on the larger side of their species. For special occasions she doubled output because generosity seemed appropriate.

Baking houska isn’t the only memorable thing Grandma Janda did. It may not be the best thing she did; but it ranks right up there.

About Mrs. Fitz

Hello! I'm Michele Fitzpatrick, a Chicago writer. Like our town, a work in progress. As a journalist, teacher and writing coach I think all of us live our stories and sharing them creates moments that remind us we're connected. And that is enough.
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