A Bilingual Church

Nowadays churches often offer two services, one in English, one in Spanish. Some people are happy with this though many wish we all shared one language.

In doing research on The Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow, I learned that our colonial Americans had struggled over language too. The Dutch held on to their old world customs for a long time. After the fall of the New Netherlands, English started taking over. When one minister used English when baptizing a child, the cry went up. People weren’t ready. In time, everything from sermons to records were in English.

Damen Willem’s Kitchen

My main character went from Enoch Williams to Damen Willem as I realized he should be Dutch like Brom Bones and Katrina Van Tassel.  Ichabod Crane is the Connecticut Yankee outsider.  Damen’s mom, Hendrika, is a good cook who welcomes folks into her humble but lively, colonial kitchen.  One of her visitors is an English woman who is a glfriend of Catherine Gordon, mother of the poet Lord Byron.

Hennie actually has a cook book, “De Verstandige Kock,” or “The Sensible Cook,” which was a popular book in the Hudson Valley centuries ago.  People who have tried the recipes report the results to be delicious.