Pauline Milec Shuster was my stara mama (grandmother). She was born to Slovak parents, Paul and Maria Milec, on a Friday the 13th, 1913, in Soljani, Croatia. As a young girl, she moved to Pivnica in the autonomous province of Vojvodina in what was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, then Yugoslavia, and is now in northern Serbia.
She married my grandfather, Jerry Shuster, in 1936, and despite leaving Pivnica for Canada in 1938, she continued to grow many of her own ingredients and to bake the Slovak delicacies for her family. The daughter of a baker, she learned how to make delicious Slovak cakes, breads, cookies and pastries, and she passed down her love of baking to her five children, her eleven grandchildren, and her thirteen great grandchildren. Pauline died at the age of 94 in 2007.
Ďakujem vám a Boh ti žehnaj, babička.
Her first grandchild, Tonya
Pauline’s Essex County, Ontario.