Co. Laois

Family recipe Friday — Four sweet bread recipes from Violet Boles

My grandfather's cousin Violet Boles with a furry friend, 1957.

My grandfather’s cousin Violet Boles with a furry friend, 1957.

To close out the week, I will leave you with four recipes left us by Violet Boles, my mom’s 1st cousin (once removed). Violet was born in Knocknagrally, County Laois, Ireland, in 1904. According to my mother she worked in the hotel industry on the Isle of Wight for a number of years. She emigrated to the US after her marriage to James Newton Boles (b. 1898, Tipperary, Ireland) in the early 1960s. Ordinarily I would not write about folks in the family tree who lived so close to the present day, but Newton (who went by his middle name) and Violet had no children; so, I hope they would not mind me sharing a bit about them here.

My mom’s father William Boles was very close to Newton, his cousin six years his junior. William, who emigrated to the US in 1912, was at least some of Newton’s inspiration to do the same, according to my mother. Newton emigrated in 1925 to Ontario, Canada, and from there made his way to Detroit, where he worked for Uniroyal for many years.

Newton and Violet  eventually retired to 800 20th Avenue North in St. Petersburg, FL, tending their backyard fruit trees and enjoying the warm temperatures and steady sunshine. I remember them showing us their avocado and orange trees—an exotic sight for us. They were wonderfully kind and caring people; both had a twinkle in their eye, and Newton especially had a terrific sense of humor. He was a very fun-loving man. My mother thought the world of him.

Boles_Newt_and_Violet_StPete_house

Newton & Violet Boles in front of their St. Petersburg home

I’ll never forget visiting them in February 1975 or 1976 when Newton was already in his 70s, and how Newton took us up I-4 to ride on Disney’s newly opened ‘Space Mountain’ roller coaster. We were amazed that he took the roller coaster with us and that he seemed to take it all in stride. Newton was a rather wild driver, so between the journey itself and the nerve-shattering, vertebrae-jarring ‘Space Mountain’ ride, we had a very memorable time!

Violet’s banana bread recipe is the best one I’ve ever come across. I’ve made it many times (I love the typo: ‘chapped walnuts’!) The date loaf is delicious, too (that recipe is cut off at the end, but you just add the remaining ingredients, mix, and bake at 350 for 50-60 min., depending on your altitude).

I’ve yet to try the carrot and cranberry breads, but know I will get to them eventually.

So enjoy these, if you are so inclined, and let me know how things turn out. Have a good weekend!

(Note: Newton died in 1983 at 84, and Violet in 1993 at 89. They were interred at St. Petersburg’s Memorial Park Cemetery.)

Boles_Violet_breads1

Boles_Violet_breads2

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Categories: Boles, Co. Laois, Co. Tipperary, Food: Family Recipes & Favorites, St. Petersburg | 6 Comments

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