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This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Loren Houtman, 88, born on March 8, 1929 and passed away on April 11, 2017. We will remember him forever.

March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
Just thinking of my brother-in-law today. Loren was always so welcoming to me/us and we would typically enjoy some delicious dinners and drinks and without fail ... though-provoking discussions. He loved living in Manistee with such beautiful views of the lake and river. Happy Birthday, Loren!!!!!!!
March 8, 2019
March 8, 2019
So much fun to be reminded again. Happy Birthday, Loren!!
March 8, 2018
March 8, 2018
Wonderful memories and thoughts are shared with all of you!
Love, Sue and Gene

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Happy Birthday, Dad! -recipe included!

March 8
My dad would have been 95 this year!  

Last month I made a couple of my dad's banana tea loaves. I made one the way my dad would have made it and then to the other, I added chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut, which changed it up quite a bit.  Both were delicious.  I have half of the one that is my dad's version in the freezer, so I'll take that out and toast a few slices later.  Perhaps I will put a candle in and sing happy birthday.  

I've made a point of wearing my Dad's Grand Rapids Rhino's hoodie all this week.  On Wednesday I went to see Rickie Lee Jones.  She was playing in the neighborhood, and I just walked over, wearing the hoodie, a hat.  a skirt and clunky snow boots, though our snow is long gone. David doesn't really know Rickie Lee Jones, so I just went solo.

It was really a nice concert and I'm glad I went.  It wasn't long but she played a lot of her classic songs, covered David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel: and Van Morrison's "Slim Slow Slider", which she then rolled into one of her own songs.  She was warm and funny and played the guitar and the piano, and her voice is incredible.  I realized that my dad had actually been with me to the Barrymore before.  Both my parents may have been visiting, but it was just my dad who accompanied me (and Kazuya?) to see Liz Phair there.  "Exile in Guyville" (which remains an excellent album) had been out for a while and it was a time when it was thought that women couldn't play guitars.  As Liz Phair came onto the stage, a male fan yelled out "Take it off!" and pretty much the whole show went bad from that point on.  Liz was obviously angry and the set was very short as I think she just wanted to leave.  My dad thought she was horrible and it seemed to bolster the argument of the time that women couldn't play guitar. So, I was disappointed in both my dad and Liz Phair.  It was a different time.  There are so many more women making incredible music, many of them influenced by her.

Then on Thursday, I was tired from work and put on the hoodie again and curled up for a nap with the pups on the couch.

This morning I awoke early and, though it was raining, I pulled the hoodie over my head and then a raincoat and went out and spent a couple hours working on cleaning up the front garden for spring. I did sing my dad happy birthday.  I'm not sure that my dad would have enjoyed gardening in the rain, but I surely did!  So, now my dad's hoodie is very damp and waiting downstairs to be washed free of dirt and wet leaves and pieces of plants.

I've included my dad's recipe for banana tea loaf below, in case anyone wants to try their hand at making it.  My favorite way to eat it is sliced and toasted so it is slightly brown on the edges and then buttered.   

I miss you, dad!

love, kirsten


Sift together into a mixing bowl:
   -flour, 1 3/4 cup, sifted
   -baking soda, 3/4 t
   -cream of tartar, 1 1/4 t
   -salt, 1/2 t
Place in a blender container
   -eggs, 2
   -fat, 1/2 cup, soft (Crisco)
   -ripe bananas, 2, sliced
   -sugar, 3/4 cup

Cover and blend until smooth, about 20 seconds.  Pour blended mixture over dry sifted ingredients; mix gently just to combine.  Pour into greased loaf pan, 8 x 4 inches.  Bake in moderate oven, 350, until golden, about 45 minutes.  Makes one loaf.

Cream of Wheat

July 1, 2023
A few weeks ago I bought an organic version of Cream of Wheat and this week I ended up making it one morning.   My father was the one in charge of hot breakfast cereals in my family. 

Who knew that there was an art to making cream of wheat?  I suspect I was supposed to pour it in slowly and not dump it all in at once.  I did use a whisk for the three minutes of cooking, but there were some definite lumps.  I think I remember that we children complained about lumps.  I hadn't remembered how thick it is either. 

Anyway, I lumped some over a handful of frozen blueberries.  Added cinnamon.  Grated ginger.  poured in some Michigan maple syrup courtesy of my cousin Jessica. added soy milk. sliced strawberries. added a handful of pumpkin seeds/sliced almonds/pecans that had been toasted in the microwave for a minute.  This is rather a recipe. Try it!  I bet my dad (perhaps not as much my mom, as I don't remember her liking cream of wheat so much) would have liked it.  :)  

My Dad's birthday this year

March 12, 2023
I knew that my father's birthday was approaching, but wasn't really thinking of it when I baked two citrus desserts last weekend.  The first was a lime blueberry coffee cake with a pecan streusel topping and the second was a French pound cake which I ended up making my own lemon marmalade to coat the top with.   This week I wore my Dad's Grand Rapids Rhinos hoodie a lot.  Even wore it when I put together some garden fence panels that I have been working on building over the winter.  I am thinking that my dad might not have enjoyed that project so much.  In any case, I did sing my dad happy birthday on his birthday and thought of him a lot, and thought about how fortunate I was to have him as a father.

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