Grandaunt Bertha: Making a slideshow

Profiling when there is scant information

Create a simple slideshow using what you have


Dad used to say Bertha was a fabulous cook. I didn’t have the pleasure of sitting at her dining table but once; however, I recall that visit. The year was 1980, and it was the only time I visited Aunt Bertha on her “farm” in Port Angeles, Washington. The one thing dad used to say of the women who cooked for him in his early years was that they were not afraid to try new combinations. It seemed to be their style to throw in a little of this, or a pinch of that. In his view, it made for fabulous meals.


We are lucky; we have many pictures of all of these wonderful women. This was taken on Bertha’s farm in the late 40s. From left are my grandma Lalla, Bertha, Orah (our malevolent matriarch), and Hazel.

Butterfield_orah lalla bertha hazel

butterfield bertha_trip to PAngeles WA_1978 (3)Dad loved to take photos of everyone, especially family. I know he found great pleasure in surprising Bertha in her tiny, farmhouse kitchen while she prepared for us one of her delicious meals.


Maybe you don’t have photos, but you might have something you can use. The last thing I expected was to come away from our visit with gifts, but I received something better: recipes, hand written that day, by Bertha. Bertha wrote out the recipe for Dumplings (she writes “This is your grandmother’s” up top), Cranberry Relish, and Date Bread (Bertha’s). Grandma’s dumplings!? I remember those very well. And, I’m smiling.


My children might find these later and think, “Hmmm, old recipes, now where is that trash can?” if I hadn’t created a short profile using the recipes, my memories, and our photos. This way, I’m helping them affirm Bertha’s valued place in our lives with all of the above.

Using memories, photos, and the recipe cards, I created a short slideshow using Google Slides.

I wanted to create a slide show profiling an ancestor but using a specific theme–recipes in this case–and found this to be very easy. The same could be done with a book you know belonged to an ancestor. Or, how about an item of clothing, or a poem?

The sky is the limit; the only requirement is your imagination.

Happy Profiling! ❤

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