My husband and I were having lunch and eating some salmon mixed with onions, mayonnaise, and capers. As we were eating I asked him if he remembered his mom making salmon croquettes. He did and I remember my mother making them, too. They were made with onions, an egg and fried until crisp. It was a delicious memory.
Then the memories of food our mothers made started flooding in. My mom made mashed potatoes with carrots, butter and milk or eggs. Warren's mom made them without the carrots.
There were two things we utterly disliked that both our mothers made. One was called "Kasha varnishkes". Our recollection was that it was made with bow ties (a pasta) and groats and probably something else to keep it together. Yech, disgusting, we both thought. But the really gross thing we both remember was something called "Putcha". I don't even know what it was made from but the smell was obnoxious, disgusting and made me want to vomit. Whenever my mom made this, my brother and I didn't even want to be in the house. Warren couldn't stand it, either, when his mother made it. We both remember our mothers delighting in making this. But Warren, my brother and I never could stay in the house, much less the same room where this stuff was being served. Even thinking about it now, I get that "Yech" feeling!
We talked about going to the bakery. I used to walk to the Revere Bakery in Cary Square to get a challah, some Russian bread which I always watched going through the 'slicer' and occasionally picked up a couple of "half moons". Yum.
The Revere Bakery was next to Goldstein's Market which was next to Eddie the Butcher. My mother would go in there where the cases were practically empty. She would ask Eddie for a chicken and he would go in the back and cut it up for her. Then, he's grind her some meat for hamburger. All the good stuff was in the back, never in the cases.
On Saturday mornings, we'd go down to the Revere Smoked Fish Company to buy some lox pieces, the stuff they discarded when slicing the beautiful pieces, (probably 59 cents a pound then) and she'd buy some "lox wings" to make a savory soup with potatoes and onions, and she'd get some whitefish, sable fish, kippers and smoked mackerel.
Warren and I had a good time reminiscing about our childhood food memories. But my very favorite memory is what my Gramma Gertrude used to make for me every morning. She lived downstairs from us and I used to sleep there to "keep her company". Every morning she would make me a "finekochen", a scrambled egg mixed with cottage cheese. My G-d, I loved that and I loved her..... a lot. What a sweet and loving memory.