Friday, July 26, 2013

Childhood food memories

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.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

What the hell are we celebrating today?

What, exactly, are we celebrating today?  That women's rights are being decimated?  Women are becoming second-class citizens? That Christian religious beliefs are being shoved down our throats? That the right to privacy has eroded?  That the US is becoming Taliban-like? That Republicans have never found a war they didn't like? That Republican politicians even exist to make lives miserable?  That the cloud of utter stupidity, imbecility, and viciousness has surrounded and engulfed the GOP?  There is nothing to celebrate when homophobia, misogyny, bigotry, racism, religious scapegoating, gerrymandering, and new Jim Crow laws are engulfing this country. 

I've been around awhile and I've been through the fight for women's rights.  I am more than enraged when Republicans, especially MEN, stick their noses where it doesn't belong, practice medicine without a license, denigrating everyone who doesn't agree with them or look like them (read white males), changing the rules to wipe away the voting rights of those they look down on, chuckling as they wipe away help for the downtrodden, enriching their own pockets with blood money from corporations who take obscene profits by sending their operations overseas.

This is, indeed, a horrible country when the Republican/Tea Party is allowed to even exist since their only reason to be is to dominate every aspect of our lives, private or otherwise and to return this country to the 18th century when women were treated like property, blacks were enslaved, and white men had all the rights.  Insanity reigns supreme in this country now because the Republicans/Teabaggers are full of intense hatred of President Obama (read the black man) and everyone (read Democrats) who doesn't agree with them.  Their hatred, though they think it's disguised, is plain to see by those with critical thinking skills. The GOP doesn't believe in great education for everyone, they don't believe in science, technology, women's equality, freedom of/from religion or the Constitution.  They are bound and determined to kick this country into oblivion.  And they're doing a damn good job of it.

But, GOP, be warned.  You will rue the day you think you have won.  The time is coming when your craziness will be stopped and your party will implode.  It can't come too soon for me and every single person in this country who has a good heart and a working brain.

So, what are we celebrating today? Nothing but a good time. And I am celebrating the promise of kicking the hell out of the GOP in 2014.  I have two words for you, GOP, that will make you shudder:  Hillary Clinton!  2016 - She'll beat the crap out of you!