Re: I liked it better when....12/14/07
posted by jb
We'd go to Ashey Svard (on Webster & McAllister, before it relocated to 16th and Clement) on High Holydays with my grandparents. It was the real deal with no English spoken, the women siting upstairs and everyone handing smelling salts around so as not to pass out from fasting. And when the gates closed and we were all sealed in the book of life for another year...we'd dash off to the local Jewish restaurant (might have been Soloman's, not sure) and eat like "chazers" as my Bubby would chide.
(Ironically, I learned recently that my Irish Catholic grandmother used the same expression in Gaelic) This was the one time of year Bubby would have a drink; Manishevitz and seltzer, both of which were on every table. It was the real seltzer in the bottles, just like the Three Stooges, and the vintage on the Manishevitz...let's just say it was a good week. Like a blessing, my Unlce Les always recited the same joke "you know how to make Manishevitz wine?" "kick him in the..." any one under 16 giving the answer was sure to get a zetz in the pisk.
Anyway, this ancient ritual was long before cholesterol counts and most-likely responsible for more Jewish men dying than Ramses II. There is an art to making the worst part of any meat or vegetable taste like the best food on the planet and if you can find it West of the Hudson River these days, let me know.
For these last many years, I have made chicken matzoball soup for Christmas...It is my Bubby's recipe with a few modifications and it always gets raves...good enough to make Manishevitz whine.