I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Know what song l like?

That brass piece that they always play in movies and T.V., when, like, Pioneers or Cowboys are crossing like around the Grand Teton Mountains on horses. It's like a "Yeah! We're making progress, look at this great country!" piece.

You'd know it if you heard it. It's nice.


My Grandma Bella, God rest her mortal soul, was a terrible, awful, ghastly cook.

Not only was she a murderous cook, but her taste in food left much to be desired. There were three things she made well: sweet and sour meatballs, rugelach, and matzoh-covered potatoes. Everything else she made... sucked. If she roast a chicken, you could turn it to dust by scraping it against your mouth with your tongue. She could burn a steak like no one's business (even though my grandfather was a BUTCHER) and you could pretty much be assured if she made it, it would taste awful. When we'd eat at her house, I'd load up on the corn and potatoes and take the littlest serving of meat I could because anything she made that wasn't from a can was nausea inducing. And bless her heart, she had no idea she had as much business in the kitchen as I have on a basketball court.

After my parents cleaned out her house, my mother nabbed me her recipe box. I remember once going through it and thinking, "Gross." but putting it aside, as I'd go through it later. I figured there would be heirloom family recipes shoved in there somewhere, and I wasn't looking hard enough. Some link to the past that I could teach to my children and say, "This your Great-Great-Great Bubbie Miskin's _________" or "This is Great-Great Bubbie Koopermann's JewPie with YiddishSauce!" Or even, "These are Grandma Bella's Meatballs."

Later turned into years, and while I was home over Thanksgiving, I tossed the box into my suitcase.

I found three recipes in the box that are of importance to me: Jordan Marsh's blueberry muffins, Struedel (I'm pretty sure this was a recipe passed down from my great-grandmother Koopermann) and the Rugelach recipe...which was clipped from a 1987 issue of the Jewish Journal.

The rest of the recipes highlight my grandmother's absolutely terrible taste in food. Thankfully, most of the recipes are for baked items, (Grandma wasn't a very good baker) but she even managed to clip the nasty BAKING recipes!

So. If you ever need eighty thousand recipes for noodle kugel, I'm your man. You should probably go with Auntie Marsha's recipe for it, but that Carolyn Selby has plenty of recipes in the box too, so hers might be good. You want Matzah pie? No problem. Sourcream dough? Got you covered. Norma's cake? Norma's ice box pineapple pie? Norma's Date and Walnut Squares? No? Do you want to try one of the other (literally) sixteen recipes for date and walnut squares?

Were date and walnut squares big in the early '70s or something? Because... Bella hoarded those bitches like they were never going to publish the recipe again after 1972.

Cranberry Jell-o Mold? Fifteen things to do with Walnuts, as clipped from the Walnuts bag?

Fish chowder? (Ugh.) Sunburst-Mallow Yams? Stripe-it-Rich Cake? Date Chewies? Date Nut Pinwheels? (Seriously, how many fucking Date recipes could there BE?!)

It's a tangible link to the past. And I found my Mom's recipe for poundcake in there, in Shelley's handwriting. Un-made, of course, judging from the lack of waterspots and ink-runs on the card...

I guess it's a snapshot in time - some of the recipes appear to date from my mom's childhood - clipped from mid '60s magazines with jewel-tone color pictures of yellow cakes with chocolate icing. Most of all it's a piece of my grandmother that's nice to have with me. I just wish Bella would have left me a recipe or two that doesn't make me want to kill myself. But... she didn't. Still, from beyond the grave, she did me one favor - the Jordan Marsh recipe isn't scrawled out in '30s cursive with a dull pencil like the rest of her recipes... which is good. Because it's probably the only recipe in the box I'll ever consider making.

But I'm not givin' that one to you. Instead, enjoy these three..."delicious" doozies, and these are verbatim:

Glady's Bubkie
2 frozen white loaf breads and thaw out.
10 oz. jar cherries cut in half
(In Angel Food pan line with these two.)

4 oz nuts cut in half

1 stick oleo melted
2 or more tsp. cinnamon (Mix.)

1 cup sugar

Roll balls from thawed bread (size of cherry tomatoes) and dip in sugar, oleo and cin. mixture. Lay down in pan in layers. Preheat oven to 200 and then close. Put pan in for 1 hr. Then light oven to 350 and bake for 25 minutes. Cool 10 min. and remove from pan inverted. (In handwriting: Do not grease pan.)


Aunt Bella Cookie

1 cup date + 1/2 cup nuts (See?! DATES AGAIN!)
3/4 c conf sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
2 scant tbsp flour
dash salt
1/2 b powder

2 eggs in bowl add sugar dates + nuts + sprinkle flour over. Add to egg misture. Bake 350 oven for 50(?) mins. In brownie dish.

Grandma - what about the vanilla and the baking powder?

Bea Myrich Choco Hershey Cake Syrup

1/4# Margerine (What a p...ohhhhhhh. A quarter POUND. Now I get it...)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp b. powder (sift together)
1 can h supy (I think she meant syrup)

Cream marg. with sugar fluffy add eggs one at a time gradually add flour then vanilla beat well add syrup. Bake in pan 13 x 9 x 2 that is waxed and greased at 350 for 35 to 40 mins. Sprinkle nuts on top of batter.

"Down the Hatch!" as Grandma used to say...

Comedy Gold.

Scroll down and read No. 4 and No. 3.

I wholeheartedly agree. Aunt Bethany MAY be the funniest person ever in a movie.

Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora Griswold: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.
[Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.