Sunday, October 30, 2005

Little red eggplants

Will you just get a load
of these red eggplants! I am trying to think of a recipe that would do them justice and still show off their amazing color and shape. The lady at the farmstand warned me that they will need lots of cooking to tame their bitterness. Red eggplants have a flavor that is wilder and more intense than regular eggplants, according to Orto di Lucania.

You can scoop up much wonderful eggplant information here. There are many breathtaking photos of unusual eggplant species and varieties like these, and these.

I don’t know what to make of these; they really are eggplants, though. Here is a display of many varieties (but not our guys). These little guys are from Israel. Here’s the whole family. They are so beautiful and silky.

Eggnet: the European eggplant resource network houses The eggplant database, which has 4722 kinds of eggplant. I am amazed. I might just have to click on each one.

I found most of these eggplant sites from the Multilingual, Multiscript Plant Name Database. I adore this database—yet another reason to love Melbourne, Yerushlayim d’Australye, but they’d be even better if they had plant names in Yiddish as well.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

ייִדישע עסן אין אַלאַסקע

די מאַפּע אױבן איז פֿון „דער ייִדישער אימיגראַנט“ 1911. עס איז פֿון אַ גרעסערער מאַפּע װאָס האָט געהײסן „די הױפּט
־מאַטעריאַלן װאָס װערן פּראָדוצירט אין די יונײַטעד־סטײטס.” אַלאַסקע איז נאָך נישט געװען קײן שטאַט, אָבער די דערמאָנטע מאַטעריאַלן זענען רױך־װאַרג (פֿוטער, פּעלץ), פֿיש, יאַגד־חיות, און גאָלד.

זײער אַ טײַערע חבֿרטע אונדזערע, די סאַמע צפֿונדיקסטע ייִדישע טאָכטער, אָדער בלע"ז „The Northernmost Jew”, האָט זיך דאָס יאָר איבערגעצױגן מיט אַלע זיבן זאַכן קײן דירינג, אַלאַסקע, לערנען מאַטעמאַטיק אין דער מיטלשול.

דירינג“ איז פֿריִער געװען „אינמאַטשוקמיִיוט.“ דירינג איז אײנס פֿון עלף אינופּיאַק דערפֿלעך אין צפֿון־מערבֿ־אַלאַסקע.

לעצטנס לײענען מיר צופֿעליק אַ סך װעגן אַלאַסקע אין די ייִדישע צײַטונגען. מיט אַ װאָך צוריק (10/14/2005) האָט אַן אַלאַסקער אַ ייִד געשריבן אין דער רעדאַקץציע פֿאָרװערטס ׃

מיך- און מסתּמא אַנדערע לײענער-װאָלט מען זײער צופֿרידן געשטעלט, אױב בײַם אָפּדרוקן אַ רעצענזיע פֿון אַ נײַעם בוך געשריבן אױף ייִדיש איר װאָלט אױך געגעבן צו װיסן װי אַזױ און פֿון װאַנען מען קען עס באַקומען. עס איז ניטאָ קײן ייִדישער בוכהאַנדלער װוּ איך װױן.

דער ענגלישער „פֿאָרװאַרד“ האָט געהאַט אַן אַרטיקל װעגן ייִדן װאָס בױען סוכּות אין קאַלטע לענדער. צװישן זײ אַ פּאָר אין פֿײרבײנקס—אָבער פֿײרבײנקס איז מײַעמי אָדער קאַליפֿאָרניע אין פֿאַרגלײַך מיט דירינג.

װאָס עסט מען אין אַלאַסקע? אין אײן קאָכבוך שטײט אַז זױערטײג לאַטקעס זענען אַ טיפּישע אַלאַסקער מאָלצײַט. טראַדיציאָנעלע אינופּיאַקער מאכלים זענען׃

די זשוראַכלינע cranberry

דער װאָלפֿיש whale

דער פֿיש fish

דער אַמעריקאַנער לאָס moose

די פּיזעמקאַץ muskrat

דער קאַריבו caribou

Gaige, Crosby. New York World's Fair Cook Book, the American Kitchen. New York,: Doubleday, Doran & company, inc., 1939.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

כּי לקח טובֿ נתתּי לכם

אום שׂמחת־תּורה דערמאָנען מיר דעם פּסוק׃ כּי לקח טובֿ נתתּי לכם. מאַכט רש“י: איך האָב אײַך געגעבן אַ גוטן פּיערניק. אונטן איז אַ רעצעפּט.

בערנשטײן גיט די אָ לעקעך

נעבן אַ מת אַ גוט ביסל בראָנפֿן; אױף אַ ברית, אַ שטיקל לעקעך; אוּיף אַ חתונה׃ בײדע

אַז מען האָט ברױט זאָל מען קײן לעקעך נישט זוכן.

רוף מיך נאַר, נאָר גיב מיר לעקעך.

(און, װי פֿריער דערמאָנט) אַז אַ קאַרגער װערט מילד, עסט ער באָרשטש מיט לעקעך.

אַ גוטן געזונטן װינטער ענק אַלעמען!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I was already a senior in college before I tasted collard greens for the first time. They were prepared by my friend Gil. I hadn't realized collard greens were something you could actually cook and eat. I guess I always sort of believed it that they were something more mystical—a vegetable that existed only in metaphorical form. It was also many years before I understood that the spleen is a real organ, but that is another story.

Classic Collard Greens
Heat some oil in the bottom of a big pot. Gll says every time you heat oil in your home, you should think of it as a korbn, and now I always do. Add one small diced onion. Take one big bunch of collard greens. Cut the leaves off the stem and chop the leaves roughly. Most people throw out the stems; almost every cook book that has a recipe for collard greens will tell you to throw out the stems; but I love the stems, and chop the stems up and use them too. Throw the greens in the pot with the sizzling onion and cook them until they go down a little. Add water to cover, salt, and cook for a good long time. I think you have to cook for about an hour. Towards the end at a little bit of white vinegar or cider vinegar. Serve the greens, together with the "pot liquor"

This works very nicely if you're serving something rich and cheesy like macaroni and or grits.

I just love the leaves! They are like gigantic, floppy elephant ears.

Cowgirl Collard Greens

One largish onion sliced very thin.
A few cloves thinly sliced garlic, to taste (sliced, not crushed or minced, dammit)
Two medium to largish tomatoes, peeled and seeded
One or two hot pepper pods (optional)

One large bunch collard greens

Wash the collard greens carefully and remove the leaves from the stems. Most people throw out the stems, but I love the stems. Chop the leaves and stems, if you are using them, coarsely. Put the greens in large pot with some water and salt and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the greens and reserve the pot liquor.

Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add a thinly sliced onion and cook very slowly over low heat until the onion softens and begins to color. Add the garlic slices. Chop the peeled tomatoes into large chunks and add to the onions along with hot peppers and cook for a few minutes more. Add to the drained greens and cook, stirring, for several minutes more. Add a bit of the reserved pot liquor, if it becomes to dry. Drink the remaining pot liquor.

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Friday, October 07, 2005

אין אַ גוטער שעה!

„אין מױל אַרײַן“ געפֿינט זיך איצטער אױף דער רעשימה פֿון קולינאַרישער פּאָרנאָגראַפֿיע! גיטס אַ מאָל אַ קוק אַרײַן. Food Porn Watch האָט הונדערטער בלאָגעלעך מיט װוּנדערלעכע רעצעפּטן, בילדער און פּראָזע. עס פֿירט ממש צו עניװת.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oh, Honey

This Year’s Cake

Actually, this is the (5761/2000) cake, but its name remains This Year’s Cake. It is a traditional honey lekekh. I urge you to use buckwheat honey which gives the cake its distinctive flavor.

Sift dry ingredients together:

6 cups all-purpose flour (You may use part or all whole wheat pastry flour)

1 scant tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3/8 teaspoon cloves

Several scrapings of nutmeg

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup cocoa

Blend together in processor or blender:

2 oranges (remove seeds and cores, use peel and pulp)

¼ cup ginger preserves

1 scant pound (about 1 ½ cups) buckwheat honey

1 ½ cups oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons slivovitz

8 eggs (added at last minute)

Stir together

1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons instant coffee

½ cup boiling water

Stir the chocolate coffee into the orange-mix, and mix into the dry ingredients.

Fold in

3 grated apples (large, macintosh-type)

Bake in 3 or 4 cake pans, walnuts on top 450 for 5 minutes, 400 for five minutes, 350 for 20 minutes. Test for doneness.

Makes 3 large cakes, 3 dozen cupcakes, or 4 medium-sized cakes.

This cake benefits from resting, unrefrigerated, for one day, especially if you use whole wheat flour. It will keep for more than two weeks without refrigeration.

Best wishes for the New Year!

Here is an amazingly detailed beekeeper's lexicon for English, Italian, French and Spanish. Sorry I couldn't find a Yiddish beekeeper's lexicon. Yiddish for beekeeper is binen-tsier.
other highlights:
buckwheat--grano saraceno