Haimish Treats

May 25th, 2016 § 0 comments

The yiddish word haimish means warm, unpretentious, down home comfort. It applies to the comfort level of a home, the personality of a person and the taste of certain foods. Brisket, potato latkes, chicken soup, matzo balls, blintzes, chopped liver, pastrami are among the long list of “haimish” foods. Despite being decidedly unkosher, pork chops taste “haimish” to HG. Sushi and sashimi are delicious. But, not haimish. Gyoza, curiously, are “haimish.” So is Menudo, the Mexican tripe stew.There are times when HG chooses among three foods for a comforting “haimish” dinner. These are dishes HG’s Mom fed her growing boy, so they are imbued with a strong element of nostalgia. First choice is kasha (buckwheat groats) with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and a big dollop of sour cream. HG accompanies this with chilled vodka and beer chasers. Number two is starkly simple (but lush): Little boiled potatoes in their skins. Butter. Sour cream. Lots of black pepper and Malden Sea Salt Flakes. Vodka and beer plus a platter of sliced Kumatoes and Vidalia onions. (No, HG’s Mom didn’t serve the little fellow vodka). Third choice is another simple dish: Egg noodles with cottage cheese, salt and pepper. Coffee if serving at breakfast. Trader Joe’s Vegetable Patch drink if serving at lunch. BSK, despite her Anglo-Saxon-Welsh ancestry and Canadian-Midwestern youth, makes superb matzo balls. HG longs for these winners floating in a big bowl of free range chicken broth. Unrfortunately, BSK has not made them for years. However,BSK makes a world class bowl of Straciatella, the Italian version of egg drop soup. Italian “haimishkeit”. The best cure for the common cold and a splendid nourishment when flu has caused (a very rare happening) the disappearance of HG’s hearty appetite.

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