Summer Kitchen

August 30th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HOORAY !!! The only thing lacking on Prince Edward Island has been a first rate Chinese restaurant. (There’s a good Indian restaurant and fine Vietnamese dining. Charlottetown has a joyous pizza joint and, of course, eateries that make the most of PEI’s natural bounty of farm fresh produce, oysters, lobster, fish and clams). And now there’s Summer Kitchen. (Name does not refer to a season but the restaurant’s location on Charlottetown’s Summer Street). Only open for two weeks, Summer Kitchen is a bright, meticulously clean place. The service is warm and helpful. Run by an endearing Asian couple, the food is extraordinary. HG/BSK dined there a few days ago. Starters surpassed anything found in New York’s dim sum palaces. Filipino Lumpia (spring rolls) had greaseless super crisp exteriors and juicy interiors of chopped vegetables. Lumpia are a favorite street vendor snack throughout the Philippines and Indonesia. Pan fried dumplings had thin skins and browned surfaces. Wood ear mushroom gave the pork fillings an extra flavor boost. Mains (served with a bowl of fluffy rice) were a braise of sliced Japanese eggplant and mapo tofu. Both were fresh and flavorful. HGBSK will be back to try the other good things on the menu.

When “Der Fuhrverts” Became A Weapon for Female Dignity

August 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, newspapers are in decline. News is coming via the internet. The newsprint paper may soon be a memory. New York’s Village Voice has ended its print edition. Sad. It had a wonderful history of investigative journalism and support of avant garde arts. HG often gave information to Jack Newfield, one of the paper’s star writers, about the destruction of neighborhoods by real estate developers. (Now a real estate developer is trying to destroy American democracy). Its classified ad section was the go to place for rental apartments. When BSK arrived in New York in February of 1963, BSK read the Voice and found an apartment to share in Greenwich Village with a young Frenchwoman. BSK’s share of the rent: $75 a month. HG always loved newspapers. Growing up, HG relished New York’s seven daily newspapers. Four morning papers: Times, Herald-Tribune, News, Mirror. Three afternoons: Post, Journal-American, World Telegram & Sun. (For a brief period, New York also had another daily, PM. Later renamed The Compass). There were also many foreign language newspapers besides the specialized Journal of Commerce and The Racing Form. The Yiddish press flourished. There were three dailies: The Jewish Daily Forward, with the largest circulation, was a socialist newspaper edited by the remarkable Abraham Cahan. It was the favorite of HG’s late Mother and Father. They always referred to the newspaper as “der Fuhrverts”. The other Yiddish dailies were Der Tag-Morning Journal, slightly conservative and edited for more affluent Jews. Freiheit was communist. Greatly aided the communist-led Fur and Leather Workers Union. Ben Gold. was the union’s fiery leader. HG’s Father abhorred communism but enjoyed the ferocious, madly passionate oratory of Ben Gold. A family legend involved “der Fuhrverts.” HG’s Mom was seated in the Jerome Avenue El on the way to 170th Street. She was reading “der Fuhverts”. She glanced upwards. A shocking sight: A man stood before her displaying his penis. Ida Kopkind Freeman rolled up the paper and gave the offensive male appendage a good whack. She yelled: “Go away,slob!!!. He did. Ran to an exit. A triumph for a newspaper and feminine dignity.

Sorrel Sauce

August 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Many years ago in Paris, HG/BSK dined with HG’s beloved sister, Beulah Naomi, and her husband, Daniel Katz, at the bustling, art deco brasserie, Le Vaudeville, near the Bourse (French stock exchange). Vaudeville was a splendid brasserie in those days. It has gone downhill since taken over by a restaurant chain. HG/BSK started the meal with a big platter of oysters (and a bottle of crisp Muscadet). Beulah and Dan were happy with their starter of marinated herring. HG/BSK went on to mains of steamed cod and mashed potatoes with black truffles. Beulah and Dan ordered saumon a l’oseille (salmon with sorrel sauce) and boiled potatoes for their main dish. It was a “Voila !!!” moment for Beulah. She chortled with delight with each forkful. BSK brought back this happy memory last night with BSK’s version of this dish. BSK’s sorrel sauce: chopped sorrel (from the BSK herb garden);butter, chicken broth, shallots, lettuce and an egg yolk). All the ingredient cooked gently and swirled into an unctuous topping for a thick slab of salmon. The fish was purchased at Prince Edward Island’s ByThe Bay Fish Mart. The salmon is farm raised under excellent conditions in Nova Scotia. HG/BSK pan broiled the fish very carefully (overcooked salmon is disastrous). The fish was perfect. The sauce was lush and herbaceous. Only wish that Beulah was here to enjoy it.

Dillicious

August 24th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK placed big bunches of organic dill (from the Charlottetown Farmers Market) on the kitchen counter. This spelled future culinary delights at HG/BSK’s oceanfront paradise on Prince Edward Island. First, BSK made many jars of pickles (mix of salt water, vinegar, much dill and garlic). Better than New York’s legendary Lower East Side pickles. Yes, Canadian BSK outdoes the Jewish pickle mavens. Then, in the morning BSK made soft and creamy scrambled eggs with chopped dill (a perfect dill and onions smoked salmon omelet is a future treat). As the days have rolled on (and the pickles matured) HG/BSK ate dilled yellow bean salad and PEI potatoes with sour cream and chopped dill. As the cliche has it, dill is a gift that keeps on giving.

Shandeh

August 23rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

“Shandeh” is a Yiddish word defining a shameful or despicable act. At the trial of “The Chicago Seven” for inciting to riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention, defendant Abbie Hoffman (anti-Vietnam activist and provocateur), shouted at presiding Judge Julius Hoffman who was Jewish, but no relation to Abbie: “You are a shandeh fur de goyim.” A disgrace in front of the gentiles. Today, this applies to Mnuchin, Kushner and every other Jewish Trump administration official and campaign financier in view of Der Trumperer’s remarks about Nazis/White Supremacists.

Schlammer

August 22nd, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

A favorite weapon of garment center workers and hoodlum strikebreakers during the labor battles in New York (1915-20) was the “schlammer.” This was a metal pipe wrapped in newspaper (HG presumes the bloody newspaper was divested. No fingerprints). The men (and some women) using these weapons were known as “schlammers.” HG’s late lamented father, Hershel Zvi Freeman, was such an effective breaker of criminal heads that he (wife and infant son Bernard) had to leave New York in a horse and wagon. Long journey took them to the Ohio farm of Fanny Howitz, HG’s Mom’s sister. The three spent a happy time there (HG’s mother and father especially loved community square dancing) before returning to New York when they thought things were safe. HG’s father was in his 50’s when HG was born. A quiet and gentle man, he was plagued by various ailments until his death in the 1960’s. Never spoke about his violent days. However, when HG was 14, HG ran an arcade game in Rockaway for a couple of tough Jews.( “Five Balls. Five Roses. Roll ‘Em Easy. Roll ‘Em Slow. Every Game A Winner.” chanted young HG as he collected money and made change.) A grifter cheated HG out of ten dollars which was deducted from HG’s measly pay by HG’s nasty bosses. HG told his father. Father went down to the basement of the boarding house where HG’s family summered. Picked up a lead pipe. Wrapped it in newspaper. HG and father went to the arcade. “Schlammer” in hand, HG’s father, in a soft and courteous voice, said the deduction was unfair and asked for ten dollars owed his son. The tough guys looked at the “schlammer”. Silence. They forked over the ten bucks.

Historic Blindness

August 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Americans will not acknowledge their history. The United States is guilty of two great crimes against humanity: The virtual genocide of Native Americans. And the centuries of abominable chattel slavery. (On a much lesser scale are the destructive, useless Vietnam and Iraq wars). Thousands of Africans died battling slavers. More died as they were branded and kept in African captivity as they awaited “the middle journey.” Thousands more died as they were locked below decks in unspeakable conditions. And, then there was slavery. Lee and the other “heroes” of the Confederacy fought to preserve slavery. The confederate flag is as much a symbol of murderous inhumanity as the swastika. Any African-American seeing Confederate flags and Confederate statues would have the same feelings as a Jew gazing at a swastika or a Hitler statue. Yes, Germany is not perfect. But, it has acknowledged its modern history. Statues of Hitler cannot be found in that land. Back here, in the temporarily land of the brave and free, Der Trumperer is concerned that tearing down racist statues will mar the beauty of cities.

Alt Left?

August 16th, 2017 § 4 comments § permalink

So, the piece of garbage that calls itself POTUS believes that those who battle violent Nazis are members of the”alt left.” That means the millions of Americans who fought the Nazis, violently and to the death, during WWII were members of the “alt left.” As was the French resistance and all other resistance / partisan groups during World War Two. My late father-in-law, Roy Kent, an RCAF bomber pilot, who won the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and many other decorations for his exploits against the Nazis, would be startled. When he arrived in Britain his aerial skills were recognized and it was suggested that he be a trainer. His reply: “I didn’t travel 4,000 miles to be a teacher. I came here to kill Nazis.” He demanded bomber raids he would pilot even though the base log book indicated that no bomber crew had ever survived their tour of duty. A true member of the “alt left. (He’s on the right in this wartime London photo. His younger brother, Eric, who spent seven years as an artilleryman, is on the left.).

Another Farewell Dinner

August 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Last week, HG’s daughter, Victoria, left Prince Edward Island for New York. But, before departure, there was a remarkable dinner featuring local foodstuffs (with exception of Geechie Boy grits). The festivity started with two dozen Coleville Bay oysters and one dozen Malpeques. Professor Massimo R. assisted HG with swift and adroit shucking. Lesley R. surprised with a lush dish of “polenta e schie”, A Venetian favorite. “Schie” are the tiny shrimp harvested in the Veneto lagoon. Lesley substituted tiny river shrimp from Newfoundland. Heated them with garlic, shallots, olive oil, butter, touch of white wine and a shower of chopped parsley. Served over creamy Geechie Boy grits. Splendid. This was followed by BSK’s seafood chowder of clams, mussels, cod, scallops and potatoes. Accompanied by John the Baker’s brown bread. Hearty goodness. Meal concluded with The Gouda Lady’s fenugreek gouda. Red wine. HG chose alcohol, the dazzling marc distilled by PEI’s Bagaco winery.

Photo Crdit: Vicki Freeman

Vile Trump

August 13th, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

There is no limit to the sheer piggishness of Der Trumperer. The latest, of course, is his equating violent Nazi haters of African-Americans, Jews and immigrants with those who protest their actions. It’s like that old joke about equal coverage by TV news. First there is footage of hundreds of dead Jews who perished in the Auschwitz gas chambers. Then the newscaster says: “And now for the Nazi point of view..”