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Matzo Ball Soup{Worries Go Down Better With Soup}

New York City, fashion mecca and land of the Bubby.  As long as my memories go back, I have had this very hazy picture of eating corned beef, and not just any corned beef. . .corned beef from the deli promised land, nay the deli center of the universe, the Carnegie Deli.  Where the words “extra lean, half sour, and Russian dressing” float through the air on smooth currents of “chopped liver”.  Every grey haired man here was a potential grandpa or perhaps a not so distant relative of your great uncle’s cousin, Sheila.

So you sit there, and as you wait you feast on pickled tomatoes and other briny delectables from the pickle spectrum.  And then, sheer glee, my five year old life was complete! In front of me appeared, as if by magic, the most luscious ruby layers of warm corned beef stacked mountainously high between two rye encrusted cushions.

Oh yes, Bubby’s favorite color just might have been black, and she also may have slept in curlers, and she may not have let me play with the little glass boxes on her side table in her living room, but the food in Bubby’s city really had some  panache! Read the rest of this entry »

{Once Upon A Mythological Time. . .}

Cyprus-Aphrodite RockOn the picturesque coastline of Paphos, Cyprus; where the aquamarine waters caress the alabaster sand, our story begins. There lived a great king, ‘Uranus’ (Ouranos (Οὐρανός), the Greek word for sky).

And as individuals in a position of power often do, he made a tiny, little, teensy weensy mistake that may or may not have been influenced by his extreme greed.  He hid his youngest children away from their mother, Gaia.  This was no small feat especially because one child was the hundred-armed Hecatonchires and the other was the one-eyed Cyclopes. . .and they were gigantic.

So, needless to say, Gaia got pretty pissed off when she found out who was to blame for her missing kiddies (and when I say pissed off, we are talking Lorena Bobbit pissed off).  She created a great adamant sickle (or, in plain English, a really sharp and really strong knife) and gathered together several of her other young sons to seek revenge in the form of castration. Cronus, one of these sons, happened to be extremely jealous of his father, and he was quite willing to, shall we say, ‘swing the axe’. So, Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in a hiding spot to ambush his unlucky father. Read the rest of this entry »

‘How do we eat our soup? We skim our spoon delicately across its surface, as if we were sending a ship out to sea, then bring it to our lips and silently sip.’ Marjabelle Young Stewart, Commonsense Etiquette, 1999

Pretty Soup

Not so fast Marjabelle Young Stewart! When we talk about table etiquette we are talking about rules that do not picnic blanket the entire human population. Rather, they govern a particular society or portion of a society according to the norms and conventions established therein.  So, to put it simply, while I may think it improper to slurpity slurp my soup, the Japanese man sitting next to me may feel quite the opposite. He may be wondering what about the soup was so off putting that it evoked such sipping silence, as slurping in Japan typically indicates approval and appreciation for what is being eaten. Read the rest of this entry »