I read the ‘Spring Cooking’ column, and I had to tell you what wonderful memories were evoked reading it. Especially about tongue.
My maternal grandmother from Ukraine—Odessa to be exact—was to me an angel in disguise. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, during the 30’s-50’s I was fortunate to have tasted tongue in all aspects of cooking it.
She had the greatest recipes, from sweet and sour baby tongues to the humongous cow tongues prepared like no other I have tasted. This gave me the adventurous attitude of trying out new and different types of foods, which has lasted to this day.
My non-Jewish friends asked me one time if I would prepare a dinner of nothing but foods I was brought up on. No easy feat, I assure you. I remember my grandmother starting on a Wednesday to have all the food prepared for the Sabbath feast on Friday eve.
I guess I overdid it and had everything I knew I was a able to cook, as I did consider myself a decent cook. I had everything from chopped chicken liver, roast chicken and chicken soup to gefulte fish, kasha varnishkes and the piece de resistance, tongue.
There was no way to disguise that. I made them promise to try everything at least once and if it did not please them then they could refrain from eating it. Well, all went well and everything was eaten with gusto and wonderment. Their plates were clean and so were all the main dishes, So thank you to Karen for being the catalyst to trigger the memories of a bygone era.