Monday, April 10, 2006

Jewcy Seder

Nothing says roots like Passover food. So when my mom was in town this weekend (just a few days shy of Pesach) we chowed down like Rabbis. A few days early. Gefilte fish is the ultimate insider dish. No one with any taste outside of The Tribe can even tolerate it. But to the tongue raised in awe of the adults at the Seder table eating these beige odd shaped dumplings of the tub, there is joy in the bite of purple horseradish and the flush of sweet fish as the gefilte crumbles over the palette.

There are great, great stories about the first generation of off-the-schtettle wives keeping carp alive in the bathtub in Brooklyn for days before they cut it up and mixed it with whitefish and pike, matzo and egg. My grandmother’s mother was one of those Jewesses and I can still remember staring at my Nanna’s tub imagining a big fish swimming around next to the Donald duck decals she had stuck on the bottom for my bath times. No wonder I love even the gefilte jelly in the Mrs. Adler jars from Shop and Stop. For a little Jewish kid growing up in the City this is magic folklore.

At our pre-Pesach seder I plated the gefilte with some tender arugala that I’ve been growing in a coldframe in my backyard. Then I took a picture of it with my cell phone and posted it on the blog. How is that going to compare to the tub stories for my kids? Magic? Maybe, maybe not, but it sure feels Tribal and that’s real Jewcy for this Jew.


Stockton & Tweed said...

Not so fast, WesFoodie!

I myself am a non-triber with a tongue inrigued by the gefilte fish - not that I affirmatively seek it out, mind you; rather, my waspy heritage usually brings me face-to-face with smoked salmon.

Happy Holidays!


WesFoodie said...

Tweed - Its interesting because smoked salmon is one of the few things that both Scottish lords and Schtettle rebbis had in common. Good luck with the gefilte tasting.