Celebrating Modern Jewish Living Through Food, Tradition, and Family
So here’s the thing: I look at this picture and I think: delicious, a light lunch–I hope the melon is sweet and really cold! My husband looks at the same picture and comes pretty close to crying, wondering how in the world anyone eats such a thing. Then we get into the whole conversation about how this is an actual meal at deli and diner menus and how our moms regularly ate this (with Melba Toast, of course) for half our lives. Is it a Jewish thing?
I don’t know about you, but for me, when I see half of a scooped out cantaloupe piled high with cottage cheese or berries (or sometimes if the diner or deli is fency (as my dad liked to say) filled with frozen yogurt, it makes me happy. It reminds me of the good old delis in NY where such a thing might even come to the table in a silver ice cream sundae bowl with a long sundae spoon. Remember those? I even remember when the half-melons would be sitting in glass parfait dishes and turning round and round with the blackout cakes and cheesecakes and checkerboard cakes in the rotating cake displays. Now that’s what I’m talking about.
My darling husband has an aversion to cottage cheese. (He has an aversion to ricotta cheese too, now that I think about it. I don’t know if it’s a cheese thing or a texture thing. Must investigate). Just today, I was reading through The Art of Jewish Cooking by Jennie Grossinger, published in 1958 and in this wise old trove was a recipe for Cottage Cheese Soup. I saw the title, got up from my desk and walked around and put the book in front of my husband’s face. He blanched.
I went back to my desk but started to read the recipe aloud. (Yes, I can be lovely.)
“After you saute the celery and onions and peppers,” I said “you add three, wow, THREE cups of milk and cook on low heat for an hour.”
I glanced over. I won’t lie; he looked a little pale. “No more,” he said, closing his eyes.
I continued. “But right before serving,” I continued, “that’s when you add a half-cup of light cream and a whole cup of cottage cheese. Makes sense. I guess that keeps the cottage cheese a little lumpy and creamy.” I suggested.
He looked at me and then got up and left the room.
Something I said?