15 February 2008

Rain, cold, wind call for comfort food

The past few days in Israel have been wet, windy and cold. And, of course, there was that pesky earthquake, which at a desk-rattling 5.3 was strong enough to remind me of our Los Angeles days.

This sort of weather and environmental danger makes me nostalgic for Jewish comfort food, deli-style. And since Israel lacks even one traditional Jewish deli (felafel and humus just doesn't cut it ... sorry!), I had to rely on the New York Time's "Quit Kibitzing and Pass the Gribenes."

The story describes a visit to the new Second Avenue Deli by writer Frank Bruni who recruited three opinionated friends for a lunch visit: former New York mayor Ed Koch, writer/movie director Nora Ephron, and culinary history author Laura Shapiro.

The four diners cover and pick at chopped liver, hotdogs with skin, matzo balls and soup, with hot pastrami piled high.

And I realized that we weren’t so much eating in a specific restaurant as passing through a communal storehouse of memories, on a bridge of babkas from the past to the future.

Ed, the most deeply rooted New Yorker among us, said that at the Second Avenue Deli, “I feel very much at home.”

“I walk out,” he said, “and I feel warm, no matter how cold it is.”

Read the complete article here.

Bruni's blog posting elaborates on the visit. When I checked there were some 118 comments, all very tasty indeed.

Both stories focused on pastrami - which my husband loves but I don't. My own deli favorite is sliced fresh-roasted turkey breast on rye with lots of Russian dressing slathered on. When I fly back from New York, I bring my husband 2 pounds of pastrami and cornbeef extra lean, real deli mustard, rye bread and he has a feast! And that's in addition to my Zabar's run for interesting gastronomic treats.

After reading both Bruni's story and blog, it didn't seem so wet, windy and cold outside. Yum!

No comments:

Post a Comment