Friday, November 19, 2010

keep it in the fam

my mom's mom is awesome.
she knits socks, enjoys swimming every day, and doesn't lay it on thick when i'm too busy to call. 
the absence of guilt in a jewish grandmother relationship is a pleasant and welcome rarity that i am lucky to know.
growing up, my 'safta' (as i call her), had very little in the way of money. but she came from a happy and healthy family (of 12 kids!!) and her mum must have taught her right because she's sharp as a whip and can cook like a gem. 
this rice and lentil pilaf, known as 'mejadra', was passed down from my great-granny, to safta, to my get the idea. whenever i make it i wonder if anyone outside my family would find it as amazingly enjoyable as i do, or whether that's just a matter of repeated exposure and good memories.
there's only one way to find out...give it a try!
my great-granny knew what was up with 4 food groups and complimentary proteins.
i make a long-grain brown rice for the nutritious bonus, but i think the OG (original grandma, duh) made it with white rice back in the day...rinse half parts rice and brown lentils, and then cook like you would normal rice (use more water for brown rice).
slice and fry a cooking onion in oil until it's practically burnt to a crisp....i don't know, it just tastes better that way.
make a 'middle eastern' salad with finely sliced tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, green onion, and grated carrots and radishes (i didn't have radish, but it's good). my salad is not so finely chopped. i'm too impatient for that kind of task. anyway the salad skills seem to be a 'guy' thing that run down the dad side of my fam. 
fine, i'll tell you about it. 
my dad's dad used to make a salad out of those ingredients that we called: (loose translation alert!!) 'shredded little salad'. point is, we had a name for it, and my bro picked up this skill and can also spend a good 45 minutes cutting little pieces of tomato into uniform tomato molecules. so, OCD is good for some things i suppose.
yogurt on the side makes it a meal.