Books for Dad, or Fiction in the 21st Century: Recommendation #7

The Martian

By Andy Weir

Author said it best:

It’s a tale of survival

for the geekiest

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Cabbage Strudel Recipe: Even Google Can’t Find It

Google had never heard of Cabbage Strudel. It knows of apple strudels galore. The search engine has spit back enough cabbage recipes for me to wonder if Slavic languages have as many words for boiled cabbage as the Eskimos do for snow. But, for years I could not find a recipe for cabbage strudel. The closest I got was Nora Ephron’s The Lost Strudel – the title gives away the fact that a decade ago she had already concluded that cabbage strudel was lost to us.

I actually have a recipe for cabbage strudel. Bubby gave me the recipe, but like most recipes she gave me, the directions were vague. When I told her it didn’t work out, she made me read the recipe back to her. She confirmed it, and I could hear her shrug over the phone line. Sometimes, things just don’t work. But most of the time, I just didn’t use enough shmaltz and she couldn’t help me with that.

My dad couldn’t help me either, except to tell me that I probably wasn’t using enough shmaltz – a fair assumption since I wasn’t using any. However, he did mention that the recipe was unique. My Zaidy’s mother was the one in the family who had made cabbage strudel. But Bubby never met her, never had the strudel – and unlike her mother in law, she was not Polish. Rather, her family was from further east. So,when Zayde asked her to make his mother’s dish, she made a cabbage strudel of her own invention.

With that clue, I tried a few new search terms. In return, Google gave me Hungarian Cabbage Strudel. The countries aren’t far apart on the map, but something clearly is lost in translation.

screenshot-2017-01-04-at-17-20-44

In Eastern Europe, they don’t confuse proximity  with similarity         credit: google earth

While my grandmother’s recipe called for soft dough, which could be pulled to translucence, it wasn’t flaky. The Hungarian recipes call for phyllo dough. The Hungarian recipes sometimes call for sugar. Bubby’s called for salt, with more salt if needed.

Then again, Bubby made the recipe up. So, I guess I’ll try the same – на здоровье or zdrowie – either way, it’ll hopefully be delicious.

 

Out first job as Democrats must be not to do any more harm. True, we have to remain vigilant in getting rid of programs that don’t work. But as Democrats, we have to be prepared to truly believe that education is not just a headache we’re stuck with. In my opinion education and health care are national investments, as important to our national security as nuclear bombs, planes and armed forces.

-Rep. Charlie Rangel from And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress

The Memoir I Won’t Be Writing

Special Correspondent Perel is convinced that one day I will write a memoir. She’s also convinced that I’d have a captive audience. I won’t. But since I wouldn’t want to disappoint, I’ve composed some chapter titles for her to enjoy instead.

 

Title

You Didn’t Want Me to Say That Out Loud?

Chapters

On my Hometown: Forged in the Valley of Steel

On Growing Up: Rhetorical questions aren’t my forte

On Dating: It’s not as though I’d mind if I never saw him again

On Career: Nowhere pays as much as here for what I’m doing

On Leaning In and/or On Food: I bought their loyalty with snacks

On Confidence: Sometimes people need to be threatened

On Friendship: I have 5 clown noses, and 1 person who could put them to good use

On Travel: You love me. I love you, goats, and ancient printing presses

On Raising Children: If they can get the WD40, they probably know what to do with it

It had been a long twenty-four hours and somehow, after the betrayal and all the screaming, turning my life over to the Bloomingdale’s mafiosi seemed like a reasonable course of action. Besides, I trusted them; unlike my publicist and agent, they were only making commission on the tie.

from Nine Women, One Dress