Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Meatless Monday. Or Tuesday. Whatever.
I found some beautiful eggplants at the grocery and went searching for a MM recipe -- I thought this "Jewish Eggplant Lasagna" looked promising, and not too difficult. You can find the recipe here, and believe me, it's worth trying -- this was delicious.
When I was in grad school, I worked for Jewish caterers; several of my office mates worked for this company (run by two feisty and fantastic women) for a little extra cash and asked me to join them.
When I went to work my first event, here's what I knew about Jewish cooking: no pig.
After months of de-veining chicken livers, rolling grape leaves, baking noodle kugels and serving Bat Mitzvahs, Bar Mitzvahs, and Rosh Hashanah dinners in some of the fanciest homes in Akron, Ohio, I knew Jewish cooking was a lot more than an absence of bacon and sausage.
The women taught us not only about the food, but about the traditions surrounding the food and the religious significance of the dishes we served. I was completely awed by them and what they taught us -- plus, I was taking a course in modern Jewish literature at the time, and was engrossed in Isaac Bashevis Singer, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and J.D. Salinger. It was a cultural turning point for me, and I didn't even have to leave Ohio.