Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Cousins' Dinner

My auntie is a GREAT home cook and since my uncle died three years ago, she doesn't really need to cook as often as she'd like. She LOVES to be in the kitchen. So when I come to visit, I am the grateful benficiary of her labor of love.

She and I have breakfast together every morning - the table is laden with a veritable buffet of foods including but not limited to orange juice, challah or bialys or bagels or onion rolls or ALL of those, farmer cheese, whipped cream cheese, whipped butter, a selection of hard cheeses, whitefish salad, herring, good, strong coffee (see a previous post for photos). We talk, we laugh, we eat, we have a second cup of coffee and we are ready to attack our respective days.

We always have at least one dinner - just the two of us. She has taken to enjoying a glass of wine and a pupu or two before dinner. She cooks my favorite things - meatballs, chicken cutlets, lots of salads and fresh vegetables. It is a joy for me to share meals with her.

And then, at least once during my visit, she invites The Cousins to dinner. And she spends the day in the kitchen making "crumby chicken" - her version of fried chicken only better - her famous meatballs, salads, a starch - in this case my kid cousin made the amazing potato knishes - an apple pie for dessert. This was the scene before - and after - The Cousins assembled at the table. That's auntie second from the left.

I am extraordinarily lucky to be able to travel to my hometown, sometimes two or three times a year, and indulge in meals in all manner of restaurants - from holes-in-the-wall in Chinatown to the domains of celebrity chefs in the neighborhood of the month. But the best meals I have are at my auntie's dining room table in Brooklyn. We have only a few members of our family left. We all love each other very much. And we look forward to The Cousins dinner because we reminisce, we talk, we yell, we LAUGH very hard, and we auntie's delicious food.

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