Friday, May 13, 2011

Tsu Zetik far Maydelehs (Too Rich for Little Girls)

"...And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot"

My grandmother and a chicken: as was the wont of that generation, no bit went unexploited. Chewy heart, tender liver--fried with onions, the smell of it hot and golden. Neck--boiled in a soup, the bone like a strand of coral pieces, sucked, industriously, for every last hiding morsel. The carcass--picked smooth.

And the fat. The fat had its own calling: to become grebenes, the cracklings. My grandma offered me and my sister just one little irregular bit apiece. I don't remember the texture or the taste, or whether I liked it, but I like to think I did.

Grandma Eva's Jewish cookbook, on my bookshelf now, worn to fragments

a recipe for chicken fat cracklings, should you want to make them

for more memory posts, visit the Sepia Saturday blog


Ponita in Real Life said...

I've never had chicken cracklings, but grew up on pork cracklings from the whole hams my mum would bake in the oven with the skin on. After it was good and crunchy, she's remove it and score and glaze the ham. One of my favourite meals to this day!!! The cracklings AND the ham, along with scalloped potatoes, some veggie and maybe even some corn bread.

Okay... now I am starting to drool...

Anonymous said...

It's all totally unknown to me. I know that grandma and other women in the family used to cook with fat collected, but I can not remember and I have no own experience. Mother did it different, and what I learned about cooking I took from her. But every part of the chicken was used.

Pat said...

These days chicken is eaten any old time but in the thirties - even for well off people chicken was a rare treat.

Kristin said...

i still like the giblets.

Megan said...

What are Kasha Varnichkes? I must go look it up right NOW.