New year, new dumplings
09/12/2012 10:00 PM
My paternal grandparents lived at 330 W. Diversey Parkway for pretty much my whole childhood, and every Rosh Hashanah we’d drive from our home in South Shore Valley to their house for a special family New Year’s celebration.
I loved the drive along the way on Lake Shore Drive, when we’d pass some of my favorite places like the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, and the blue light signifying we were near Buckingham Fountain, or “Bucky” as we called it.
But the best part of the holiday was my Grandma Peggy’s cooking. My grandma would set a beautiful table and cook up a storm, yet somehow she always made it look effortless. Besides serving an incredible Jewish feast, she’d patiently stand at the stove for what seemed like hours frying up kreplach, small dumplings filled with meat that everybody went crazy for.
My grandma would pile the kreplach high on a platter, but as fast as she could fry them up, was as fast as they’d be eaten. My brothers and I, and my three younger cousins, would zip through the kitchen, quickly grabbing up the delicious, piping-hot snacks. But Grandma Peggy never yelled or scolded us to save some for everybody else. She just kept cooking. And we just kept eating.
One of the greatest gifts my grandma gave me was her prized Jewish cookbook, weathered and well-used. Inside still are a couple of food-stained pieces of paper, with Grandma’s treasured, hand-written recipes jotted down on them.
One of those recipes is for her kreplach, the best ever. Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Sunday, so I thought I’d pass it on. And you certainly don’t have to be Jewish to make the scrumptious kreplach, which can be eaten alone, or in soup.
Haynes unleashed… Having election fun is Skip Haynes, of the famed “Lake Shore Drive” band Aliotta, Haynes and Jeremiah. Skip asked me to spread the word about his new election-themed song and video, “Mitt Romney’s Dog” that’s now on YouTube.
“If you love dogs and don’t like Mitt Romney, you’ll love this song and video,” he said “Any help in passing it along will be much appreciated — we’re trying to get it to go viral.”
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign… Have you noticed improved safety conditions at a number of busy 43rd Ward street crossings? According to Diversey Harbor’s executive director Gene Fisher, the improvements started when his association suggested to 43rd Ward Ald. Michele Smith that Chicago learn from cities with signs posted saying: “State Law — Stop When Pedestrians Crossing.” Ald. Smith began installing those signs, and busy intersections have become far less dangerous.
“We take pride in this achievement, which illustrates what can be accomplished by an active, concerned neighborhood organization,” said Fisher.