Author Archive
Foodways
general

Matzah Ball Soup

“First I bake the chicken and then cut the chicken off the bones, into cubes. I changed this part of the recipe from what my mom did. Grandma always puts the whole chicken in the soup but I never ate the chicken meat because it was always dry that way. Add whole Potato, yellow onion, turnip, parsnip, a handful of parsley, 1 leek, peppercorns, salt and pepper to taste. Put the chicken aside and put the bones in the pot with broth, bouillon cube, and water and veggies. Cook 2-3 hours. Strain out the peppercorns and all the veggies, add carrots and celery during the last 15 minutes of cooking and then add the chicken later.

As Jewish tradition, having Matzoth ball soup in the fridge is a staple. If it wasn’t in the fridge, it was frozen and ready to be defrosted. This soup is traditionally served during the Jewish holiday of Passover; a time that commemorates the liberation of Israelites from Egyptian slavery, which lasts eight days. During this time, individuals are not supposed to eat bread; they primarily consume various meals and snacks are made with matzah. While chicken soup can be made at any point in the year, adding matzah balls to the soup makes is a classic Passover tradition. There are many different variations and there is not a “right” way to make this recipe or how the soup should taste, however, it is very typical for people to say things like “my Mom’s soup is the best ever” and have joking argument about it.

It is common for recipes to be passed down through generations of families, especially when they are related to rituals and ceremonies. I personally have grown up cooking with my mother and from a young age I knew this recipe by heart. She told me that her mother taught her the recipe, and made modifications to it which she then taught me

 

Game

Kings, A Drinking Game

Kings is a game where you use each card in a deck of cards to represent a different drinking rule. This was told me by my older friends who experienced drinking before I. This game was talk to me by one of my friends. We always hang out and find things to do in the summer, a lot of them are drinking socially. One of our favorite games is called Kings. In this game it is basically a random way of making everybody in the group drink, by following rules based on a classic deck of cards. This game is really fun to play because there’s not many guidelines however you can make the game as fun or intense as you want it to be. The rules are pretty self-explanatory, and it’s a really fun game to play to pass time, enjoy great laughs, and to get drunk. We play this game in New York City, and I have tried to introduce this game to some of my friends, who have never even heard of it. It is really interesting to think of the geographic boundaries that games have been passed down. There are also other drinking games that I do not know that are played in other regions of the country, which shows the diversity amongst verbal folklore.
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Folk speech

Insight about Tomorrow

If you have one foot on yesterday, and one foot on tomorrow, you end up pee-peeing on today. Be present.  

This quote was told to me by my brother. He is a very wise person and has a lot of insight for saying this under his sleeve. This was told to him likely by our father, which is surprising because I had never heard it before. The meaning of this saying is implying that if you focus on yesterday and tomorrow, you can never focus on what happens today. It mainly is telling the audience to be present and focus on where you are in your current moment. There are many quotes about being present, however, this one is particularly special because it has a joke and connotation to it. It talks about peeing which makes it have a lighter tone and my intrigue audiences to respond to it more than they would a more serious quote.

 

Riddle

Riddle about the Future

What is something that is always coming, but we will never get to? Tomorrow!!

This riddle is kind of tricky but one of those sayings that it is so obvious. Essentially, this riddle makes you think about what could potentially happen but you would never be able to get to, and there are so many possibilities for this. It could be about crossing an ocean, and never being able to get to the other side, but that’s actually possible. It could also be about going into space or and never getting to Mars, however it’s as simple as thinking about how we are always living in today and there’s a past present and future. Tomorrow is always going to be tomorrow, but we will never be up tomorrow because tomorrow will always be the day that you’re in, today.

 

general

Childhood Camp Song

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As any other child who went to summer camp, it is classic to have been picked up and driven to camp on a school bus. Even if that didn’t happen for you, you probably had some other kind of experience that was bonding for a group of people. One of my brother’s favorites was the lyric down by the bay. We would always have different games and songs that we would sing on the bus just to pass time and again to bond with people. This song was about going home and making up a silly rhyme. Basically, each Time that you saying “down by the bay where the watermelons grow, back to my home I dare not go, for if I do, my mother will say,” and then insert a different kind of rhyme such as “did you ever see a moose kissing a goose, down by the bay? And then continue the rest of the song for it however long you could go. Sometimes we would spend up to 45 minutes singing this song on our way home. It was overall just a very fun way to interact with other campers and to socialize.

 

Proverbs

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

This proverb is very commonly used. In any given situation I try to be the most positive that I can, and always prepare for something to happen even if it’s not probable. This proverb and what it meant to her. When you have a positive mindset it is much easier to attract great energy and not have something bad happen, however, there are coincidences where people think everything’s going fine and something sudden happens that is horrible. And an example where this proverb really comes into play was during my friend’s math class. Every day after class the professor would assign students homework. She said that the student should all prepare to hand in their homework to count as a quiz Grade but it was dependent upon their gas on a tour a coin toss. It’s not guaranteed that they will always guess right, but by preparing for the worst, which would be to hand in the homework or do not hand it in if you didn’t complete it, your grade would drop. Hoping for the best would be that you guessed right, and do not have to hand in your homework, so if you didn’t do it and you guys all gas right you would be saved. This proverb can be applied to almost any situation and is just a great thing to keep in the back of your mind on a day-to-day basis.

 

Rituals, festivals, holidays

Give Us Lord, Our Daily Bread

God is good, God is great, let us thank him for our food, by his hands we all are fed, give us lord our daily bread.

My dad first heard this from my uncle’s wife, and has instilled this into our family gathering meals. This “makes us think about where our food comes from and to be grateful for it. To the sink for until remind us that we have food on our plates and we are able to sustain ourselves based on our fortune. I think it is especially important to note that my dad and uncle adopted this tradition for my aunt’s family, who had been practicing it for many years before.  When analyzing each part of this prayer, God is great is acknowledging God’s power. God is good, is supposed to imply that God is looking out for each individual and acts on our behalf, for our own good. Let Us Thank Him, is showing praise and thanks to a higher being for the deeds that have been done in life. For Our Food is quite literal. It refers to the creation of our food throughout the entire process. Whenever we visit everybody in the room and extended family knows this saying. It is important to acknowledge a simple saying, that also rhymes and takes less than a minute to say. It is also a great way to break The ice and pave the way for great conversations.

 

Proverbs

Friendship Protocol

Keep your friends close and enemies closer.

When my brother went to college, he encountered a lot of difficulties making friends. He explained to me how keeping his friends close and enemies closer really helped him. If your friends are close, you trust them and have a compliance that they will not do anything bad to you. Your enemies, however, will. You never know what information they have about you, so it’s important to get to know every single person that you meet. While you may not know that someone is your enemy, it is important to learn things about every individual you and counter just in case of a scenario that May hurt you. When you have a situation where someone can have leverage on you, your enemy, it is important to also have leverage on them so you will not be completely thrown under the bus. You normally don’t have to worry about these kinds of things with your friends, because well, they are your friends.

 

Folk speech
Proverbs

Wisdom about Human Interaction

Small minds talk about people, mediocre minds talk about things, great minds talk about ideas.

This is a prayer that my friend’s mom always told her. When she was telling me about his parish she was explaining how people have the capacity to think however they want. When Making ideas, there are different Things that people associate with. When people talk about people, it is referring to the people that gossip, and there isn’t much substance to the conversation. When others talk about things, it could mean anything from my favorite fruit is an apple or my favorite place in the world is Africa. This kind of storytelling has some kind of significance to that person, however, it isn’t necessarily relevant or important to anything except themselves. Lastly, when people talk about ideas, it shows it they are innovative and thinking critically about how the world works and their place and it. This kind of thinking delves into creation and business models which could be considered great. Parents often tell this to their children to help them become the best version of themselves and to think about the world in many different kinds of ways.

 

Folk Beliefs
general
Magic
Signs

Grandpa Charlie, The Robin

Spirit of our Grandfather as a Robin. 

This is an example of a positive premonition. My father always told me that whenever we see a Robin, we view it as my deceased Grandfather visiting us. Every time this happens, their Folklore of cardinals in time of need signifies a close one acknowledging your hardship. Whenever I see a Robin I always think of my grandfather, my grandmother told me this, my father told me this, and all my dad siblings think of this too. A premonition is to think about something and then see it come to fruition. If I am having a hard time, sometimes a Robin will randomly appear and I’m reminded that I will be OK. It kind of goes along with thinking about a higher power in the universe and accepting that there are people and spirits watching out for you. While spirits and ghosts are different entities, it is important to think about how spirits play a role in living society. This is similar to when you see a cardinal and it represents some kind of guidance and enlightenment. It can really be applied to any aspect of your life, but for my family, we have distinguished of Robin as my grandfather spirit visiting us.

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