Author Archives: Matthew Guichard

Recipe – Jewish

Jewish Recipe


2 large Idaho potatoes, 1 small onion; 1 small egg; 3 tbsp all-purpose flour; 1/2 tsp. salt;  oil or shortening 1/4″ deep in frying pan.

Peel the potatoes and shred them into a bowl of cold water. Drain and squeeze out all the excess liquid. Grate the onion into the potatoes; stir in egg, flour, and salt.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Drop the potato mixture into the frying pan from a large spoon, shaping pancakes 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Fry slowly until golden brown, then turn over and fry slowly on the other side. Drain. Serve hot with sour cream or hot applesauce.

Every Hanukah, my family cooks Latkes every night. While we do eat it on other holidays and special occasions, we eat Latkes (they’re fried) on Hanukah because it celebrates the miracle of oil in the Second Temple of Israel .

Collectors Analysis: Potatoe Pankes, or Latkes, are a classic Jewish dish that are commonplace at the dinner table during Hanukah and other special holidays. Latkes could be considered a variant of hash browns; both dishes are similar in texture and taste. Because there is no original cook, and Latkes taste slightly different from house to house. For example, Sam Freedman generally eats Latkes with applesauce, while my grandfather, Albert Schutzer eats his with sour cream.

Recipe – Jewish

Jewish Recipe

Stuffed cabbage rolls (Halishkes)

1 large head cabbage; onion; 2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce; 2 sauce cans water; 1 1/2 lbs chopped chuck; 1 onion, chopped; 3/4 cup raw rice; 1 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp pepper; 1/2 cup water; 3 tbsp lemon juice; 1 package (12 oz. ) pitted prunes; 3 tbsp brown sugar

Carefully remove 12 large leaves from a head of cabbage. Slice away some of the thickest part of the center rib to make the leaves uniformly thin. Pour boiling water over the leaves and let them stand until they are flexible and bend easily. Shred the rest of the cabbage finely. Heat a heavy frying pan. Brown a sliced onion in a little canola or olive oil. Add the shredded cabbage and cook together while you prepare the cabbage rolls. Mix the chuck, onion, rice, salt and pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water. Put a heaping  tbsp of meat on each softened cabbage leaf.  Roll up, tucking in the sides. Secure with thread or tuck in the end. Lay the rolls in the pan, seam side down. Cover and cook about 1 1/2 hours. Check and add a little water, if necessary, to prevent scorching. Add lemon juice, sugar and prunes and cook about 1/2 hour longer. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper to taste. Halishkes taste even better the next day. Cover and bake in a moderate oven until thoroughly hot. 6 servings.

Performer’s Analysis: As a kid growing up in Brooklyn. It should be stressed that at the turn ot eh century it was expected that immigrants assimilated into society rather than retain their culture of their homeland. Both my parents attended elocution school so they would speak English without accents.

We used to eat Halishkes on a regular basis, and they were not associated with any particular holiday. Interestingly, my wife Cynthia and her family would eat Halishkes as a house-hold meal as well, so it seems to be a fairly common food among Jewish-Americans.

Collector’s analysis: Like the Latkes, Halishkes, or stuffed cabbage rolls, are common dish at the dinner table. My grandfather, Albert Schutzer, and his wife Cynthia both grew up in the New York are, but both of their families came from different countries in Europe. Despite their difference in origins, Albert and Cynthia both group with their parents preparing Halishkes for certain dinner occasions.

I thought it was interesting that my grandparents’ parents, who were not native to the United States, made an effort to assimilate into American society by taking elocution lessons and almost forgetting their home country. However, they did manage to retain some of their heritage; in this case it was the original Jewish recipes like Haliskes.


Joke, WII Military

Joke and Performers Analysis: I would start the joke by telling them I had a friend who had flown a bomber in the General Doolittle raid on Tokyo. They flew two engine bombers from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. And they didn’t know, after bombing Tokyo, how far the gas they would have left would take them and who would be on he ground when they landed.

Hoping he would be met by friendly natives, my friend had an American flag tattooed on his chest before taking off. Well, they bombed Tokyo and then flew on. When they ran out of gas, my friend parachuted from the plane and landed in a rice paddy. There was a woman in a kimono at the far end of the paddy, and she now walked towards him.

When she reached him, my friend unzipped his flight jacket , pulled his shirt open, and exposed the flag on his chest. “American,” he said.

The woman pulled her kimono open. She was wearing nothing underneath. “Nip on nese,” she said. End of joke.

The joke was current at the time, and I told it with my wife Cynthia at a dinner party. We were in our late 20s, and I insisted I tell the joke before they go. The joke was common at the time, and I learned it from someone in they military after the war finished up.

Collector’s Analysis: During lecture this semester, we covered jokes, in particular disaster jokes. We discussed “Making a Big Apple Crumble” a book containing jokes about September 11th 2001. We also discussed that the Kennedy Assasitnation was one of the first instances where are disaster or tragedy became socially acceptable to poke fun at an event. However, this seems not to be the case with Albert Schutzer’s joke about World War II. While this joke regarding the Japanese would have been offensive during World War II, there came a time where joking about World War II became socially acceptable.

Conversation about disaster jokes raises the question when it is OK to start making fun tragedy. Often times it is found that a disaster joke becomes funny well before the risible moment is identified and accepted. In addition, this joke, especially for younger generations, would not be considered funny. Thus, the joke is somewhat outdated and socially irrelevant because less and less people were alive to understand the context of the joke and why it is humorous.


Insult-WWII Military

Insult: “You’re lower than whale shit, and whale shit is the lowest thing in the world because it lies at the bottom of the ocean.”

Performer’s Analysis: When the southern boys came into the Army in World War II they brought a lot of new expressions with them, colorful phrases and images that those of us who came from other parts of the country had never heard before. In a way they were poets, and they enriched our language. For example, when they wanted to put somebody down, they would say, “You’re lower than whale shit, and whale shit is the lowest thing in the world because it lies at the bottom of the ocean.”  How’s that for a putdown?

Collector’s Analysis: Albert Schutzer is from the Northeast, so when he was sent to train in Oklahoma all of his fellow comrades were Southern. While he thought this joke was unique to the South, it clearly could have come from any region.

As far as its variation or multiplicity, Mr. Schutzer feels it was a joke concentrated in the south. Because of its relative its hard to adapt the joke but other forms of this joke are possible. It would be easy to replace the whale with any other organism and attach a negative connotation to it. Often times we see that insults involve comparing a person to animals, possibly because as humans we view ourselves as “above animals” when in reality we are not.

Its important to note that jokes come and go with the times. Most jokes a based on blazon populaire most of the time, so when the culture changes the joke evolves as well. While I personally have never heard the “Whale shit” joke, I know of plenty insults involving feces or “shit” like “shithead” or “shitfaced”

Folk Speech

Expression, WWII Military

Expression: Did you get any poontangin?

Performers analysis: And then they had an expression for the sex act. I was never able to figure out what its derivation was–and I never cared to ask. Instead of saying something like “Did you get any sex?”,  they would ask, “Did you get any poontangin?” Now where in the world did that word come from?

Collector’s Analysis: The expression “Did you get any poontangin” which Mr. Schutzer says he discovered during his days in the army ironically still has relevance today. Its multiplicity can be seen in that rather than using “poontangin” many people use “poon” as a more modern term. As a college student, I hear the word “poon” tossed around the residence all quite frequently. In fact I have heard many students ask me “Did you get any poon?”, proving that the expression has adapted over time (thus creating a certain variation)

It’s interesting that “poontangin” was a term used in the military, considering it was comprised of mostly males. In its usage today, mostly males in the hall make reference to it.