Occupation: Retired Advertising
Residence: Skokie, IL
Date of Performance/Collection: 04/05/15
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Some Yiddish
The informant is a 95-year old man who grew up in Davenport, right near downtown with his parents and two brothers. His father came over from Russia and owned a grocery store in Davenport. He is a father, grandfather, worked in advertising for 60 years, and loves baseball.
Interviewer: “Do you remember anything your mom used to cook?”
Informant: “Yes, she made brisket. It was so good.”
Interviewer: “Did she make it from a recipe?”
Informant: “No, she made it herself. And it was something her mom had taught her. It was so good, nobody could match it. She gave the recipe to Nancy way back when. She also made the keegal or kugel, whichever you call it, she made that on her own recipe.
Interviewer: “Is that the one Aunt Nancy uses at Seder?”
Informant: “Nancy has it, yes. She makes that one. Although it’s not quite as good as Marcia’s was.”
As with my previous collection of food-related folklore, I see a strong emotional connection to the discussion of food. This could be because the food talked about is usually something cooked by an immediate family member at some special occasion or holiday when family is gathered. So it isn’t so much the food alone that makes the informant emotional, but the memories tied up with the food. When a recipe has been passed down from family member to family member it only strengthens and nuances the connection to a food.