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You never know when it’ll happen, and when it does you never know how to react. You’ll be innocently sitting at a table, minding your own business, when someone hands you a bowl of death.
Excuse me, I mean a bowl of kasha varnishkas.
I’m sorry, but I really can’t be polite about this. Kasha varnishkas are grey like death, taste like death, and getting the bits of it out of your teeth kills your afternoon. I’ve never heard someone say ‘mmm hand me that kasha varnishkas,’ or ‘I know what would make this meal better, kasha varnishkas.’ To be completely honest I’m not quiet sure why this is a classic Jewish dish. But it is.
Every Thanksgiving, my grandmother’s festive lunch meant the one time a year my family was invited to her house and she served food. If you were wondering, by serving food I mean she called up the local kosher deli and had them set up the works. By the time we arrived, I was always starving. After dodging some hugs and kisses, I wanted to do what all good Americans do: dig in and eat. Being that we were the only people in our extended family that kept kosher, everyone was handed their own plate made out of the flimsiest paper known to mankind and directed to the table covered in takeout boxes. Part of growing up is getting covered in physical and emotional scars. The memory of desperately chewing kasha varnishkas with the same happy expression a cat has as it nibbles on its hairball makes me realize those Thanksgiving lunches provided me with both. Ultimately my difficult upbringing and the challenges of digesting reheated kosher deli takeout made me want to make a kid-friendly version of kasha varnishkas that I’d happily eat today as an overgrown child.
Read the rest and get the recipe here.