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A road less traveled

June 21, 2009
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Ruby and Charlie enjoy a homemade treat from Blueberry Mountain Ice Cream

Darryl and I went up to Monticello to visit his Grandma Rose.  She turned 105 years old in May and was doing quite well when we went to visit for her birthday.  The past week has seen a sharp decline in her health.   Last Sunday, she could not be roused at any point during the day.   She perked up on Monday, but  hasn’t been eating much and spends most of the day sleeping.  We decided to bring some of her favorite foods to she if we could tempt her to eat: pastrami, corn beef, chopped liver, noodle kugel, and kasha varnishkes.   She made an effort to try one spoonful of each item.

Darryl remembers her making these dishes when he was growing up. These dishes are considered comfort food in Jewish households.  The recipes are very easy and economical to make.

Kugel is a traditional Jewish dessert or side dish. The word is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole, and related to the German Gugelhupf.   Easiest Noodle Kugel ~~ Bon Appétit | http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Easiest-Noodle-Kugel-100318

Though the name of this soul-satisfying dish may be foreign–Kasha is buckwheat or groats, and “Varnishkes” is Yiddish for bow-shaped noodles–its taste is comfortably familiar.  Kasha varnishkes ~~ Jewish Cooking in America | http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kasha-Varnishkes-at-Wolffs-in-New-Jersey-40010

Classic chopped liver ~~ http://www.jewishrecipes.org/recipes/meat/chopped-liver/classic-chopped-liver.html

On our ride home we chose to take a scenic route, rather than the Quickway and Thruway.  We wanted to take time to enjoy the scenery.   I set the GPS navigator on my cellphone to shortest way, but avoid highways.  The drive took us through the center of Middletown which looked rather sad and run down compared to how I remember it in the early 70’s when I spent summers there.  Within less than 3 miles, we put the cramped, decaying town behind us and were surrounded by verdant farmland.  The juxtaposition of an urban and rural area so closely situated to each other is jarring.

On the outskirt of Middletown, on Route 17m, we came across the Blueberry Mountain Ice Cream store.  The ice cream is homemade and delicious.  Ruby and Charlie cleaned the bottom of the dish in record time.

The GPS voice guided us from one county route (CR) to another,  Route 6, to CR 21, to CR 37, to CR 42, to Pulaski Highway, to CR 25 Pumpkin Swamp Road.  Ruby had her Beagle nose sticking out the window sniffing in the aroma of cows and horses.  The fields were tilled and planted, the dark earth cradling the growing crops.

Route 94 ran through the very pretty towns of Florida and Warwick.  Route 21 took us in to NJ around Upper Greenwood Lake and Greenwood Lake.  We jumped onto Route 23 for the final leg of the trip home.

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