Gribenas Anyone?

It takes me much longer nowadays to grocery shop. Years ago, I zipped through the aisles, loading my cart with whatever looked good. Today, I spend more time reading labels than I do choosing the perfect fruit. First I check grams of fat , the current favorite culprit. Sodium as well as sugars must be investigated too. It definitely makes shopping, cooking, and eating a lot less fun than before.

How I long for at least a temporary return to the days when we didn't dwell on our cholesterol readings, when we didn't know whether what we ate was clogging our arteries, raising our blood pressure or causing our sugar levels to be abnormally high. Then we enjoyed delicacies such as my bubbie's gribenas, the product that remained after skin and fat from chicken were fried with onions to produce schmalz. After consuming the crispy morsels, we'd schmear the schmalz on thick rye bread and salt it well. (This spread was so much tastier than today's low fat margarine, it shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath!)

For dinner, we consumed lots of red meat such as brisket which, of course, was not red at all having been cooked for many hours. My personal favorite was dessert which was a must at every dinner. It was usually a fruit pie or Bubbie's fabulous strudel.

Now, whenever I think of the past, I wonder what we did then to make us feel we were adding days to our lives. Maybe we were smart enough to realize that having additional days wouldn't mean much without Bubbie's gribenas and apple strudel.


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