Sunday, April 03, 2005

Spring is Bustin' Out All-Over!

Today was another gorgeous day! I was planning on going museum-hopping, since most museums are free the first Sunday of each month. So I headed first for the Jewish museum, only a few small blocks from me. But it was so lovely out that those few blocks weren't enough. On top of that, I was hungry, so I went into the Jewish quarter for a sandwich (Thon venition on an onion pletzel) and a pastry. Normally I don't get pastries with late lunches, but this one looked so much like those rainbow cookies that my grandfather used to buy that I couldn't resist. Unfortunately, it was more like a chocolate-covered raspberry linzer tart. It was good, but not at all what I wanted. I guess nothing is as good as a memory.

After eating and reading Proust in a square (kind of appropriate for my lost pastry memory), I finally made it to the Jewish museum to see the exhibit, Juifs dans la Grande Guerre. This was a fantastic exhibit, exploring the presence of anti-semitism and how that affected Jews "trying harder" to fight in the War, really wanting to prove themselves as patriots and French, especially after the Dreyfuss affair. There were also many rabbis as part of the army, one of whom was called "The Jewish priest" and really beloved by many, many soldiers. Some great art and upsetting anti-semitic cartoons. There was also a journal written by a Jewish girl of 9-11 (the journal lasted three years) to benefit blind soldiers. This was by far the most moving, all written by hand. And then the plaque next to it explained that she was later sent to Auschwitz where she died. Really makes you wonder what a "patriot" is.

Continuing my Jewish trend, I bought a book on the food of Passover and the next book in the "La Bible au feminin" series. I'm almost done with the first one, Sarah, and it's fantastic. Marek Halter writes the stories of three women (Sarah, Tsippora and Lilah), from their point of view, kind of what Anita Diamant did in The Red Tent. He does a beautiful job, really entering the feminine point of view, unusual for a man. And, perhaps even better, it's originally written in French! He's a Polish immigrant Jew who came here at a very young age. I highly recommend them and plan on bringing as many of his books as possible back to the States.

Then I went on a hunt for new potatoes but was unsuccessful, so I came home with fingerlings, also called finger potatoes. I made a light, sour marinade out of my lonely grapefruit and am enjoying them while watching The Godfather, dubbed in French. Al Pacino speaking French is not a pretty sight.

Charlottes (fingerlings) aigres

7 Fingerlings, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 Grapefruit
2 tablespoons dry Oregano
1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Sugar to taste (optional)

Boil potatoes (starting in cold water) in salted water for about 8 minutes. While cooking, combine remaining ingredients. Drain potatoes and pour marinade on top. Let this sit while you prefer the rest of the meal. The longer the potatoes have to soak up the marinade, the better.

I didn't use sugar, but it is quite sour with all the grapefruit juice so people who don't like puckering their lips might want it.

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