Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eating tsimmes and raising geese...

Berta Vaisburd was born in 1931 in Mohyliv-Podil's'kyi. Her father was a factory worker, and her mother was a homemaker. This interview clip (collected in 2005) begins with a description of the various foods Berta's mother used to cook for Shabes (the Sabbath) before the war. Berta mentions various types of tsimmes -- a kind of stew, often made with carrots or legumes and eaten on special occasions such as Shabes, which in Berta's family was always prepared sweet, with sugar. 

When discussing tsimes nahit -- chickpea tsimmes -- Berta brings up the fact that her family raised geese -- both to sell for profit and to eat at home. Goose fat was an important ingredient in many dishes, such as tsimes nahit. In Berta's family, they would sell (or use) the goose fat separately, and then they would stuff the goose body with corn meal kneaded into dough and sell that separately. Because her mother did not have an outside job, raising, stuffing, and selling the geese was an added source of income for the family.

--Asya Vaisman

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