• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks or on the Web, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, and browsed web pages. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.


Hattie G

Page history last edited by Hattie Groskind 12 years, 6 months ago


Growing Up In a Jewish Kitchen

Hattie Groskind




           The kitchen is filled will noise and wonderful smells; anyone who approached the house could smell the scent of brisket and gefilte fish. My whole family was in my kitchen preparing for the Passover Seder, and we were expecting over fifty guests. The whole family was there, except my dad who was at work, and my Papa Audie was with my Grandma Harriet because she was sick. I’m only four so I don't take cooking seriously; instead I am running through people’s legs and distracting people from their tasks. Bubbe Alice washes knives at the kitchen sink and tells Josh and Jason to chop the celery. Uncle Jerry sits at the table cutting the fish fillets and chops them. Aunt Sherry makes the soup and adds chicken to it. Uncle Dan chops the carrots and Hannah measures spices. My mom saunters around the kitchen and tests all the dishes because Bubbe Alice's taste buds are a little old and out of order. My mom is the matzo ball master, and she is number two in the kitchen hierarchy.  The rest of the day I went between running around and helping in different jobs. Everybody was always doing something different, and I had a hard time choosing whom to cook with. My Great Uncle Evan was on the porch making horseradish, and when I walked out to give him a hug, my eyes started watering immediately because of the strong horseradish.  The whole day was interesting watching my relatives do things, and I would try to copy their cooking techniques. I would be kindly corrected and showed the correct way to do things and I was enjoying all the attention.




          That gefilte fish day was a long time ago, and now I’m fourteen. The other day my mom and I started talking about how I matured over the years, and I brought up the gefilte fish day when I was four.  I have matured mentally and physically since I was only four, and my cooking skills have expanded through my family. My mom asked me, “ Why do you want to know how you have matured? You have matured in all aspects.”

“Thanks mom,” I said, “but how have I matured through family cooking?”



            It was Rosh Hashanah, and once again my family was cooking in the kitchen. I was seven and this was the first year I was allowed to use the big knives for chopping. As usual there was all the normal hustle and bustle, and delicious smells from the kitchen. I was so excited to be able to use the big chopping knives for making the Charoset. I loved chopping up all the apples and watching them turn slightly purple in the sweet Manischewitz wine. The unity of the apples, wine, cinnamon, honey, and walnuts was incredible to the tastebuds. That year I was able to do so many more difficult tasks than I had been able to on the gefilte fish day when I was four.



          It was a hot and humid summer day in Michigan. We had been planning this event for a couple of months, and even though it was planned in advance I ended up pulling the details together the day before it was happening. The grandchildren, just the five cousins, were going to be making dinner for our parents and our grandpa. I may have been the youngest at fourteen, only second to my brother, but I was the one who ended up choosing the recipes, making the shopping list, and contacting everyone. When the time to go shopping came my brother and I went with Josh, who was twenty-four, and stopped at three different grocery stores. I had the shopping list and when finally everything had a check next to it, we headed back to my Aunt’s house. Jason and Hannah arrived shortly after we got there. So the five of us got to work, I was sort of the leader and we all took on different jobs. Hannah and I made the honey-mustard marinade, and we added different spices that weren’t on the recipe like cilantro, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and some other herbs. Meanwhile the boys washed the vegetables and all five of us started chopping, peeling, and oiling the vegetables for the grill. Josh took out and washed the shrimp while the rest of us started pounding the chicken breasts for the picatta. After the chicken was all pounded and coated with flour, Sam and Josh took the vegetables, shrimp, and marinade oustside to grill them. Jason and Hannah started to brown the chicken in oil while I retrieved and measured all the ingredients for the picatta. The kitchen smelled of garlic and capers as the chicken soaked up the sauce. Josh put the whole head of garlic into the oven, and Hannah was starting to make the chocolate soufflé. I made the salad dressing with a bunch of different fruity vinegars and herbs and when I was satisfied it was perfect I went to help Hannah with the soufflé. The shrimp and vegetables were grilled, the soufflé was in the oven, and Sam had set the table. Josh put the cherries, rosemary, and toasted almonds on the rice and people started to arrive. As the kitchen and dining room filled with our family I was proud to have been the person to organize and execute the Cousins' Feast.






YouTube plugin error

Comments (2)

hsawyer said

at 1:07 pm on Sep 17, 2010

I liked your story, it was interesting to hear about all of the different foods being made

Alex Valencia said

at 8:55 pm on Sep 20, 2010

I really enjoyed reading your story. I like how the way you wrote it makes things seem very up-beat, and fast and lively. Unlike a lot of these stories, yours if pretty happy, and I liked the change. Good Job.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.