Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An American friend comes to dinner

Many of my friends came to eat at our house in Coney Island. Since most were the children of immigrants, they never had a problem with the food.
We were “food sophisticates”. Japanese friends, Jewish friends, Italians, Greeks and even Irish kids. We all ate at each other’s house at different times. We ate pretty much anything.

When I attended Pratt, there were kids there from other parts of the States that lived at the dorm. Mom told me to bring some over for a good Greek meal.

These were kids whose parents did not have accents, a rarity where I grew up. These were real American kids from all over the States, Brooklyn was bizarre to them and Coney Island was another planet.

When they came to our house for a meal, taramosalata was just the beginning, with ouzo. Tell a guy from Fort Ticonderoga that it is a dip made out of fish roe and watch the reaction. Never mind the reaction to ouzo. They were very respectful of Mom and bravely struggled through, for them strange things like, tsatsiki and lamb (I could not believe there were people that had never eaten lamb). Even eggplant and okra
…but the killer was Greek coffee, with the grounds half way up the cup.

There was Tom, bravely trying to finish his Greek coffee, right to the bottom, chewing the grounds. He really was a good guest. I had to save him.

What would he make of grilled octopus or sea urchins?

I would love to see Tom now, see how he changed, or maybe he hasn’t.


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