Food friday - your grandmother's food processor
My grandmother bought my mother this wooden bowl and a chopping knife, known in Yiddish as a hock-messer, soon after my parents got married. Yes, she also got them a dairy set as well. these wooden bowls and chopping knives were a big part of food prep when I was growing up.
meatloaf and meat balls were mixed in this bowl. Chopped liver was made in this bowl as well. Sundays we often made chicken salad for lunch made out of chicken left over from Shabbat chopped with vegetables and mayo. That too, was made in this bowl.
When I was in college my parents got their first food processor and the chopping bowls were not used as much. Several years ago, my father asked if i would like the bowls and the hock-messers. I was happy to have them. I like the sheer physicality of chopping up a big bowl of stuff into teeny pieces.
While the wooden bowls have stood up well to the years of use, the hock-messers had not. The bladed which were bolted into their handles, wobbled. The blades wouldn't sharpen. chopping was hard work.
Across the street from my apartment is an independent hardware store run by a group of Moroccan men. I asked them if they sold chopping knives. They showed me a cleaver. I didn't want a cleaver, I wanted a hock-messer. I told them that I wanted the same sort of a knife their grandmother used when she made babaganouj. Then their eyes lit up and they promised me that they would order me babaganouj knives.
A few weeks later they called me to tell me that my knife was in. They told me that as soon as they put the hock- messers up on the wall they sold like hot-cakes. I bought three, one for meat, one for dairy and one for Passover. I labeled it with nail polish.
Today, it was used to make kale.
Chop 1 onion in wooden bowl.
Saute in large heavy bottomed pan in olive oil. When onions are wilted and turning brown add a large glug of booze. I had a nearly completed bottle of scotch and used some of that.
Chop 1 box mushrooms and 2 stalks celery in wooden bowl
Add to pot when chopped. add salt and pepper to taste
Wash greens and chop in bowl
Add to pot
Cook until done on high heat