Tag Archives: hot pastrami

Prior Engagement

I can’t go on a trip with my husband because I’ve a prior commitment. We were looking forward to it. I had my dates wrong.

Dreams of museums swam through my head. He would have no time to spend with me, but I could have seen my brother. I haven’t seen him for over eight months, since Dad’s funeral.

Last night when I told him I couldn’t be there he said it was OK. I told him I wanted to see him and have pastrami and he said no can do. So I’ve researched it and it’s a “can do.” Perhaps if we plan it I can spend two days and we can do our museums and deli. We’ll see, Dee


Packages, Deli, Music and Cars

It’s always a treat to get packages in the mail, especially when it usually contains bills. That said, I can’t wait to open up “Save The Deli” by David Sax. It is supposed to contain information on the best delis nearly everywhere, and I’ve missed Katz’ so much, their hot pastrami and latkes. For Christmas I asked Jim to get me something little, and he couldn’t come up with anything so I suggested Rise Up Singing, that also came in today and I look forward to perusing.

I didn’t have time to look at any of those or the Volvo manual sent by the dealer, that Jim is thankful to receive. We’re selling our Honda, Jim’s Honda that he bought two years before we met and he picked me up in for our first date. He spent an hour this evening cleaning it out because it will be sold tomorrow. I spent this morning downtown buying dog food and having lunch with Jim, then spent the afternoon running errands and looking up all the paperwork we need to sell a car (sale, insurance, etc) and will spend the morning getting it detailed so the new owners will be happy owning this mainstay to our lives for over eight years. She’s a great car, and will be missed.

It finally occurred to me that I’ve never sold a car privately. Now I’d never list online and have strangers coming to the house. But I’ve a litany of failures. My parents gave me a ten year-old car for college graduation, a station wagon. When I cracked the block on that one (I followed expert advice) I asked an old boyfriend to help me find a car and ended up with a real dud, a pea-green VW bug with rustoleum, semi-automatic transmission and fuel injection. A recipe for disaster, and that it was. I went out for an hour on New Years’ Eve, drove home, parked on the street and ten cars on that street were damaged by a drunk driver that night but mine, with no collision, was totaled, wheel sheared off the axle and other collateral damage. The wagon was towed away. I did see someone driving it a couple of weeks later. The bug was towed as an abandoned vehicle, and shouldn’t have been.

So I bought my mother’s Honda Accord, a car I would become comfortable with over many years. In the snow, with salt and sand the front end rusted out and I gave that one to charity. Then for a while I had nothing. I borrowed a scooter and made do. Then I bought my only new car, a Jeep. Red and shiny. I kept it for ten years and sold it to pay our way across the country, to a dealer.

Over the past year we’ve bought two used cars, both AWD for the snow and ice, both from other locales. For mine, we traveled to Austin TX. For Jim’s, which arrived two weeks ago, we had it shipped from Minnesota. There are very few cars that fit him, he’s very tall, and even fewer that have AWD and other safety features for snowy weather. So we’re selling our “first date” car, when he opened my door and took my hand and never let go. He’s the physicist and I’m the artsy, emotional one but this sale might hurt him as much as it does me, as he’s overly analytical on the outside but a really good guy inside.

Farewell, Silver Cloud. Serve your new family well. Dee, Jim and Zoe


I just bought myself “Save The Deli” by David Sax. Checking up on recent Amazon orders, tracking packages, I was sent ten top cookbooks by Amazon and had to check them out. Especially since it mentioned there may be one good deli here in Mormon Country.

Deli was not what I grew up with, in a small village in upstate New York. It was after college that I learned about bagels. I read about how they were made and know the feel and taste of a really good one. I also knew when our Irish assistant bought “bagels” for our legislative committee that included several NYC Jewish bagel experts (she also bought a bagel slicer, laughingstock of the meeting) I told her they were not bagels at all but rolls with a hole in the middle. I explained the water bath process yet she insisted on serving them for breakfast. What did they say? “These aren’t bagels, they’re rolls with a hole in the middle!” ‘Nuff said.

I did get to Dairy Planet in NYC once, for pierogies. Stage Deli, Carnegie Deli. In Texas I had to go to Katz’s every couple of months for a hot pastrami on rye and one latke. Sour cream and applesauce. Once I made matzoh ball soup with a NYTimes recipe that called for 1T vodka. I’ve tried for 20 years to find the recipe again as those were the lightest matzoh balls I’ve ever had. Very delicate. No luck.

Digressing from my story as I become more excited and hungry for deli foods I’ll tell you that my first adventure into smoked meats was in Montreal. My mother grew up there, and Ben’s was their favorite Deli. There are family stories of sweethearts meeting there for the first time. It was a big deal in the Depression (the 30’s, not this one). Smoked meat was a treasure my dear Aunt Joan used to buy and make at home for us, steaming it until just warm and serving it on good rye bread with deli mustard. When I was old enough I’d go to Ben’s when visiting and add a Molsen Ale to that order. The book I just ordered, when it arrives, may tell me more of the smoked meat tradition in Canada (Montreal) but I find it much more delicate than pastrami or corned beef.

Now a funny bit: a lady asked the butcher at a local grocer for corned beef for her father-in-law who was visiting. We’re talking Utah! Even in TX they sell corned beef “kits” to cook at home, plus mesquite brisket that I miss terribly. The butcher couldn’t think of a source around here for good deli meats. Hot pastrami, rye bread, deli mustard, a pickle, a latke. I can almost smell it. My husband got a car for Christmas. I got a music book. Perhaps he can find me a sandwich… Cheers! Dee