orthent (orthent) wrote in little_details,

Early 20th-century Jewish folkways, other stuff

Can someone point me in the direction of some early 20th-century Polish-Jewish festive recipes? The ones I've been able to find generally seem to be modified for American or British palates, or lightened for the cholesterol-conscious, or streamlined for the busy, or else there are substitutions for ingredients that can't be found outside the region. Whereas I'm looking for unreconstructed recipes--specifically, for things that would be served at Chanukah--that would probably make a cardiologist blanch...sort of like a regional version of Jane and Michael Stern's "Square Meals." I'm hoping for a source that would give some details of preparation, because as things are shaping up, quite a bit of this fic will be taking place in a kitchen.

Second: a couple of questions for anyone who has played dreidel. When making a clay dreidel, would it be possible to weight it unobtrusively so that the player spinning it (almost) always wins--similar to loading dice? And a related question: do the players all use the same dreidel, or could a player insist on using his own?

Third: the construction of Polish surnames, specifically, noble ones. I have a character who comes from the rural Polish gentry, and I'm worried about dipping into a resource like Kate Monk's Onomastikon and choosing a surname for her that screams "peasant" or "person from the shtetl." Are there any constructions that identify a Polish surname as noble vs. non-noble, or native to the region vs. colonist? (This is a family whose roots in the region stretch back to the fourteenth century, if not earlier.)

Thanks--and apologies in advance for the weirdness of the questions!
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