Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



Cholent was the vehicle for my return to cooking. In the 1970s I took a Chinese cooking class at the Pearl of the Orient. But no cooking classes since. My rabbi’s son hosted a Zoom class on cholent last month.

There were about 50 people at the Zoom meeting. (It’s a big synagogue.) I tried to hide; I muted; I didn’t scream, “I’m a novice!” I dumped beans, barley, kishke, flankn, potatoes and onions into my slow cooker. The instructor, Jared, said the Crock Pot was invented by an Orthodox Jew to slow-cook cholent on shabbat. (Lookin’ that up . . . Yep, the Crock Pot was invented by one Irving Nachumsohn for cholent cooking.)

Most Jews — and everybody else —  don’t know what cholent is. It’s mostly an Ortho thing. Cholent is a stew you slowly cook for 12 hours or more, so as not to light a fire on shabbat.

My cholent cooked too long. My stuff came out like a big cow pie. No definition to it. The meat melded into the beans. Just one massive turd.

I had people coming over for dinner and was going to serve it! My wife, Alice, who’s a good cook, turned the cow pies into sliders. She served cholent sliders, without buns, as an appetizer. I didn’t apologize, or say to my guests: “This is my first time!” (Cooks should never apologize. Neither should musicians.)

My friends liked it. Alice added extra pepper and salt, and some soy sauce. And luckily I had picked out the plastic  kishke casing prior. I didn’t realize the kishke was wrapped in plastic when I sliced it and dumped it in the stew. The next day I ate huevos cholent — a fried egg on top of a cholent slider. That was good, too. Alice came up with that.

Need cholent?

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1 marc adler { 12.23.20 at 2:21 pm }

My wife makes cholent every Shabbos. Hers is more like a stew with barley. I like the cholents we get in shul with lots of beans. She does put wine in hers which really adds to the flavor.

2 Kenneth Goldberg { 12.23.20 at 2:55 pm }

The ingredients should have been perfect, anyway. I trust you didn’t use the vocabulary you had used here to describe the way the “cholent” had first turned out – it might have at least slightly diminished their appetite. It might yet diminish mine for at least the rest of today and tonite, and perhaps for all “cholent” in the future, even if it’s as good as what my mother-in-law used to make! Thanks….

3 Seth B. Marks { 12.26.20 at 12:09 pm }

Lots of great recipes have started from mistakes…and we knew this was a first time effort. Perhaps, Lucy could sell it to become the new McCholent 99 cent breakfast special. I usually don’t get up early though.

4 Dave Rowe { 12.29.20 at 7:36 pm }

Not too surprisingly I’m not familiar with cholent, I know, however, my hat’s off to whomever it was that invented the microwave.

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