information about houses and food in Mir
in a letter from Rabbi Theodore Lewis,
as he remembers his student years.
Miranka lived in a one story wooden house. It had wooden
floors without carpets or linoleum. She kept it very
clean. The house was heated by a tall ceramic oven which
reached the ceiling and was so situated that a part of
it reached every room to provide it with heat. The stove
was fueled with wood. Cooking was also done in this oven.
Some homes had a primus stove to augment their cooking.
was nothing glamorous about Etka's cooking. It was very
simple and it was obvious she had not attended any courses
to upgrade her ability. Neither did she have any cookbooks.
Her method was a little of this and a pinch of that.
The results were that her meals adequate and satisfying.
In all fairness to Etka, she did her best with what was
the time we studied in the Mir, the Polish Government
limited the number of cattle that could be slaughtered
according to the Jewish ritual. As a result, meat was
expensive and only small portions were served and then
only occasionally. Chickens, ducks and geese were available.
meals that Etka served were very plain but nourishing.
For breakfast we invariably had eggs and black bread.
The main meal was in the afternoon in which we had a
selection from soup vegetable, noodles, barley
and groats. On occasion meat or chicken was served.
For dessert we had prunes or apple sauce. For supper a selection
from fish, herring, cottage cheese, cream cheese, hard
cheese was available. Potatoes were plentiful and we
had them however they were cooked. As a concession
to the auslander we had an occasional treat of fried chips.*
Cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, and
apples were available in season. As oranges were imported
and hence very expensive by local standards, we only had
oranges when we were recovering from an illness.
chips in Ireland and England is the same as French fries
in the US. (rjk)