"Delic. . . .," I begin. "What exactly is ptcha?" Smiling I force down another forkful.
"Calf's foot jelly."
"Calf's foot? Oh, really. It's del. . . ."
"You'll have some more." This is not a question; this is a command.
The woman who was not yet my first wife chuckled silently as I "wolfed" down my second portion. I tried it. How about you? "You'll try it, you'll like it."
Google ptcha and you'll get several recipes. One surprisingly neglects to mention the main ingredient. Some suggest alternatives for the calves foot. One seems to offer something close to the genuine article. This comes from Rikki Spivak, the Jewish food expert on the AllExperts website. She says in answer to a question from a reader that ptcha is a kind of aspic made from calf's feet. And God bless her, she too says it reminds her of garlic jello (a woman after my own heart).
Anyway, here is her recipe. Try it, you'll like it.
1 calf's foot
1 4-quart pot
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
6 cloves garlic minced or more
1 tablespoon dried parsley
Place foot in pot and cover with water. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder and bring to a boil. Skim foam if necessary. Lower heat (as low as your flame goes without going out). Cook until the meat on the bones is very soft and literally falling off the bones. While it cooks, mince the garlic and place in the bottom of a large square Corningware or Pyrex that has a cover. It should take around 2 to 3 hours to cook. Using a slotted spoon lift out all the bones and remove all meat from bones. Using a hand chopper, chop all the meat until fine and it gets gluey. Put the chopped meat in the Pyrex and then all the liquid from the pot, mixing well. Re-season using a lot of black pepper, garlic powder and salt. Carefully put Pyrex in fridge. After 5 minutes sprinkle the parsley all over the top. Leave in fridge at least overnight. Serve cold.