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On Oct. 25, Ruth Tulkay asked for a Greek dish she called

papatsokia. I thought it might be a misspelling because I could not find the

recipe in any of my cookbooks. According to June Liokos of Maverne, the correct

spelling is papoutsakia, meaning "little shoes," which describes how these

stuffed halved baby eggplants look on your plate.

A variation calls for spooning a bechamel (also called a white sauce) over

the "little shoes" and sprinkling them with more grated cheese before they go

into the oven. (Consult a basic cookbook for bechamel sauce.) Zucchini can be

substituted for the eggplant.

The recipe is from "The Complete Book of Greek Cooking" by the Recipe Club

of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Hempstead. Angelo Voyiaziakis of New

Hyde Park sent the same recipe, as did Teena Grosinski of Mineola and Mae

Gabrielides of Bayside.


6 baby eggplants

Olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onions

� pound ground lamb or beef

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1� cup tomato sauce

� cup grated defalotiri or Parmesan cheese

1. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp. Chop pulp, set


2. Lightly brush the eggplant shells on all sides with olive oil. Broil

shells until they begin to soften and transfer to a lightly greased baking dish.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and saute onions until golden.

Add meat and continue to cook until meat is browned. Add eggplant pulp, salt,

pepper and parsley and � cup tomato sauce. Mix well and simmer until most of

the liquid has evaporated. Cool. Add 1/4 cup grated cheese and mix well.

5. Fill eggplant shells with meat mixture, top with remaining grated cheese

and dot with remaining butter. Place in baking pan, add remaining 1 cup tomato

sauce to pan and bake until the eggplants are soft, about 15 minutes. Makes 6


Barbara Weiss and her brother Dan Zinman (Oct. 18) aren't the only ones who

reminisce about the favorite dessert of their childhood. It seems there are

lots of readers who only went shopping with their mothers in the '50s and '60s

because they would be treated to the ice-cream/frozen custard/mousse served in

tall stainless-steel parfait glasses at stores like A&S in Brooklyn, Gertz in

Jamaica and various Woolworth's and McCrory's.

This unique dessert was always served with either chocolate or strawberry

topping and eaten with a long stainless-steel spoon.

When Jeanne Greco began Brooklyn Law School in 1978, she walked three

blocks to A&S for "that memorable custard." However, it was served in a plastic

dish with a plastic spoon and she writes that it just didn't taste the same.

"I prefer to remember the way it was in the late '50s and '60s."

Pat Oettinger of Rego Park writes that "the dessert was the reward to a

very weary day of shopping with your mother." Diane Macher of Jericho remembers

that it was "the big treat before embarking on the trip home on the Culver

Line." Pege Chellis of Northport recalls the sign, "The drink you eat with a

spoon" and Karen Maila of Port Jefferson Station remembers it was called

"Frosty Malts." Sandra Mennella of Long Beach believes "there may be a cult

following out there" for this frozen dessert. Dorothy O'Donnell, who lives in

Cleveland, found it in the early '60s at May Co., a local department store.

The price of the dessert, however, is debatable. Ina Kaplan of Syosset

writes that it cost 15 cents, yet Norma J. Brenner of Douglaston believes it

was 10 cents, 12 cents for the slightly larger size.

The reason it tasted so good, writes Phyllis Matonte of Lynbrook, is that

"it was made of good old-fashioned custard which is certainly hard to find in

these days of nonfat frozen yogurt." Only Eileen Decker of Commack could

identify the machine responsible for all these food memories. "The treat was

dispensed from a machine called a Sweden Soft Server. I recall this," she

writes, "because, as a child, my fantasy was to own one."

Marie Bianco is a regular contributor to Food Day. Send letters to Marie

Bianco, c/o Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, N.Y. 11747-4250.

Correspondence without a home address and daytime phone number cannot be


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