“All You Need Is Love” – Zoodles, Part 4. Chocoodles.

This might be a difficult concept to understand, but love is an obligation, a duty. This is contrary to the image created by popular culture, from Ancient Greeks and Romans, to Shakespeare, to romantic movies on Netflix.

4889115-a-photography-of-a-very-old-little-fresco

The mythical Amur, or Cupid, is a cute mischievous child armed with bow and arrows who blindly shoots unsuspecting mortals through their hearts and laughs his curly head off  when they fall in love. A wealth of world art has been inspired by this little prankster. However, Judaism perceives love as “the emotional pleasure a human being experiences when he understands and focuses on the virtues of another human being.” Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the dean and founder of the worldwide educational organization Aish HaTorah, explains that “love, therefore, is overwhelmingly dependent upon how one views another person. If we choose to focus on a person’s virtues, we will love them. If we choose to focus on their deficiencies, we will dislike them” (N. Weinberg and Y. Solomon, The Power of Love). An Italian American, Dr Leo Buscaglia, widely known and popular as “Dr Love,” is of the same opinion, quoting Mother Theresa.

Surprisingly, the famous dictum to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Devorim 19:18) is only part of the Biblical injunction. The full posuk (verse) reads: “You shall not take revenge and you shall not bear a grudge; you shall love your neighbor as yourself, I am G-d.” Thank you, Dr Love, for delivering this message, but why does the verse end by this mysterious phrase “I am G-d?” The following story may give us an answer.

Two young men had grown up together and become very close friends. They were living at a time when the Roman Empire was split into two parts – one half controlled by an emperor in Rome and the other half ruled by an emperor in Syria. After each of the friends married, one moved to Rome and the other moved to Syria. Together they started an import-export business, and though they lived far apart, they remained very close friends.

One time, when the fellow from Rome was visiting in Syria, someone accused him of being a spy for Rome and plotting against the emperor. He was an innocent man – it was just a vicious rumor. So, they brought him to the Syrian Emperor, and he was subsequently sentenced to death.

When he was being led out to his execution, he was asked if he had any last requests. The accused man pleaded: “Please, I’m an innocent man, but I can’t prove it. So, if I’m going to die, at least let me go back to Rome first, settle my affairs, and say goodbye to my family. They don’t know my business, like who owes me money, where all my goods are. Let me just go back to Rome, put my affairs in order, and then I’ll come back and you can execute me.”

The Emperor laughed at him. “What are you, crazy? You think we’d let you go? What possible guarantee will we have that you’re going to come back?”

The Jew said, “Wait. I have a friend here in Syria who will stand in for me. He’ll be my guarantor. If I don’t come back, you can kill him instead.”

The Emperor was intrigued. “This I’ve got to see. Okay, bring in your friend.”

The fellow from Syria was called in. Sure enough, he agreed without hesitation to take the Roman Jew’s place in prison, and to be killed in his stead if the friend did not return.

The Emperor was so startled by this arrangement that he agreed to let the Roman Jew go. “I’ll give you 60 days. Put your affairs in order. If you’re not back by the dawn of the 60th day, your friend is dead.”

Off went the Roman Jew, racing back to his family to say goodbye and to put his affairs in order. After a lot of tears and goodbyes, he started back in plenty of time before the 60 days were up.

These were the days of sailing galleys, and sometimes you could sit for days waiting for the right wind to come up. As luck would have it, there was no wind for several days, the sailboat was delayed, and by the time the Jew arrived in Syria, dawn of the 60th day was breaking.

As agreed, the jailers took out the fellow from Syria for the execution. In those days, an execution was a gala affair, and early in the morning the crowds began to gather. Finally, as they were just about to perform the execution, the fellow from Rome came running in. “Wait! Stop! I’m back. Don’t kill him. I’m the real prisoner!”

The executioner let the fellow from Syria go and was about to take the Jew from Rome in his place. “Wait a minute,” the reprieved guarantor argued. “You can’t kill him. His time limit was up. I’m the guarantor. You’ve got to kill me instead!”

The two friends were equally adamant. “Kill me instead!” “No, kill me!” The executioner didn’t know what to do. The crowd was in an uproar, watching them fight it out.

Finally, the Emperor stepped in. In wonder and amazement, he turned to the two of them and said, “I’ll let both of you go free on one condition. That you make me your third friend!” (http://www.aish.com/sp/f/48971341.html

When we go out of our way to love our neighbors, regardless of their flaws, G-d Himself becomes our third friend!

Zdls choc cake 1.jpg

Following my grandmother, I express my love in the kitchen. I have presented to you, Beautiful People, a Zoodles appetizer (please see here), a Soudles soup (please see here), and a Toodles main course (please see here). To complete our Zoodles feast, we need a dessert – Chocoodles (you didn’t think I’d make a dessert without chocolate, did you?).

Zdls choc cake 2.jpgSetting my trusty spiralizer on Angel Hair, I make a pile of airy (unpeeled!) courgetti (thank you, dear Osyth, for this word – go visit her blog, Beautiful People; she is an awesome writer!). Put them aside for now.

Zdls choc cake 3.jpg

You need to mix your dry ingredients first: spelt or GF flour with unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Now you have two bowls waiting on the side for you to cream Smart Balance with brown sugar, incorporate prostokvasha (for recipe, please click here) or Greek yogurt, if you want to go dairy, and add some olive oil and vanilla extract. In yet another bowl (are you keeping count?) whisk aquafaba or eggs and combine it with the wet ingredients. Gradually mix dry ingredients into the wet, and finally, mix it all with your courgetti.

Zdls choc cake 4.jpg

I wouldn’t be myself, if I didn’t abide by my own Rules of Dessert, and Rule #2 clearly states: The more chocolate, the better! Before you put your Chocoodles cake into the oven, liberally sprinkle it with crushed walnuts and chocolate chips. While it’s baking, you can watch Golde, of the “Fiddler on the Roof” discover the meaning of love. She  is flabbergasted when her husband of many years, Tevye, poses a simple question:

Brought up on the positive commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” she has lived her life satisfying this requirement. Looking back at twenty years poor in material goods, but oh! so rich in emotional fulfillment, she finally comes to a realization, “Yes I love you!”

Zdls choc cake 5

Super-moist, extra-chocolaty, and bursting with love, my Chocoodles cake makes the Zoodles series complete.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups white spelt or GF flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup aquafaba or 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup prostokvasha (clabbered milk) or Greek yogurt
  • 2 medium or 3 small unpeeled zucchini, spiralized on Angel Hair setting or grated
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

PROCEDURE

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray baking pan with oil.
  • Mix dry ingredients. Put aside.
  • Cream Smart Balance with sugar, add prostokvasha, olive oil, vanilla extract. Put aside.
  • Whisk aquafaba or eggs, incorporate into wet ingredients, whisk together.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients. Mix well. Fold in zucchini, transfer to baking pan.
  • Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 325 F for 1 1/2 hour, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on rack.

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

92 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As always, my pleasure to reblog your recipes. 😊🌼🌹🌻🤗😎

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

  1. What a wonderful explaination! Thank you very much! But i hope next will not be “poodles” (grilled dogs chinese style) LOL. Have a great weekend ahead, Dolly. 😉 Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL No dogs or cats, other than live ones helping me in the kitchen! 😸 Have a great weekend!

      Like

  2. OK, i consent in advance: A very bad joke. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t so bad, Michael, don’t worry! Got me to chuckle!

      Like

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

  3. What a cute story. Made me smile 🙂 I could be a fourth to the happy three. Osyth introduces me to new words btw from time to time. So I am not surprised by gourgetti 😉 That cake looks delicious. Does not look at all like courgettes have gone into its making! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, darling; I am so glad you like it! It may not look, but it’s courgettes that make it super-moist, so it doesn’t need any filling or frosting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A_Boleyn says:

    I loved your story about friendship and love. Tasty looking cake too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I gave about a third of it to my husband to bring to work. He tells me they were fighting for it! 😸

      Liked by 2 people

  5. RobbyeFaye says:

    This looks good.
    Oh, the memories your film clip evoked. I clicked on and listened to several others from that wonderful musical. Thank you for the recipe and the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, dear! I also love this musical, and years ago I was fortunate to have seen it on stage with Zero Mostel – incredible!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RobbyeFaye says:

        You are so very welcome!
        Oh, wow! That would have been a dream come true for me. I loved the musical!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A few years ago, my granddaughter got to play both Tevye and Golde during the same season: one in her middle school production, and the other one in Sunday school. We were teasing her about the danger of mixing up the songs while on stage!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. RobbyeFaye says:

        How awesome!
        I think I would have mixed up the songs!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. She didn’t – kids nowadays are so much “with it” than we give them credit for!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. RobbyeFaye says:

        I’m glad!
        Isn’t that the truth. They have so much vying for their attention!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE this recipe! Great post and stories as always – thank you very much! 😺💕xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much , Samantha! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Osyth says:

    Oh how lovely you are gracing me with such compliments 🙂 Thank you so much for linking my little bundle of nonsense to your lovely piece. How I loved reading the story. Rather like the story of the two women and Solomon I think it should be compulsory reading. You know me by now – I do believe that love really IS all we need if we would only allow it. As for the recipe … oh how delicious. Courgetti Cake for le goûter (tomorrow when my husband arrives for a week and love really can take over my life!) Hugs to you Dolly. And love of course 🙂

    Like

    1. But I love your bundles of whimsicality dressed in delightful language! I didn’t know that French also have an afternoon tea and even a special name for it, but then again, if there is a signified, there will be a signifier for it, says Jacques Lacan (whatever these concepts are called in French). Have a great and lovely romantic time with your husband! 😻

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Osyth says:

        The cake is made … I was up at 5 – just SO excited 💕💕💕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Have a wonderful romantic time! 😺

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful!! Well summed up!! Food is love!!😎😎❤❤🍻🍷🍗🍛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course! Thank you so much! Are you familiar with the beautiful book and movie Como Aqua Para Chocolate?

      Like

      1. Yep a bit. Some reviews I have read. Interesting the emotions food take on of people and people take on with food!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s one of the richest sensory experiences!

        Like

      3. Which has a great impact on many things! 😃 Hope you’re having a nice weekend!!

        Like

      4. Of course, and I hope the same for you! 😺

        Like

      5. Big Smiles!!! Happy Monday!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yay! Happy and enjoyable week to you! 😻

        Like

      7. I saw the movie in English: Like Water for Chocolate. Wonderful film.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It is, and so is the book.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I’ll put the book on my TBR list – I’m sure I would love it.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I am sure you will – Latin existentialism at its best.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Christy B says:

    Love thy neighbor.. and thy friend in the kitchen 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL Thank you for the chuckle – made my day!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Another magnificent post, a story to tell the kinder, and now, I must bake! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! The story is a Midrash. I hope the meidalach like the cake! Yesterday, I had eineklach baking with me, and we remade this cake recipe into muffins – yummy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and purchase one of those “spiralizer” gadgets – just as soon as I can figure out what to get rid of to have a place to put it in my small, storage-challenged rental kitchen. I barely have counter space. 😦

    I *loved* the story, Dolly. As I often say, “love is a verb.” I’m sure you husband feels like the most loved man in the world every time he gets to taste one of your glorious recipes.

    I did Tzeitel in Fiddler, many years ago, so the videos brought back many vivid memories. Thank you. I was not fortunate enough to see the stage version with Mostel – which would have thrilled me forever.

    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS. The source of the Buscaglia story, to which “have the courage to” was added. is *not* anonymous — it is “Do it ANYWAY,” written by Mother Teresa.

      The original is short and can be found on my blog (I don’t want to take folks off your site with a link, but search for “When the Going Gets Tough” and scroll down just a bit in the article). You will LOVE how it ends, Dolly.
      xx,
      mgh

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just went and read it – amazing! It was Buscaglia who called it “anonymous,” but I will go back and add Mother Theresa’s authorship to the post. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are most welcome. I was a bit surprised to hear Buscaglia was unaware of the source – but it took YEARS before somebody shared the source for The Goose Story (on which I founded my entire company). I was so grateful to replace “source unknown” with Noyes.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Interesting how primary sources sometimes get lost in repetitions.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you for a lovely comment and all the glowing compliments!
      You don’t have to buy a big bulky spiralizer if you are space-challenged; there are little hand-held ones. I didn’t choose this one – it was my son’s choice.
      How fortunate you were to play in that fabulous musical!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fiddler was a fabulous experience – one I will never forget. I can still recall all the songs – even tho’ Tzeitel didn’t get to sing all that many onstage.

        Thanks – I’ll check out the hand-held versions. Your son clearly knows where his bread is buttered, so I’m sure he wanted to get you the one that was easiest to use, confident you’d figure out a place for it, especially in your remodeled kitchen.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To tell the truth, he consulted with an expert (my granddaughter who is on a healthy eating track right now), who advised him to look at the number of positive comments, in addition to looking at the rating. That’s how he made his choice. I am passing on this advice!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I usually do that too — even if I plan to buy at Sams or somewhere cheaper. First I decide what to buy, then I look for the cheapest source.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      4. And I like to go through kitchen stores and see what’s new and interesting, but I haven’t done that in three years already.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I used to love that too – NYC has some amazing ones!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Same as all the outlet malls on the way from Miami to Boston. People spend hours at outlet malls shopping for clothes; I disappear into kitchen stores.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I don’t go often, but when I do I spend the entire day – browsing them all!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I only hit them on car trips up North, and I only go to kitchen stores. I have no patience for clothing stores.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I love ANY kind of store – but I am divesting, not acquiring these days. So window shopping is my only “retail therapy” anymore.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Whatever works for you!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear, I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. daisymae2017 says:

        Your posts are always good and recipes help too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are so sweet! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. daisymae2017 says:

        Thanks. I try my best.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I really love your story very inspiring. That is how love should be. And I always people who can create a variety of receipees in the kitchen… I should come to your cookery school 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, darling, I don’t have a cookery school! I am just a retired educator who loves cooking. A school I ran before retirement was a private school for children with special needs and severe emotional disabilities.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Anything is possible in case you still want to make room for a cookery school *wink -* But again I believe you already have students in your blog audience. I admire that you gave time to helping special needs children. I hope I can achieve the desire to volunteer at a special needs school soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish you all kinds of luck fulfilling your desire – it is so much needed!

      Like

  14. Oh yes!! That is definitely better than even a spiralizer, and zoodles!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And last Sunday I got the youngest grandkids involved in remaking the same recipe into muffins! Will post soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woo hoo!! Looking forward to that one!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What do you think, you are the only grandma with the cutest munchkins? I got them too! 😸

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😉 Well, of course! All Jewish women make the best grandmas!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s a myth! All good grandmothers make the best grandmothers! “All you need is love”!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Grandmothers of the world, unite!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. kelleysdiy says:

    I love this! I love listening to Dr Leo Buscaglia, I also agree with how Judaism perceives love, wonderful post Dolly!!!! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, sweetheart! 😻

      Like

  16. Verklempt! I got a little choked up at the end of your story. Beautiful! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, dear Mel, I cried buckets when I read that essay! Thank you so much for understanding! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

  17. This is such a lovely post. I love Fiddler on the Roof and my favourite son is Matchmaker. My best friend is Jewish so we often get to enjoy Jewish cooking which is superb.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I am so glad you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s