My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 1, Round Challah.

Years ago, when my grandmother was still around, it has occurred to me that only my mother and I knew her recipes, and we knew them by heart; they were not written anywhere. I decided to write them down, organizing them by Jewish holidays. Then my memories took over, plunging me into family stories, and the book acquired a life of its own, going away from the actual recipes into post-war Odessa realities.

title pageIn 1992 my son Alex (Arkady, in Russian), then a junior at Brandeis University, was awarded an Undergraduate Fellowship for translation of a collection of stories by Russian authors, compiled by Professor Inna Braude. A year later, this book was published by Hermitage Publishers, illustrated by a prominent Russian artist Alexander Okun. It is available on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Times-Turmoil-Collection-Stories/dp/1557790655/ref=sr_1_1?). I am tremendously honored that my story made it into this distinguished line-up of authors, translated by my son. To quote Professor Braude, “the epicenter of the narrative is concentrated on the past – on the rapt and loving view of it” (Introduction).

Due to popular demands, specifically prompted by a dear blogofriend, an immensely talented and creative Judy of https://judydykstrabrown.com, I am embarking on a 12-week project, posting one chapter every week. But don’t feel deprived, Beautiful People; I will not leave you without recipes. At the end of each post there will be my grandmother’s actual holiday recipes. Warning: sometimes you will find next chapter starting at the end of a page and you’ll have to wait until  the following week to find out what happens!

part 1.jpg

part 1 cont.jpg

  1. Moidodyr: Literally means “wash until you have holes. The reference is made to a famous poem of the same name by Korney Chukovsky in which a large washbasin encourages cleanliness of little children.

You can watch a cute Russian cartoon based on this poem. And here is the first recipe of the series: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/round-challah-for-a-sweet-year.

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Enjoy!

 

89 Comments Add yours

  1. Garfield Hug says:

    Wow! You are an accomplished writer and a terrific pastry chef and cook!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, darling, for your sweet comment!

      Like

  2. spearfruit says:

    Great endeavour you’ve undertaken Dolly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much, Gary!

      Like

  3. CarolCooks2 says:

    I love how you are preserving and keeping recipes passed down from your grandmother that is how it should be 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Carol; everything I know about cooking was learned in my grandmother’s little kitchen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Those are the best times …I learnt much from mine and my mum as have my children from me …Lets hope theirs do the same …I am hopeful as some of my grandchildren are decent cooks in the making 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am sure they will be, if they are learning from you, darling!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. CarolCooks2 says:

        Awww..kind words but I am sure they will …I think most of the time when you cook like we do our enthusiasm rubs off and they share our love of good food…Have a great weekend 🙂 x

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You too, dear friend!

        Like

  4. weggieboy says:

    What an excellent idea! Therre are things my mother and grandmother made that are lost to history for lack of a written recipe.

    I’ve recreated some of them, but there is nothing like my grandmother’s egg noodles or a relish my mother made.

    Of course, many family recipes are made with love and without recipes, so key ingredients or steps that made them unique to the person originallky making them are lost. “Similar to” doesn’t always equate to “same as”!

    I look forward to each new chapter, too. A most enjoyable read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Doug; I truly value your opinion.
      As I said in the post, there are no actual recipes in the book, as I have gone tangential and couldn’t help it. Books, as you know, sometimes write themselves. However, since I still cook for holidays the way my grandmother used to, I have posted her, now my, recipes, so in a way, they do exist in writing.
      Have you read (seen the film) “Like Water for Chocolate”? The main ingredient is love!

      Like

      1. weggieboy says:

        Yes, that is one of my top 10 films! I’ve atched it several times, it is so compelling. Another movie that features food preparation that is incredibly good is “Babette’s Feast.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I missed that one! Thank you for mentioning it, Doug; will watch.

        Like

      3. weggieboy says:

        The film is Danish, and quite entertaining! You will especially appreciate the section where the staunchly evangelistic (and very stuffy!) villagers at the table experience a five star feast of foods so tasty and unimaginable they dance! LOL! It is a treat of a film, and I am comfortable saying you will enjoy it , my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Will watch and report, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This will be a compelling, well written, series. The story of the recipe book I began in 1965 is told in https://derrickjknight.com/2015/10/25/chocolate-surprise-pudding/ from before we knew each other

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Derrick; I truly value your opinion. Thank you for providing the link. The chocolate pudding surprise for me was, of course, the fact that the recipe is still readable, with magnifying. Did you succeed in compiling the actual recipe book?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did make quite a few entries in a scrapbook which is what the granddaughters have.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lucky granddaughters.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. GP Cox says:

    You know I love new recipes, thanks Dolly!!
    I don’t see how you could doubt your prestige as a writer – you belong up front and center!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you so much for your vote of confidence, GP, and for a lovely compliment, but I was a journalist and a screen writer for comedy shows and documentaries, rather than a fiction writer. This anthology is compiled of stories by truly prominent writers, famous in Russia and abroad. Although I did write some fiction and poetry in my youth, I don’t even come close to that category!
      Again, there are no recipes in the book itself, but I am planning to attach my grandmother’s holiday recipes to each installment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GP Cox says:

        Terrific, I’ll look forward to them!!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Megala says:

    Wow! This is amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Megala!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dollie, you are so special. Godspeed. 🌟✨💫

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Gail! I believe that each and every person is special, in their own way, but I thank you for a lovely comment, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful pr9oject. Looking forward to reading more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit! Each one of us has a story, and we need to bring them out.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Ren says:

    Happy dancing for you…..hugz and dolphin grins

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ren – much love and blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Your stories are grand, i am so glad you are going to let us read them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, dear Mimi!

      Like

  12. lghiggins says:

    What a fun series this will be Dolly. Looking forward to chapter 2

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Linda!

      Like

  13. Catwoods says:

    This is fascinating, Dolly! I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Leah, and what a gorgeous cat you have!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Catwoods says:

        Franklin and I thank you, Dolly, he’s very pleased to see this!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Congratulations to you and your son. Wonderful work! Well deserved to be published. The cartoon is great too. Thank you very much. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Michael, for your kind words and good wishes!

      Like

  15. purpleslob says:

    Your own toilet seats? Did you have to use the same bathtub? Were y’all living with your grandparents in this apartment? Thank you for giving this view of another life, that we Americans cannot even fathom, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bathtub? Darling, we didn’t have bathing facilities! Every region of the city had a public bathhouse, where you would buy tickets for specific day and time for either public showers or a private shower cabin (men and women separately, of course). You’d go there once a week; other than that, you heat water at home in buckets and sponge bath in a large basin.
      At first, when my parents got married, they lived with my grandparents, and it wasn’t exactly an apartment, but one room split into two by plywood and my grandfather’s ingenuity. Then I was born. When I was 7, my parents moved to Latvia, where my father had a better career opportunity. Then we moved again, and that’s where my brother was born. My grandmother first took him back to Odessa, then me, then she put her foot down and brought my parents back. For a while we all lived together, until my parents were able to buy a cooperative apartment, into which they moved with my brother. I stayed with my grandparents because of music school I was attending. Thank you for your interest, dear purple person!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Oh my goodness!! Sponge baths aren’t my favorite! So, who cleaned the bathroom? I can’t even imagine having to share with so many people! I definitely admit I’m spoiled!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was a schedule for cleaning common areas and a house committee to complain to, in case people shirked their duty.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        Wow. I can’t even imagine!! Americans are spoiled these days, for sure!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Fortunately, since the Civil War, Americans have not had a major war on their territory, thus all their efforts have been targeted towards improvement of life quality. I am fortunate that this great country has taken us in and I am now benefitting from this life quality.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    FAMILY HERITAGE AND A CARTOON!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, Jonathan!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Balvinder says:

    Congratulations to you and your son, Dolly. and, now I know where you got your writing and culinary skills from. Looking forward to read all your grandma’s recipes.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear Bal, for your kind comment!

      Like

  18. This is delicious and honored treasure Dolly! What a beautiful tribute and share!❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling!

      Like

    1. Thank you so much for linking to me, dear friend!

      Like

  19. Thanks for this post. It is really wonderful idea to write down recipes and keep them for others. My lovely mother passed a way several years ago. She was wonderful cook, anything she was cooking was delicious and everyone complemented her for her cooking skill. I learned a lot and remember most of them but sometimes i regret why i did not write down them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are doing a great job posting your recipes on your blog now, and I hope your mother’s recipes are there as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes all my traditional Azerbaijani meals are my mom’s recipes 💖💖🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s a great tribute to your mother, dear Rozina!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Sounds alot like my Grandmother. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure! Aren’t some of us blessed to have had grandmothers like that! Thank you, dear Anna!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. cbholganza says:

    beautiful stories. loved the cartoon too. these cartoons were made in th 50s? wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Charly!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. lifelessons says:

    LOVED THIS, Dolly. You should put a link to Part 2 at the end of Part 1 to insure people can easily get to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t think of that, thank you! Will go do it right now.

      Like

  23. lifelessons says:

    I love the cover of this book as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Illustrations and cover were a present for my son’s 20th birthday from a prominent Russian artist Alexander Okun, a friend of mine. He is actually a set designer who has designed sets for several Broadway shows, but book illustrations are sort of a hobby for him. I’ll relate the compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lifelessons says:

        I think it is fabulous. It tells a story all its own and is whimsical in a non-cloying sense. I’d love to see more of his work.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Unfortunately, nothing is available online, other than a list of his production credits. No images, sorry!

        Like

      3. You are a much better online researcher than I am, I must admit.

        Like

      4. lifelessons says:

        Dolly, on another website you asked someone if you could substitute nutritional yeast for parmesan. Here is a recipe for vegan parmesan that my nephew gave me: 3/4 C plus 1 Tbsp raw cashews, 1/4 C nutritional yeast, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp sea salt. blend in food processor or coffee grinder to powder stage similar to parmesan.

        Don’t know if your hubby can have cashews, and I’d substitute sodium-free salt if I were making it myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thank you for the recipe, Judy. Yes, he can have cashews in such a small quantity, and this looks like a winner.

        Like

      6. That’s not him, it’s a namesake (a younger relative, actually). I saw his work in Israel; very interesting!

        Like

      7. lifelessons says:

        And this one. I’m thinking this is your Alexander Okun and the other one isn’t: https://anyflip.com/xfgb/jynb/basic

        Liked by 1 person

      8. This one is! I haven’t even seen it online – wow!

        Like

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