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.
In 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!
- 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.