My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 8, Quinoa Pomegranate Salad.

This post takes us to the last two of the four holidays: Sukkot (Sukkos) and Simchat Torah (Simhas Torah). It also concludes my story with the celebration of Simhas Torah in Moscow Synagogue.

Part 8
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Part 8 cont 2
Part 8 fin

*20. Leader of All Peoples – one of the multitude of epithets Stalin constructed to refer to himself.

*21. The Big Brother of All Workers – see *20.

*22. Expert of All Languages – see #20.

*23. Machno  – Ukrainian anarchist and popular peasant leader of “the Greens,” known for anti-Semitic atrocities.

*24. It was 1935, and 1937 was on its way – the most active years

of Stalin’s purges.

*25. Sher – traditional Jewish dance, from Hebrew shir (song).

During this holiday we are commanded to rejoice, and we do, as you have seen in this funky video. With the first of my Sukkos  recipes, I wish you, Beautiful People, a joyful holiday and a happy year! Hag Sukkot Sameach!

The Holiday of Sukkos is called Zman Simchoseinu – The Time of Rejoicing.  We are commanded to rejoice for eight days, and to do it outside, open to elements. For the duration of this holiday, eight days, we dwell in the sukkah – a booth, or tent, erected outside. Some people actually sleep in the sukkah, but we only eat there. On the photo, you can see a miniature model of a sukkah, made for my husband by a Russian artist Eduard Kryman. It actually serves as a case to carry an Esrog (a ritual citron), which constitutes an important part of the observance. There is no roof other than palm branches which leaves us open to the elements the way we were during the forty years of wondering in the dessert.


To complete the set, we also need a lulav, which is a tall and straight palm branch tied together with some myrtle and willow branches. Together, the lulav and esrog are called The Four Species, and each one of the four has a special significance. Palm–because it is written (Psalms 92:13): ‘The righteous bloom like a date palm.’ Myrtle–because it is written (Zechariah 1:8): ‘And he stood among the myrtle-trees.’  Willow–because it is written (Psalms 68:5): ‘Extol Him who rides on the clouds [aravot], the Lord is His name.’ Esrog, otherwise called “the beautiful fruit,” or “the fruit of a goodly tree,” alludes to (Psalms 104: 1): ‘You are clothed in glory and majesty.’ (

However, there is a much simpler, down to earth explanation of the Four Species symbolism. On a very basic level, they bind together the four types of people:

  • The lulav (palm) has taste but no smell, symbolizing those who study Torah but do not possess good deeds.
  • The hadass (myrtle) has a good smell but no taste, symbolizing those who possess good deeds but do not study Torah.
  • The aravah (willow) has neither taste nor smell, symbolizing those who lack both Torah and good deeds.
  • The esrog has both a good taste and a good smell, symbolizing those who have both Torah and good deeds.

Every day of Sukkos, we wave them in all directions, to affirm our belief in the Master of the Universe. We rejoice because we have complete faith that during the ten days of Awe, between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, we have been judged favorably, and we are looking forward to a sweet year full of blessings.

Before I get to the recipe, I want to stress two important factors:

  1. When we dwell in a sukkah, we are not only fulfilling one of the commandments, we are actually surrounded by it.
  2. During the entire Sukkos, we extend special blessings to all the people of the world.

It is believed that a pomegranate contains 613 seeds, equal to the number of commandments. Kids are usually encouraged to count them, but I haven’t yet met a child who has been able to count all 613. Still, pomegranate is traditional both as sukkah decoration and as part of the food.

Qna Pom sld 3.jpg

For this salad, I have added yet another symbolic touch – yellow lentils. According to the description of the High Priest’s garments, his robe was decorated on the bottom by alternating pomegranates and golden bells. I wanted to achieve this effect, using the quinoa base as a canvas.

Qna Pom sld 1.jpg

Garlic is there for a little zing – a personality, if you will, and mint for freshness. I think , I’ve covered all bases, and all we need is seasoning.

Qna Pom sld 2.jpg

Playing it by ear, I dressed it with lemon juice and olive oil and seasoned with my favorite combination of cinnamon and cumin, as well as salt and freshly ground pepper.


As we are starting this holiday tonight, I am taking this opportunity to send my blessings to all of you, Beautiful People, for a sweet and wonderful year, full of joy!


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1 cup cooked yellow lentils (1/2 cup uncooked)
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, squeezed
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients and count your blessings – enjoy!

41 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging, dear Edward.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. BERNADETTE says:

    This is an absolutely fascinating series. I have been transported back in time and learned so much about your religion’s traditions. I plan on doing a holiday edition of my blog and I was wondering if you would like to participate by giving me a recipe and a story and possibly a picture relating to Hanukka?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment, dear Bernadette. I am honored by your invitation to contribute to your holiday edition. Would you like something entirely new, or would you be satisfied with one of my older Chanukkah posts?


  2. There is always so much to learn from your posts Dolly! I especially love the explanation of the Four Species. A wonderful recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dorothy; I am so glad you liked the post and the recipe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great combination of flavors in this colorful salad. Looks very inviting. חג שמח! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Ronit; coming from you, it is especially appreciated. חג שמח!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Praying you have a year full of rejoicing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi – amen!
      The same to you and yours!


  5. A series well worth revisiting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Derrick.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. .Killa. says:

    Whoa your grand mum’s recipes look incredibly creative and delicious 👍😄

    Liked by 1 person

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

      Liked by 1 person

      1. .Killa. says:

        You are wlcome, it’s my pleasure ✌️😄💙

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wishing you a sweet year full of blessings, Dolly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Anna. Many blessings to you as well.


  8. Doug Thomas says:

    Best wishes for the holidays! I know your family will add memories of your excellent meals to those of being together once again to observe traditions centuries old!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely and kind comment, Doug. I am very sorry about being MIA, but between holidays, work, grandkids’ visits, and computer issues (those are still unresolved) I have been drastically out of time all the time.


      1. Doug Thomas says:

        I’m getting there myself!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope you and Mr Andy are both well, and I am so looking forward to catching up and enjoying your posts.


      3. Doug Thomas says:

        Yes, we are enjoying the blahs, where we have no immediate responsibilities beyond just being! Sometimes, that is a good place to be. Two9 days ago, I had to drive to Cheyenne, Wyoming (a five hour round trip that ended up being a six hour one because of some little “detours” where I missed road signs…) for a doctor’s appointment. I’m not up to that much time on the road any longer, so have been sleeping like the proverbial log these past two days.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You definitely need your rest, Doug, after a trip like that. Who is minding the kitty when you are away?


      5. Doug Thomas says:

        He’s on his own, though I let a friend know when I’m leaving for the day, then call her up when I get back in case I have a delay or accident. Smartphones can be a pain, but they make a good tool to have on hand during travel, and I have a charger cord that came with it that plugs into what used to be a cigarette lighter socket in ancient cars, so it can be fully charged at all times.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I am glad to hear you have a backup plan, just in case. We are fortunate to live in a condo with kind neighbors who take care of The Cat Gang when we are away.


      7. Doug Thomas says:

        When I was hospitalized in 2016, it was my neighbors across the lane who cared for the two kitty boys.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That’s very good to hear. Caring neighbors do not happen often, unfortunately.


  9. Americaoncoffee says:

    I love your grandma’s healthy ingredients. The talent is very complimentary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, darling.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. lghiggins says:

    What a blessing this post is! You do such a great job of explaining the symbolism associated with the various elements. And if you can’t smile during the video, you just aren’t alive!

    Liked by 1 person

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

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lulu: “Ooh, I bet Dada would like this! He’s made a few different pomegranate recipes this year since getting some pomegranates in a farm box, including something called riz-a-jej, which I gather was super complicated, but delicious! Not that I would know, since I never get any human food …”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pyshka: Dear Lulu, we also don’t get human food, other than the salad greens I steal from Mama when she washes them or occasional piece of chicken or fish for Uncle Barmalei, then he lets me sit on top on his tower.


    1. Thank you for reblogging, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always with a great pleasure, Dolly! xx Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for sharing so much interesting knowledge about a great tradition, Dolly! I am always delighted. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, dear Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you as well, Dolly! I hope you are all well, and stay save. Have a nice weekend. xx Michael

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My younger son somehow managed to catch Covid, despite having been vaccinated, but it was a very light form, and he is fully recovered now, thank G-d. I am still staying at home and working online. Enjoy your weekend, dear friend!


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