Pyshka – Sweet Roll and a Baby Kitten

Calling all cats and their humans: HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CAT DAY! To celebrate, I am repeating a post I wrote four years ago, when little Pyshka was about four weeks old. Now she is a big and beautiful four-year old kitty girl, heavier than Auntie Beba, who is 12, but still playful and mischievous like a…

Royal Wedding – Carrot and Banana

I have learned from lovely and well-informed Carol of Retired? No one told me! that today is a National Banana Bread Day. I think combining bananas with carrots will still serve the purpose, Beautiful People. February – the stores are decked out in red and pink hearts, furiously marketing in the name of love. Jewelers…

The Scone of Stone

The Scone of Stone was stolen! It was stolen from the most unexpected and the best guarded place, The Dwarf Bread Museum. Of course, dwarf breads were substantially different from our breads; that is, different in substance. In fact, they included gravel as one of the main ingredients. According to the late Sir Terry Pratchett,…

Summer Latkes in December

I am not done with latkes yet, Beautiful People! In 1989, the Supreme Court ruling upheld displaying Chanukkah menorahs in public places as a symbol of “universal religious freedom.” Last night, on the last night of Chanukkah, our Rabbi invited the entire community to light the menorah outside, at Miami Beach Marina, with festive music, latkes, and sufganiyot (doughnuts). On the foreground of this photo,…

Coconut Latkes Full of Light

On the second night of Chanukkah, two lights are on, spreading their warmth and glow throughout the house.  We use the old-fashioned olive oil and wicks, rather than candles, as it has been done since that original cruse of oil in the Temple that lasted for eight days (for explanation of Chanukkah miracle of oil, please see But Hannah…

Gambling for Education and Retchene Latkes

To continue with the story of Chanukkah and latkes, Judea was eventually captured by the Romans. Some of the Roman rulers could care less about various religions of the occupied territories, or provinces, as long as the taxes were collected regularly and accurately. Some others, however, persecuted Jews relentlessly; Emperor Hadrian even earned the nickname “Destroyer of the…

But Hannah Did Not Have Potatoes! Latkes with a Tropical Twist.

Chanukkah is coming, and kids are looking forward to stuffing their faces with latkes – potato pancakes. When I was growing up, we had all kinds of latkes on Chanukkah, and sometimes my grandmother skipped the deruny (potato latkes) altogether because of the variety of other, more interesting ones: carrots with apples, zucchini with raisins, and my father’s favorite rechene (buckwheat) latkes. When a guest inquired about…

Pardon My French… Toast!

Lovely Carol of carolcooks2.com says that today is a National French Toast Day. I don’t know which nation, but I do have a delicious recipe to offer you, Beautiful People. One of those names that varied from country to country, it was called Spanish Toast in Germany, German Toast in Italy, Nun’s Toast in Spain,…

Kugel: Where East Met West

At first, Jews had it good in the Roman-administered land which is now France. Having lost their own homeland, they have dispersed throughout immense Roman Empire, settling mostly along trade routes. Even though they were still not allowed to own land, nor practice law or hold any administrative positions (restrictions are nothing new to us!),…

Kids, Miracles, and Banana Latkes

I got the best Chanukkah present from my younger son – he brought over his littlest daughter, the only one of his brood of four who was available. The two middle ones went with their school to Orlando, accompanied by their mother who is also the head of the school’s counseling services, and the oldest…

Only Good Words for Savory Cupcakes

In a wonderful Russian play of the 60’s about love, kindness, and caring, there was a line that bothered me: “Even a cat appreciates a good word.” I could never understand the word “even” in this phrase – why “even a cat”? What about dogs? Birds? People, after all? My grandmother, may she rest in…

Surprise – Healthy Potato Chips!

I am cheating, Beautiful People, but I have a good reason for it! These truly are healthy sweet potato chips, but they are oven-baked, and my oven went on strike. Hopefully, the situation will be remedied before Passover, with G-d’s help. Meanwhile, as we were making Tropical Salsa (see here) at the recent Lasting Joy…