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…

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…

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…

Did Maui Poke the Big Fish?

He did and he didn’t. According to the legend, Maui, demigod and a hero of Hawaiian folklore, had been mercilessly teased by his older brothers for being a poor fisherman. He kept  begging them to take him fishing, but they steadily refused. In one version of the legend, he hid in their canoe and revealed…

The Scone of Stone

Again, I almost missed International Scone Week, and if not for lovely Carol of Retired? No one told me! I would not have known. Thank you, Carol, for keeping me informed! For reasons you already know, Beautiful People, this is yet another repeat. The Scone of Stone was stolen! It was stolen from the most…

I’ve Got Some Explaining to Do

Our gracious host Renard of https://renardsworld.wordpress.com has kindly published my guest post that features the Indian Goddess Lakshmi and my recipe for stir-fried lotus root. In my post, I have neglected to explain the link between the two, and anyway, why is Lakshmi always depicted sitting on a lotus flower? Here is the answer, Beautiful…

Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh

The fault is entirely mine! A timely reminder about an International Falafel Day (what will they come up with next, I wonder) had been issued by lovely and efficient Carol of https://carolcooks2.com, but between holidays, work, boat, and visiting grandchildren, I missed it. Perhaps you can forgive me, Beautiful People, if I bring you this…

My Shavuos Menu

Contrary to all other Jewish holidays, when we prepare festive meals that include both fish and meat, signifying rejoicing in His benevolence that grants us abundance, traditional Shavuos table is laden with dairy dishes, from blintzes to cheesecakes, and anything milky delicious you can think of.  One of the reasons for this unique menu is explained in…

Cheese and Raisins Pie

I am sure this was more of an afterthought. It was like, hey, we are already making traditional green savory pies, why not bake something sweet for kids to enjoy! I remember my father, the quintessential kid, sneaking into my grandmother’s kitchen to snack on the sweet filling while the dough was being rolled and…

Cheese and Scallions Pie

The holiday of Shavuos is starting in two days, and I have been volunteered by The Boss (my husband) to make our traditional cheese and scallions flaky pies for the entire congregation. I have just finished baking them and will deliver the baking sheet with four huge pies to the synagogue tomorrow, to be shoved…

Catherine the Great Needs a Diet (The Tsar Blini)

We are starting the Women History Month with an International Pancake Day. If there is a deep philosophical meaning to this coincidence, I fail to discern it, but here is a great woman who loved her pancakes. Well, she loved Tsar Blini, but blini is but a Russian version of pancakes, right? A petite, slender…

Disappearing Baked Tuna Cakes

Dear Beautiful People, I am about to disappear for a few days. I’ll be back, although not as dramatically as the Terminator, and all will be revealed. I will give you some hints, though. Can you guess? Hint #1, for those who love Baroque music. I do. Hint #2, for those who like ballroom dancing….