Pumpkin Boats

Lovely Carol of https://carolcooks2.com has informed me that October is a National Pumpkin Month. Since I am not on pumpkin track yet, and neither are the stores here, I am repeating an old nostalgic recipe, posted in the B.C. before Covid) era, when cruise industry was booming and our little boat had not been swallowed…

Tofu Can Bite, Too!

This is a multipurpose endeavor, Beautiful People. Lovely Carol of https://carolcooks2.com has announced that today is both an International Vegetarian Day and The World Music Day. I have thought of combining them in one post, especially since I already have it, originally meant for Sukkot. Even thought the holidays are over, I still hope you…

The Rivers of Exile: Nine-Day Pie

I repeat this post every year at this time, and with it, I wish all those of you, Beautiful People, who observe this tragic day of mourning, an easy and meaningful fast. Traveling through the streets of Paris with his entourage, Napoleon passed a synagogue and heard heart-wrenching wailing from within. “Why are my Jews…

We Have a New Guest Chef – Dolly Aizenman

Originally posted on A Jeanne in the Kitchen:
It has been quite awhile since our last Guest Chef. No one has been sending anything in, and I miss that. I love seeing what’s cooking in your kitchens. But all that has changed, and now, we have a new Guest Chef, my friend, Dolly Aizenman. You…

Stuffed Avocado

When you hear stuffed shirt, you get a mental image of a retrograde, an inflexible old-fashioned conservative, maybe an arrogant poseur with no substance. The latter is probably the closest to the truth, as the idiom was actually born as a literal description of a scarecrow, dressed in real person’s clothes and stuffed with whatever was…

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,…

Vinaigrette – a Russian Winter Salad

He is called Father Frost or General Frost. He lives in Russia, and he could be very cruel, especially to those who do not show proper respect to him. He has defeated many invaders, from the khans, to Napoleon, to Nazi Germany. He likes to decorate fields and forests, covering them in pristine snow and…

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…

Smoking Turkey

This is not a mistake. It’s not smoked turkey; these are turkey cigars. You can’t smoke them, so you’ll have to eat them! They are pictured next to a real cigar, made by my husband’s boutique cigar company Senor Solomon Kosher Cigars. This unique cigar is 12 inches long, 70 gauge, and it’s called The Senor. Some…

Scumbria Goes Oriental

Scomber Scombus, or Scumbria (accent on the first syllable), as we call it in Odessa, is “the true mackerel” (Integrated Taxonomic Information System, 2012), and this is not an Odessa story. Odessa stories come in four categories: Mostly true Creatively true Legend with some names thrown in Wild fantasy Take category 1, for instance. The…