Unfair Trade: Muffins for Tobacco

Are muffins bread? Are they cakes? Are they supposed to be eaten for breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert, or all of the above? Are muffins really cupcakes without frosting? Thomas Jefferson thought so, and called muffins “a luxury to us.” Today, you can get a recipe for Monticello Muffins at http://www.monticello.org.  But those are not American…

Light the Bonfire of Love with Chocolate Logs!

Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Lag b’Omer, Beautiful People! Our sages said, “Who is wise? One who learns from every person” (Ethics of Our Fathers, 4:1). The first person in our lives we have a chance to learn from is MOTHER. From her we learn kindness, caring, and most importantly, unconditional love. Sometimes, it’s not…

Preserving Jews and All Sorts of Fish: Escabeche

An innovative and highly profitable method of borrowing money was practiced by King Edward I of England: you borrow from the Jews, as there was no one else to borrow from (usury was forbidden by the church), then, since legally all Jews were the King’s property, all debts payable to them instantly become payable to…

Pardon My French… Toast!

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, Amarilla in South America, and Poor Knights of Windsor in England, with translations of the latter into Swedish, Danish, and some more European languages. The reason for it, presumably, is…

Prince Igor Says,”Not for Any Kovrizhki!”

You are a prince. Not just any old prince among a bunch of other princes, but The Grand Prince of Kiev Rus, the very first one holding this title. Don’t worry, ladies, there is a princess in this story, too, Princess Olga, a formidable ruler and warrior in her own right. But let’s return to 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,…