Crock Pot Turkey Breast and Finding Courage to Love

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an historic document that started with the following words: The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. The Proclamation continues: I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those…

Crock Pot Turkey Breast and Finding Courage to Love

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an historic document that started with the following words: The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. The Proclamation continues: I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those…

The World Is Macaroni: Pasta Fagioli

Marco Polo went to China. It was a very long way from Venice, and the sailors who were part of his expedition, sick of sea rations, craved homemade food. One of them, while on a shore leave, met a beautiful girl who was making noodles. History is not clear whether he had fallen in love…

Yukh – A One-Eyed Soup

You’ve heard of a one-armed bandit, but what about a one-eyed soup? Hershele of Ostropol, a famous prankster and jester who lived about 200 years ago (I believe I’ve mentioned him before), traveled to another town and went to an inn. “Do you have a yukh – chicken soup?” – he inquired. “But of course,…

Tzimmes mit Fasoles – Red Beans with Honey

The word Tzimmes insinuated itself into languages of all countries where Jews have lived during the two thousand years of exile. Its meaning evolved from something sweet eaten on Rosh Hashana with a hope for a sweet year to anything sweet, delicious, beautiful, a bargain, an advantageous deal, etc. “Have I got a girl for…

Mushroom Barley Soup

Traditional Jewish comfort food, with history more ancient and undoubtedly more venerable than the ubiquitous “Jewish penicillin” – chicken soup, Mushroom Barley soup was served in my family during the holiday of Sukkos, the final one of the series of High Holidays. The end of October – beginning of November was already pretty chilly, so…

The Golden Soup

King Midas had a daughter called Marigold, and he loved her more than anything, and he wanted to give her the best, the finest, the fanciest, and the most expensive things in the world. That required lots of gold, and even though he had plenty, there is never a limit to gold fever, is there?…

Ukha – Russian Fisherman Soup

Equally loved by Ivan the Terrible and the poorest of peasants, this simple soup could be a clear fish broth or a thick stew. Or anything in between, for that matter, as long as a fish swam through it at some point. Initially, during Ivan the Terrible’s times, it was a clear broth, sometimes meat-based,…

Rassol’nik – Sour Barley Soup

The most sobering experience you’ve ever had, and I mean literally. Rassol means brine, the liquid that you have when you pickle something, and it is considered the best remedy for hangovers. Hangovers are historically taken very seriously in Russia. At the end of 10th century, Vladimir the Great, the Grand Prince of Kiev, a…

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

The first cookbook published in America was called  – take a deep breath! – American Cookery or The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables and The Best Modes of Making Pastes, Puffs, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes, from Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake, Adapted at This Country and…

Meatloaf with Surprise

The ultimate comfort food, but round. Not what you expect? Wait, that’s not the promised surprise! You are used to a traditional square or oblong shape, but who said that a loaf couldn’t be round?  Not the Romans who had been making it way back in 5th century, and not the German auxiliary troops who…

Apple Charlotte

Napoleon invaded Russia and lost. Embarrassed and frustrated, he declared that it wasn’t the Russian generals who had defeated the hitherto victorious French army, but General Frost – the harsh Russian winter. Some of the non-military, auxiliary French personnel decided not to risk frostbites or even death, and to remain in Russia. A barber is…