The Holy Hole-less Doughnuts

When Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden in a hurry, they hadn’t thought of packing a lunch box. Supposedly, He Who had kicked them out, sent them a comfort parcel with a dozen hole-less doughnuts filled with jam. Yum! The Hebrew word for doughnut, sufgania, is here presented as an abbreviation of…

Get Your Game on With Chocolate Halva Balls

In honor of the World Cup – and for those of you, Beautiful People, who call it soccer, it’s FOOTBALL! – with all its surprising results and insane scores, we made chocolate halva balls at our Lasting Joy Club get-together – watch the videos here. Actually, according to http://www.sportsaspire.com, the word itself came from an abbreviation assoc. (Association of Football),…

MONSTER ChoCo Squares

We don’t do Halloween, but we have our own monsters. One of them is world famous. You see his heavy footprints throughout the world literature and arts, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to The X- Files.  You hear his eerie voice in Karel Capek’s R.U.R., where the word “robot” comes from, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, recognizable as Gollum, and in Isaac Bashevis Singer’s The…

Strong and Sweet: Poached Pears

Holidays are over, yet there is one more recipe for dessert that I usually serve on Shabbos Chol-ha-Moed (in the middle) of Sukkos. “For never was a story of more woeThan this of Juliet and her Romeo.” Do I really have to cite a source for this one? I’d rather have you enjoy the beginning…

Silver Chair, Polygamy, and Mount Sinai

Rabbi Gershom ben Yehuda, widely known as Rabbeinu (our teacher) Gershom, lived in 10th century. He can’t really be called a Renaissance man, since he pre-dated Renaissance by a couple of centuries, so let’s call him a pre-Renaissance man. Like some other medieval Jewish scholars, he was also a scientist, a mathematician, a physician, and as a…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 7, Strudel.

This Sunday we start celebrating a series of holidays commonly called The High Holidays. In Yiddish, we simply say Yontoivim – The Holidays,  and everybody understands which holidays are meant. That’s because there are four holidays that follow each other not only on the calendar, but also in meaning and significance. In this chapter, you will see the…

Secret Mango Flower Pie

Today is a National Mango Day, Beautiful People, so I am repeating one of my favorite dessert recipes. Flowers are not only pretty; they have meanings.  The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, has been used throughout the ages to express messages of love, longing, happiness, desire, pity, and sometimes even suspicion and sarcasm. Although…

Light the Bonfire of Love with Chocolate Logs!

Happy Mother’s Day, 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 a biological mother who does…

Let Them Eat… Potatoes!

From the Inca Empire to Queen Marie Antoinette of France, to the Russian patissiers (pastry chefs), traveled a simple vegetable, to be transformed into a delectable pastry. Here is this civilization which, starting in the early 13th century, in three hundred years grew into an immense empire and, by the time it was conquered by the Spanish,…

More Traveling Food, but No Adventure

The great adventure has been postponed. We are literally “sitting by the sea” (the ocean, in our case) “and waiting for the weather” (that’s an Odessa saying). So far only one of you, Beautiful People, has figured out my disappearing act. Well done, dear Carol of Retired? No one told me! One more beautiful and…

Apple Charlotte

I have just realized that October is a National Apple Month, yet today is the last day of it, and I have not posted any apple recipes. To remedy the situation, I am repeating one of our favorites. Napoleon invaded Russia and lost. Embarrassed and frustrated, he declared that it wasn’t the Russian generals who…