Preserving Jews and All Sorts of Fish: Escabeche (reiteration)

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

Catherine the Great Needs a Diet (The Tsar Blini)

What would I do without dear Carol of Retired? No one told me! who is on top of every International Food Holiday! Since today is an International Pancakes Day, I am repeating this post about a great woman who loved her pancakes. Well, she loved Tsar Blini, but blini is but a Russian version of…

Chocolate Roses for Valentine’s

I’ve been getting an impression that you, Beautiful People, like reading my historical improvisations more than my recipes. I am happy to accommodate. As we say in Odessa, “If it’s songs you want, I’ve got them for you.” This is Frida Kahlo, a great Mexican artist famous for her self-portraits and paintings of flowers. She…

Thankful Burgers

When we wake up in the morning, we say a simple prayer of gratitude called Modeh Ani (I am thankful), here performed by an Israeli duet Pumpidisa: A couple of weeks ago, while walking by the New World Symphony Garden, my almost-thirteen grandson Ariel was entranced by the rehearsal of Tchaikovsky’s 5th “Winter” Symphony projected…

Pollo Fritto Artistico

Before presenting to you, Beautiful People, a unique Chanukkah recipe originating in Italy and inspired by non-Jews, it is my great pleasure to share a lovely poem composed by a non-Jewish blogofriend Jonathan Coswell who chronicles every day events in limericks. Please click on the link to enjoy the poem and come back for the…

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…