Fruit Rainbow: Light, Love, Laugh

A beautiful shimmering symbol of peace, both a natural phenomenon and a Divine promise to protect and preserve the world, the rainbow is a living statement, a map, if you will, of what really transpires in our lives.  A rainbow is formed when pure white light refracts into seven shades. Red is nearest the original…

Popalik for a Poor Orphan

We do not cook on Shabbos. Food must be ready before sundown on Friday, and nothing could be cooked or even reheated until after sundown on Saturday. Yet the tradition demands hot food to be served both on Friday night and on Saturday afternoon. Friday night is relatively easy as you finish cooking or heating things…

Ponce de Leon, Diamond Lil, and the Secret of Eternal Youth

There is a quaint little town on the East Coast of Florida called St Augustine. It is considered the oldest continuous European settlement in the continental United States. But that’s not what makes it famous. Tourists flock to St Augustine because they are dying to stay young forever. According to the official Fountain of Youth…

The Clever Suitor and the Dietetic Hamentaschen

You have already met the famous prankster and jester Hershele of Ostropol in some of my previous posts (https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/yukh-a-one-eyed-soup, https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/summer-latkes-in-december). He is not a fictional character; he actually existed and served as a Shamesh (synagogue attendant) for one of my illustrious ancestors, Rabbi Boruch of Medzhibozh who lived in the second half of 18th –…

Royal Wedding – Carrot and Banana

I have learned from lovely and well-informed Carol of Retired? No one told me! that today is a National Banana Bread Day. I think combining bananas with carrots will still serve the purpose, Beautiful People. February – the stores are decked out in red and pink hearts, furiously marketing in the name of love. Jewelers…

Happy New Year to the Trees with More Pickled Veggies!

This is a re-post, Beautiful People. Tomorrow is Tu b’Shvat, the New Year of the Trees in the Hebrew Calendar, and I thought this post was worth repeating. We are celebrating yet another New Year – the New Year of the Trees. In the old times, in ancient Israel, this day, 15th of the month…

Fast Fish Almondine

This is a fast dish, but a long story, going back to ancient Rome. You think that almondine means “made with almonds,” and you are right. But google it, and you’see a different word – amandine. Google that, and it means – surprise! – made with almonds. Scroll down a little, and the Urban Dictionary tells you that…

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…

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…