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…

Stuffed Peppers – Where Is the Beef?

You think veganism is a recent trend? Think again! You think feminism was invented in the twentieth century? Missed it by about 2400 years! Meet Orpheus, mythical Ancient Greek poet and musician, a hero of one of the best-known love stories of all times (if you are wondering about the black hole behind his lire,…

Tofu Can Bite, Too!

When Avrohom (Abraham) Our Father was traveling in the desert, he would make sure to position his tent at the crossroads and make entrances on all four sides, open to travelers coming from every direction. He would then treat them to a sumptuous feast, making sure every guest was offered food of his preference. After…

Count Your Blessings – Quinoa Pomegranate Salad

The Holiday of Sukkos is called Zman Simchoseinu – The Time of Rejoicing.  We are commanded to rejoice for eight days, and to do it outside, open to elements. For the duration of this holiday, eight days, we dwell in the sukkah – a booth, or tent, erected outside. Some people actually sleep in the sukkah, but we only eat there. During this…

Mushroom Barley Soup

We are not done with holidays yet, Beautiful People! On Sunday, we start Sukkos (Sukkot), the Holiday of Booths, that lasts for eight days and concludes the High Holidays. Throughout next week, I will be repeating some of my Sukkos recipes. Traditional Jewish comfort food, with history more ancient and undoubtedly more venerable than the…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 6, Main Course.

The story of Odessa synagogue and the unsavory characters who ran it continues in this chapter (click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7). *Top of this page was included in Part 5 * 16. Alexander Matrosov – a World War II military hero who sacrificed his life by putting his body in front of the embrasure…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 5, Soup

My grandparents’ teenage romance continues in this chapter (click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 6, Part 7). *This is not an error; I included the top of the next page in order to finish a paragraph and to leave you, Beautiful People, in suspense.  The synagogue story will continue next week. 11.  Mazel Tov – Congratulations (lit. Good Luck)…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 3, Appetizers.

We are up to holiday appetizers and Part 3 of my story, Beautiful People (click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7). 3. Hassidic Jews – from Hassidism, a religious movement originated in Southern Poland in 18th century 4. Reds – supporters of the Red (Bolshevik, later Communist) Army 5. Whites – supporters of the…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 2, Leikach.

We continue to delve into my grandmother’s holiday menu, as well as my story, with Part 2. If you missed Part 1, please go here. Part 3 is here. Part 4 is here. Part 5 is here. Part 6 is here. Part 7 is here. 2. Tzaddik – a righteous person, outstanding for his faith and piety. This part comes with…

My Shavuos Menu

Contrary to all other Jewish holidays, when we prepare festive meals that include both fish and meat, signifying rejoicing in His benevolence that grants us abundance, traditional Shavuos table is laden with dairy dishes, from blintzes to cheesecakes, and anything milky delicious you can think of.  One of the reasons for this unique menu is explained in…

Cheese and Raisins Pie

I am sure this was more of an afterthought. It was like, hey, we are already making traditional green savory pies, why not bake something sweet for kids to enjoy! I remember my father, the quintessential kid, sneaking into my grandmother’s kitchen to snack on the sweet filling while the dough was being rolled and…