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,…

Plum Prune Strudel

The only kind of strudel I’ve seen in the U.S. is the Viennese apple strudel. In fact, when Americans say “strudel,” they mean “apple strudel.” However, the word strudel means whirlpool in German, and describes any rolled flaky pastry with any filling, meet, cheese, fruit, or vegetables. There is actually a sauerkraut strudel! The first one,…

Mehren Tzimmes – Honey Carrots

Like almost everything that has to do with Jewish traditions, there are two interpretations of the Carrot Tzimmes, baked or stewed sliced carrots with honey, dried fruit or raisins, and whatever spices your prefer. The Yiddish word for carrot is mehren, which is very close to the Yiddish word for more – mehr.  The argument…

White Leikach

As a contrast to a dark Onik Leikach, it is traditional to serve a very light White Leikach. Also in contrast to the honey cakes made  specifically for Rosh Hashana, white cakes are made at any time during the year, for most holidays, and, interestingly enough, for a consolation meal after a funeral. I think…

Essig Fleish and the Meaning of Life

Of all Rosh Hashana foods, this is the most significant, at least in my family tradition. It is only made once a year, and it requires plenty of time and patience. The name, derived from German, actually means “vinegared meat”, but there is no vinegar involved. It is rather sweet, especially in my grandmother’s interpretation,…

Let’s Play Ball!

Chicken soup without kneidlach (matzoh balls) is like Batman without Robin, Superman without a cape, Harry Potter without Ron and Hermaine – I think I’ll stop right here and go on with the recipe. I’ve heard from so many people that they have never managed to make fluffy matzoh balls, and  – eureka! – I…

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,…

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…