I’ve Got Some Explaining to Do

Our gracious host Renard of https://renardsworld.wordpress.com has kindly published my guest post that features the Indian Goddess Lakshmi and my recipe for stir-fried lotus root. In my post, I have neglected to explain the link between the two, and anyway, why is Lakshmi always depicted sitting on a lotus flower? Here is the answer, Beautiful…

Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh

The fault is entirely mine! A timely reminder about an International Falafel Day (what will they come up with next, I wonder) had been issued by lovely and efficient Carol of https://carolcooks2.com, but between holidays, work, boat, and visiting grandchildren, I missed it. Perhaps you can forgive me, Beautiful People, if I bring you this…

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…

Cheese and Scallions Pie

The holiday of Shavuos is starting in two days, and I have been volunteered by The Boss (my husband) to make our traditional cheese and scallions flaky pies for the entire congregation. I have just finished baking them and will deliver the baking sheet with four huge pies to the synagogue tomorrow, to be shoved…

The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 3. Liberty Soup.

The final and the most important installment of this set of recipes (for Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here) is unique – where else do you see a dish that symbolizes liberty? On January 1st, Haitians celebrate not only the beginning of a new year, but first and foremost, the beginning of their country’s…

The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 2. Fried Accra.

Slavery started in Haiti with the arrival of Columbus. Met with friendliness, welcoming gifts, and delicious local fritters called Accra or Akra, he described the native Arawak Taino people as “tractable, and easily led; they could be made to grow crops and build cities” (Mellzer, Slavery: A World History, 1971). And the gentle, helpful natives were…

The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 1. Baked Fish.

May is the National Haitian Heritage Month. To honor my Haitian students, I am repeating this three-part series, culminating on May 18, the Haitian Flag Day. I love my Haitian students. Make no mistake – I love all my students, and I reveal in having “the United Nations” environment in my classroom. However, students who…

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…

Pesach on the Boat

Misconceptions abound regarding all Jewish holidays, yet none so widespread as those concerning Pesach (Passover). Some think that Pesach is a two-day holiday, while anyone who has been to Israel is certain that it is only one day. Others believe that it actually consists of two holidays, two days each, with a few days in…

Hello, Stranger, Have Some Soup!

Passover starts tomorrow night, and the most important part of the celebration is called a Seder which means order. The order is prescribed in a little book called Haggada that we read at the table. The most important part of that is called Maggid which is the actual story of redemption and exodus from Egypt.  And the most important part of…

Eggplant Caviar Odessa Style

In the midst of the war, despite the tragic events described in my post Hello, Ovid! Я вам не скажу про всю Одессу… (war edition), the inimitable quirky Odessa sense of humor keeps the spirit strong. The following photos were taken in Odessa a few days ago: “Tossing trash on the street, don’t forget to…