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…

Fireworks and Fish

Happy, healthy, and safe 2021, Beautiful People! Before all the festivities on Ocean Drive started (and ended up being cancelled anyway), we had escaped to our favorite Sunset Cove Resort on Key Largo. We have visited this place for years when we used to sail there, anchor the boat, and come ashore for a day…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

The Holy Hole-less Doughnuts

A dear blogofriend Shira of shiradest.wordpress.com has been asking for a very special Chanukkah treat – sufganiyot. Here they are, with my heartfelt wishes for light in your lives, Beautiful People! When Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden in a hurry, they hadn’t thought of packing a lunch box. Supposedly, He…

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…

Saving Kids, Animals and Herbs

Today we celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, established by the United Nations General Assembly in order to raise awareness, promote empowerment, and help create opportunities for people with disabilities around the globe. For many years, until retirement, I ran a private school for children with special needs, mostly developmental and severe emotional disabilities….