The Rivers of Exile: Nine-Day Pie

I repeat this post every year at this time, and with it, I wish all those of you, Beautiful People, who observe this tragic day of mourning, an easy and meaningful fast. Traveling through the streets of Paris with his entourage, Napoleon passed a synagogue and heard heart-wrenching wailing from within. “Why are my Jews…

Chocolate on Chocolate with Extra Blessings

Happy World Chocolate Day, Beautiful People! Jewish people are obligated to say one hundred blessings every day, and observant Jews are making every effort to do it, well, religiously. There are two reasons for it. First, in Deuteronomy, Moses poses a rhetorical question to the people:”What does G-d ask of you?” Says the Talmud that the word…

Fishy Mystery

I have a three-volume set of Confucius teachings. Years ago, when we were all young and passionate, and tended to argue earth-shattering issues till wee hours of the morning, with guitars and Georgian wines (that’s a country, not a state), sometimes, when an argument hit a dead-end and voices got hoarse, one of us would…

Magic Curried Mushrooms

Why did people in Ancient Egypt call mushrooms “the plant of immortality”? Did they truly believe that eating mushrooms would make them immune to human frailties, deceases, and ultimately, departing this world? Not really. They never had a chance to see for themselves because the pharaohs loved mushrooms so much that they declared it royal…

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…

Shlissel Challah – a Key to Wisdom

This Challah, fashioned in the shape of a treble clef, or “G” clef, was originally made a couple of years ago to honor a musician friend who spent with us the first Shabbos after Pesach. This year we are blessed – and immensely excited! – to have the two youngest grandchildren the entire weekend, Shabbos…

Hello, Ovid! Я вам не скажу про всю Одессу…

I am only doing a bi-lingual post twice: as they say in Odessa, “the first time which is already the last.” I am only doing it because of a phenomenal blogger and a wonderful blogofriend Brigitta Moro who magically blogs in Russian and Ukrainian and who has shared very thorough, research-based information about April 1 right…

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…

We Have a New Guest Chef – Dolly Aizenman

Originally posted on A Jeanne in the Kitchen:
It has been quite awhile since our last Guest Chef. No one has been sending anything in, and I miss that. I love seeing what’s cooking in your kitchens. But all that has changed, and now, we have a new Guest Chef, my friend, Dolly Aizenman. You…

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 –…

Of Hats, Pockets, Ears, and Hidden Messages

These pastries are called Hamantaschen. We can no more imagine the holiday of Purim without them than without the graggers – noisemakers gleefully shaken by children and adults alike to drown the name of the evil villain Haman. That’s the story of Purim in a nutshell. Once again, the Jewish people, marked for wholesale slaughter, were saved through…