I Give You Roti And a Big Hug

Today is the International Dentist Day.  I am sure that many of you, Beautiful People, do not count your visits to a dentist among your most pleasant memories. I, on the other hand, vividly remember lines of patients by my father’s door who had preferred to wait (and suffer!) for hours in order to be…

Raisins in the Pudding

Over forty years ago, as I landed in the U.S., I came across a short poem and was stunned by the powerful images: What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore– And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust…

Under Majestic Cranberry Tree

Originally posted on Renard's World:
An unknown French traveler, visiting Russia during summer (there are summers in Russia, Beautiful People!), rested in the shade of a luxuriously leafy crown of a huge tree. Apparently not familiar with Russian flora, he inquired about the name of the tree. “Klyukva – cranberry,”  – with a straight…

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…

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

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 come from this tiny, much-suffered, but proud little country have a special place in my heart. No matter the topic of conversation, if there is even…

Don’t Blame the Chard!

Originally posted on Renard's World:
What comes from Sicily? Most people have the answer on the tip of their tongues: the mafia and Mount Etna volcano. Both are pretty dangerous, so if it’s on the tip of your tongue, you better spit it out! But seriously, no other place in Italy has so many…

Kids, Miracles, and Banana Latkes

I got the best Chanukkah present from my younger son – he brought over his littlest daughter, the only one of his brood of four who was available. The two middle ones went with their school to Orlando, accompanied by their mother who is also the head of the school’s counseling services, and the oldest…

Artsy Upcycled Soup

Last week we had our spectacular annual art event, Art Basel, and, according to The Art Newspaper, the show was “stolen by text and slogans.” One of the biggest attractions was Danish artist Jeppe Hein’s huge framed neon slogan “All I Need Is Less” embedded in a two-way mirror. I did not take of photo…

Quince – Birthday or Fruit?

Teenage Jewish American girls of Hispanic origin have three significant birthdays celebrated in lavish style befitting a wedding. As most  Jewish girls, when they turn 12, they celebrate the traditional Jewish coming of age, Bas (Bat) Mitzvah (boys have to wait an extra year; their big day, Bar Mitzvah, is at 13). As most American…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 8, Quinoa Pomegranate Salad.

This post takes us to the last two of the four holidays: Sukkot (Sukkos) and Simchat Torah (Simhas Torah). It also concludes my story with the celebration of Simhas Torah in Moscow Synagogue. *20. Leader of All Peoples – one of the multitude of epithets Stalin constructed to refer to himself. *21. The Big Brother…