Feb 032010
 

[Translate] We went to a lovely memorial service for my cousin who died on Tu Bishvat and in his blessed (z”l) memory his synagogue planted a almond tree in their garden. I can’t wait to see the beautiful almond blooms next spring. I really miss my cousin Michael: his wonderful laugh, his boundless knowledge, and his dry sense of humor. He was there for me when I needed him and I feel a deep void when the holidays come around. I have written about the origins of Tu Bishvat before and I always try to make a dish with dried fruits and nuts in observance of this minor holiday. I decided to make very simple, Click here to continue reading this post

Jan 022010
 

[Translate] The first year I moved to Israel I invited a few friends over to my flat for a nice New Year’s dinner. I bought sparklers and really bad champagne in  Shouk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv. A few minutes before midnight we went out to my rooftop terrace, lit the sparklers and started yelling out “Happy New Year!”. Much to my chagrin, a neighbor yelled out of his window “Sheket!”, which means “shutup!” I never really celebrated New Year’s Eve again. New Year’s Eve is not celebrated in Israel like everywhere else. Religious Jews do not recognize it as the new year because the start of the new year in the Jewish calendar is Rosh Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 292009
 

[Translate] It was my turn again to bring goodies for my team’s weekly Kabbalat Shabbat. Since my turn fell on Christmas Eve and given the fact that none of us celebrate Christmas, I thought I would do something unusual and make a typical German Christmas fruit cake that no one on my team had ever seen or tasted. Stollen is something that is very familiar to me because my family would eat it along with lebkuchen, speculaas, and my grandmother’s famous butter cookies for Hannukah and the end of the year family celebrations. My grandmother never made a stollen at home, but she always received one from family friends in Germany. I thought it would Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 072009
 

[Translate] I don’t always make a dessert for Shabbat, but sometimes Mr. BT requests something a little sweet. I haven’t made anything with molasses in years, in fact, I think it was when I was a child and I helped my mother make and decorate gingerbread men for a holiday party at my school. The supermarket near my home had regular and robust molasses for sale. I was a bit surprised since most of the people who shop there are Yemenite, but maybe they make something with molasses that I don’t know about. Mr. BT was not too excited about anything with molasses, so I had to find something that would appeal to his love Click here to continue reading this post

Nov 142009
 

[Translate] Quince season is just about over here and I wanted to make one last quince dish before they left the market. I found an interesting spice cake recipe from a lovely blog called Hungry Cravings. I adapted her recipe slightly. I like more spice flavour so I added more ground ginger and added cardamom. I also substituted yogurt for sour cream and used dark brown sugar instead of light. This is a delicious and moist cake, and would also be nice with pears or plums. PrintQuince Spice Cake Serving Size: 8 to 10 Adapted recipe from Hungry CravingsFor the quince: 1 1/2 cups water 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla paste 1 cinnamon stick Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 292009
 

[Translate] I think my grandmother (z”l) would have been quite shocked by my erev Yom Kippur menu. It was definitely not the usual family fare. But, I have finally realised that we shouldn’t have a heavy meal before the 25 hour fast. It is just not healthy. So, I collected some interesting recipes for the meal. I found a very interesting Iraqi fish dish that was adapted from a 13th century Baghdadi cookbook called Kitab al-Tabikh. Al-Baghdadi’s Kitab al-Tabikh was for long the only medieval Arabic cookery book known to the English-speaking world, thanks to A.J Arberry’s path-breaking 1939 translation as `A Baghdad Cookery Book’ which was re-issued by Prospect Books in 2001 in Medieval Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 182009
 

[Translate] I have been busy preparing for Rosh Hashana and have finally completed everything I intended to make for Friday and Saturday. I made 4 round challot, one plain and three with dried apricots, dried cranberries, raisins, dried cherries and dried apples. I used the new Kitchenaid to knead the dough and I am very happy with the results. I am back making challah like I used to make in the States. I finally learned how to braid a round challah from this website. I found the website by chance and called Mr. BT to come to my study so I could butter him up to help me with the braiding. He said, “It looks Click here to continue reading this post

Sep 122009
 

[Translate] It was my turn to bring goodies for my team’s weekly Kabbalat Shabbat, which literally means “Receiving Sabbath”. Kabbalat Shabbat is usually celebrated by reciting Psalms and prayers before Shabbat begins on Friday evening, but in Israeli companies and offices it has also come to mean a break on Thursday for colleagues to get together informally over savory or sweet munchies and drinks. Weather permitting, we have our break on the rooftop of our building where there are nice niches with tables and chairs to sit and look over the Sharon plain. Since my birthday was the next day, I decided to bring a birthday cake. Usually we bring coffee cakes or cheese and Click here to continue reading this post

Aug 012009
 

[Translate] I love to experiment with all of the wonderful fresh fish we can get here in Israel. And the other day, they had some small fish at the fish monger in the supermarket. I don’t usually buy fresh fish there, but this looked especially fresh. I have been buying my fish from Dubkin Brother’s located at Moshav Tekuma near the border with Gaza. They sell their fish to restaurants and come up to the center of the country every two weeks to make deliveries to individuals. They are lovely people, have good prices,  and most importantly their fish is a high quality and very fresh. The fish comes packed in ice in a Styrofoam Click here to continue reading this post

Jun 282009
 

[Translate] There are some things that I regard as “Food of the Gods” and cherries are one of them. It is cherry season here in Israel and that means the annual Cherry Picking Festival at Kibbutz Rosh Tzurim is on. Last year, I blogged about the festival and took a visiting colleague from Germany. This year we took Mimi from Israeli Kitchen and her youngest daughter. We brought a picnic, not quite as fancy as last year, but still quite tasty. Mimi brought a delicious cheese, mushroom and swiss chard tart. Mr BT made a tuna salad sandwich on a baguette, and also made a rocket, nectarine and walnut salad. I made a whole wheat Click here to continue reading this post

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