Mar 162010
 

[Translate] Spring is in the air and that means it is time to start preparing for Passover, which begins at sundown on 29 March. I am not going to be doing a lot of preparation this year, but I have gathered a few interesting recipes for you to consider for your own meal. First, here is a link to all of my Passover recipes from the last several years. I have to say that I now feel the impact of Gourmet magazine’s demise. They always had a lovely Passover/Easter issue with lots of new ideas. Nevertheless, here are a few ideas I found for you: Reminder: I eat kitniyot, so don’t be surprised by the Click here to continue reading this post

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 122010
 

[Translate] Israeli Hamin, North African Shahina and Dafina, Iraqi Tabit, Yemenite Taris, Hungarian Solet, Kurdish Matfunia, Ladino Haminado, German Shalet and Eastern European Cholent or Chulent are all words for a Shabbat slow-cooked meal that has been made since at least the 12th century and possibly as far back as ancient Egypt in many households except my own. Whatever you choose to call it, hamin originates from the ban on lighting a fire or cooking during Shabbat, since these are considered to be forbidden forms of work. However, it’s permitted to start something cooking before Shabbat starts, so provided the heat is kept low enough, it’s possible to start cooking the hamin on Friday afternoon 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 212009
 

[Translate] I used to be quite active in several food forums like eGullet, but I started having problems when I posted a recipe or a link to a blog post where I had changed the recipe slightly due to kashrut issues. People started arguing with me about how the recipe was no longer authentic, such as my mother-in-law’s chicken paprikàs recipe. She is 100% Hungarian and the recipe doesn’t contain sour cream, so I was very annoyed when someone who claimed to be half-Hungarian told me not once, but three times that the recipe was not chicken paprikàs, that is was pörkölt and that I couldn’t call the dish paprikàs because it didn’t have sour Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 152009
 

[Translate] If you have been following me for a while, you know by now that I like to try something different each year for Hannukah as well as other holidays in the Jewish calendar. Most of the time they turn out great and sometimes they don’t turn out so great. Usually I don’t blog about the disasters. I tried making pumpkin fritters for the first night of Hannukah. They smelled great, they looked good, but they tasted like fried goo. Thank goodness I had a lovely gargantuan fresh mango for Plan B. I had bought chestnut flour a while back and kept forgetting to make something with it. I found all sorts of interesting recipes Click here to continue reading this post

Dec 122009
 

[Translate] I know I should have made something Greek for Hannukah if I wanted to make something from the relevant ancient enemy of the Macabbees, but I couldn’t find anything that sparked my interest. So, I decided to make an Assyrian dish. They did conquer Israel in 772BC and scattered the tribes throughout the Middle East. But don’t worry, I don’t harbor any bad feelings towards the Assyrians. They are our brothers and still speak a variation of the language of my forefathers, Aramaic. The Assyrians have been Christian for almost two thousand years and make up a small, persecuted, minority in Iraq; many of them fled during the period since the fall of Saddam 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 232009
 

[Translate] I am still trying to finalize my menu for Yom Kippur on Sunday afternoon. I will be updating this post over the next few days. For erev Yom Kippur: Samak Mashwi bil-Summaq (Iraqi recipe of baked fish with a sumac stuffing) Carrot and Date Salad Israeli Couscous with Roasted Butternut Squash and Preserved Lemon Honey and Rosemary Goat Milk Ice Cream For break-the-fast: Crackers Cheese Smoked Salmon Baba Ganoush About 1 hour later, we will have: Keftes de Prasa (Leek patties) Keftes de Espinaca (Spinach patties) Carrot and Date Salad Mr. BT and I hope that you have an easy fast. Gmar Chatimah Tova (May you be sealed in the book of life).

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

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