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OUTSIDE WITHIN A Recipe Book of Jewish Cuisine and Life NICK PATTISON


Copyright Š 2018 Nick Pattison The Center for Small Town Jewish Life Colby College Jewish Studies Department Colby College Center for Arts and Humanities All rights reserved.


Acknowledgments Many thanks to our supporters: The Center for Small Town Jewish Life The Colby College Jewish Studies and Religious Studies Programs The Center for Arts and Humanities Thanks to organizations this project engaged with: The Children’s Discovery Museum of Augusta Lakewood Continuing Care Center The Evening Sandwich Program Colby College Hillel Waterville’s Beth Israel Synagogue Colby College InterVarsity Club Colby College Muslim Society Special thanks to: Rabbi Rachel Isaacs and Mel Weiss for their help in creating and advising this project!


Table of Contents Project Introduction

p. 2


p. 6

Starters and Sides

p. 11

Soups and Stews

p. 32

Pareve Entrees

p. 46

Meat Dishes

p. 52

Dairy Dishes

p. 56

Savory Pastries

p. 60

Savory Baked Goods

p. 68

Sweet Baked Goods

p. 78

Sauces, Spreads, and Spices

p. 103


p. 108


p. 113

Additional Reading

p. 121


p. 124


Project Introduction

Project Abstract The independent study ‘Jewish Food and Theology,’ culminating in this cookbook, is a collaborative exploration into Jewish ethnic cuisine and food practices from around the world, throughout history. Rooted in research and community engagement, this independent study through the Jewish Studies Department at Colby College has three parts: 1) research through annotating recipes and cooking a weekly meal with the project’s advisors; 2) community engagement through organizing and cooking community interfaith dinners at least once a month; 3) recording and reproduction of annotated recipes through the creation of a final recipe book. Goals of this project include: 1) Social justice: the role of food in bringing historically divided groups together; 2) Religious studies: exploring ways that food is central to Jewish beliefs and practices; 3) Food, memory, and purpose: understanding how the sensory memory of food is embedded in lives of all people, through research on food and anthropology. Context of Research Project and Intended Product This project is an Independent Study through the Jewish Studies program. This is structured as a 3-credit independent study in the spring, with its product being several interfaith and community dinners and a bound recipe book based on the cuisine and its relation to Jewish tradition, history, and theology. Community dinners involved sharing a meal with or teaching a lesson on Jewish foods to the following groups: Hillel Club, local families, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Club, Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta, Evening Sandwich Program, and Lakewood Continuing Care Center in Waterville. Indirect products of this project may include greater awareness and understanding of the texture of Jewish tradition and history, constructive interfaith dialogue and peacebuilding, and increased positive community building both within and between Waterville and Colby. Research Questions 1. How can food impact the nature of communities? 2. What are challenges facing Jewish identity, and how can research and production of Jewish cuisine mitigate these? 3. How can community interfaith dinners work as a social actor, developing positive peace, awareness, and understanding? Literature Review How can food impact the nature of communities? Food can establish and reinforce community through the creation of shared memory. Shared memory created by food can foster symbolic and religious value such as the Christian relationship to the Eucharist or wine (Mintz & Du Bois, 2002; Feeley-Harnik, 2014). In addition to the supernatural value, food can have a socio-cultural value through creating shared memories of sensory elements, cooking practices, and consumption manners (Holtzman, 2006). Through its inherent social element, food can both create and separate 2

groups and relationships based on common practices (Fox, 2014). The creation and separation of groups can be seen in the ways that Jews define themselves in ways opposite to Christians, and vice versa. Coined oppositional self-identity, this creation and maintenance of ‘otherness’ can easily lead to discrimination (Freidenreich, 2011). In small communities like Waterville and Colby, it is important to foster positive engagement and community both between and within religious groups. This project works to study local Jewish values, cultural practices, and community in Maine through incorporating both Jews and non-Jews in learning more about Jewish food practice through the sharing of memories and experiences.

What are challenges facing Jewish identity, and how can research on Jewish cuisine mitigate these? The largest challenges that face the local Jewish community are: 1) a local small town lack of ‘institutional completeness’ that Jewish life in cities maintain; and 2) historical antiJudaism. Through a survey of ethnic self-affiliation of American Jews in a Midwestern metropolis area, Kivisto & Nefzger found that living in a small city or town can be shown as obstacles to maintaining a Jewish identity. Jews in larger cities like Boston or New York engage in a kind of ‘institutional completeness,’ a socially reproductive religio-ethnic group, holding people together in all parts of life and community, in daily life as an ethnicity, and in spiritual and communal life as a religion (Kivisto & Nefzger, 1993). In a small town or city, Jewish life is more of an ‘explicit voluntaristic commitment,’ where individuals choose to participate in some available parts of Jewish life, while maintaining an additional, secular identity in a secular culture (Kivisto & Nefzger, 1993). Jewish life in Maine is very similar to this portrait of small town Jewish life; the congregation is intentionally created through a voluntaristic commitment. This project hopes to further efforts to bring together the local Jewish community on shared sensory, emotional, spiritual, and communal memories. In addition to a unique interaction with their religion in small towns, many Jews face prejudice and discrimination. Though American Jews recognize that this discrimination is less than that of gays and lesbians, Muslims, and blacks, the Jewish community continues to suffer from discrimination (Pew Research Center, 2013). The local community, for example, last year suffered from the branding of swastikas on trees and rocks at Quarry Road, and the congregants at the Synagogue felt unsafe to congregate during the high holidays without the presence of a law enforcement officer. Through historical engagement in oppositional selfidentity, Jews and Christians have distinguished themselves from one another (Freidenrich, 2011). Even though it is helpful to hold definitive beliefs and traditions, there are sometimes pitfalls in defining one’s values or practices in ways that are opposite to another’s. Oppositional self-identity can easily result in discriminatory practices, negatively portraying the other’s religion as everything yours is not (Freidenrich, 2011). In order to blur the lines of oppositional self-identity between Christians and Jews, this project works to hold interfaith dinners and programs based on the sharing of foods and beliefs. How can community interfaith dinners work as a social actor, developing positive peace, awareness, and understanding? 3

Interfaith dialogue is able to create and sustain peace through structured dialogue based on trust and active listening. Drawing from experiences of Christian-Muslim unity in the Arab Spring Uprisings in 2011, Sehested shows that interfaith dialog is needed more today than ever, providing a discussion of possible ways to create and sustain peaceful dialog and justice together (Sehested, 2017). Successful interfaith engagement involves traditions and cultures sharing components of belief systems, traditions, and values in a judgement-free space (Sehested, 2017). In addition to interfaith engagement experiences like the Arab Spring Uprisings, interfaith experiences can happen in daily life; for example, in the dining room. Through hosting community dinners with structured interfaith dialogue, people from many religious traditions were able to discuss their religious involvement, and how their religion informed the concept of peace (Lugsch-Tehle, 2016). These dinners were associated with increased religious literacy of individuals who visited the dinners (Lugsch-Tehle, 2016). Interfaith engagement can be successful through sharing belief systems in a judgement-free zone, and engagement can be hosted and sustained over a meal together. Methodology This project is based on both research of Jewish foods and production of these Jewish foods with Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. Research of Jewish foods is based on cooking dinners with or for following: Hillel Shabbat dinners, individuals from the local synagogue, student clubs and groups, and community lessons. Through weekly visits to cook with Waterville’s Rabbi, Rachel Isaacs, and Mel Weiss, I learned techniques and theology. We cooked an eclectic group of Jewish ethnic cuisine from around the world, studying the historical, religious, and cultural background of the food prepared each week. At the end of the semester, the research of cooking the dishes and understanding their traditional context culminated in the creation of a unique recipe book, combining the recipes with stories of history and theology related to the food (this book). In addition, I have prepared several community dinners and instructional lessons for interfaith groups over the semester. In particular, I have prepared two dinner-discussions for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship group, led two lessons for the Children’s Discovery Museum, a dinner for the Evening Sandwich Program, and led a lesson for Lakewood Continuing Care Center. In addition to these programs, I have also served a monthly Shabbat dinner at Hillel, served for holidays like Purim and Passover through Hillel, and at special events for the Waterville Synagogue. These civic engagement opportunities allowed me to not only gain more practice and experience in cooking Jewish foods, but also bring together individuals from different faith traditions in interfaith dialogue, educate young and old about traditional Jewish practices, and foster a greater sense of Jewish community in a small town.


Works Cited Feeley-Harnik, G., 2014. Religion and Food: An Anthropological Perspective. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 63(3): 565-582. Freidenreich, D., 2011. Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law. University of California Press. Fox, R., 2014. Food and Eating: An Anthropological Perspective. Social Issues Research Centre: 1-22. Holtzman, J., 2006. Food and Memory. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35: 361-378. Herzfeld, M., 2016. Culinary Stereotypes: The Gustatory Politics of Gastro-Essentialism. In The Handbook of Food and Anthropology edited by Klein, J, & Watson, J., Bloomsbury Academic: 31-47. Kivisto, P., Nefzger, B., 1993. Symbolic Ethnicity and American Jews: The Relationship of Ethnic Identity to Behavior and Group. Social Science Journal, 30(1): 1-12. Lugsch-Tehle, L., 2016. Interfaith Dinner Dialogues: Increasing Positive Peace through Interfaith Dialogue. Claremont Lincoln University: Capstone Action Project. Mintz, S., Du Bois, C., 2002. The Anthropology of Food and Eating. Annual Review of Anthropology, 31: 99-119. Pew Research Center, 2013. A Portrait of Jewish Americans. Pew Research Center. Accessed on February 7 , 2017 at: th

Sehested, K., 2017. The Things That Make for Peace: The Purpose, Promise, and Peril of Interfaith Engagement. Review and Expositor, 114(1): 71-80. Stangor, C., Jhangiani, R., Tarry, H., 2014. Chapter 11: Reducing Discrimination. In Principles of Social Psychology: International Edition. BC Open Textbook Project.


KASHRUT “More than Jews have held their tradition, tradition has held the Jewish people.” Kosher. It’s something to love, a burden for some, a remembrance for others. “It’s really not that much work, just takes a little extra thinking when you’re going about your business” says Mel when she leads me around her kitchen for the first time. “You just have to know when to draw the line” she says when she approaches the sink. “You can get carried away.” Especially in a small apartment in central Maine, made for a puritan-style family, keeping a kosher kitchen is a bit more challenging. “When the mat is down, it’s meat. When it’s up, it’s dairy. Everything goes into the same dishrack. There’s only so much space. We keep it at a higher level of kashrut than what we are expected to do, to serve orthodox friends that come by.”

Dairy and Meat in the Torah

Dairy Chalav Yisrael and Chalav Stam are allowed, with Yisrael preferred, and only used by some devout Jews. Chalav Akum is disallowed in dairy products.

“You shall not cook a young animal in its mother’s milk” (Exodus 34:26)

Chalav Yisrael – “Milk from Israel” milk that was supervised by a Jew from the time of milking to the final packaging. This is the more metaphorical “from Israel.”

Throughout history, this has been interpreted in many different ways. At times, this was used to distinguish groups from one another, even within the Jewish practice. It must be understood that everyone interprets the bible differently: the bible has over 70 “facets” or ways to interpret it. Nowadays, this passage is interpreted to mean the separation of milk and meat in kosher methods.

Chalav Stam – “Simply Milk” Milk that was not supervised by a Jew, but ensures that milk from non-kosher animals were not added to the kosher milk, and that the rest of the process of pasteurizing is kosher. Chalav Akum – “Gentile Milk” Milk that was not supervised by a Jew. This is not kosher.

Meat Kosher animals are animals that have split hooves and chew their cud. Animals that do not exhibit both of these are not kosher. Kosher meat must be slaughtered and inspected by a shocket (expert ritual slaughterer), and then salted to drain the blood. A kosher animal that dies on its own or is killed by another animal is also not kosher. 6

Red Meat Kosher: Sheep, goats, cows, deer, moose. Not Kosher: pigs, horses, donkeys, camels, and rabbits. Fowl and Poultry Kosher: Chickens, ducks, turkeys, hens, and geese. Not Kosher (just a few examples): Eagles, hawks, pelicans, swans, ostrich, owls, storks, vultures.

Pareve Pareve means “neutral,” not dairy nor meat. Anything pareve can be used for either dairy or meat and is kosher. This includes all raw fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains, seeds, nuts, and eggs.

Fish Kosher fish must have fins and scales. Non-kosher sea creatures don’t have fins & scales. Kosher: Salmon, tilapia, sea bass, flounder, trout, tuna, whitefish, many more! Not Kosher: Shellfish, shrimp, swordfish, eel, lobster, scallops, and crab, and more as well!

Creeping Creatures

Not Kosher: anything that creeps. Bugs, insects, and snails.

Wine Wines and liquors must be certified kosher. What makes wine kosher? 1. Produced by observant Jews a. Some gentiles would consecrate their wine to their deity, and the Torah forbids deriving benefit from anything made for idolatrous purposes 2. Without additives and emulsifiers: some of the additives and emulsifiers can be non-kosher

Contamination and Cleaning Basics Heat in Contamination Heat in taste and temperature can confer the contamination of dairy to meat. Temperature: Keep it Cool: If cooking a meat stew, only use meat utensils to stir the stew: the heat causes the substance to transfer and retain on the utensil. If you drop a cold meat knife accidently on a cold piece of cheese, it’s ok. It hasn’t been transferred because of the heat. Taste: Be Aware of Spicy: When you cut something that is hot or spicy, say an onion, garlic, or hot peppers, cut it with the proper utensil. If you are adding the onions to a dairy dish, make sure to use the dairy knife. Do not use a meat knife to cut the onion for a dairy dish. 7

Heat in Cleansing Heat and Time: A non-kosher utensil, pot or oven can be kashered by thoroughly cleaning the item, not using it for 24 hours, and then heating it with either boiling water or fire. Keep Your Stomach Separate You must wait between eating meat and dairy meals.

Wait time: 6 hours: After eating a meat meal to eat a dairy meal. It takes about six hours for the initial digestion of the meat. 1 hour: After eating a dairy meal to eat a meat meal. Dairy products digest much faster than meat. 6 hours: After eating hard cheeses before eating a meat meal. Hard cheeses that have aged six months or more take longer to digest. Shopping Following are Kosher labels. Look for these labels on dairy, meat, or processed items. Some of the most common symbols found in American grocery stores are found on the top row.

Source: 8

How to Kasher This is important information when you’ve made a mistake, or when it’s pesach time. For metal silverware, dishes, pots, and pans: Thoroughly clean all silverware, let it sit for 24 hours if possible, and then dip or pour boiling water over all surfaces of the object. For glass that can withstand boiling water: pour or dip boiling water on all surfaces. Plastic, enamel, and other substances: cannot be kashered. For glass that cannot withstand boiling water: a thorough washing and soaking can effectively kasher the glass. A stovetop: Let the burners burn on high heat for several minutes with nothing on them. Do not cook meat and dairy on the same stovetop at the same time: it is possible that one could splash into another, or even that the steams could combine and condense, no longer making the two kosher. Microwaves: Thoroughly clean the microwave, put a cup of water inside, and cook it until the water is heavily steaming (about ten minutes). Towels, sponges, drying racks, and cutting boards: Dish towels can be kashered by thoroughly scrubbing or putting though the washer. Sponges, drying racks, and wooden cutting boards cannot be kashered, and need to be replaced. Kitchen sink: Use different colored sink racks or basins, and do not let anything soak directly in the sink. Separate sponges are necessary as well. Metal sinks can be kashered by scrubbing, letting to sit for 24 hours, and then putting boiling water over all surfaces. An oven: Clean out any particles, and then let it rest for 24 hours, then put the oven on selfclean or highest heat for at least an hour. Countertops: Metal and stone countertops can be kashered by thoroughly cleaning, waiting 24 hours, and then pouring boiling water on its surfaces. Glass and ceramic, and laminate cannot be kashered, and at Pesach, they must be covered with a non-porous material that will not easily rip or tear, like heavy-duty tin foil. Refrigerators and freezers: Fridges and freezers can be used to store both meat and cheese. Since it is stored in a cold area, the contents do not ‘pass’ to one another as easily. If fridges need to be kashered, a good scrubbing and purging with boiling water would work. Dishwashers: There should be two different dishwashers, or just one dishwasher for either meat or dairy. This is because the plastic racks in dishwashers cannot be kashered.


What are the dietary and kitchen-based laws of Passover? 1.

2. 3.

4. 5.

Kasher all dishes, pots, stovetop, countertop, sinks, and ovens that can be kashered. Anything that cannot be kashered must be stored away for the duration of pesach. Note: laminate and non-metal countertops need a different surface for pesach. Usually we spread out tin foil over all the countertops. It’s not ideal, but it separates the countertop and creates a wholly kashered space. Hide and sell your hametz: You should not own any hametz. You can put it into storage and ‘sell’ it to a gentile friend or an online service. Usually a local synagogue has a method they use and could share with you. Bedikat Hametz: It is customary to hide 10 pieces of bread around your house, to find later and burn. This represents the purging of the house of its hametz, and is customary in some communities, but not necessary. The hametz should be collected with a feather and spoon, and burned in a fire the next morning. Legumes and rice: These also need to be stored in a cabinet and not opened during pesach to ensure they are not eaten. Foods that may contain traces of hametz (tuna, canned veggies, or processed foods) should be placed in a cabinet and sold.




Baba Ghanoush

Eggplant-sesame dip/spread. Originally Lebanese food, now popular in much of Israeli cuisine, and all over the middle east. Ingredients 2 Medium-sized eggplants 2 garlic cloves, finely minced 1/3 cup of tahini 2 ½ tblsp of lemon juice 2 tbsp of cold water 1 tbsp of olive oil 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley leaves. Alternatively, 1 ½ tsp of dried parsley. Salt and pepper to taste Additional garnish: fresh parsley, black olives Additional drizzle: Tahini sauce (p. 103) and pomegranate molasses

Instructions • Prick the eggplants with a fork, so as to allow the gasses in the eggplant to more easily escape, avoiding a messy eggplant explosion. Cook the eggplants in an oven set to broil for 20-30 minutes, or until the insides are soft, and the outsides are charred. • Take eggplants out of oven and let cool, then take off stem. Traditionally, one would peel the eggplant as well, but I consider the skin one of the most nutritious parts of the vegetable, and adds an interesting purple color that accompanies the drizzle of the pomegranate molasses quite well. • Cut the eggplant into chunks, and put them into a food processor with the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, water, olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper. If you don’t have a food processor, chunk the eggplants, then use a potato masher to mash the mixture into a pulp. See serving tips for ideas of ways to serve. It is often served as a dip or spread for pita, though the “Serving tips” (right) offer some new ideas.


About Baba Ganoush “Baba” is the Arabic word for “Father,” and “Ghanoush” means “Indulged/pampered.” After trying this creamy and flavorful spread, you may understand its pampering qualities. Alternatively, the “father” may refer to the “big daddy” of vegetables, eggplant. The big daddy vegetable of eggplant in this dish is nicely pampered by cooking it, then mashing it up with creamy, smoky, and nutty flavors.

Serving tips this appetizer is great served with pita or laffa, and can be eaten either warm or cold. For a little extra pizzaz, drizzle techina sauce (p. 103) and pomegranate molasses on top of the baba ganoush. To buff-up this dish and make it a great main course, serve baba ganoush on pita, and then add twice-cooked eggplant on top.

Twice-Cooked Eggplant

If anyone thinks they don’t like eggplant, they haven’t tried baba ganoush on a laffa, topped with twice-cooked eggplant and drizzled with tachini and pomegranate molasses! This is simple, but delicious! The eggplant becomes creamy and delicious. If you don’t like the skin, peel it off before cooking.

Ingredients 1 eggplant 1 onion 1 tomato 3 cloves of garlic, minced Oil for frying Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin Instructions • Slice the eggplant into rings, about ½-3/4 inch thick. • In a frying pan with a few tbsps of olive oil, fry the circles of eggplant on each side, almost charring each side so that the outside is nearly burnt, and the inside very soft. This should be about 4-5 minutes on each side on medium heat. • Then, add diced onion and tomato and minced garlic and spices. Using the spatula, cut the eggplant into small chunks, now cooking the insides of the eggplant through the pan. Cook until the vegetables are tender. • Serve on laffa and baba ganoush, or on its own, or with bourekas - whatever you like! 13

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed grape leaves can be either meat-filled or rice filled. The meat-filled leaves are more substantive, and can be served warm as a main course with salads or soups. The rice-filled leaves are more of an appetizer, and are often served chilled. Ingredients 1 jar of canned grape leaves 1½ cups of rice ¼ cup of sliced almonds or pine nuts, chopped finely 1 cup of raisins 1 bundle of parsley 1 cup of chopped tomatoes ½ cup of diced onion 1 tsp of cardamom ½ tsp of cinnamon ¼ tsp of allspice 1 tsp of salt ½ tsp of pepper Grape molasses or pomegranate molasses to drizzle Instructions • In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, gently lower a bundle of grape leaves into the boiling water. Cook in boiling water for 5 minutes, in order to help soften the leaves and also reduce the canned-flavor of the leaves. • While boiling the leaves, bring another pot of water to boil for the rice. Cook until tender. • Dice the parsley, tomatoes, nuts, raisins, and onions into small pieces. Once the rice is ready, mix the chopped ingredients and the spices with the rice. • Drain the grape leaves, and then using one leaf at a time, put the mixture in the center of the leaf, and then fold as follows. Fold the bottom of the leaf over the mixture, then fold the two sides up, then roll the rest of the leaf together. If the leaves are too delicate, sometimes using two leaves is necessary. Be patient: this is a time-intensive process to fold many little grape leaves. • To serve: Set out on a plate, and drizzle with pomegranate or grape molasses, serve with yoghurt sauce like tzatziki. Enjoy!


Israeli Salad

Israeli salad isn’t quite what it sounds like in the western understanding of ‘salad.’ Instead, Israeli salad is a good accompaniment to falafel, shawarma, or bourekas – something good to stuff other things with. It both cools and sweetens/lightens dishes. It is amazingly simple to make, and delicious! Ingredients 2 cucumbers 3 tomatoes 1 bundle of parsley 1 tsp of salt ½ tsp of pepper Instructions • Peel the cucumber, then chop both the cucumber and tomatoes into a bowl. In this bowl, add finely chopped parsley and the dash of salt and pepper. Enjoy!



Recipes from Around the World Passover is a time that we are reminded of the exodus of the Israelites from slavery to freedom, and how it felt to be in slavery, and how it felt to be leaving that, and how it felt to be free. This reminds us of some common thread of a story that many people can relate towhether it be interpersonal, systematic, or spiritual bondage. Below are only a sampling of the many harosets possible to make. Remember that these are not prescriptive (not every household makes the same thing), but rather descriptive in a way, especially with introductory remarks about the Jewish people in each area. Many of these recipes can be used all week during Passover, eaten as a snack or appetizer on matzah, as a chutney with fish or chicken, used in salads. Enjoy these recipes, and feel free to experiment to make your own! Most of these recipes were given to me by Mel, and I added commentary to them. Enjoy! The Israeli and Yemenite haroset recipes are adapted from The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Kaufer-Greene. In addition, the Piedmontese Haroset recipe is adapted from Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food.

Ashkenazic Haroset This is a traditional haroset to Ashkenazic households and communities. Unlike Sephardic communities, Ashkenazim almost ubiquitously prepared and created this type of haroset, based largely off of apples and nuts. This is likely due to apples and nuts being more accessible in the areas that Ashkenazim lived. Ingredients 2-3 apples, peeled and chopped ¾ cup of raisins ¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional) 2 tbsp of Passover wine (optional, use water instead) 1 tsp of cinnamon Instructions • Peel and finely chop 2-3 apples. Mix with raisins, cinnamon, and some Passover sweet red wine. You can also add chopped walnuts. • This is traditionally served ‘raw,’ without cooking the apples. Serve on matzah.


Haroset from North Africa This haroset uses cherries, pears, and ginger as its main substance and flavor. Ingredients ½ cup of dried, pitted cherries, ½ cup of dried pears ½ tsp lemon juice 1 tsp fresh ginger, or ½ tsp ground, dried ginger ½ tsp cinnamon 1 cup of walnuts 2 tbsp sugar ¾ cup of Passover sweet wine (optional, use water instead) Instructions • Boil all the dried fruit, lemon juice, ginger, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan with wine or water until soft. In a food processor, chop the walnuts, wine, and sugar, and then add to the dried fruit mixture. • Cook until desired consistency. Serve on warm matzah – enjoy!

Haroset From Turkey Ingredients 2 apples, peeled and chopped. 1 cup of raisins Zest of 1 orange ½ lb of pitted dates 1 cup of Passover sweet wine 2-4 tbsps of sugar ½ cup of walnuts or pecans, chopped.

About 18,500 Jews live in Turkey, with the majority in Istanbul, and others in Izmie, Ankara, Bursa, and Adana. Jews of Turkey are 96% Sephardi. The Jewish community in Turkey may be considered one of the oldest in the world, having been settled in the 4th century BCE (World Jewish Congress, 2018). This recipe draws from common fruits in the area grown and used traditionally in haroset today.

Instructions: • Put all ingredients except the sugar and nuts together in a saucepan and cook on very low until mixture is soft and mushy and the liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally. Add sugar to taste. Blend to a paste in a food processor. • Put in pretty bowl and sprinkle with nuts to serve!


Haroset From Egypt

In Egypt, the paste of haroset is said to resemble the Nile silt, which is a deep red color. Therefore, only dates, red raisins, wine, and nuts are used in this recipe! Ingredients 1 cup chopped, pitted dates ½ cup sweet red Passover wine ¼ cup of water 1 cup yellow raisins or sultanas ½ cup chopped walnuts Instructions • Put dates and raisins with wine into a saucepan. Add water, and cook on low, until the dried fruits fall apart into a mush. Add just a little water to cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until dates fall apart into a mush. Cook until thickens to a soft paste. Sprinkle with nuts to serve.

Haroset From Morocco Ingredients 2 cups of dates, chopped ½ tsp ground cloves 1 cup sweet Passover wine 1 cup walnuts or pecans 1 tsp cinnamon Instructions • Put everything except nuts into saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring until it is a soft paste. Pulse in processor for smoother texture and serve with sprinkled nuts.

In the first half of the 20th century, about 300,000 Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel, only few staying back. Now, there are about 5,000 Jews in Morocco, a much diminished population. The catalyst for immigration was rising animosity toward Jews, and riots that killed about 44 Jews. So many Jews fled to Israel after these riots that there was a ban placed on Jewish migration to Israel. Still, nearly 18,000 Jews were able to flee, with authorities turning a blind eye to the exodus (Marzia-Katz, 2018). Passover is about remembering the struggle of the Jewish peoplehood, and this is certainly a story of exodus from a land of oppression to a free land.


Haroset From Chechnya

Ingredients 1 cup dried apricots ½ cup of dried peaches 1 tbsp of fresh mint ¼ cup dried cherries ¼ cup slivered almonds 2 tbsp sweet red wine 1 cup of water 1 tbsp of honey

Gay men in Chechnya, a territory of Russia, are going through their own exodus. Intense homophobia is common in the culture, and it has been reported that gay men have been tortured with electric shocks, attacked by civil authorities, and been victims of honor-killings by their own relatives. Honor-killing means that individuals in a family will murder another family member if they fail to uphold the family’s honor; and by simply being gay, many men, just by being gay and associated with the family, can tarnish the family name (Salkin, 2017).

Instructions • Place dried fruit in saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Place fruit into food processor and pulse to chop coarsely. Add almonds, mint, and wine and pulse again to chop finely. Sweeten with honey and serve at room temperature.

Haroset From Surinam Ingredients ¾ cup sweetened coconut 1 cups water, approx. ½ cup raisins ½ cup ounces dried pears, or ¾ cup fresh pears, chopped ¾ cup cherry preserves ½ cup almonds, ground ½ cup dried mixed fruit, chopped ½ cup dried apricots, chopped 2-3 tsp cinnamon 2/3 cup Passover Wine or water

A small country next to Guyana, the Jewish community began in the colonial times in the early 1600’s. By the mid-1700’s Jews owned almost 1/3 of the total sugar plantations in Surinam. The Jews were so successful in the plantation-owning and operating because of much of their past experience in agriculture. The Jews that emigrated to Surinam were mostly Portuguese, who had a history and knowledge at this time in farming. Because of this, and likely their international connections, they were able to rise to a level of success after their immigration. In the late 1700’s, the privileges granted to the Jews in Suriname were taken away, and many of the plantations went bankrupt (Suriname Jewish Community, 2018).

Instructions • In a large pot combine all ingredients except preserves and wine. Add water to cover. Simmer on low until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add any additional water as mixture thickens to prevent from drying out or sticking. Continue to stir. 19

• After about 30 minutes, stir in the cherry preserves. Cook about 15 minutes until the coconut has softened and the mixture is very thick. Let stand and cool. Stir in wine. Mixture should be moist and thick. • Refrigerate until serving. Serve at room temperature. (This recipe makes a huge amount; you might want to half the quantities for less)

Springtime Haroset This is haroset designed for springtime in the US, using rhubarb, apple, and other spices. Ingredients 1 cup sugar 1 cup diced rhubarb 1 cup toasted pecans 1 cup diced jicama 1 cup water 1 cup dry white wine 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, diced 1 tsp cinnamon 1 pinch cayenne pepper Instructions Note on rhubarb: Only use the rhubarb stalks—never use the leaves, they can be toxic. Do not remove the ‘strings’ from the stalks because they hold most of the color and dissolve during the cooking. • Bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in rhubarb and simmer for 1-2 minutes until soft but still crunchy. Drain and cool. • In another saucepan, cook wine over high heat until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup. In processor combine wine, pecans, apple, jicama, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and rhubarb and pulse 2 -3 times. If necessary add a little more sugar.


Israeli Haroset

Ingredients Israel is full of a variety of immigrant communities, so to 1 medium-sized orange say that there is one Israeli Haroset – really to say that 10 pitted dates there is any one kind of haroset anywhere in the world ½ cup of slivered is false. However, this recipe uses fruits and foods that almonds (or peanuts) are commonly in season and found in Israel itself, and 1 large apple, peeled that some native-born Israelis (sabras) may use. 1 large banana 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp sugar 1 tsp cinnamon ¼ cup sweet Passover wine 1/3 cup of matzo meal (optional) Instructions • Zest the orange rind. Remove the white pith under the rind and discard. Slice the orange into pieces. Put the orange zest, orange pieces, dates, almonds, apple, and banana through a food processor, or chop each finely. Put the fruit mixture into a bowl, and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and wine. Add matzo meal if you wish to thicken the haroset. Refrigerate, and serve chilled.

Yemenite Haroset

Yemenite foods are often spicy, and their haroset is reflective of this. Traditionally, there may not even be any honey added, but the honey sweetens it and balances the spice more. Ingredients 6 dried figs 6 pitted, dried dates 2 tbsp sesame seeds 1 tsp honey ½ tsp ginger 1/8 tsp ground coriander Pinch of cayenne pepper Instructions • Chop finely, or put through a food processor, the figs and dates. Mix in the sesame seeds, honey, and spices. Store the haroset in the fridge.


Piedmontese (Northwestern Italy) Haroset Ingredients ½ lb cooked chestnuts 2/3 cup blanched almonds 2 hard-boiled egg yolks Juice and zest of 1 orange ¾ cup of sweet Passover wine ¼ cup of sugar

The Jews of Piedmont have interestingly retained their traditions and culture, despite the processes of globalization. More of an inside look into the Piedmont communities on online sources can show a deep and rich history. Though this community suffered during the holocaust era, it remained, and still remains, a strongly Jewish community.

Instructions • Boil the chestnuts for a few minutes, and drain. Grind the almonds in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor, grinding to a paste. Enjoy!


Orange-Colored Tzimmes

This recipe essentially roasts a variety of orange-colored vegetables. Alternatively, you could roast broccoli and summer squash, or cabbage and blueberries. It’s up to you! This can be a sweet or savory dish, depending on the addition of only a few ingredients. You are welcome to try either. This recipe is adapted from “Fruit and Vegetable Tzimmes” in The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene. Basic ingredients 2 large sweet potatoes 3 carrots ½ of a butternut squash ¾ cup of raisins, or creative combination of dried fruits

To make this dish savory 2-3 cloves of garlic 1 onion Olive oil To make this dish sweet Orange juice and zest from 1 orange ¼ cup honey or maple syrup

Sukkot Sukkot is the Thanksgiving for the final major harvest in the fall. During Sukkot, a family would go about all daily living activity in the sukkah, eating, sleeping, resting. The major foods used symbolically in prayer in this holiday are the etrog (citron), lulav (palm branch), hadas (myrtle branches), and aravah (willow branches). The theme of a harvest festival has led to many dishes including many vegetables to be included. The following is just one common Ashkenazic dish that incorporates vegetables. Common across most Jews is the cooking of some kind of stew that includes vegetables.

What is Tzimmes? Tzimmes means anything up in a fuss or mixed up. Tzimmes is a sweet or savory side stew of vegetables, fruits, and/or meats. Depending on flavors and ingredients, tzimmes can accompany almost any kind of meal. Following are only a few recipes to represent the sweet, savory, and in-between.

Instructions • Start this dish by peeling and scooping the seeds of the butternut out. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and carrots. Cube the butternut, sweet potatoes, and carrots to a desired size. I like the vegetables in this dish to be small and diced, but you can also serve the dish with large chunks of vegetables. Cut the sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash, set aside in a separate bowl. Add raisins or dried fruit to the bowl. Set aside the bowl. • To make this dish savory, add minced garlic, chopped onions, and a drizzle of olive oil to the bowl, then bake. To make this dish sweet, add orange juice and honey or maple syrup to the bowl, then bake. • After making your dish in your desired way, fold the contents of the bowl out into a large glass baking dish. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and cook in a 350-degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. 23

Prune and Farfel Tzimmes

This is essentially small pasta made fruity with the prunes and sweet with the honey. It’s a great side to a meat dish! This recipe is adapted from The Jewish American Kitchen by Raymond Sokolov. Ingredients 1 lb (about 2 ½ cups) of pitted prunes 2 cups of farfel or broken-up egg noodles Salt 2 tbsp of lemon juice 2 tbsp of honey 4 tbsp of margarine or butter Instructions • Soak prunes in warm water for 1 hour. Drain and chop prunes. What is Farfel? • To make ‘farfel,’ use a hammer, Tiny noodles, beaten or grated to the size potato masher, or food processor to of barley. break up dried egg noodles. Measure two cups of broken-up dried egg When is it eaten? noodles. Farfel is often eaten in in soup during the • Bring a pot of water to boil, and add high holidays. the dry ‘farfel,’ cook for 5-6 minutes, or until tender. Drain. What does it signify? • In a separate pan on medium heat, The roundedness of the farfel may heat the prunes, honey, butter, and represent the desire to have a welllemon juice. Once the butter is rounded, full year, just like the circular melted, add the farfel and mix challah prepared during the high holidays. thoroughly. There is also a play on the word “farfel,” • Serve warm or chilled. This sweet pasta makes a good side dish for representing the hope that any misdeeds in cheese blintzes or for a savory cut of the past year will fall far away in the future. meat. If eating with meat, use margarine instead of butter.



This is a great bread-based salad. This is one of Israel’s most popular salad that uses grilled or fried leftover pita, and lots of vegetables. It is contended how small one should cut the contents: large, up to an inch, or small, only 1/8th of an inch, or somewhere in between. I like mine in a medium-large area, about 1/2-3/4 of an inch. Ingredients 1 cup of Greek yogurt ¼ cup of milk 2 tbsp of cider vinegar Or, 1 ½ cups of buttermilk replacing the above 2 large stale flatbreads or naan 3 tomatoes 1 bunch of radishes 3 cucumbers 2 onions 1 tbsp of fresh chopped or dried mint 2 cloves of garlic 3 tbsp of lemon juice ¼ cup of olive oil ¾ tsp of fresh-ground black pepper 1 tsp of salt Za’atar, to garnish Instructions: • Start the yogurt and milk a few hours or a day beforehand, if you have the time. Whisk well, and return to the fridge. • Tear the bread into small pieces. Add the yogurt mixture to the bread and chopped vegetables. Mix, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and za’atar to serve.


Eggplant Flan

This is a most loved and distinctive dish from the Jews of Turkey. The flan comes out creamy and savory, and absolutely delectable. For another similar version, you may also use boiled and chopped zucchini instead of eggplant. This recipe is adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food. Ingredients 3-4 eggplants 1 ½ cups of grated cheddar cheese 3 eggs 2 large slices of bread, soaked in water and squeezed dry 1 cup of mozzarella cheese + ¼ cup of mozzarella 5 tbsp of oil Topping: Tomato reduction or pomegranate molasses Instructions • Roast eggplant in the oven and peel off the skin. • Squeeze out as much of the eggplant juice as possible by putting the eggplant into a fine mesh colander and squeezing it with your hand. Pulp the eggplant in a food processor. • Meanwhile, soak two large slices of bread in water. Then, squeeze the bread dry. The bread should be smooth and soft, malleable to mash, and not crumbly or dry. • Add the following to the eggplant pulp: oil, egg, bread, and cheeses reserving the ¼ cup of the mozzarella. • Hand mash or food-processes all ingredients except ¼ cup of mozzarella and the pomegranate molasses drizzle. Pour the mixture into a well-oiled baking dish, and bake for about 1 hour at 375 degrees, until the top is lightly colored and a toothpick stuck into the center comes out mostly clean. Instead of doing one large flan, you could also do several small flans, pouring them into muffin tins. If working with muffin tins, you may consider using muffin papers as well, in order to save time in taking the flan out of the pan. • When just out of the oven, sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella cheese so that it melts. When it cools enough, drizzle pomegranate molasses on top. The pomegranate molasses gives it a sweet-tangy depth, but you can also serve the flan with a cream sauce and tomato reduction. Enjoy!



These are recipes for delicious celery-based spreads. The first recipe for Apio is adapted from Marks’ The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, while “Apio kon Safanoria” is adapted from a similar recipe in The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Kaufer-Greene. Ingredients ¾ cup of water ½ cup of lemon juice ¼ cup of olive or vegetable oil 1-3 tbsp of sugar 1 tsp salt 2 bunches of celery, leaves removed, and cut into 1-inch chunks Instructions • In a large saucepan, bring the water, lemon juice, sugar, oil, and salt to a boil. Add the celery, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve warm as a side dish or chilled as an appetizer.

Apio kon Safanoria

Ingredients ¾ cup of water 1 tbsp of olive oil 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp of sugar ½ tsp of salt 5 medium-sized carrots, cut into small chunks 1 large celeriac, cut into small 1-inch chunks Thickener (optional) 2 tbsp potato starch 1 tbsp cold water

Instructions • In a medium saucepan, combine ¾ cup of water, oil, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil. Add in the carrots, and lower the heat. Cook the carrots for a few minutes, then add the celeriac. Simmer for about 10-15 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve chunky, or if you want a smooth consistency, use a potato masher or food processor to smooth the sauce. • If a thicker sauce is desired, whisk together the potato starch and water in a separate bowl, then then stir into the sauce, heating and stirring the vegetables as the thickening agent is added. • Serve hot, or chilled. This dish is not intended to be spicy or robust, instead it is supposed to be a refreshing start to the Pesach evening. 27


Pesach is an eight-day holiday that commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It is one of the most, if not the most, widely observed holiday in the Jewish tradition. The first evening of Passover starts with a Seder, in which specific vegetables are eaten, prayers spoken, and stories told about the exodus. My favorite part of the Seder is the final line “Next year in Jerusalem!” It shows the hopes for the future, based on a past of suffering (exodus from Egypt). It may suggest that it is even unachievable, or that it is only achievable for a short time, but nonetheless, there is hope for better days, and acceptance of the present days as the present. It is obliged not to eat any hametz, leavened bread, during the eight-day period. Therefore, matzah recipes and vegetable-alternatives have been devised, and throughout this book, there are many recipes that suggest alternative flour combinations, or suggest meal choices for pesach. Traditional Passover fare includes gefilte fish, tzimmes, potato or matzo kugel, compote, and borscht.

About Apio This is a traditional Passover dish, served often at Sephardic tables during the first night of Pesach. The leaves of celery are often eaten as the green vegetable representing spring and renewal (karpas), and the stalks are traditionally used in this dish. The dish is an excellent accompaniment to fish or chicken; for example, chraimeh pairs with this side in a delicious way! I feature two variations of apio: a traditional form using simply celery stalks, and an alternative form, using celery root and carrots. Many households cooked carrots with their celery stalks, and some Turkish Jews would garnish apio with fresh dill (Marks, 18: 2010). My alternative version uses celery root, partly since it has a similar flavor to celery without the stringy-components.


Being a Sephardic dish, the name, Apio, is Ladino for “Celery.” Apio with carrots is “Apio kon Safanoria.” These are transliterations of Ladino to English. Ladino, a combination of Spanish and Hebrew, is a language that was spoken by many Sephardic Jews. Over the years, the various groups of Jews throughout the diaspora adopted various dialects of Hebrew. Other similar languages are: Aramaic, which is a cross between Arabic and Hebrew, and is the language of some of the biblical commentary; or Yiddish, which is a combination of Hebrew and German, and bits and pieces like “schlep” are commonly heard in the United States. The history of Jews, as seen through this glimpse of Jewish language, is defined by a balancing act of adoption of the majority culture, while fighting to retain tradition and their roots. This resulted in a form of acculturation, in which some aspects of the majority culture are practiced (like Ladino), while full assimilation is not attained (like speaking entirely Spanish). 28

Moroccan Carrot Salad This is a delicious and easy salad!

Ingredients 1 lbs of carrots 2 cloves of garlic, minced 1 tsp of paprika 1 hot pepper (optional) 1 tbsp of cumin ½ cup of lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste 3 tbsp of olive oil ¼ cup of fresh chopped parsley Instructions • Grate or chop the carrots finely. Finely chop the parsley and mince the garlic. Add all ingredients into a bowl, toss, and serve! Enjoy!

Riced Cauliflower This is an ultra-simple substitute for rice. This is particularly handy for Pesach, as the cauliflower can substitute for rice in many dishes. In addition, it is a healthy alternative – more vegetables! Though this isn’t a particularly historically “Jewish” food, it is an applied alternative to rice for Pesach. Ingredients 1 head of cauliflower 2 tbsp of olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Cumin, paprika, turmeric to taste (optional) Instructions • Using a sharp knife, shave the cauliflower, starting at the head, and working down, so that little kernels of cauliflower are shaved off. Continue to shave the cauliflower head, until you reach the stem. You can mince the stem into small pieces, or discard the stem. • In a pan on medium heat, warm the olive oil and spices. Then, add the cauliflower and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. • Test the cauliflower to see if it is ready. It should hold its shape nicely while being soft. Be careful not to overcook; this dish can easily turn into cauliflower mush if you let it cook too long! • Serve under fish, meats, tofu as a substitute for rice. Enjoy! 29

Dried Fruit Compote

If using fresh fruit, simply omit the liquid. If using dry fruit, the liquid can be mixed and matched depending on the flavor you are seeking. I would suggest, if using orange juice, wine, or other juices, to cut down on the use of honey or sugar, since these naturally add sweetness to the mixture. In addition, you can feel free to use a half cup of water and a half cup of orange juice, and so forth. Mix and match to your delight! Compote is one of the most versatile mixtures of food possible, and can be added to sweeten almost any meal! Ingredients 2 cups of dried fruit 1+ cup of liquid: water, orange juice, or wine ¼ cup honey or sugar 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp ground ginger Instructions • Add all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes, adding water if necessary. • If making a smooth compote, mash the ingredients together and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. If making a chunky compote, do not mash the ingredients together. • Serve warm on matzah for an appetizer, on desserts, or on fish/meat dishes to accompany the main course.

Ingredients Canned Chickpeas Paprika Cumin Salt, Pepper Oil

Roasted Chickpeas

Instructions • Preheat oven to desired temperature: 375-425. Prepare a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Drain canned chickpeas and rinse. Spread chickpeas on the baking sheet. Generously drizzle oil on chickpeas. Generously coat chickpeas in spices. Mix and turn chickpeas, and add another layer of spices on un-spiced side of chickpeas. • Toast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until chickpeas are crunchy. Serve with rice, on baba ganoush, with bourekas, or anything else you like spiced, crunchy chickpeas with! 30

Butternut Squash and Tachini Spread

This is a great spread for pita, or a dip for pita chips. This makes a great appetizer, especially in autumn time when butternut squashes are plentiful!! This recipe is adapted from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. Ingredients 1 butternut squash ¼ cup of olive oil 1 tsp of cinnamon 1/3 cup of tachini 2/3 cup Greek yogurt 3 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp of black and white sesame seeds 2 tbsp of date syrup 2 tbsp of parsley Instructions • Preheat an oven to 375-degrees. Peel the butternut squash, and chunk it into about 1 inch chunks. Spread the chunked butternut squash out on a baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the cinnamon over it, and mix. Insert into oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. • Take the potatoes out of the oven and let cool. In a food processor, add together the tachini paste, yogurt, garlic, and butternut squash. Puree until smooth • Put it into a dip bowl and serve with pita chips, or top on small mini pitas, as shown in the above picture! Drizzle a date syrup on top, and sprinkle sesame seeds and parsley.

Date Syrup Ingredients ½ cup of dried pitted dates 1 cup of water ¼ cup of honey Instructions Put the dates and water into a saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the dates expand and are mash-able, about 10-15 minutes. Then, add the honey and cook together until it reaches the consistency of molasses, adding more water if necessary. Taste the mixture. Add another ¼ cup of honey if you want to accentuate the sweetness. Drizzle on the spread, and enjoy!


Soups and Stews


Chicken Soups for the Soul Yemenite Chicken Soup Ingredients 2 large onions, chopped into 2” pieces 2 chicken breasts, with or without bones 3 carrots, chopped into 2” pieces 2 stalks of celery, chopped into 2” pieces 2 potatoes, chunked 2-3 tsps of hawajj 2-3 tsps of Turmeric Onion skin Oil 2 liters of water Instructions • In a large soup pot, add oil and heat under medium heat. Add chicken breasts and brown breasts. After the chicken is browned, add the water, onions, potatoes, celery, and carrots, as well as part of an onion skin. The onion skin helps to create a nice yellow color to the soup, in addition to the spices. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer. • Just after you turn down the heat to simmer the mixture, add hawajj, for taste, and turmeric, for color. Continue to simmer for another 2 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. • Remove from heat, strip chicken into small pieces and discard bones if any. Remove onion skin. Serve warm with bread or rice.


Persian Chicken Soup

This soup has “Gondi,” the Persian word for “balls.” This refers to the delicious meaty balls in the soup, as well as a bawdy expression for a certain part of the male anatomy. Gondi are a favorite food in many Iranian Jewish homes. The soup uses a clear broth, and fresh vegetables are added at the end to give a crisp texture, with the soft balls. Ingredients 3 cloves of garlic Chicken in Jewish Life 2 large onions, chopped into 2” pieces Jews often ate chicken-related foods, 2 chicken breasts, with or without bones especially in areas where the difference 2 carrots, chopped into 2” pieces between Jews and gentiles was large. 2 stalks of celery, chopped into 2” pieces Chicken was an easy meat to raise, and Oil any part of it was kosher to eat, if it was 2 liters of water raised and slaughtered properly. It was Parsley harder for Jews throughout many lands For the balls “gondi” to eat red meat, since the meat required 2 cups of chickpea flour more land, which Jews did not have, and 2 tsp of cardamom only certain pieces Jews could eat. 1 tsp turmeric Chicken soup, because of the ease to Oil raise a kosher chicken, became a staple To add to broth with balls: across the Jewish Diaspora. 2 carrots 2 cups of cooked chickpeas Instructions • In a large soup pot, add oil and heat under medium heat. Add chicken breasts and brown the outsides of the breasts. After the chicken is browned, add the water, onions, celery, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. With a slotted spoon, take out all the vegetables and all the chicken. • Using a potato masher or food processor, chop finely the vegetables and chicken into a paste. Add the chickpea flour and spices to the paste. This should stiffen up the paste into a dough. Make small balls out of the dough, about golf-ball size, then return back into the broth. • Add chopped carrots and cooked chickpeas to the soup while adding the balls of dough. Bring new mixture to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, and then serve.


Ashkenazic Chicken Soup

This is the most “regular” and “standard” of chicken soups, speaking from my American chicken soup tastes. The one flavor that sets this soup apart from appearing to be a ‘regular’ chicken soup is the addition of the dill, which adds a kind of fresh, unique flavor to the soup. Mel says: “This is the soup I grew up with. My mother would make it for us, and I learned how to make it myself” Ingredients 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced 2 large onions, chopped into 2” pieces 2 chicken breasts, with or without bones 3 carrots, chopped into 2” pieces 2 potatoes, chunked 2 stalks of celery, chopped into 2” pieces 1 bunch of fresh dill 2 liters of Water (Optional) Matzo Balls 2 tbsp oil 2 eggs 1½ cups matzo meal flour 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp of sugar 2 tsp of baking powder Broth or water as needed

Instructions • In a large soup pot, add oil and heat under medium heat. Add chicken breasts and brown breasts. After the chicken is browned, add the water, onions, potato, celery, carrots, and the bunch of fresh dill. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer. Simmer for about 2 hours, or until the meat and vegetables are tender. • After 2 hours, take out dill, and strip meat into little pieces, discarding bones if there are any. Serve warm with bread. This soup can also be served with matzo balls added in at the end, and cooked for 20-25 minutes. • (Optional) To make matzo balls, add all matzo ball ingredients together in a separate bowl. Stir the ingredients together: it should form into a doughy ball. Working with lightly floured fingers, take a piece from the dough, shape into a small ball, and drop it gently in the soup. Add in about 20-25 minutes before serving. 35

Ethiopian Lentil Stew (Mesir Wat) Ingredients 1 Onion 3 cloves of garlic 1 cup of lentils Oil 1-1½ cups of water Spices: ½ tsp chili powder; ½ tsp paprika; ½ tsp cumin, salt and pepper Instructions • Finely dice onion, and mince the garlic. Sauté the onions and garlic with oil for 5 minutes over a stovetop with medium heat. Add the diced celery and carrots, cook until they are tender. Add lentils, and roast with the vegetables for 2 minutes, then add water and spices. • Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes. The lentils should be tender, but not totally disintegrated. Serve with, or on, rice or injera. Jewish and Non Jewish Foods There is not much difference between Jewish and gentile foods in areas like North Africa, Morocco, or other majority Muslim countries. In areas where the majority of non-Jews were Christians, the food differences are much more different, partly because Jews and Muslims have similar laws regarding food. In addition, Christians can eat pork and other parts of pig. The main difference between Muslims and Jews in food would be that meat and dairy can be mixed. For example, Lebanese Muslims would cook their lamb in butter and might serve it with a yogurt sauce, while Lebanese Jews would cook their lamb in oil and serve with a compote.


Egyptian Red Lentil Soup (Shorbet Ads) This is very similar to Mesir Wat, the Ethiopian red lentil stew, however, it is pureed together, and has more vegetables, and a more tomato-base. The recipe comes from The Teal Tadjine, a blog that focuses on food, family, and religion from an Algerian Muslim family’s perspective. Ingredients 2 celery ribs 2 carrots 3 tomatoes 2 cups of lentils 8 cups (2 liters) of water or stock 1-2 tsp of tomato paste 1 tsp of ground cumin ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp of dried thyme ½ tsp cayenne pepper Salt and pepper to taste Juice of 1 lemon

Crispy Onion Ingredients ¼ cup of all-purpose flour ¼ cup of cornmeal ½ tsp of paprika ½ tsp cumin ½ tsp black pepper ½ tsp baking powder 1 tsp sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced Oil for frying Instructions Whisk the flour, cornmeal, spices, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Cut the onion thinly. Dip or toss the onion in the beaten egg, then toss it in the dry mixture. Fry in a hot pan for about 1-1½ minutes on each side, until golden brown. Alternatively, you can also bake the onions in the oven for 15 minutes at 375degrees, drizzled in a little oil, baked until crisp.

Instructions • Sort through lentils for any stones or unwashed debris. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, until soft and tender. Add the celery and carrot, continuing to stir over medium-high heat. Add spices to coat the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes longer to toast spices. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and the stock. Bring to a slow boil, and then add the lentils, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are soft. • Remove the mixture from the heat, and puree the soup. Bring the soup back to a simmer after pureeing it. If the soup is too thick, add more water or broth. • Just before serving, squeeze the lemon juice over the top of the soup and stir. • Serve with crispy onion and pita.



Moroccan Fava Bean Stew This recipe is adapted from Roden’s “Bessara” in The Book of Jewish Food. Fava beans have been the basic food of Egypt since the time of the pharaohs, with specimens of the beans being found in ancient tombs (Roden, 317: 1997). This is a version that is often eaten by Moroccan Jews at Passover because it is something the Israelites ate when in Egypt (Roden, 317: 1997). It is best to use skinless or split fava beans, or simply used canned fava beans. The flavor is complex, and the harissa sauce makes the flavor even more complex. Ingredients 1½ cups of dried fava beans, or 4-5 cups of canned fava beans 2 cups of water 4 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp of olive oil ¼ cup of lemon juice 1 bunch of parsley, chopped 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp of turmeric Olive oil drizzle for serving, and paprika and parsley for serving Instructions • If using dry beans, soak the beans overnight in cold water. Then, in the morning, strain the beans, and cook. If using canned beans, drain the beans, saving about ¾ cup of bean-water. Set the extra bean-water aside. • In a medium soup pot, add all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. Mash the beans so that the texture is smooth, almost like refried beans, and then serve. Serve with • A drizzle of olive oil over each bowl. • Croutons or bread! • Meat or meat substitute: merguez – spicy north African sausages. For the vegetarian folks, you may consider serving this with spiced seitan. • An accompanied sauce for a Tunisian version: 2 tsp of harissa with: ¾ cup of beanwater from the can, or cooking water if using fresh fava beans, 3 tbsp of lemon juice, 2/3 cup of olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 tsp of cumin.



Fried kubbeh are a Syrian delight, and can be dipped in tachina sauce. In a soup, these Kubbeh turn into a Iraqi delight. Food is one of the few ways that Iraqi Jews retain their heritage, due to a mass emigration to Israel since the mid 20th Century. In a way, this soup is similar to the Ashkenazic matzo ball soup – warming, wholesome, and delicious. Dough 2 cups of semolina flour 1 cup of fine bulgur 1 cup of flour ¼ cup of oil 2 tsp of salt Filling 2 tbsp of vegetable oil 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1-2 onions, diced 1 lb of ground beef (vegetarian/pareve option: seitan or tofu) Salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp of paprika 2 tsp cumin ¼ cup chopped parsley Instructions For the Dough • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, until it forms a large ball. Separate the dough into small balls. Flatten each ball, and place a spoonful of the filling in the center of the dough. Make sure you make the dough elastic enough that it can fold over without breaking. If you need more elasticity, add all-purpose flour. In addition, do not make the dough too thin. It needs to withstand being dropped in the soup and mixed around, and a thin dough is more likely to break and leak its filling into the soup. Fold the dough around the filling. Refrigerate or freeze until you are ready to use. • To cook, either fry it in olive oil, or cook in soup. If frying, this makes an excellent lunch, and can be dipped in tachini, and served with Israeli salad.

For the Filling • In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil, minced garlic, and diced onion. Add the protein, and cook for several more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool, then add to the dough.


Marak Kubbeh Adom

This is a special bright red soup, sweet and sour and savory. It is one of those soups that just warms your soul. You can find this anywhere in Israel or the Levant. It’s very common on Shabbat, and an absolutely delicious meal! Ingredients 10-15 kubbeh (Page 39) 3 tbsp of oil 1 large onion, diced 4 medium beets, chopped into small squares 6 stalks of celery 4 medium zucchinis 1 tbsp of salt Meat or vegetable bullion 5 tbsp of tomato paste 10 cups of water 1 tbsp of sugar Juice of 1 lemon Instructions • In a large pot, heat oil and diced onion. Fry until golden brown. Add the chopped beets and cook for 5 minutes. Add the celery, zucchini, tomato paste, and condiments. Add the water, bullion, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat to medium. Cook for 15-25 minutes. • Add the kubbeh, being careful not to over-crowd. Bring back to a boil, then simmer, covered, for an additional 10-15 minutes. • Serve warm and enjoy! If using frozen kubbeh, add the kubbeh when adding the zucchini, water, bullion, and other ingredients, and simmer for 30-45 minutes total.

Marak Kubbeh Yarok This is a green soup, instead of a red soup. To make this green, do not add in the beets, and halve the tomato paste. Add 2 cups of chopped spinach and/or chard.


Kubbeh Hamusta

This is a sour yellow soup, “Hamusta” meaning sour or vinegary. The sourness comes from the addition of the lemon juice and pickled lemons, which also gives it the unique lemon appearance. Though not quite as striking as the bright red of marak kubbeh adom, it is still quite impressive. While red kubbeh soup is hearty and savory, and warming for a cold winter night, this soup is more light and peppy, for a spring or summer day. Ingredients 10-15 kubbeh (Page 39) 5 celery stalks, chopped 5 swiss chard leaves 4 summer squash 4 cloves of garlic Meat or vegetable bullion Salt and pepper to taste 2 tbsps of olive oil Juice of 2 lemons 1 tsp of turmeric

Shabbat This is a Friday evening gathering. It’s a celebration of the end of the week, the beginning of yom Shabbat, the day of rest. Candles are lit, prayers sung, and family gathered around the table. There is a variety of foods served on Shabbat, and every Jew you ask may have a different favorite dish that their family served on Shabbos. Paired with Shabbat in this recipe book are several kinds of chicken soups, all of which feed the soul. Not only would people plan Shabbat meals for Friday evening, but also all day on Saturday families would need to eat something, and traditionally, stoves cannot be turned on. Recipes like stews, soups, and cholent are common Saturday meals, which are prepared in advance and cooked slowly overnight and ready to be served the next day.

Instructions: • In a large soup bowl, heat olive oil, garlic, and onions on medium heat, until translucent. Add the celery stalks, cook for a few more minutes. Then, add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 15-25 minutes. • Add the kubbeh, and bring it back to a boil, then reduce the mixture to a simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes. If using frozen kubbeh, add the kubbeh when adding the squash, water, bullion, and other ingredients, and simmer for 30-45 minutes total.


Bean and Spinach Soup

This is my father’s recipe. It’s light tomato base works well with the mealy beans and the green spinach. In Claudia Roden’s “The Book of Jewish Food” a very similar recipe is “Potakhe,” a Sephardic bean and spinach soup! I saw this, and thought, that’s exactly what my dad makes! It’s fantastic for a warm summer day, it’s light and not too filling. We usually cook a side bowl of rice to add into the soup. Ingredients 1 cup of dry white beans or chickpeas, soaked overnight, or 2-3 cans of cooked beans. 2-3 liters of water 2 onions 5 stalks of celery 3-4 medium size carrots 4 tbsps of olive oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 tbsps of tomato concentrate Vegetable bullion or broth Salt and pepper to taste Juice of 1 lemon 1-2 cups of fresh or frozen spinach 3 cups of cooked rice (on the side) Instructions • Boil the beans or chickpeas in a large pot with the water for 1 ½ hours, or until tender. Strain beans. • In a soup pot, sauté onions and garlic for 5-10 minutes on medium heat, then add the remaining ingredients, except the spinach. In addition, add the cooked or canned beans along with the other ingredients. • Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. 5-10 minutes before serving, add the spinach. • Serve with rice or bread. Enjoy!


Carrot Turnip Soup

This delicious soup is creamy and sweet. With the potato, it creates just the right amount of thickness to it, to make it neither too liquidy, nor too heavy. The spiciness of the turnip is balanced by the cool-ness of the potato and the sweet of the carrot. A favorite soup for any season. If looking to make the soup a little more rich, add some milk to the soup, or keep it healthy for the family (and a little more rich for yourself), and try adding a dash of milk to your own bowl. Ingredients 1 large onion or 2 small onions 6 stalks of celery 3 cloves of Garlic 3 tbsp of Oil or Butter 32 oz of Chicken or Vegetable broth 6 peeled, chunked carrots 1 peeled, chunked turnip 1 peeled, chunked potato Salt and pepper to taste (optional) 2 cups of milk to pot or a dash of milk into your own bowl

Carrot-Turnip Soup Origins This is a soup made often by my secular family. It is flexible to accompany a meat, dairy, or pareve meal. My parents lived in New York in their late twenties, and would often go to Le Bonne Soup, a fantastic French restaurant in the city. It is here that they first had carrot-turnip soup. They’ve since adapted the recipe to fit the needs of the family.

Instructions • Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Put the butter or oil in the bottom of a large soup pot, and add the onion and garlic on medium-low heat. Cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Dice the celery. • After you’ve sautéed the onions and garlic, add the celery into the mixture and cook for another 5 minutes. Peel the carrots, turnips, and potatoes. Chunk carrots into 1-inch long logs. Chunk turnips and potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Cook the onion, garlic, and celery mixture until it is tender. Then add the broth and the chunked turnips, carrots, and potatoes. • Bring the mixture to a boil, then put a lid on the pot and allow it to simmer for 30-45 minutes. • After 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft, puree the soup together using a blender or food processor. Add soup back to the pot to serve, or store for later use. Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as milk if desired. • The milk can be added either to the whole pot after the soup has been pureed together, or in your own bowl when it’s being served. The milk increases its rich and creamy texture. Serve and enjoy! This is great served with a freshly baked loaf of bread, like the Rustic Bread (Page 76), or Challah (Page 69).


Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients 1 onion 2-3 cloves of garlic 1 butternut quash 1 potato Cream (optional) Stock, vegetable or chicken- or water Olive oil Nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste

Jewish and Gentile Foods Sometimes there’s not much difference. In areas where the rift between Jews and gentiles were vast, either physically or culturally, the food similarly grew apart. In this rendition of butternut soup is exactly the same as gentile butternut squash soup. The ingredients are simple. A way that this is Jewish is that it can fit in a meat meal, dairy meal, or completely pareve meal.

Instructions • Sauté the garlic and onions in a large soup pot with a few tbsps of olive oil until wilted. Wash, peel, and cube butternut squash and potato. Add the cubed squash and potato to the garlic and onions, add water or broth to just over the vegetables. • Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Then, mash the vegetables, or run the contents of the soup through a food processor. Add spices. • If looking for an even richer, creamier soup, add 1- 1 ½ cups of cream. Continue to simmer until ready to serve. Serve warm.


Barley, Bean, and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients 2 onions 4 cloves of garlic 5 stalks of celery 6 carrots 2 potatoes 12 oz of red kidney beans 3 cups of cooked barley Water Oil Seasoning: Salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, and thyme. Additional vegetables: including, but not limited to: zucchini, tomatoes, or peppers. (Optional: 1 cup of fresh or canned mushrooms) Instructions • Sauté onions and garlic in oil. Add carrots, potatoes, celery, and any additional vegetables. If making mushroom-barley soup, add fresh mushrooms now. Add enough water that it generously covers the vegetables, with extra space, about 3-4 inches above the top, for adding barley and beans at the end. Add more water if you want more broth. • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not too mushy. Meanwhile, wash and sort barley. Bring a separate pot of water to boil and add washed and sorted barley to this water. Cook until barley fully absorbs the water. • Once barley is cooked, add the barley, beans, and canned mushrooms (if using), continue to simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Shemini Atzeret This is the eighth day of Sukkot. This holiday differs from Sukkot in that we do not shake the lulav and etrog. We do, however, recite Kiddush and recite a memorial prayer called Yizkor. In addition, there is a prayer for rain (Geshem). We pray for future rainfall so that the future growing season can be as (or better) yielding than the last.


Pareve Entrees



Chraimeh is sweet, spicy, and delicious. As gefilte fish is to Ashkenazic tradition, Chraimeh is to the Sephardic tradition. Ingredients 1lb of fish filets 1 onion 1 roasted red pepper (Option to use 1-2 cups of harissa sauce instead) 2 tomatoes 1 hot pepper (optional, but recommended) A few parsley sprigs, finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic 1½ tbsp of lemon juice 1 cup of water Olive oil 1 tbsp Cumin 1 tsp Paprika Salt and pepper

Tisha B’Av This holiday is the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second temples in 586 BCE and 70 CE, and other tragedies related to the Jewish people before, during, and after the destruction of the temples. A minor holiday, there are no foods closely associated with it. Some Jews fast during Tisha B’Av. In a nine-day mourning period of the destruction of the temple leading up to the holiday, it is customary not to eat meat or drink wine, so I’ve paired this near Chraimeh, a delicious fish dish, and lentil soup. Chraimeh is great for Pesach, but would work well for Tisha B’Av, or any day, as well!

Instructions 1. Preheat an oven to broil. Put the pepper in the oven, with a sheet pan underneath to catch any juices that flow over. Broil the pepper for 15-20 minutes, or until the outside of the pepper is wrinkly and soft on the inside. 2. Take the pepper out of the oven, let cool. Then, peel the skin off the pepper, take out the seeds, and dice finely. 3. Heat cumin and paprika in a pan for a minute. 4. Add olive oil and diced onions, turning heat to medium-low, sautéing onions until they are very tender. 5. Dice the tomato and hot pepper. Add tomato, red pepper, hot pepper, lemon juice, and water to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 6. Simmer for several minutes. Add the fish and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until wellcooked. (Alternatively, you can cook the fish in the oven with a dash of olive oil and a scoop of sauce on each filet, if you want to keep the fish and sauce separate). 7. Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with parsley. 8. Serve with rice, couscous, or bread. For Pesach, I served this dish with riced cauliflower and an apio sauce.



Shakshuka was originally a dish of the Ottoman Empire as a meat stew. Then, peppers and tomatoes were added to it. Maghrebi communities rendered it pareve by adding eggs instead of meats. When Maghreb immigrants to Israel brought shakshuka with them, and it was adopted widely as a versatile main dish for any meal (Marks, 547: 2010). This is a quick, easy, and inexpensive meal to make: all it takes is a can of tomatoes, a few eggs, and some bread if you want to make it really simple.

Ingredients: 6 eggs 6 tomatoes 1 onion 1 eggplant 1 pepper 2-4 cloves of garlic ¼ cup of tomato paste 3 tbsp of olive oil 1 tbsp of sugar 1 tsp of cumin 1 tsp of paprika Pinch of ground cayenne pepper Salt and Pepper to taste Parsley (garnish) Instructions: • Slice eggplant into rings about ¾-1 inch thick. Over medium heat in a frying pan, cook the eggplant in oil, browning on both sides, cooking until the outside is nearly burnt. Meanwhile, cut onion and pepper into pieces about 1-1½ inches large. Once the eggplant is cooked thoroughly on both sides, take it off the heat for a moment. Add the garlic and onion to the saucepan, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and tender. Then, add the peppers and the eggplant back in, this time, cutting the eggplant with the spatula, to break it apart into small chunks. Let this cook until all the vegetables are tender, another 5-7 minutes. • Once the vegetables are cooked, add spices: cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Additionally, add two scoops of tomato paste, 6 chopped tomatoes, and a tbsp of sugar to reduce the acidity. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes cook down to a stew-consistency. • After the tomatoes are cooked, make pockets in the sauce to add cracked eggs. Crack about 4-6 eggs into the mixture, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cover the mixture with a lid until the whites of the eggs are cooked through. • Garnish with parsley and serve on top of rice or with pita. Enjoy! 48


Falafel is a classic Israeli food. An Egyptian version with fava beans can be made, by simply replacing the chickpeas for shelled fava beans. This recipe is adapted from The World of Jewish Cooking by Gil Marks. Ingredients 1¼ cups of dried chickpeas 1 yellow onion 2-3 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp of salt ½ tsp of baking powder 1 tsp of ground coriander Vegetable oil Instructions • Put the beans in cold water and let soak overnight. Drain. • In a food processor, grind together the chickpeas, onion, and garlic. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the oil, and chill for 1 hour in the fridge. • Heat 2 inches of oil on a frying pan. • Shape the chickpea mixture into golf-ball sized balls. In batches, fry until golden brown on all sides. Serve with Israeli salad, tzatziki sauce, and pita. Enjoy!


Tofu Shawarma

This is a vegan recipe for a wholesome meal. If you want to add meat, simply substitute the tofu for the meat. This is a very common Israeli fast food, rivaling falafel. On the street, meat is usually cooked on a rotisserie, and when you ask for a shawarma with pita, they shave off layers of meat from the rotisserie, landing on the pita, and spread Israeli salad or pickles on top.

Shawarma spice mix ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley 1 tbsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander 1½ tsp paprika 1½ tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp cardamom ½ tsp allspice ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg ¼ tsp fenugreek ¼ tsp cloves ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Ingredients 1 package of extra firm tofu ¼ cup of oil 1 sweet potato 1 cup of cherry tomatoes Skewers

Instructions • Press the tofu between two plates or trays, with a weight on top, to further drain the water from the tofu, making it more dense. • Prepare spice mix in a large mixing bowl, or purchase a shawarma spice mix. The ingredients in the above spice mix are listed from most to least, so the spices at the end of the list, though they may add a special flavor, can be omitted or substituted if they are hard to find. The idea with the above spice mix recipe is to create a rub of spices that you can mix and match for yourself based on this outline. • Chop the potato and tofu into 1-inch square pieces. After having cubed the ingredients, add the potato, tofu, and cherry tomatoes to the bowl with the spices. Add the ¼ cup of oil. Gently mix or toss, so that the spices coat all the chunks. If possible, let this sit to marinate overnight, or for a few hours in the fridge to absorb the flavors. • Preheat oven to 425-degrees. If using skewers, skewer the cubed ingredients. If you are looking for a quicker, less time-intensive way to cook, simply fold the ingredients out on a sheet pan, and spread evenly. Once on a pan or skewer, add any extra spices that may have drifted to the bottom of the bowl on top of the shawarma. Insert into oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can also barbeque shawarma on a grill! • Test the potato; once the potato is soft and fully cooked through, the shawarma is ready to come out. Serve with tzatziki sauce (only if tofu), Israeli salad, amba, and/or pickles on a pita or laffa.


Grandma’s Baked Beans

This is a recipe that was showed to me by my grandmother, who learned it from her father, who learned it from his mother. So, it started with my great-great grandmother Whitford. You can add thin sliced meat on the top of the beans to give it extra flavor and hearty-ness. I was raised non-Jewish, so the meat my grandmother would add on top is bacon or pork, or ham hocks, all of which are not at all kosher. This is a recipe adaptation that uses no meat, as to avoid this kosher complication, and how I prepare it myself. My grandmother grew up in a poor, rural upstate New York small town during the depression. She’s used to saving anything possible, and making things go a long ways. She says that if you’re running the oven for three hours, you might as well be cooking something else in it – a roast, breads, pies, whatnot. So, if you have the chance, consider adding more to the oven while the beans cook. Ingredients 1 pound of dried beans: Navy or Great Northern Water 1 tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of pepper ¾ cup of sugar 1 tsp of molasses 1 tbsp of yellow mustard 1 tbsp of finely diced onion (optional) sliced meat Instructions • Sort and wash beans: open the bean bag and shake some into your hand. Rinse and take out any that are discolored or broken. • Soak beans: After last straining, fill a pot with cold water about 3 inches above the beans. Give it a quick stir, and let it sit overnight. In the morning, strain the water from the beans. • Boil beans: After straining the beans from the water, fill the beans with water, about three inches above the beans in the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for about 30-45 minutes. • Spicing: After boiling, put spices into the cooked beans: onion, salt, sugar, pepper, molasses, and mustard. Then, transfer the beans and most of the water (save about 2 cups) into a large crock. The water should just cover the beans. If including meat, layer the top with sliced meat, or place chunks of meat at the bottom of the crock. • Baking: Put the bean dish into the oven (unheated). Turn the oven to 350-degrees. No need to preheat the oven. Let the beans bake until the beans are tender, for about 3 hours, occasionally checking the water/broth levels. If the beans seem to have soaked up much of the water before they are tender, add some of the reserved broth/water. When the beans are tender, remove them from the oven and enjoy!




Sweet Holiday Stew Yom Tov Tzimmes

Adapted from “Yom Tov Tzimmes” in The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene

Ingredients 1 whole chicken, 4 chicken breasts, or 3-4 pounds of red meat Oil 3 cups of water About this recipe 1 cup of orange Juice This is a traditional Ashkenazic ¼ cup of honey recipe, and often served at Rosh 1 tsp Cinnamon Hashanah or Sukkot. The meat can ½ tsp ground ginger be adapted to work with either 5 carrots chicken or read meat, whichever is 3 sweet potatoes available. The honey and orange 1 butternut squash juice make this dish sweet, while the 1 ½ cups of raisins, prunes, and/or dates vegetables carry both a sweet and If needed to thicken broth: savory component. The long ¼ cup of flour cooking time helps make the meat ½ cup of water very tender and delicious! Instructions • Peel, wash, and chop vegetables into large chunks. Set aside. • In an ovenproof pot, heat oil over medium heat on the stove. Add meat and brown on all sides. Add water, orange juice, and honey. Cover and bring to a boil. Then, lower heat and simmer the roast for 1½ hours. • Toward the end of the 1½ hours, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Add the carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, and raisins or other dried fruit to the roast. Cover the pot and transfer it to the preheated oven. • Bake for 1½ hours, then uncover pot and bake for an additional 1-2 hours, or until the roast is fork-tender. • Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables and put them in a serving bowl. Transfer the roast to a platter or carving board. • The leftover sauce can be thickened by adding flour and water in a separate bowl, and beating with a whisk until smooth. Slowly add the flour-water mixture to the broth, while beating the broth. Bring the broth to a boil as you add the flour-water mixture. Once it reaches a boil, turn it to a simmer until you have added enough flour-water to reach a desired consistency. As it cools it will also stiffen up a bit. • Serve meat and vegetables together or separate, with the gravy nearby!


Rosh Hashanah

The following interpretation of foods in relation to Rosh Hashanah below is adapted from Gil Marks’ Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. Rosh Hashanah is known as the day of atonement. In Shul, the shofar (ram’s horn) is blown in

several repeated beats in solemn prayer, while those present reflect on the past and future. It’s an experience that causes goose-bumps, and arguably one of the most dramatic moments in synagogue during the year. This day marks the creation of the world, and in the synagogue, we read the beginning of Genesis marked with the shofar. In addition, it is a moment of inner introspection leading up to Yom Kippur. The following are foods that are commonly eaten during Rosh Hashanah, as prescribed in the Talmud: gourds, fenugreek, leeks, beet greens/chard, and dates. The reason is merely because their Hebrew names sound similar to Hebrew words that represent similar concepts as Rosh Hashanah. Below are the words, which originally brought these foods into the Jewish tradition through Talmudic suggestion. Now, a variety of foods have been adopted to many different traditions: apples, honey, dates, fish, and pumpkins, to name a few! Food name (English/Hebrew) Gourds Kraa



Leeks Beet greens/chard Dates

Karti Silka Tamar

Rosh Hashanah-related word (English/Hebrew) To be Called Yikara out Karah To tear up To increase or Yirbu multiply To be cut off Yikartu They will be She’yistalqu removed To be removed Yitamu


Meaning of correlation Good deeds should be called out Any judgement against us is torn up To increase good deeds Our enemies should be cut off Refers to our enemies Removal of enemies


This is Mel’s Recipe. This is a delicious Persian stew or roast. The dish is complex and intriguing: its thick sauce is tangy, sweet, and nutty. This is most often accompanied by chelow, or crusty rice. The picture below is the chicken that’s been browned, ready to be topped with the sauce and put in the oven. Ingredients 1 (3-4 lb) chicken, cut into several pieces, or 6 duck breasts, or 8 chicken thighs, with bone and skin. Oil 2 onions, chopped Cinnamon or Cardamom 2-3 cups of chopped walnuts 1 cup of chicken broth or water ½ cup of pomegranate molasses ¼ cup of lemon juice ½ tsp of turmeric 2 tsp of salt, pepper to taste Instructions • Rinse chicken. Keep the bones and skin on the chicken. In a large pot with oil on the bottom, brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken. • Sautee onion until soft, then add the cinnamon and walnuts and continue to stir over heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the broth, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, turmeric, salt and pepper. • To cook on stove: Add chicken to sauce mixture. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add extra water if necessary. • To bake: spread chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lather the mixture of onion, pomegranate molasses, nuts, and spices on and around the chicken. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30-45 minutes. • Serve with chelow (crusty rice).




Blintz Wrappers 1 egg 1 cups of flour 1 cup of milk 1 tbsp of sugar 1 tsp of baking soda

Cheese Blintzes

Cheese Filling 1 cup of ricotta cheese 1 egg 1/3 cup of grated mozzarella cheese 1/3 cup of cottage cheese Instructions • Ladle pancake wrapper filling onto a skillet, cook until pale brown on each side. The filling should be runny enough so that it makes a thin crepe-like pancake. If it needs more thinning, add more milk. • Stack pancakes after cooked on a plate. • Mix all cheese filling ingredients together in a bowl. Then, fill each pancake with a scoop of the filling, folding over one side first, then the two adjacent ones, and the opposite side last. Return the folded blintz back to the skillet, add butter or olive oil as needed. Cook each blintz for a minute or two on each side, enough to melt and cook the cheese mixture within it. • Serve warm with sour cream, compote, or applesauce.


Lokshen Kugel

Traditionally this noodle pudding is served hot on Friday, or cold on Saturday. It is a classic of Ashkenazic Jewish life, both in the past and present. Ingredients Savory Noodle ½ lb of egg noodles Salt 1 onion 4 tbsp vegetable oil 3 eggs Instructions • If using onion, sauté in a saucepan with oil until tender. Cook noodles, drain. Combine ingredients in a bowl, and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. For a sweet pareve kugel, add ½ cup of sugar, 4 tbsp of raisins, and ½ tsp of black pepper. For a savory dairy kugel, omit the onion and oil, and add instead 4 tbsp of butter, ½ lb of cream or cottage cheese, and 2 cups of sour cream. For a sweet dairy kugel, make the dairy kugel as directed, but add ½ cup of sugar, ¾ cup of raisins, and a tsp of cinnamon


Classic Potato Kugel

Ingredients 3 potatoes 1 large onion 2-3 eggs 4 tbsp of vegetable oil (optional) ¾ cup of grated cheese (optional) 1½ cups of cabbage, boiled in salted water until only tender.

Instructions • Preheat oven to 375-degrees, and grease a small casserole dish. • Grate potatoes, or put them into a food processor and blend, chop onion, and prepare cabbage if using. • Mix with all other ingredients. Place in a baking dish for 35 minutes. • Note: This recipe makes a dish for two or three, feel free to multiply this in order to fit your needs.

Cabbage in historic Jewish life Cabbage is a historic Ashkenazi vegetable. Before the potato, the cabbage was one of the staple vegetable, aside from carrots, of Ashkenazi Jewry. It was often partnered with potatoes, mushrooms, chestnuts, or apples, and used in fillings, strudels, or blintzes.

Sweet Potato Kugel Ingredients 3 sweet potatoes 2 apples 2 eggs ¾ cup of raisins 1 tsp ground cinnamon 3 tbsp maple syrup 3-4 tbsp of butter or margarine ¾ cup of chopped pecans or walnuts 1 tsp salt Pinch of ginger Instructions: • Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and grease a small casserole dish. • Grate apples and potatoes, or put them into a food processor and blend. • Mix grated apples and potatoes with other ingredients. Cook for 35 minutes.




Basic Pie Dough Ingredients ½ cup of oil ½ cup of water 1 tsp of salt 2 ½ cups of flour


Instructions Combine all ingredients, roll, and shape.


Ingredients 2½ cups of flour 1 tsp of salt ½ cup of cold unsalted butter or margarine (1 cup of butter and no oil if a sweet pie) ½ cup of oil ¼ to ½ cup of ice water Instructions • As with most other pastry dough in this book, the butter creates the main rising action, and the best rise happens when the butter is coolest in the mixed dough. • Measure flour and salt into a bowl, chop butter into small pea-sized pieces using a sharp knife, and then add to the flour and salt mixture. Using a metal pastry blender or a whisk, beat the butter into smaller chunks to mix with the flour. Do not “whisk” this combination, instead use the whisk or pastry blender to cut, in an up-down motion, the butter into the flour. The pastry blender is the proper utensil, but a whisk will do just the same. Once the butter is sufficiently cut into the flour, and the little pieces of butter are no larger than peas, add water to the mixture. • Add water slowly, by the tablespoon. Having too much water will not allow the dough to rise to its capacity, while having too little will make rolling out nearly impossible, since it will rip or tear. Once sufficiently combined, give the dough a quick knead in the bowl, just to make sure the butter is evenly spread. • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and put it into the fridge for 1 hour or freezer for 20 minutes. This will help the gluten to relax and the butter within the dough to cool down, allowing it to be easier to roll out, as well as more airy when baking.


Pastry Fillings Filled pastries are a classic food of any tradition, and is appropriate at special occasions (e.g. Purim hamantashen), and also uplifts mundane leftovers (e.g. potato knishes). The fillings can be used to stretch costly fare, like meats, or to make use of seasonal fruits like cherries, plums, and apples. Stuffed pastries are good comfort foods, and are central to the traditional fare for several holidays and special occasions. The following recipes are adapted from Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food.

Potato and Onion

Ingredients 2 onions, peeled and diced small 2-4 cloves of garlic 2 tbsp of oil 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered 2 eggs ¼ cup of butter, margarine, oil, or schmaltz ¼ cup of milk or coconut milk Salt and pepper to taste

Potato, Onion and Cheese Potato and Onion filling as directed above, but additionally adding ½ lb or 2 cups of shredded cheese. Hekshered cheddar and/or mozzarella work fantastically.

Instructions • Mash potatoes, or use leftovers. Wash and quarter potatoes, put them into water and bring to a boil, boiling for 20-25 minutes, or until soft. Once cooked, pour potatoes and water through a colander, and replace the cooked potatoes back into the pot. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes, and add ¼ cup of butter or margarine. Then, add the milk or coconut milk and eggs. Add salt and pepper. • Sauté onions and garlic in a pan with oil. Add water if necessary to prevent burning of onions. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until onions are tender and golden brown. • Combine potato and onion mixtures in a large bowl. Add to dough as directed in the following recipes.


Spinach and Cheese

Ingredients 2 cups of sautéed spinach and garlic 2 eggs ½ lb or 2 cups of available heckshered cheese (feta, cheddar, mozzarella) Salt and pepper to taste Instructions • Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix, and then stuff into savory pastries.

Eggplant and Cheese Ingredients 2 eggplants ½ lb of cheese Oil 3 sprigs of Parsley Pepper and salt to taste Instructions • Roast eggplant in the oven, then let cool and peel off the skin, and chop eggplant into small pieces. Mix in the cheese, parsley, and salt and pepper.

Eggplant and Tomato Ingredients 1 eggplant 1 onion 2 tomatoes 3 cloves of garlic. Instructions • Roast eggplant in the oven, then let cool and peel off the skin, and chop eggplant into small pieces. On a stovetop, sauté onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Add roasted eggplant and continue to cook.

Savory Cheese Ingredients 1 cup of ricotta cheese 1 egg 1/3 cup of grated mozzarella cheese 1/3 cup of cottage cheese Instructions • Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Stuff, making cheese blintzes, kreplach, or bourekas. 63

Ingredients 3 tbsp of vegetable oil 1 onion 3 cloves of garlic 1 cup of kasha 3 cups of boiling water 1 egg Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions • Sauté onions and garlic with oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for at least 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender and lightly golden. Add the kasha and continue to cook on the stovetop with the onions for 2-3 minutes, stirring well. Add water, salt, and pepper. • Cook for 15 minutes on low heat. Once the water is absorbed, remove the kasha from the heat and let cool. Stir in an egg if using.


The dill in this recipe can deepen the savory profile of the dish. If, of course, fresh dill is unavailable, using a teaspoon of dried dill can substitute well. For a sweet version, substitute the fresh dill for brown sugar, and omit the garlic. Ingredients 1 medium-small cabbage, coarsely shredded ¼ cup of vegetable oil or schmaltz 1 onion, diced 2-4 cloves of garlic 2 tbsps of fresh dill Salt and pepper to taste. Instructions • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the shredded cabbage, return to a boil. Let the water boil for 3 minutes. Drain, squeezing out the excess moisture. • In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, reduce heat and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar, salt, and pepper.



The more fat, the better it tastes and the more rich the dough becomes, truly turning this into a savory pastry. If you are trying to be healthy, you can reduce the fat in this dough by replacing the butter or margarine with oil, and using water instead of milk. The vinegar (acid) may seem strange in the recipe, but it interacts with the baking powder (basic) to create carbon dioxide, which is trapped by the gluten in the dough provided by the flour, further increasing the rise of the dough. A classic Knish filling is potato and onion. Alternatively, you can also add any other vegetable or cheese to the mix, to enhance the knish.

Ingredients 2½ cups of flour 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp table salt 2 large eggs + 1 egg for egg-wash ½ cup butter or margarine. Oil or schmaltz will do, but butter creates a better rise, and richer flavor. 1 tsp white vinegar 1/3 cup cool water, milk, or coconut milk Instructions • Stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead lightly if necessary. Put in fridge for at least 1 hour or freezer for 20 minutes. At this stage, you can leave your dough in the fridge for several days, a good note if you want to make the dough ahead of time. A cool pastry dough rises better in the oven, allowing the butter to expand more while baking. • Set oven to 375-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and mix your filling. When ready, take the dough out of the fridge or freezer, and break golf-ball size pieces off of the dough, and roll into circular balls. On a lightly floured surface, press balls flat with your hand, and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a circular shape, about ¼-inch thick. • Add filling of your choice, and then fold the sides up, making pleated a center at the top, so that the filling is just visible. Sometimes, I stick a cube of cheese in this center piece, to give each little knish a soul, and the consumer of the knish something to work towards. The cheese melts down onto the filling, and makes a delicious addition to the top. Line knishes on a prepared sheet pan, and brush with a beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool, and enjoy as a side to meat, fish, or beans! 65

Bourekas, Bourekitas, and Sambusak

These are small single-serving pies. They can be in many different shapes: triangles, squares, or half-moons. The directions below are for making half-moon shape bourekas. For a healthier dough, use pita dough. In Iraq, Jews made bourekas with pita dough, containing a pinch of fennel seeds and rolled thin (Roden, 282: 1997). Ingredients Recipe for “Basic Pie Dough” Any “Pastry Filling” Instructions • Prepare “Basic Pie Dough” as directed. • Take a walnut-size piece of dough and flatten it on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough till it is ¼-inch thick, about 3-4 inches in diameter. Put a spoonful of filling of choice in the center, and fold the circle in half over the filling. Press the perimeter together by brushing cool water on the facing sides, then lightly flouring the edge. Pleat the edges by pressing with your fingers or with a fork on either side. • Put on a tray lined with parchment paper. To make a golden-brown color on the bourekas, brush 1 beaten egg on the tops of the bourekas. If interested, sprinkle sesame seed on top of the bourekas after the egg wash. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a 375-degree oven. Borekas de Keso Cheese and Potato Borekas These pies are very commonly found in the middle east and Israel today. They were common to the Sephardim in Turkey and the Balkans

Sambousak Bi Jibn Cheese Borekas

Borekas de Espinaka Spinach Borekas

These were a These are common food spinach and in Egypt and cheese pies, and other Sephardic used similarly to communities, the Sambusak, eaten at teatime, just with added or at Sabbath spinach. breakfast, and a specialty of Shavuot. 66

Borekitas de Berengena Eggplant and Cheese Borekas This is a classic filling: eggplant is a common vegetable in much of Jewish cooking.

Borekas de Handrajo Borekas with eggplant and tomato This is a ratatouille-type filling, and a specialty of Judeo-Spanish Turkey.


These are large pies with the same pastry and filling as bourekas. These involve much less work, and have similar contents. There is something to be said about both the tapadas for its ease to make for a large crowd for dinner, while the bourekas are great for an on-the-go bite for lunch. Tapadas use the same filling as bourekas, so tapadas that use a cheese and potato filling would be “Tapadas de Keso,” and so on. Instructions • Prepare “Basic Pie Dough” as directed. • Prepare a lightly floured surface and pie tin. Take 2/3 of the dough and roll it into a flat circle large enough to fit into a pie tin. Put filling on top of the dough. Take the other third of the dough, and roll it out, large enough to fit over the pie. Pinch together the ends of the bottom and top dough, pleating them with your fingers or a fork. • Make three incisions in the top of the pie, to let air filter out. Brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg, and bake for about 45 minutes in a 375-degree oven.


Shavuot is the last day of Passover, and the book of Ruth is read in synagogue during this time. This holiday is analogous to Shemini Atzeret’s relationship to Sukkot. Among Ashkenazim, the staple food during this holiday is dairy foods: it is the time of year when animals start to graze and dairy products are in abundance. Common foods served are bourekas, cheese blintzes, dairy kugel, knishes, strudel, cheesecake, and rugelach.





Challah is customary at almost any meal, and necessary especially at Shabbat and other holidays. It is customarily braided in American Jewish practice. This recipe is adapted from Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart. Ingredients 3½ cups of unbleached bread flour ¼ cup of sugar 1 tsp of salt 2½ tsp of instant yeast 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, margarine, or oil 2 large eggs, beaten 2 large egg yolks + 1 yolk for egg wash ¼ cup of milk or water ½ cup of water Poppy or sesame seeds for topping Instructions • Mix the yeast with the water until all yeast pellets are absorbed. Let stand for five minutes. • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, butter/oil, eggs and egg yolks, and milk/water. Add the water and yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or fork until the dough forms a ball. Then, fold out onto a lightly floured counter, and knead for about 10 minutes, or until tender and tacky. • Spray a bowl lightly with olive oil and set the kneaded bread in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rest for an hour. • Fold the bread back out onto the lightly floured counter, and knead for five minutes, then return it to the bowl, cover and let rest for another hour. If in a time crunch, this step can be skipped, but the extra rising time and kneading helps the flavors to develop to deeper levels. • Roll the bread out of the bowl, taking care to handle it gently, allowing it to deflate naturally, but not punching it down. With a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. If doing braided breads, cut the dough into strips to braid. If making challah-rolls, simply take a golf-ball sized roll from the larger loaf, and put onto a pan. Braid as directed below. • Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper and cooking spray. Invert the braided loaves onto the baking sheets, spray the tops with olive oil, cover them with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and let rise for another hour. This is the final rise, and the amount that it rises in this step determines the airy-quality of the bread, less the flavor. Before the bread has finished rising, preheat oven to 375-degrees. • Before putting pans into the oven, gently brush the tops of the challah with egg yolk. The egg yolk gives the challah its distinctive golden-yellow color. Invert pans into the 69

oven. Cook until the tops of the loaves are golden and tapping on the top of the loaf produces a hollow sound. If the top of the challah seems well done, but the insides not ready, turn the oven off, and let the door hang ajar while the dough finishes cooking at a lower intensity heat. • Transfer the dough to drying racks and cool. Though this is traditionally served on Shabbat, this is a delicious bread any day of the week!

How to Braid Challah Starting from the end: This is arguably the easiest way to braid a challah, which is very similar to braiding hair or fabrics. It sometimes produces an uneven challah, meaning that it is plump at the end that was the beginning of the braid, and thin at the end of the braid. You can prevent this by simply being aware of this phenomenon, and stretching out the dough thinner at the beginning of the braid, then plumping in the center, then thinning back out at the other end. Starting from the center: starting from the center gives the challah the best by-the-book look. It is plump and round in the center, and slowly tapers on either end. The complicated part: you’ll have to flip the challah upside down and braid in a backwards pattern when you do the second side, in order to assure complete verisimilitude of braid between the sides. It’s more complicated, so only try this for a little adventure. Try it out first on someone you don’t have to impress!



Bagels are a New-York Jewish sensation. Toppings include poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway, dried onions, garlic, or salt, and everything is a combination of all six. Mel says that the best bagels in New York are the ones that use the water from Upstate, because it’s clean and full of minerals. Whether or not that’s true is beyond me, but it makes me happy (being from Upstate) that maybe my bagels are better just because of the water! This is a master recipe of bagels, and adapted from Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart.

Bagel starter Ingredients 1 cup unbleached bread flour 1 cup of cool water 1/8 tsp of active dry yeast Instructions • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Beat or whisk the mixture for a minute, until mostly smooth. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for 3-5 hours, or till foamy and bubbly. Refrigerate, well covered, overnight.

Dough Ingredients 1 cup of bagel starter (discard the extra) ¾ tsp active dry yeast ½ cup of lukewarm water 3 cups of unbleached bread flour 1½ tbsp of honey 2 tsp of salt Instructions • Combine the water and yeast, stir until the coarse particles dissolve. Let sit for 5 minutes. • Meanwhile, measure bread flour, honey, salt, and starter into a large mixing bowl. Add the water and yeast mixture. Mix until it forms a ball, and then roll it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 15 minutes, adding more flour or water if necessary. • Cut the dough into 6-14 pieces, and roll into balls. Cover the balls with plastic wrap or a clean dishcloth for five minutes to let the gluten relax. • Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. • Form the bagels by pressing into the center of the ball, and working around, expanding the hole. If it resists or tears, let the dough rest for a few minutes, and come back to it. • Place each bagel about 2 inches apart on the pan, spray the tops with olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean dishcloth. Let the dough rise for about 1 ½ hours. 71

• Refrigerate the dough overnight. • Preheat oven to 475-degrees. Remove pan of dough from the fridge about 1 hour before you plan to cook the bagels. Fill a large pot with water, and bring it to a boil. • Once the water reaches a boil, gently drop a small batch of bagels into the water, being careful not to crowd them in the water, adding only so many bagels so that they can all float to the top. The bagels should sink to the bottom and then bob to the surface within 15-20 seconds. • After 1 minute, flip the bagels over with a slotted spoon, and poach them on the other side for 1 more minute. • Remove the bagels with a slotted spoon, allowing the water to drip off before placing back on the pan. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or other toppings at this time. • Once a tray is ready, insert the poached bagels into the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. • Transfer the bagels to a cooling rack, and let cool. Enjoy!!



A flaky, buttery, and tender sensation. There are three rising actors in this mixture: the baking powder, the baking soda reacting with the buttermilk, and the cool butter warming and expanding. It is optimal if the biscuits can be put in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes before going into the oven, in order for the butter to reach its full aerating potential, giving it added flakiness. The addition of baking powder often makes biscuits a little bittertasting, so the addition of sugar or honey can help curb this effect. Ingredients 3½ cups of unbleached bread flour 1 tsp of salt 1-2 tbsp of sugar or honey 2 tsp of baking powder ¼ tsp of baking soda 1½ cups of unsalted butter or margarine, cold 1½ cups of buttermilk, cold (Buttermilk can be substituted with 1½ cups of milk (or coconut or soy milk) and 1½ tbsp of vinegar. However, only mix the milk and vinegar together with the other dry ingredients: if you mix the two together without the dry ingredients, the milk will curdle). Instructions • Preheat oven to 425-degrees. • Mix the dry ingredients together. Chop the butter into small pea-sized pieces. Toss with the dry ingredients. Stir the buttermilk or milk/vinegar into the mixture, until it forms a ball. Knead lightly if necessary in order to make sure the butter is thoroughly, evenly spread throughout. • Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. If you want to make quick-drop biscuits, simply take a small ball of dough and press it onto the tray. If you want nicely formed biscuits, roll out onto a floured surface until 1 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut the biscuits into desired shape. Put on sheet pans. If possible, refrigerate for 30 minutes, then insert into oven.



This is an Israeli favorite, just following the pita. It is thicker, larger, and fluffier then the pita, and there is no pocket in the center. Laffa is usually wrapped around its contents like a tortilla, and is much less likely to break or split than a pita. It’s a fantastic lunch food to go with sabich, hummus, shawarma, falafel, or just about anything! Ingredients 3½ cups of flour 2¼ tsp of active dry yeast, or 1 packet 1 tbsp of sugar 2 tbsp of olive oil 1 tsp of salt 1½ cups of warm water Instructions • Add the active dry yeast to the 1 ½ cups of water. Stir so that the pellets of yeast become fully absorbed by the water. Once fully mixed, let sit for 5 minutes. • Meanwhile, measure the other ingredients into a bowl, then add the water and yeast mixture. • Knead the mixture for 5-7 minutes, or until smooth and tacky, but not sticky. • Put the dough into a lightly sprayed bowl, and spray the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dishcloth. Let the dough rest for an hour. • After the first rise, the dough can be saved for up to three or so days if kept covered in the fridge. If making immediately, then continue with instructions. • Piece off egg-size balls from the dough, let each ball sit for about ten minutes before rolling out, in order to let the gluten relax and make rolling out easier. • Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball on a lightly floured surface. The pieces should be about ½-inch thick. • If cooking in the oven: Heat an oven to 425-degrees. Fold the laffa out onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Insert into oven, and cook for 3 minutes, or until it just starts to brown on top. • If cooking on stovetop: Heat a griddle pan on medium heat with a dash of olive oil to help brown the dough. Cook about one minute each side, or until browned on both sides, but so that the laffa is still flexible and not brittle. Fold the cooked laffa into a clean kitchen towel until the meal is ready to be served. • Store cooked laffa in an airtight bag for up to a week in the fridge. 74


This is an Israeli favorite. Serve pita with just about anything. A great sandwich is Sabich: humus, tachina, eggplant, Israeli salad, and hard boiled eggs in a pita. Delicious! Ingredients 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour (or bread flour, if available) 2½ tsp, or 1 package, of active dry yeast. 1 tbsp of sugar 1 tsp of salt 1 cup of water 2 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil Instructions • Mix together the water and yeast. Let sit until the grains of the yeast dissolve into the water, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out the additional ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the yeast-water mixture to the other ingredients and mix until it forms a ball. • Turn the ball out on a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or work the dough with an electric dough hook for 3-5 minutes. Put the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 1 hour. • Preheat oven to 500-degrees. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into a few balls. Roll each ball out into a circular shape, with thickness of about ½-inch. Prepare sheet pans for baking the pitas. Put the rolled pitas on the pan and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before going into the oven to rise just a bit. • Once the oven reaches 500, insert the first pan or two into the oven. Cook for 5-10 minutes. The pitas should have visibly swelled quite a bit, and should start to brown on the top. Take the pitas out of the oven when fully cooked through, and let cool. Enjoy!


Rustic Bread

This is not inherently Jewish, but I make it often enough, and have devised my own recipe, that it deserves to be included in any recipe book. This is based on the recipe for Italian Rustic Bread in Peter Reinhart’s Crust and Crumb, but I’ve changed it quite a lot from the original recipe. It’s an airy bread that’s savory and great for dipping into soups, with jam, or just about anything. It’s not always the best for sandwich bread: its innards (crumb) is varied and there can sometimes be large bubbles. Because of the airy-ness, this bread dries out and becomes stale quickly. Serve at a large gathering, or package tightly and freeze an extra loaf. The recipe takes two days, so plan ahead! Bread flour is called for because it has a higher gluten content, helping the air to be trapped in the bread better, but if bread flour is not available, all-purpose flour will do.

Starter Ingredients 3 cups of bread flour 1¼ tsp of active dry yeast 1¼ cups of cool water Instructions • Combine the yeast and water. Let sit until all particles of the yeast are absorbed. Measure out the flour, and add the yeast to the flour. • Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and tacky, but not sticky. • Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, large enough to accommodate doubling in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 3-5 hours. • Use immediately or punch down, cover it with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge overnight.

Dough Ingredients All contents of the starter, broken into small pieces 5½ cups of bread flour 2 tbsp of sugar 1 tbsp of salt 1 heaping tsp of active dry yeast ¾ cup of cool milk 3 tbsp of olive oil 1 2/3 cups of room-temperature water


Instructions • Combine the yeast and water, let sit for a few minutes. Combine all the other ingredients in an electric mixer or bowl, breaking the starter into small pieces. Add the water and yeast. Mix all ingredients together. If mixing with a dough hook on an electric mixer, mix for about 8 minutes. The dough should be batter-like and sticky, so the dough should only be mixed, not kneaded. • Fold the dough into a clean, oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 4 hours, or until it swells considerably. • The dough will have stiffened a bit. Fold it out onto a floured surface, and cut the dough into 5-6 different pieces, and round each into a ball or form it into a bread pan. Prepare sheet pans and/or bread pans. Put the balls into the pans. Mist the tops of the dough with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it continue to rise for 2 hours. • Preheat the oven to 500-degrees. If you do not have a baking stone, put boiling water in a casserole dish on the bottom of the oven. A hot, humid oven will create a thick, blistered crust and a soft inside. • Take the plastic wrap off the loaves and insert them into the oven. If you have an empty spray bottle, clean it and fill it with water. As the loaves go into the oven, spray the water in the oven and on the loaves, to add even more humidity. • Close the oven, and let bake for 5 minutes at 500 degrees. Then, turn the heat down to 425-degrees. Bake for another 15 minutes. Then, turn the oven off, and open the door slightly and let the loaves finish baking their insides at a low temperature for about 10 minutes. • Remove loaves from the oven and cool on racks. Enjoy with jam, butter, or soup!


Sweet Baked Goods


Kadorei Shokolad

These chocolate delights are often unseen on the streets of Israel, however, are frequently seen in the homes of Israelis. Making these little chocolate balls is a delight for children, and quite simple. In addition, it is a good use for leftover biscuits or breads. This is a simple dessert: fast, no bake, inexpensive, and leaves little mess. Try this “one bowl wonder” out with your kids, or friends’ children! It is a blast! I used this recipe to make Kadorei Chocolad with older people at a nursing home. Many of these folks couldn’t do fine-motor activities, but just about everyone could crush a bag of biscuits! In addition, it’s a really great sensorimotor activity to engage everyone, bringing about stories of baking as a mother, father, or child! Ingredients 7-10 biscuits ¾ cup of sugar ¼ cup of cocoa powder ½ cup of milk 1 tsp of vanilla 1 tsp of cinnamon Toppings: shredded coconut, colored candies, sprinkles. Instructions • Put the biscuits in a plastic bag and close tightly. Using your hands or a rolling pin, mash the biscuits into little rice-kernels. • Put the remaining ingredients (except the toppings) into the plastic bag. Mix well, until the dough starts to form into a ball. Add more milk if needed. • When the mixture binds into a ball, open the bag again and scoop a golfball sized piece of dough out. Roll this in coconut, candy, or sprinkles. Enjoy!!


Sweet Multipurpose Dough

This recipe is once again adapted from the master baker Peter Reinhart in his book Crust and Crumb. I’ve added adaptions to make this pareve, and also to substitute for buttermilk. Ingredients 3½ cups of flour ¼ cup of sugar ¼ cup of water ¾ cup of buttermilk, or milk/coconut milk and 2 tsp of vinegar ¼ cup of salted butter or margarine, or unsalted butter/margarine with 1 tsp salt 2 eggs 4 tsp of active dry yeast ½ tsp of baking soda Instructions • Mix water and yeast together in a cup. Stir clumps out, and let stand for 5 minutes, so that foam appears at the top. • In a mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together. Add the eggs, milk, butter/margarine, and the water/yeast mixture. Stir until the mixture forms a ball of dough. • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, adding more flour or water as needed. The dough should be smooth, malleable, and tacky, but not sticky. • Spray an empty bowl with cooking spray, and put the bread in the bowl to rise. Spray the top of the dough, and over the top of the bowl spread a clean dishtowel or piece of plastic wrap. Let the dough sit out for an hour.

Put the dough in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 20 minutes. This cooling lets the butter and other fats cool, creating both a high rise of the bread as a whole, and also a thick and complex structure of the crumb. 80

Chocolate Babka

This is a delicious chocolate-spiral bread. I worked with teenagers from the temple in Central Maine (Augusta) to make one of the largest babkas I’ve ever made. We rolled it out on the entire span of the center island, about 3x5 feet. Fantastic! For the bread “Sweet Multipurpose Dough” For the filling: 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar 2/3 cup of cocoa powder 1/3 cup of butter ¼ cup of milk or coconut milk (Optional) 1 cup of nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds) Toppings: Sugar syrup: ½ cup of milk, 1 cup of sugar, heated over a skillet to almost boiling and added to top after baked. Spread out the dough • When ready to roll out the dough, cut the dough into half, and roll out each half so that it is ¼ inch thick evenly throughout, roughly in a rectangle shape. Keep flour on hand, and make sure that the surface you are rolling on is lightly floured, and flour the rolling pin as needed. • Each dough is different, but a size of 11”x15” usually is acceptable. Keep in mind, however, that the thinner you roll out the dough, the more surface area you have to add chocolate! Make and lather the filling • Mix together the confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder, and butter. I usually use a double-boiler to melt the butter and mix with the sugar and cocoa powder, but you are welcome to melt butter and warm the milk in the microwave, then add sugar, cocoa powder. • Stir until there are little to no clumps in 81

the sauce. It should be fudgy and thick. If you need it thicker, add more powdered sugar, if thinner, then add more milk. • Lather the filling on the shaped dough. Leave about ½ of an inch on the perimeter of the rolled-out dough, so that you can secure the rolled dough. Roll and shape the babka • Start on the longer side of the babka, rolling up to the other end. Once you reach the other end, seal together the dough on the end by brushing water on the exposed dough, where the two sides should meet, attach, and use a sprinkle of flour to finish. • Once you’ve rolled the babka, cut it lengthwise through its middle, opening up all the chocolate, exposing the layers through the whole piece. With the two pieces cut in half, braid them together, putting one over the other, delicately, so that the chocolate does not squeeze out. • For a golden brown crust, brush a beaten egg on top of the dough before it bakes. Bake • Once the babka is braided, put it into a bread pan, casserole dish, or bunt pan. Cook for 25-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and the dough has risen considerably. Turn the oven off, and let the babka sit for another 10-15 minutes, cooking slowly inside. We want the middle gooey from the chocolate and syrup on top, but not too gooey from under-baking it! • Take the babka out, and immediately pour the syrup on it. Cook the syrup • Whisk together the milk and sugar over medium heat in a saucepan. The mixture should be viscous due to the high content of sugar, so continue to stir to prevent burning. The idea with the syrup is to bring the milk and sugar to a state of just before caramelization, so that the mixture is dark, but still liquidy. Bring it to a low boil, then lower the heat and stir for 2-3 minutes, maintaining a low boil or simmer. • The syrup will be ready when it has turned from a white color to a brownish-white color, the sugar is completely absorbed, and it has thickened to a delicious syrup consistency! Serve • Pour syrup on the hot babka. Let the babka cool, and enjoy!


Variations of Babka

Sticky buns, spice buns, or cinnamon buns! Instead of chocolate sauce and milk and sugar syrup, here are some variations to add into your recipe to make similar dishes of dough-stuffed baked goodies! These recipes are adapted from Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart. The sugar glaze can go on either the sticky or spice buns, but the slurry is intended for the sticky buns. Sticky Buns Spice buns Filling: Filling: 2 tsp of ground cinnamon 1 tsp allspice 1/2 cup of sugar 1 tsp ginger Optional: 1½ cups of nuts, 1½ cups of raisins ½ cup of sugar Instructions: Mix all ingredients together, and 2 cups of raisins scatter filling on the dough, just as instructed for Instructions: Follow same instructions the chocolate fudge in Babka. for mixing and shaping for sticky buns! Shaping: Make one large, Multipurpose dough, similar to the babka. Instead of cutting lengthwise through the roll, cut perpendicular to the loaf, exposing a swirl of layers like rings of a tree. Cut every 1½ - 2 inches. Alternatively, you can roll out small balls of dough, and fill and roll similarly. Baking: Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, or until dough is fully cooked through and golden brown on top. Sticky Bun Slurry Sugar Glaze Ingredients After the buns come out of the oven, 2 cups of softened butter before serving, many people like to 3 cups of sugar make a simple white glaze to drizzle 2/3 cup of honey or corn syrup over the buns. 1 tsp of salt Ingredients: 1 tsp of lemon extract 1 cup confectioner’s sugar 1½ cups of chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds 2 tbsp milk or coconut milk (optional) 1 tsp of vanilla extract 1½ cups of raisins (optional) Instructions: Instructions: Mix ingredients together. Spread a Heat in a small saucepan, whisking layer of ingredients on the bottom of the baking continuously, until the mixture starts to pan, using about 2/3 of the ingredients. Insert steam. Take off heat and drizzle over dough with sticky bun filling on top of the slurry. the buns. Once all the dough pieces are in a dish, add the remaining 1/3 of the mixture over the top, to dribble down and soak in while baking.


Chocolate Chip Tachini Cookies

These are delicious cookies, with a nutty flavor given by the tachini. I blended my own recipe for chocolate chip cookies, which has eggs and baking powder, with the recipe of “Tachini Cookies” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi in their Jerusalem: A Cookbook, which has the proportions of tachini to add, to make this recipe! Ingredients 1-1½ cups of sugar ¾ cup of butter or margarine ¾ cup of tachini paste 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 ½-3 cups of flour 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon 1½ tsp of baking powder 2½ cups of chocolate chips Instructions • Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer on medium speed. Add the tachini and milk and mix. The tachini will likely tense together, and adding the eggs will smooth the mixture back out. If it is still very stiff, add another egg, or some water or milk on hand. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, then add the flour, and mix. Then, add chocolate chips. • Preheat an oven to 375-degrees, and prepare sheet pans for cookies. Create balls of dough from the mixture, and line the balls on the cookie pan. Put the dough in the oven for about 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie. Take out once the sides start to crust, but the middle is still soft. There will often be small little pock holes in the center of the dough, another good indicator that the cookies are done. I like mine a little gooey, but if you like yours a little more brittle, keep them in the oven for a few more minutes! • Take cookies out of the oven, and rest on a cool rack or countertop for 20-30 minutes. Serve immediately or package for later. Makes about three dozen 2-inch diameter cookies. The cookies are best eaten within 3-5 days if stored at room temperature, 1-2 weeks if refrigerated, and 2+ months if in the freezer.


Chocolate Orange Almond Cake

This cake is fragrant, light, and flavorful. The recipe is adapted from “Clementine and Almond Syrup Cake” in Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. Ingredients Cake ¾ cup of unsalted butter, margarine, oil 2 cups of sugar (1½ and ½ of a cup, used separately) Zest and juice of 2 oranges Zest and juice of 1 lemon 2½ cups of slivered almonds 5 large eggs 1 cup of flour (for Pesach, substitute with matzo flour) 1 tsp of salt 1 tsp of baking soda (omit for Passover) Orange zest strips to garnish Optional: 1 tsp of orange extract (this adds extra orange flavor)

Chocolate Icing 4 tbsp of butter or margarine 1/3 cup of cocoa powder

Notes on Adaptations Passover Adaption: The flour can be omitted or replaced with potato flour, matzo flour, or almond flour for Passover. In addition, omit the baking soda for Passover: it gives the cake just an extra boost of air, but is not needed. Dairy or Pareve: Butter can be substituted with margarine or oil easily, and milk with coconut milk.

½ cup of powdered sugar 2-4 tbsp of milk or coconut milk Instructions • Preheat oven to 375-degrees, and grease a 9 inch cake pan, or bunt pan. Line the sides and bottom of the pan with parchment paper: this is an important step, since there is a syrup drizzle made out of sugar and the juices, drizzled over the cake while it is still hot. If there is no parchment paper on the bottom, the drizzle can candy to the walls of the pan, making it challenging to pull from the sides. • Cream together the butter or margarine and 1½ cups of the sugar. Add the zests of the oranges and lemon. Add half of the ground almonds and stir till combined. 85

• Gradually add eggs, the remaining almonds, flour, salt, and baking soda, and beat until smooth. • Pour the cake batter into the pan and level with a spatula. Put the cake into the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. The cake is fully cooked through if a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, and the top is nicely golden. • While the cake is in the oven, put the remaining ½ cup of sugar and the orange and lemon juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking while it heats. When the syrup boils, remove it from the heat. When the cake comes out of the oven, gently pour syrup over the cake, making sure all syrup soaks in. Let the cake cool completely until you take it out of the pan: the syrup has to completely cool to come easily out. • Serve as is, or add the icing to the cake. The cake can last for several days in the fridge, covered. • To make the frosting: combine melted butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk in a bowl. I use a double boiler, and melt the butter, but simply adding melted butter to other warm ingredients would work. Mix or whisk ingredients together until smooth. If too thin, add powdered sugar. If too thick, add more milk. Add frosting over the cake only when the cake has cooled down: adding frosting to a hot cake will make the frosting essentially melt off it. Serve with a cup of coffee, tea, or milk, and enjoy!

Hanukkah and Fried Food Hanukkah’s story stems from the Maccabees (Hasmonean patriarch and his five sons) launching a revolt against the Hellenistic Seleucids. Eventually, the Jews gained control of Jerusalem, but the city was in physical and spiritual disarray. The holiday of Hanukkah came centuries after, when the sages who were compiling the Talmud described the event as the priests having had only one small amount of oil, enough to burn for one day, but lasted eight. Hanukkah literally means “dedication” and commemorates the rededication of the temple by the Hasmoneans. Hanukkah is historically a very minor holiday, and has only recently become more popular. This is because of capitalistic globalism, being a nearby holiday to the dominant Christian’s Christmas, and therefore marketing schemes were created to include Hanukkah in some of the gift-giving festivities that happen around this same time. Common foods are those that are fried or have lots of oil! In addition, cheese blintzes, latkes, and rugelach are all popular foods to eat during Hanukkah. I’ve paired the description of Hanukkah with Teiglach (Below), essentially fried dough balls soaked in honey. They’re easier than doughnuts, and just as good!



Mel jokingly says that Ashkenazi desserts are the best. “Dough balls, fried, and soaked in honey?” The answer is teiglach, doughnuts, and baklava. Teiglach is simply that: fried dough balls soaked in honey. Below is a picture of an uncooked ball, soon to be cooked and coated in sugar and cinnamon! This recipe is adapted from a similar recipe in The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Kaufer-Greene. Ingredients Dough “Sweet Multipurpose Dough” Drizzle 1½ cups of honey ½ cup of brown sugar 1 tsp of ginger (or, alternatively, cinnamon) ½ tsp of nutmeg 1 tsp grated lemon zest 2 cups of coarsely chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts) 1 ½ cups of raisins Instructions • Preheat oven to 375-degrees, and prepare two baking sheets. • Make dough as instructed in “Sweet Multi-Purpose Dough.” Once ready, take walnut size pieces of dough, and roll them into balls. Set the balls on the baking sheets, and insert them into the oven. Cook until the balls are slightly risen, and not yet browned. • While the dough balls are in the oven, combine the honey, sugar, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon zest into a large saucepan. Stir, bringing to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a simmer. • Take the balls out, and add the balls, raisins, and the nuts to the simmering sweet mixture. Simmer everything together in the liquid for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. • Turn off the heat, and let the mixture cool in the pan slightly, for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to harden and cool. • Turn the mixture out onto a separate plate, stacking high in a pyramid. Serve warm or cool! Enjoy!



This is a home-baker’s twist on ma’amoul, date-stuffed cookies. A traditionally Arabic dish, one may ask why this is in a “Jewish” cookbook? Here’s my explanation: Jews and Arabs in Israel live in both coexistence and complete animosity, too often the latter. You can go to Israel and get ma’aroud, or ma’amoul, and many Jews eat it. Though it isn’t historically Jewish, it is something that Jews eat, and a unique way to represent Jewish and Arab flavors coming together. Baking dates are packaged dates that have already been pitted and reduced, and are ready to be spread on dough like ma’aroud. In the northeast, they can often be found on the Kosher shelf at the grocery store. If this is unavailable, then you can make a quick compote out of dried dates, in order to loosen the dates into a smooth paste. The pictures represent small crescent-shaped ma’aroud, but traditionally they are wrapped into a log and cut. Dough “Sweet Multipurpose Dough” Filling 1½ cups of baking dates (or make a compote out of dried dates) ¼ cup of honey 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp ground ginger 1½ cups of walnuts (optional) Instructions • Prepare “Sweet Multipurpose Dough” as directed. Roll out into a large sheet. • Preheat oven to 375-degrees, and prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. • Mix the baking dates, honey, and spices in a bowl. Spread a thin layer over the dough. Roll like rolling a cinnamon roll or babka, starting at one end, and going to the other. Cut in 1-inch rounds, so that the layers are exposed. Put on a sheet pan face up and drizzle with more honey and cinnamon. Put in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of the ma’aroud are browning. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for presentation.



Rugelach has a special rich and fatty dough, which makes the dough both smooth and flakey. The filling is often walnuts, cranberries, sugar and cinnamon, and a delicious topping of cream and sugar and/or maple syrup can elevate this already delicious dessert to a whole new level! This is a richly dairy dessert, and though alternative doughs can be made with pareve ingredients, rugelach is known for the dough composed of sour-cream and cream cheese. I provide walnut-cinnamon-raisin and apple pie filling, but other fillings can be made from raspberry jam/compote, and chocolate syrup similar to Babka. Ingredients Dough 1 cup of unsalted butter ¾ cup of cream cheese 1/3 cup of sour cream ½ tsp of salt 2 cups of flour

Walnut and raisin filling ½ cup of brown sugar 1 cup of walnuts ½ cup of raisins or cranberries 1 tbsp of cinnamon Apple cider, juice, compote, or jelly for brushing rolled dough Apple pie filling 1½ cups of applesauce (alternatively, peel and puree, and cook your own applesauce, which is much more delicious, but a bit more work) 2 tsp of cinnamon ½ cup of raisins 1/3 cup of maple syrup Topping 1 egg for brushing the top of the dough ¼ cup of maple syrup Whipped cream (To serve)


Instructions • Preheat an oven to 375 degrees, and prepare 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. • Mix the dough ingredients together, cutting the butter in with the cream cheese. Knead it all together if needed. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for an hour or freezer for 20 minutes if time permits. • Meanwhile, make the filling by adding together all ingredients in a bowl. • Take about 1/3 of the dough out of the fridge or freezer. Roll a baseball-size piece of dough into a 10”-diameter circle. Spread filling on the rolled dough, and drizzle with maple syrup or honey. • Using a pizza cutter, divide the dough into 12 wedges, like a pizza. Roll each wedge up from the wide end to the narrow end. Place each rugelach on the baking sheet with the pointed edge down on the sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining two pieces of dough and remaining 2/3 of the filling. • Before putting the rugelach into the oven, brush the tops with beaten egg, to make the tops glistening golden brown. • Put the rugelach in the oven, and cook for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. • Cool in the pan. Drizzle the maple syrup over the rugelach while still hot, soaking into the pastries. When cool, top each with whipped cream.


Rugelach Cake

Traditionally, Rugelach are little croissant-like rolls, which takes time and energy! To save time, you can just make one really large rugelach cake! I did this myself, five minutes before a dinner, throwing together the dough, rolling it out, adding the filling, and just as people started to walk through the door, I rolled it all up into one big roll, sprayed a bunt pan, threw it in the pan, put it in the oven, set the timer for 25 minutes, closed the oven, and walked out of the kitchen to greet the first guests! All in five minutes! In cake form, the rugelach was deliciously moist, and with the extra maple syrup drizzle and whipped cream topping, it made the cake even more moist and gooey. To make rugelach cake, just roll out one large slab of dough, add the filling, roll it up, and put it into a bunt pan or spring-form pan, and bake for 25-30 mins in a 375-degree oven.

Tu B’Shevat

This holiday is the new year for trees. It is when many of the trees are in blossom in Israel, and lots of fruits are eaten in during the celebration to represent the blossoming of the trees. There are four cups of wine during the Seder, in the following order: white wine, to represent snows of winter; yellow wine, symbolizing the sap flowing through the trees; pink wine, for the blossoms just sprouting; red wine, symbolizing the fertility of the land. Being a minor holiday, there are not as many foods associated with this event. However, fruits and nuts are commonly eaten, and anything that features fruits and nuts can be served. I paired this description with rugelach, which makes use of lots of nuts, or apples if desired. Enjoy the recipe for rugelach at any time of the year, and particularly during Tu B’Shevat!!


Mel’s Hamantashen

Mel claims that the only reason she is married to Rachel is because of her hamantashen. The story goes: “Rachel was wearing this costume – it was blatantly offensive – it was a rightwing statement about Israel in a New York synagogue that was richly left-wing on issues about Israel. She was definitely doing it just to be contrary. So it was Purim, and I see her with her offensive costume, and am both impressed by someone with the guts to do something like that, and also wondering what they actually think. So, I asked her about it, and then invited her over to an after-party we were holding at my apartment then. At the after-party, I gave her a hamantashen, and she thought it was the best thing in the world. Of course, alcohol played a part in all of that, but the hamantashen is what won her over.” Here is our famed hamantashen recipe that created a lasting love! Ingredients 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine ½-¾ cup sugar 2½ -3 cups flour 1 tsp vanilla 1 egg Filling: Jams or jellies, poppy seed, marzipan

Purim Purim’s story is based on Esther’s valiant efforts to save the Jewish people from the wicked Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. During the holiday, the entire book of Esther is read or acted out. We eat, drink, and be merry! Purim is the only book in the Tanakh that does not contain the name of God, and therefore, the sense of the mysterious extends to the food through fillings – alluding to the many secrets and surprises unfolding within the story. Chickpeas, varnishkes, and poppy seeds are common Purim foods. Perhaps the most iconic food of Purim is the hamantashen: triangle shaped cookies filled with jam or preserves, supposedly to look like Haman’s ears. These are delicious at any time of the year, and one of the most coveted Purim foods!

Instructions • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter (it helps to soften it before starting). Add sugar, and continue creaming at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg and mix to blend in. Mix in flour (may need to use hands to really incorporate the flour into butter mixture). • Shape into balls between the size of a walnut and a good Italian meatball. Flatten on floured surface. Fill with ~1/2-3/4 tsp jam. Fold on three sides, pinching corners. Try to not have flour on the ‘up-side’ of the flattened dough you are pinching together, it will not work as well. You want the folds to almost cover the top of the cookie because it will open in the oven and the jam will spill out. • Bake on ungreased cookie sheets for ~22-25 minutes. Cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool fully. Wrap in waxed paper or foil (or in cookie tins) to store. Do not wrap in plastic as it makes the cookies soggy.



“It’s like a fudge, but made out of tachini, sesame paste. It’s really good, try it,” is what I tell my non-Israeli-cuisine-ically-educated friends. A delicate and interesting balance of sweet and savory, halva is found all over Israel. You can often find halvah in the kosher section in the grocery store in the northeast US, however, it is terrible: sandy consistency with little flavor. The consistency of halvah should be smooth and creamy, sort of like fudge. If making it yourself, the sandy consistency comes from not properly heating the sugar mixture, or having an imbalanced proportion of sugar-to-tachini, and therefore not setting properly. In addition, if you let halva sit out for too long, it will become sandy-textured, which is what I assume happens with the store-bought kinds in the US. You can make your own halvah which is both very easy and also very very tasty. My friends call my chocolatemarbled halva the “chocolate goodness.” They may not understand totally what tachini is, but they get that it tastes good! Ingredients 2 cups of sugar 1 tsp of vanilla extract ½ cup of water 1½ cups of techina ½ tsp of salt Additional marbling/flavorings: Chocolate marble: 6 oz melted chocolate To add nuts: 1½ cups of nuts For a coffee halvah: 1 tbsp of instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp of water Instructions: • Line an 8 or 9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom. • Combine sugar, water, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat, dissolving the sugar. Cook the mixture until it reaches 245-degrees on a candy thermometer, or until it comes to a rolling boil. • While the sugar syrup is cooking, place the tachini and salt in a bowl • When the sugar syrup reaches 245-degrees, stream it into the techina, mixing to integrate both of them. At this point, if you wanted to add any flavoring agents to flavor all the halva (e.g. pistachios, coffee), you can add them. Mix until the halvah starts to pull off the sides of the bowl. At this moment, if you want to add any marbling agents (e.g. melted chocolate), this is when you would add them. • Work quickly to transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press the top of the halvah flat with a spatula or an extra piece of parchment paper spread over the top. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into squares and enjoy! • Store at room temperature for up to a week or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Halva Trifle

A delicious trifle can be made out of halva, whipped cream, blueberry compote, and chickpea brittle. This is adapted from “Halvah Moose” in Zahav by Solomonov and Cook. Halva Ingredients: Directed on page 93. Instructions: Crumble halva into a cup and layer with other ingredients. Whipped cream Ingredients 1½ cups of whipping cream ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar 1 tsp of vanilla Instructions • In an electric mixing bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until peaks form. A whipped cream is ready if peaks are retained after dipping a utensil into the cream. As the mixture is beating, slowly add the sugar to the cream, stopping occasionally to check its sweetness. Blueberry compote Ingredients 2 cups of berries 1 cup of sugar ½ tsp of rose water 1 tbsp of lemon juice Instructions • In a saucepan over medium heat, stir all ingredients together, bringing to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let the mixture reduce to a jam-like consistency, cooking on the stovetop for about 10-15 minutes. Chickpea brittle Ingredients 2 cups of cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed 1 tbsp of canola oil ¾ cup of packed brown sugar 3 tbsp of butter 3 tbsp of heavy cream Instructions • Preheat an oven to 450-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain chickpeas, and toss with the oil. Roast until crisp, about 25-30 minutes. While the chickpeas are roasting, combine the sugar, butter, and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture darkens in color and large bubbles cover the 94

surface, for about 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and stir. Once the chickpeas are fully integrated into the caramel sauce, fold the mixture out onto the baking sheet, let cool. If the mixture doesn’t set, put it back into the oven at 450-degrees for 10 or more minutes, to further reduce the caramel sauce. Serve in small chunks. This crunchy dessert is wholesome, seemingly healthy, and delicious! Instructions on making the Trifle • Layer the previous ingredients. They are all delicious on their own, so any particular order you see fit would work. You can make one thick layer of each, or several thin layers. Serve for guests, and enjoy!

Persian Halvah This is a different form of halva, made without tachini. In Arabic, halva literally means “sweet.” The rosewater and cardamom give this dessert its specifically Persian twist to an otherwise conventional fudge/pudding, deepening the flavor. Ingredients 1 cup of wheat flour 1 cup of sugar ½ cup of butter or margarine 1½ cups of water ½ cup of rosewater ½ tsp of cardamom ¼ tsp of nutmeg Slivered almonds or shredded coconut (for garnish) Instructions • Heat butter in a saucepan till melted, then whisk in the flour and reduce to a low heat. Stir the flour-butter mixture until it turns a golden-brown color. Then, mix the spices with the water and rose water. Slowly stir the water-spice in with the flour-butter mixture. Stir the mixture on medium-low heat for a few more minutes, until it thickens. Once thick enough, spread out onto a plate or dish, and garnish with almonds or coconut.


Tahini and Halvah Brownies

Ingredients ¾ cup of cocoa powder ½ cup of butter, melted ¼ cup of vegetable oil 2 cups of sugar ½ tsp of salt 1 cup of king Arthur flour 3 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract ¾ cup of tahini ¾ cup of crumbled halva

Instructions • Preheat oven to 350-degrees, and lightly spray a brownie pan. Combine all ingredients except the tahini and halva in a bowl, mixing well. Pour into a baking dish. Using a spoon, add several dollops of tahini scattered about the brownie mixture, mixing and swirling if desired. Then, crumble the halva over the top of the brownies. Insert into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without any brownie residue. Remove the pan from the oven, and let cool. Enjoy!

Marzipan Marzipan is a great filling, confectionary, and fantastic dipped in chocolate! This is adapted from a similar recipe in Zahav by Solomonov and Cook. Ingredients 1½ cups of sliced almonds 1½ cups of confectioners’ sugar 6 tbsp of corn syrup ½ tsp vanilla extract or almond extract ½ tsp of salt Instructions • Pulse almonds in a food processor into a fine meal, about 2 minutes. Then, add the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, extract, and salt, and process for another 2 minutes, until the mixture is sandy and holds together when you pinch it between your fingers. To Serve • If making truffles, shape the mixture into balls and roll in melted chocolate. • If using the marzipan as a filling, fold the marzipan into a baking dish lined with parchment paper and store until ready to use. • If marbling the marzipan with chocolate or other confections and eating like fudge, mix in the marbling agent, and then spread out onto a dish lined with parchment paper.


Techina Semifreddo

This is an awesome alternative to ice-cream, and easy to make! The process takes patience, but the result is well worth the wait! This is adapted from a similar recipe in Zahav by Solomonov and Cook. Ingredients 2 cups of heavy cream 7 large egg yolks 1 cup of sugar ½ cup of techina Instructions • Whip the cream into whipped cream, with soft peaks. • Combine egg yolks and sugar in a double boiler. Whisk until all sugar is dissolved and the yolks have lightened in color. This will take about two minutes over boiling water. • Let the yolk mixture cool slightly. Then, fold part of the whipped cream mixture into a clean bowl. Drizzle part of the yolk mixture, then fold in. Repeat adding a portion of each mixture, and then folding, until all components are incorporated. • In another bowl, take about ½ cup of the whip-cream egg yolk mixture and combine it with the techina. Stir until well combined. Then, add the techina mixture into the remaining whip-cream egg yolk mixture, until fully combined. Pour into bowls and freeze for up to 5 days.



Airy, chewy, crunchy, sweet, and nutty, this dessert is the pinnacle of desserts. This dessert is deeply middle-eastern in its origins. There’s many adaptions from this basic recipe: replacing walnuts with almonds or pistachios, substituting the syrup with an apricot drizzle, a chocolate filling and drizzle, or sweet rose-water and ginger drizzle. Ingredients 4 cups of walnuts, finely chopped 2 cups total of sugar: ½ cup, then 1 ½ cups 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon 1 ¼ cups of margarine or butter, melted 1 16-oz package of frozen phyllo dough, thawed ¼ cup of honey ½ tsp of lemon zest 2 tbsp of lemon juice 2 cinnamon sticks 1 cup of water Instructions • Stir together chopped walnuts, ½ cup of sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. • Oil the bottom of a casserole dish. Unfold phyllo, and layer about ¼ of the phyllo sheets in the pan. Put each sheet in the pan one by one, brushing each one with melted butter or margarine. Once ¼ of the sheets are laid, sprinkle about 1½ cups of the walnut mixture over the phyllo in the pan. Repeat layering the phyllo and filling 2 more times. • Layer the remaining phyllo sheets in the pan, bruising each with margarine or butter. Drizzle any remaining butter or margarine over the top layer, and trim edges to fit pan. Using a sharp knife, cut through all layers to make square, triangle, or diamond-shaped pieces or squares. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 45-50 minutes or till golden on top. • While the baklava cooks, stir together the following in a saucepan over medium heat: 1½ cups of sugar, honey, lemon zest and juice, stick cinnamon, and 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick. When the baklava comes out of the oven, pour the honeycinnamon mixture over the warm baklava in the pan, and let the baklava cool completely until serving. Enjoy!

Pecan-coconut baklava Prepare baklava as directed, except, omit the walnut filling. For the pecan-coconut filling, stir together 3 cups of finely chopped pecans with 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of finely packed brown sugar, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, and ½ tsp of ground nutmeg.



Fenugreek Cake This recipe is adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Tamimi and Ottolenghi. This is really a Palestinian food. I present this fenugreek cake as something that represents the complicated relationship between Palestine and Israel: what foods are shared, and what set people apart? Maybe sharing food can bring people together, but maybe this is unrealistic. In regards to the cake itself, I absolutely love the balance of sweet and savory, and the texture is delightful. It is said that fenugreek is helpful for breastfeeding mothers, encouraging milk production. Not everyone likes the taste of fenugreek, however, so be considerate with who you serve it to. Ingredients 3 cups of semolina ¾ cup of all-purpose flour 1 cup + 3 tbsp of almonds or sunflower seeds, chopped into small bits 1/3 cup of olive oil 1/3 cup of sunflower or vegetable oil 2½ tbsp unsalted butter or margarine, melted 1½ tsp of fenugreek seeds or 1 tsp of ground fenugreek 2 cups of water (1 cup + 1 cup) 1½ tsp of active dry yeast ½ tsp of baking powder ½ tsp of salt Syrup 1½ cups of sugar ½ cup of water 2 tbsp of lemon juice 1 tbsp of rose water 1 tbsp of orange blossom water Instructions • Put 1 cup of water and the fenugreek in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer, whisking occasionally, for about 20-25 minutes. This is an essential process because boiling the fenugreek takes out the bitterness. Once the fenugreek mixture is finished cooking, pour it into a cup, and cool it in the fridge for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes. The cooling will be just enough so that it can be added to the mixture without killing the yeast from too much heat. If you want to make this a few hours beforehand, you can keep the fenugreek mixture in the fridge for up to a day. • Add the yeast to the remaining 1½ cups of water, stir and let sit until the yeast dissolves. Chop or grind the nuts in a food processor until they become coarse crumbs. Measure out 1 cup, and save about 3 tablespoons to the side to top the cake later. Combine the semolina, flour, and nuts in a bowl. Add the baking powder, salt, oils, melted butter, yeast, and fenugreek water. 99

• Mix the ingredients until they form a ball. Lightly knead for 3 minutes, or until it is smooth. Grease a round cake pan. Fold in the cake ingredients and push it down with your hand so the top is level. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 1 hour. • Towards the end of the rising period, preheat the oven to 425-degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Before the cake comes out of the oven, mix the sugar, water, and lemon juice for the syrup together in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, whisking, for about 3-4 minutes, or until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Take off the heat, and add the rose water and orange blossom water. Take the cake out of the oven and pour the syrup over the cake. It’s likely that not all the syrup will be able absorb all at once, so pour on one third of the syrup, wait for a few minutes, pour, wait, and so on until all the syrup is used. Leave the cake to cool. The longer that the cake has to sit and absorb the flavors, the better it tastes, so you may think to cook it a day before you need it, and then serve it the following day. Enjoy!



This recipe is adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamimi. Though this is a Palestinian dessert, it is very similar to many Jewish desserts: sweet dairy with flaky dough soaked in sugar. I describe this as almost like Baklava, except instead of nuts and cinnamon, it’s ricotta cheese. A sweet dairy dessert isn’t always the most common sweet, but it tastes delicious and is a crowd-pleaser. It is also markedly easier to make and prepare than Baklava, with only one main layer of cheese, and the rest just phyllo and butter. You can even make this, refrigerate it for a day or so, and put it in the oven the hour or two before you need to serve it. Enjoy! Ingredients 1 cup of melted, unsalted butter 20 sheets of phyllo, thawed 2½ cups of ricotta cheese 1½ cups of cottage cheese Syrup 1/3 cup of water 1 1/3 cups of sugar 3 tbsp of lemon juice, or juice from 1 lemon Instructions • If using frozen phyllo dough, take it out from the freezer a day before you plan to make your mutabbaq. Preheat an oven to 425-degrees. Brush a 11x14 casserole dish with butter on the sides and bottom. Spread a layer of phyllo dough on the bottom, and brush the top with melted butter. Put another layer of phyllo on top of the last, and put a layer of butter on that. Continue the phyllo-butter layers until you have used 10 sheets of phyllo. • Mix the ricotta and cottage cheese together, and spread on the 10 layered sheets. After spreading out the ricotta and cottage cheese mixture into the dish, brush melted butter on the top, then do 10 more layers of phyllo-butter. Brush the top of the last layer of phyllo with butter, and cut pieces through the phyllo before putting the dish into the oven. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until brown on top, and the cheese has nicely melted. • Before the dish comes out of the oven, mix in a saucepan over medium heat the water, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat this until the sugar completely dissolves. Take the dish out of the oven, and drizzle with all the syrup. The dough and dairy will absorb it to make it sweet, fatty, and delicious! Let it cool so the syrup soaks in. Enjoy!


Pattison Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is another family recipe, that was passed from my great-grandmother to my mother. Apparently it was also the same as the cookies as directed on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bags back in the day. What makes these cookies different than Tollhouse cookies is that we cook them so that they are gooey on the inside, and we also make them larger, and cream them longer. All of this makes a melt-in-your mouth flavor. Ingredients 2¼ cups of flour ¾ cup of white sugar ¾ cup of brown sugar 1 tsp of baking soda 1 tsp of salt 2 eggs 1 tsp of vanilla 1 cup of butter (two sticks) 2 cups of chocolate chips (Ghirardelli, if possible) 2 cups of walnuts (optional) Instructions • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Soften butter, and in an eclectic mixer, beat on mediumlow speed. Add the white and brown sugar, and mix till fully incorporated. Crack the eggs in a small bowl, and add the vanilla, then add the eggs into the mixture. Beat the mixture on medium speed for 5 minutes. The mixture should lighten in color and begin to look a little airy. Meanwhile, measure the flour, baking soda, and salt. • Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, mix until all the contents are fully combined, stopping once in a while to scrape the sides to make sure everything is fully incorporated. Add in the chocolate chips, and the walnuts if desired. • Prepare three sheet pans with parchment paper and oil. Make fairly large 1-1 ½ inch diameter balls, and put them on the sheets. Insert into the oven. • Cook for 8-10 minutes. To judge if they are done, the outsides should start to look a little crusty, the inside still soft. Over the entire cookie, you should be able to see little pock-marked holes. When a cookie has these qualities, it should be ready to take out of the oven. • Do not transfer cookie to a cooling rack: it will fall apart. Instead, leave it on the tray to cool fully. Enjoy with a good glass of milk or ice cream!


Sauces, Spreads, and Spices


Techina Sauce

This sauce is extremely versatile: use on just about anything! Ingredients 2-4 cloves of garlic ¼ cup of lemon juice 1 tsp kosher salt ¾ cup of tachina ½ tsp ground cumin Ice water Instructions • Blend the head of garlic, ½ tsp of salt and lemon juice together for a few seconds, making a coarse puree. • Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes to allow the garlic to mellow. If you add the tachina sauce without waiting, the garlic may ferment and turn the mixture sour. Letting the garlic absorb the acidity from the lemon juice can prevent this souring. • Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or coffee filter over a mixing bowl. • Add tachina to the strained lemon juice, along with cumin and the remaining salt. • Whisk the mixture together, adding ice water to thin out. Add more salt or cumin if desired. • If storing: whisk in an additional few tablespoons of ice water before refrigerating. Refrigerate for up to a week, freeze for up to a month.



Multiplying this recipe by hundreds of times, the first time I ever made humus, I made about 40 pounds of it, to give to a local soup kitchen. Below is a picture of humus spread on a mini pita, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika, cumin, black cumin, and sesame seeds. Ingredients: 1 cup dried chickpeas 2 tsp baking soda 1 ½ cups of Tachina recipe 1 tsp salt ½ tsp cumin Paprika Chopped parsley Olive Oil Instructions: • Place chickpeas in a bowl with 1 tsp of baking soda, and cover with water, so that the chickpeas can double in size. • Soak overnight at room temperature. • In the next day, drain chickpeas and rinse under cold water. • Then, put the chickpeas into a pot with the remaining 1 tsp of baking soda, and add cold water to cover by a few inches. Bring the chickpeas to a boil, skim off any scum that comes to the top. Once it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue simmering for about 1 hour, until the chickpeas are completely tender, even a little over-tender. Good, creamy hummus uses slightly overcooked chickpeas, so let them become aa little mushy and a little falling apart. • Drain the chickpeas, then combine the chickpeas with the techina sauce, salt, and cumin in a food processor. Puree hummus until it is smooth and creamy. To serve, spread it into a bowl, and add paprika, parsley, and oil on top!


Tzatziki Sauce

This is a great cooling sauce to go with just about anything: falafel, grilled eggplant, tofu shawarma!! Ingredients 1 cucumber, peeled 1 tbsp of white vinegar 1 tbsp of olive oil 1½ cups of Greek yogurt ½ cup of chopped dill or parsley Instructions • Peel and chop cucumbers into small, ½ inch cubes. Chop the dill or parsley. Add the remaining ingredients. Enjoy!


This is a great Tunisian flavoring agent, and good for just about anything! Ingredients 1 red pepper ½ tsp of ground coriander seed ½ tsp of cumin ½ tsp of paprika ½ tsp caraway 1 tbsp of olive oil 1 onion 3 cloves of garlic 3 hot chilies (less if you don’t like spicy food) 1 tbsp of tomato paste 2 tbsp lemon juice ½ tsp of salt Instructions • Preheat oven to 500, or broil. Insert the pepper, an cook under the high intensity heat for 20-25 minutes, or until it is blackened on the outside and completely soft. Take the pepper out of the oven, and let it cool. Once cooled, peel the skin off the pepper, and discard its seeds. • In a frying pan, lightly toast the spices for a few minutes with the olive oil. Then, add the onion, garlic, and chilies for 7-10 minutes or until they are browning. • Transfer the onion, garlic and chilies, as well as the roasted pepper, to a food processor, and add the tomato paste, lemon juice, and salt. Store in a clean jar for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. 106


This is a needed component of the pita with falafel and shawarma. It is originally from Yemen, and a delicious condiment, good for the immune system and the stomach. It gives a great extra kick to anything. Ingredients 1½ cups of parsley, coarsely chopped 2 hot chilies 1 tsp of cumin ¼ tsp of cardamom ¼ tsp of cloves ¼ tsp of salt ¼ tsp of sugar 1 clove of garlic 2 tbsp of olive oil 2 tbsp of water Instructions • Put all ingredients in a food processor. Blend for a minute to get a coarse paste. Do not overmix. Store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for a few weeks.




Turkish Coffee

In the Levant, coffee is a symbol of hospitality. Even in western cultures, it’s best practice to get someone a cup of coffee or water when they enter into your home, helping to make them more comfortable. It is said that you can read your fortune if you turn the cups over, and read the grounds that fall down. A fun activity to pretend that you can read someone’s fortune! Ingredients 2 cups of water 1½ tbsp of pulverized coffee Sugar to taste Spices ½ - 1 tsp of ground cardamom Pinch of ginger Cinnamon Coriander Aniseed Instructions • To make a cup or two of coffee, put 2 cups of water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the pulverized coffee, and any sugar if desired. Bring to a boil while stirring or whisking. • As soon as it begins to boil, take it off the stove, let it cool for a minute, and then put it back on the fire until it reaches another boil. • Serve, making sure to use a spoon to divide the froth evenly into each cup. • If desired, add any of the above spices. A traditionally Moroccan spice blend in the coffee would include the cinnamon, coriander, and/or aniseed. A Yemenite blend would include the cardamom and ginger. If you are new to spicing your coffee, I suggest trying each spice individually, and the two mentioned combinations, and seeing which works best for you!



A rich yogurt-based drink that is very refreshing and smooth! Enjoy! Ingredients 1 cup of yogurt ¾-1 cup of very cold water or carbonated water Pinch of salt 3 mint leaves Instructions • Add all ingredients together in a cup, stir, let sit for a minute for the flavors to blend. Enjoy!

Egg Cream

This is a quintessential part of Jewish life in New York City. You absolutely must make it with Fox’s U-bet. There is no other egg cream without it! To make an egg cream with the thick white foam at the top, you’ll need a siphon bottle, which is hard to come by in a household, but even without it, you can still create good foam on top! Ingredients 2 tbsp of Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup 1/3 cup of whole milk, chilled 2/3-1 cup of seltzer Instructions: • Put the chocolate syrup in the bottom of a glass. Add the milk, but do not stir. Spritz in enough seltzer so that a foam reaches the top of the glass. Using a long spoon, stir with an up-down motion to blend without deflating the foam. Enjoy!



Recipe adapted from the Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene. This is a common drink to break the fast of Yom Kippur. This is rich, creamy, and surprisingly not dairy! In Iraq, harri is often given to lactating and pregnant women to help ensure a plentiful supply of milk. Blanched and unblanched almonds can both be used. The blanched almonds Yom Kippur produce a purer white colored drink, more Yom Kippur is a day in which Moses fitting for Yom Kippur, while the returned from Mount Sinai with the second unblanched create a slightly off-white set of the tablets of the ten commandments, drink, and a bit more of a strong almond and informed the people that they were flavor. A thicker version can be created by forgiven for creating a golden calf and adding milk instead of water, or decreasing worshipping it during the 40 days that Moses the amount of liquid, or adding cooked was gone receiving the Torah. Worshipping rice. Sometimes, hariri, thickened, can an idol is one of the commandments that is make for a good cream-sauce substitute for forbidden, and yet, Moses comes back and meat dishes. forgives the Israelites for their lack of faith in him. Ingredients From this story, a tradition was born. Yom ¾ cup of almonds, blanched or Kippur has become the day of atonement, unblanched and is marked by a 25-hour fast as a 3 cups of water culmination of a 10-day period that begins ¼ cup of sugar of Rosh Hashanah. ½ tsp of cardamom (optional) There is usually a meal just before the fast ½ tsp of almond extract (optional) begins, consisting mostly of bland foods, in 2 drops of rose water (optional) order to not make anyone too thirsty. Usually, meat is served because it is filling Instructions and not too spicy or gas-producing. • Put the almonds and water into a As a way to break the fast, a variety of foods food processor, and process for a are eaten. And drinks like hariri and Pepitada minute or two, or until the almonds are served, both symbolizing purity and also are almost completely ground as being a rich, filling drink. finely as possible. Create a sieve with a few layers of moistened cheesecloth. Pour mixture through the cheesecloth and into a saucepan. When all the liquid has passed through, squeeze out the remaining liquid, and discard almonds, or put to use for garnishing other dishes. • Cooking the almond milk on the stove, bring it to a boil and add the sugar and cardamom while it is warming. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the ‘milk’ has thickened, and flavors blended. • Taste test the mixture, and add any more spice or sugar if desired. Add the almond extract and rose water, and serve warm! Enjoy! 111


This is a Sephardic melon-seed ‘milk.’ This is yet another ‘milk’ that is prepared after Yom Kippur. In order to prepare this drink, save some seeds from the cantaloupe, honeydew, and other similar melons. Ingredients 1 cup of clean, dry melon seeds (toasted if desired) 1 quart of cold water 2 tbsps of sugar 1 drop of rose water Instructions • Clean and dry the melon seeds by washing in a fine-mesh strainer, and spreading a layer of seeds thinly on a cookie sheet. Let sit for a day or two in a safe place to dry. If desired, toast the seeds for 5-10 minutes in a 375-degree oven. • Process the seeds in a food processor until finely ground. Put the ground seeds in a few layers of cheesecloth, and wrap the cheesecloth around the bunch of seeds and tie the top with a rubber band, so that a little bag is created. • Prepare the quart of cold water, and immerse the bag of seeds in the water. Let the seeds steep in the water for 1 day in the fridge, occasionally checking and squeezing the bag and dipping the bag several times. • After the day of steeping seeds, discard the seeds and wash the cheesecloth. Stir in the sugar and rose water. Return to the fridge and chill until ready to be served.




Note on following prayers:

These are adapted from They have a full organization of prayers and instructions at: Shabbat Wizard

Lighting the Shabbat Candles Use your hands to shield your eyes from the flames and recite the blessing while your eyes are covered.

!‫אַדֹנָ ַאתָּ ה בָּרוּ‬-‫ ֱא י‬-‫הֵינוּ‬1 !ֶ‫שׁר הָעוֹלָם ֶמל‬ ֶ ‫שׁנוּ ֲא‬ ָ ְ‫שׁל נֵר ְלהַדְ לִיק ְו ִצוָּנוּ ְבּ ִמצְוֹתָ יו ִקדּ‬ ֶ ‫שׁבָּת‬ ַ ‫ק ֹדֶ שׁ‬ Transliteration: Baruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-hei-nu Me-lech Ha-olam A-sher Ki-de-sha-nu Be-mitz-vo-tav Ve-tzi-va-nu Le-had-lik Ner Shel Sha-bbat Ko-desh. Translation: Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the light of the holy Shabbat


Shalom Aleichem

This is a common prayer sung at Shabbat, holidays, and other occasions. It’s one of my favorites.


Shalom Aleichem: Transliteration Sha-lom a-lei-chem, mal-a-chei ha-sha-reit, mal-a-chei el-yon, mi-me-lech ma-l'chei ha-m'la-chim, ha-ka-dosh ba-ruch hu. Repeat three times Bo-a-chem l'sha-lom, mal-a-chei ha-sha-lom, mal-a-chei el-yon, mi-me-lech ma-l'chei ha-m'la-chim, ha-ka-dosh ba-ruch hu. Repeat three times Bar-chu-ni l'sha-lom, mal-a-chei ha-sha-lom, mal-a-chei el-yon, mi-me-lech ma-l'chei ha-m'la-chim, ha-ka-dosh ba-ruch hu. Repeat three times Tsei-t'chem l'sha-lom, mal-a-chei ha-sha-lom, mal-a-chei el-yon, mi-me-lech ma-l'chei ha-m'la-chim, ha-ka-dosh ba-ruch hu. Repeat three times


Blessing of the Children

In many communities it is customary to bless one's children on Friday night before the Shabbat meal. Traditionally, the priestly blessing is recited, followed by the blessing Jacob bestowed upon Ephraim and Menasseh, Joseph's sons, or, for daughters, a blessing that they follow in the footsteps of our saintly Matriarchs. Following is a translation from's Shabbat Wizard:

The L-rd spoke to Moses saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying: This is how you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them: 'May the L-rd bless you and watch over you. May the L-rd cause His countenance to shine to you and favor you. May the L-rd raise His countenance toward you and grant you peace.' They shall bestow My Name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them." [For a son:] May G-d make you like Ephraim and Menasseh. [For a daughter:] May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah


118 3


1. Proverbs 31:10-31. 2. Psalm 23. Shechinah. 4. V. Zohar II, 88a-b.


3. Kabbalistic terms for various manifestations of the


When a festival occurs on Shabbat, the festival Kiddush is recited (page 329).

àã This is the meal of the holy Chakal Tapuchin. åðé÷úà Prepare the meal of perfect faith, which is the


When a festival occurs on Shabbat, the festival Kiddush is recited (page 330).

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delight of the holy King; prepare the meal of the King. This is the meal of the holy Chakal Tapuchin,3 and Z’eir Anpin3 and the holy Ancient One 3 come to join her in the meal. 4



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øåîæî A Psalm by David. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He revives my soul; He directs me in paths of righteousness for the sake of His Name. Even if I will walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff—they will comfort me. You will prepare a table for me before my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup is full. Only goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the House of the Lord for many long years.2






zay lill yeciw

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teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She watches the conduct of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise and acclaim her, her husband—and he praises her: Many daughters have done worthily, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is naught; a God-fearing woman is the one to be praised. Give her praise for her accomplishments, and let her deeds laud her at the gates.1



This is a prayer usually said just before Shabbat.



êåøá Blessed are You, Lord

êåøá Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. (Amen)

All present wash their hands for the meal (see Laws on page 603), reciting the appropriate blessing, being careful not to speak until after eating of the challah. The head of the household recites the blessing for bread while holding both loaves, and distributes a piece to each person, who in turn recites the blessing over the bread.

Pour some wine from the cup to be distributed to those listening, and drink at least 2 ounces of the remaining wine while seated.

who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to dwell in the sukkah. (Amen)

êåøá Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,

On Chol Hamoed Sukkot, in the sukkah, add (when saying the words to dwell in the sukkah, glance at the sukkah covering):

verse, who has hallowed us with His commandments, has desired us, and has given us, in love and goodwill, His holy Shabbat as a heritage, in remembrance of the work of Creation; the first of the holy festivals, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. For You have chosen us and sanctified us from among all the nations, and with love and goodwill given us Your holy Shabbat as a heritage. Blessed are You Lord, who hallows the Shabbat. (Amen)

êåøá Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the uni-

our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. (Amen)

éøáñ Attention, Gentlemen!

When making Kiddush over bread, say:

éøáñ Attention, Gentlemen!

When making Kiddush over wine, glance at the wine and say:

all their hosts were completed. And God finished by the Seventh Day His work which He had done, and He rested on the Seventh Day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed the Seventh Day and made it holy, for on it He rested from all His work which God created to function.2

íåé The sixth day. And the heavens and the earth and

Glance at the Shabbat candles, then say:

Stand while reciting the Kiddush. Take the cup of wine in the right hand, pass it to the left hand, and lower it onto the palm of the right hand. (See illustration, page 641.) The cup should be held three tefachim (approximately 9 in.) above the table throughout the Kiddush. Those listening to the Kiddush should respond Amen as indicated. 1



(ïîà) ¥¨

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When making Kiddush over wine, glance at the wine and say:

1. See additional laws on pages 603-604. 2. Genesis 2:1-3.

All present wash their hands for the meal (see Laws on page 603), reciting the appropriate blessing, being careful not to speak until after eating of the challah. The head of the household recites the blessing for bread while holding both loaves, and distributes a piece to each person, who in turn recites the blessing over the bread.

Pour some wine from the cup to be distributed to those listening, and drink at least 2 ounces of the remaining wine while seated.

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On Chol Hamoed Sukkot, in the sukkah, add (when saying the words dMQA ¨ ª © aWil ¥ ¥ , glance at the sukkah covering):

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When making Kiddush over bread, say:


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Stand while reciting the Kiddush. Take the cup of wine in the right hand, pass it to the left hand, and lower it onto the palm of the right hand. (See illustration, page 641.) The cup should be held three tefachim (approximately 9 in.) above the table throughout the Kiddush. Those listening to the Kiddush should respond on` ¥ ¨ as indicated. 1 Glance at the Shabbat candles, then say:

zay lill yeciw

Kiddush: Transliteration Ba-ruch a-tah, A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu me-lech ha-o-lam, bo-rei p'ri ha-ga-fen. (Amen) Ba-ruch a-tah, A-do-nai, E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-d'sha-nu b'mits-vo-tav v'ra-tsa va-nu, v'sha-bat kawd'sho b'a-ha-va uv'ra-tson hin-chi-la-nu, zi-ka-ron l'ma-a-sei v'rei-shit. t'chi-la l'mik-ra-ei ko-desh, ze-cher li-tsi-at Mits-ra-yim. Ki va-nu va-char-ta v'o-ta-nu ki-dash-ta mi-kawl ha-a-mim, v'Sha-bat kawd-sh'cha b'a-ha-va u-v'ra-tson hin-chal-ta-nu. Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, m'ka-deish ha-Sha-bat. (Amen)


Additional Reading Cookbooks Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food by Gil Marks Going Kosher in 30 Days by Rabbi Zalman Goldstein The Jewish-American Cookbook by Raymond Sokolov Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden Crust and Crumb by Peter Reinhart The Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Gloria Kaufer Greene The World of Jewish Cooking by Gil Marks

Useful Blogs and Websites Mansoura Restaurant in NYC: The Teal Tadjine: My Name is Yeh: My Jewish Learning Recipes:


Future Recipes to Try! Baked goods Jachun Desserts Kanafeh Mandelbread Linzertorte Hilbe Linzertorte Kataifi Muhallabieh Ghraybeh Ka’ach Kurtosh

Starters and Sides Preserved Lemon and Fennel Soup Celery root Soup Borscht Beet, yogurt,and zatar spread Muhamara Fried cauliflower with tachini Chelow Main Courses Stuffed Cabbage Leaves Brick Acharuli khachapuri Sabich Mejadra Musabaha Latkes Gefilte Fish Fu’ul Goulash Cholent Brisket

Spices and spreads Dukkah Ras el Hanout Baharat Amba Hawajj Preserved lemons Labneh Zhoug Freekeh Tabbouleh


Works Cited Marks, G., 2010. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food. John Wiley and Sons, inc. Print. Marzia-Katz, M., 2018. Jewish in Morocco: A Weekend With the Head of Morocco’s Jewish Community. Accessed on April 28th, 2018 from: Roden, C., 1997. The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand to New York. Alfred Knopf, New York. Salkin, J., 2017. Where is the Jewish Outcry in Chechnya? Forward Magazine. Accessed on April 28th, 2018 from: Suriname Jewish Community, 2018. The Arrival of Jewish Settlers. Accessed on April 28th, 2018 from: World Jewish Congress, 2018. Turkey. Representing Jewish Communities in 100 Countries Across Six Continents. Accessed on April 28th, 2018 from:


INDEX Apio Apio Kon Safanoria Baba Ghanoush Babka: Chocolate Bagels Baked Beans: Grandma's Baklava Bessara (Fava bean stew) Biscuits Blintzes: Cheese Bourekas, Bourekitas Brownies: Tachini and Halvah Butternut Squash and Tachini Spread Cake: Chocolate Orange Almond Chalav akum Chalav stam Chalav Yisrael Challah Chelow Chicken Soup: Ashkenazic Chicken Soup: Persian Chicken Soup: Yemenite Chickpeas, roasted Chraimeh Cinnamon Buns Compote Cookies, Chocolate Chip Tachini Cookies: Pattison Chocolate Chip Crispy Onion Egg Cream Eggplant, Twice Cooked Eggplant: Flan

27 27 12 81 71 51 98 38 73 57 66 96 31 85 6 6 6 69 55 35 34 33 30 47 83 30 84 102 37 110 13 26

Falafel Fattoush Fesenjan Grape Leaves, Stuffed Halvah Halvah Trifle Halvah, Persian Hamantashen Hanukkah Hariri Harissa Haroset Haroset: Ashkenazic Haroset: From Chechnya Haroset: From Egypt Haroset: From Morocco Haroset: From Surinam Haroset: Israeli Haroset: North Africa Haroset: Piedmontese Haroset: Springtime Haroset: Turkish Haroset: Yemenite Helbeh Humus Israeli Salad Kadorei Shokolad Kashering: How to Kashrut Knish Kubbeh: Fried Kubbeh: Kubbeh Hamusta 124

49 25 55 14 93 94 95 92 86 111 106 16 16 19 18 18 19 21 17 22 20 17 21 99 105 15 79 9 6 65 39 41

Kubbeh: Marak Kubbeh Adom Kubbeh: Marak Kubbeh Yarok Kugel: Classic Potato Kugel: Savory Noodle Dairy & Pareve Kugel: Sweet Noodle Dairy & Pareve Kugel: Sweet Potato Laban Ladino Laffa Lentil: Egyptian Red Soup (Shorbet Ads) Lentil: Ethiopian Stew (Mesir Wat) Ma'aroud Marzipan Moroccan Carrot Salad Mutmaq Pareve

40 40 59 58 58 59 110 28 74 37 36 88 96 29 102 7

Riced Cauliflower Rosh Hashanah Rugelach Rugelach Cake Rustic Bread Sambusak Shabbat Shakshuka Shavuot Shawarma: Spice Mix Shawarma: Tofu Shemini Atzeret Shocket Shofar Soup: Barley, Bean and Vegetable Soup: Bean and Spinach

Passover laws Pastry Fillings: Cabbage Pastry Fillings: Eggplant and Cheese Pastry Fillings: Eggplant and Tomato Pastry Fillings: Kasha Pastry Fillings: Potato and onion Pastry Fillings: Potato, Onion, Cheese Pastry Fillings: Savory Cheese Pastry Fillings: Spinach and Cheese Pepitada Pesach/Passover, About Pie Dough Pita Prayer: Blessing of the Children Prayer: Kiddush Prayer: Lighting Shabbat Candles Prayer: Shalom Aleichem Purim

10 64 63 63 64 62 62 63 63 112 28 61 75 117 118 114 115 92

Soup: Butternut Squash Soup: Carrot Turnip Spice Buns Sticky Buns Sweet Multipurpose Dough Tapadas Techina Sauce Techina Semifreddo Teiglach Tisha B'Av Tu B'Shevat Turkish Coffee Tzatziki Sauce Tzimmes: Orange colored Tzimmes: Prune and Farfel Tzimmes: Yom Tov Yom Kippur Zhoug


29 54 89 91 76 66 41 48 67 50 50 45 6 54 45 42 44 43 83 83 80 67 104 97 87 47 91 109 106 23 24 53 111 107


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Wearing a light blue collared shirt, khaki pants, loafers, and a blue and red tie every day, I spent my middle school going to an all-boys Catholic school. In this ultra-privileged setting, there are three things I remember the most: preteen boys (and sometimes grown men, too) are terribly mean to one another; whenever the guy wearing the robes in mass says “peace be with you” you say, “and also with you;” and writing an essay on the nonexistence of God. Now, to me, God may really exist, I still don’t like wearing ties, and I am happy that I don’t have to sit through mass every week twiddling my thumbs. After middle school, I stopped practicing any formal religion at all. Then, in my freshmen year, I turned the college’s chaplain down to being in “lives of purpose,” the freshmen interfaith group, because, I’m not sure the exact wording, but because I really didn’t want to live a life of purpose, at least at that moment. I remember someone calling me out in my first year, “Impatient Nick” when I walked across the grass to get to class instead of the paved path. I didn’t think of myself as impatient, rather, I was probably just lonesome and apprehensive about my new experiences. Reflecting on it now, I think that sometimes, bad habits can happen from good having gone awry. My patience slipped out of practice, and cutting the corners in the paths across campus is just a simple example. As opposed to my freshmen year, I now live a life of purpose: working in hospice or in the nursing home, donating vegetables to the Waterville food bank, or spending time with family and friends. To say that I am religious, spiritual, or practicing, I would say yes. What about? That’s more complicated. I see myself as conforming to a story I belong less to: I practice Christmas and Thanksgiving with my family of origin, in the comfort of a systemically Christian-dominated society. I am, or have become, Jewish: someone says to me before Rosh Hashanah service, “Oh yea, I think you have to be bar-mitzvah-ed to wear them,” referring to the tallit, a cloth worn over the shoulders with special braids at the bottom of each end, used for prayer. Only moments later, I am asked to help carry the Torah scrolls throughout the synagogue, and a tallit is put over my shoulders. There are places that you feel at home, and in the Beth Israel synagogue, or with the Rabbi and Mel, or in Hillel, I feel that way. My friends say that I’m the most Jewish non-Jew they’ve met: I practice, believe, read, and simply think the way other Jews do. I’m not sure what drew me to Judaism in the first place. It seems to be a little of everything: discontent with my experiences in Christian practices, and love for the local Jewish community. In a way, I was just thrown into it, like wearing the Tallit in the Rosh Hashanah service. Though I love the comfort of being at home with my family, I also miss lighting shabbat candles, singing kiddush, and eating a fresh loaf of Challah. I wouldn’t call my distinct changes from Catholic middle school or from my impatient first year a transformation; instead these experiences, past and present, are in me all the time. With all these past experiences, I am diving deeper into Jewish life through learning recipes, cooking, and sharing it with others. I hope you enjoy!


Outside Within A Recipe Book on Jewish Food and Life Nick Pattison learns traditional Jewish foods, and shares what he finds with you. A great book for people interested in converting, in learning more about Judaism, and trying new recipes.


Outside Within: A Recipe Book of Jewish Cuisine and Life  

Nick Pattison learns traditional Jewish foods, and shares what he finds with you. A great book for people interested in converting, in learn...

Outside Within: A Recipe Book of Jewish Cuisine and Life  

Nick Pattison learns traditional Jewish foods, and shares what he finds with you. A great book for people interested in converting, in learn...