Thursday, February 09, 2017

טאָ לערנט זיך שױן ייִדיש So Learn Yiddish Already

Remember the passage in The Gastronomical Me by M. F. K. Fisher about being crazy in love and tasting really good wine?

And we drank one of our best wines, a Corton 1929 sent from the Chateau for a present the year before. It was beautiful with the strong simple food. We all raised our glasses before the first sip, and then for a few seconds we could but stay silent, with its taste under our tongues. I looked down the long table through the candlelight and saw Chexbres, and all was well with me.


Register right now for Spring classes at The Workmen's Circle, the best and most reasonably priced classes in town.

Spring registration is open for wonderful classes classes at YIVO too!

In April, you can study the world's most romantic language in the world's most romantic city.

I know it seems cold and wet right now, (See Rain in Yiddish, Snow in Yiddish, and Cold in Yiddish), but it is already time to start thinking about registering for a Yiddish summer program.  Summertime is Yiddish time!  Don't spend another summer standing there like a golem!  Enroll in a Yiddish summer program.  Yiddish is hot, hot hot.

The Uriel Weinreich Summer Program in Yiddish Language Literature and Culture is the first, best, and most comprehensive program.  Six intensive weeks of bootcamp for your brain.

For college and graduate students, a wonderful deal is The Yiddish Book Center Steiner Summer Program.

My paternal grandparents, Helen and Jerome Jochnowitz, zts"l, founded a Yiddish farm 75 years ago to grow food for the war effort. Jochnowitz Farm is now the host of the Yiddish Farm Summer Program.

There are more, many more! The best round-up of Yiddish summer programs is to be found at In Geveb.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bukovina Buckwheat Cornbread


A few years ago I posted this dialog-poem by Yekhiel Shraibman about language, memory, and an intriguing recipe for  corn and buckwheat shortbread cookies.  I needed some buckwheat quick bread to make the topping for the Yiddish Mormon Funeral Potatoes I hope to be making today, so I adapted the recipe, adding milk, yogurt, whole eggs and leavening to the corn and buckwheat mixture

Bukovina Buckwheat Cornbread
4 ounces butter
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) buckwheat flour
6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons honey (more or less, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Heat the oven to 425F. Melt the butter in a nine-inch cast iron skillet or two smaller skillets.
combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and make a hole in the center.  Beat the eggs with the milk, yogurt and honey, and pour into the center of the mix. Fold gently to make a batter. Pour on the hot butter and stir to combine.  Pour immediately into the hot skillets and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to 375, and bake another 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

At this point I can tell you this bread is wonderful hot out of the oven with butter.  When I was putting this bread together, I was almost tempted to add some white flour, because I was nervous about working with buckwheat flour, with which I have limited experience.  I am glad I resisted.  This wheat-free, gluten-free bread is soft, light, and pleasantly crumbly, just as I hoped.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

The first time I made these grits, the flavor was very rich and interesting, but they remained very tough even after cooking overnight in the Crock Pot.  For the coming week, I am soaking them overnight first, and will then give them a good long cooking, before baking them in a Fitzu pumpkin.  In spite of their name they are kosher and vegan.


Friday, November 18, 2016

סעלעריע װאָרצעלעך Celeriac Tendrils

I was very excited to get hold of this celeriac from Lucky Dog Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket.  It differs from most celeriac you are likely to find in two related particulars.  It is really clean, and all the little roots are still attached.  Having washed and peeled countless celeriacs while translating, annotating and adapting Fania Lewando's Vegetarian Cookbook I can tell you this makes life much happier, and we need every tendril of happiness we can grasp.  I am planning to  to use the bulb of the celeriac in one of the stuffing/dressing dishes, and to make tiny little celery French fries with the roots.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2016

מיט װאָס עסט מען דאָס? ?What on earth are these

Did I buy these at the farmers' market, or did The We'an catch them playing Pokemon Go? 
I cooked some of them and connected one to the mouse-port on my computer, unless I made up that last bit.  I will update this post with a recipe soon, but first post your guesses in the comments.  If you are reading this on email, click here to comment.  In addition to immortal fame and glory, the winner will get a little lagniappe from me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Khreynbow Pride כרײנבױגן שטאָלץ

Romaine lettuce, Radicchio di Treviso, Belgian endive, beet khreyn, carrot khreyn, yellow pepper khreyn, avocado khreyn, pleyn khreyn, purple cabbage khreyn

This week was Shabes Koyrekh (Korach), a week to enjoy cherries, radishes and horseradish.

Peysekh, of course, Shabes Noyekh and Pride Shabbat are special khreynbow occasions

The recipes for all the horseradish preparations in the khreynbow are here .
I have not given up on finding an ingredient for blue khreyn, and I was momentarily cheered by this article, about the uses of the butterfly pea flower, but the flower turns purple when exposed to acid, and even without the vinegar, the horseradish itself would be sufficiently acid to trigger the change.  I might still try this.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread (And a Word About Cheese Sandwiches)

A few years ago I learned that one unit of rye and two of oats (by weight, I imagine) was called yuft'  in 17th century Russia.  Ever since I have been thinking of possible uses for yuft'.  Yuft' granola is a strong front-runner, as is yuft'meal porridge.  This year, while taking inventory for my pre-peysekh bottom-of-the-bag bread I found I had close to three pounds of yuft' and seized the moment to make this bread.
Have a shufty as well at Bottom of the Bag BreadBottom of the Bag Pancakes, Bottom of the Bag Muffins and Bottom of the Bag Cookies from previous years, and Lindy’s Something out of Nothing roundup.

This bread is milkhik and requires some sufficiently terrifying identification as such. 

Something out of Nothing V: Bottom of the Bag Yuft' Bread

1 1/2 cups water
5 packages dry yeast
1 1/2 cups cooked oatmeal porridge
4 tablespoons salt (this seems like a lot of salt, but really, it needed even a little bit more)
8 ounces coconut oil, melted
8 ounces molasses
about 12 ounces kefir
2 cups yogurt
1 pound 9 ounces all-purpose flour
1 pound light rye flour
1 pound 6 1/2 ounces rolled oats
9 ounces whole wheat pastry flour

2 cups cooked kamut berries (3/4 cup kamut cooked in lavishly salted water for an hour)

An egg for egg wash
White and black sesame seeds
Coarse sea salt

Dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups water.  When it becomes foamy add the porridge, salt, and other liquid ingredients,  and stir to blend well.  knead in the flours and oats.  If you are using a mixer, this will need to be done in two batches.  The dough will be heavy and sticky.  Knead well for about twenty minutes and knead in the kamut berries.

Allow the dough to rise two hours .  Punch down and leave to rise overnight in the refrigerator.  Form the cold dough into six loaves and proof for about an hour and a half.

Heat the oven to 375.

Brush the loaves with two coats of egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt.  Place the loaves in the oven and lower heat to 350.  Bake for forty-five minutes or until they are well-browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

This made densely-textured bread that sliced up beautifully and was admirably suited to grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Since I have gone and brought up the subject of grilled cheese sandwiches, you must allow me to beg your indulgence on one small matter.  You will think that this is extra work and a bit of a bother, and you are right, but please pay heed.  If you are planning to add a slice of tomato, or some thin shavings of onion, or anything of that sort to your sandwiches, you must first grill the vegetables so that they are sizzling hot and only then assemble the sandwiches.  A sandwich with a slice of cold, raw tomato will never get completely hot and melty all the way through, and it is this that makes life worth living. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Peysekh Survival: Counting Down and Stocking Up

I do not know if I will be able to tough it out for the next nine days, but so far this year I have bought one (1) one-pound box of matzo meal.  This is all I need.  I almost never use more than that.  A few batches of matzo balls and enough leftover meal to dredge a few cutlets.  I am hoping that writing and posting this will keep me strong, because the awful truth is, I cannot wait to run out and buy more matzo meal.  I am so afraid of running out.  While I was congratulating myself on heroic self-restraint in the matzo-meal department, I ordered 12 liters of olive oil and four cases of wine.  Three and a half, really.  Three and seven twelfths.
Make lots of matzo balls. More than you think you will possibly need. You do not even need soup to enjoy matzo balls. Lora Brody suggests eating them cold with butter. I like them grilled. You may also cut them into cubes and use as a peysekhdik tofu-substitute.

Wonderful Matzo Balls

Break five lovely eggs into a bowl.  Season lavishly with salt, pepper, cayenne and paprika.  Add a a quarter cup water and ¼ cup melted butter or Spectrum extra virgin coconut oil. (I will permit olive oil, but for anyone privileged to make a milkhik feast I really urge you to try butter because, like, wow.)  Beat the egg mixture and while gradually sprinkling in enough Streits matzo meal (just about one generous cup) to make a loose, muddy mixture. Refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Bring a large pot of wildly salted water to a boil, and reduce to a gentle simmer. Roll matzo-batter into balls the size of walnuts. Lower them gently into into the water and cook, covered, with n o   p e e k i n g, for 40 minutes.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What I Did With the Remaining Hamentash Dough

There's always going to be leftover dough.
Here's a recipe/strategy/modality that works for many (though not all) doughs.

Sugar Batons

Any amount of cookie dough, pastry dough, or bread dough
Egg wash

Roll out the dough and brush the surface with egg wash (I used egg whites since this dough recipe used the yolks).  Sprinkle liberally with sugar and fold over.
Brush the top surface with egg wash and sprinkle with more sugar.
Slice the dough into ribbons and twist each ribbon into a spiral.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Helen Gottesman Adelson's Orange Juice Dough for Hamentashn

When I was a little girl Helen Gottesman Adelson, the mother of one of my friends, was a larger-than-life figure, a courageous (sometimes intimidating), honest, and completely original character.  I remember one occasion on which Sarah (her daughter) and I were talking about how much we had enjoyed the book Daddy Long Legs, and she explained what an appallingly sexist book it was (of course she did not use the word "sexist" which hardly even existed yet, but we got the idea).  I struggled with this, because what makes the story so appalling is exactly what made it so romantic to me, but I knew at once she was entirely correct. This is amazing since this was decades before anyone even thought of speaking about this kind of thing.

The reason I am telling you all this is that I recently came across one of my old college physics books, in which I had written a number of recipes, including the recipe for hamentashn dough Mrs. Adelson had generously shared with me all those years ago.  The dough is chilling now and I will update this post as soon as the hamentashn are filled and baked.

Orange Juice Dough for Hamentashn
(Adapted by The Chocolate Lady)

Crumble together five cups of flour with three sticks of butter.  Add 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Mix  two jumbo egg yolks with one cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and one teaspoon lemon juice.

Mix I and II together and refrigerate overnight.

און אָט האָט עץ אַלע צונױפֿגעזאַמלטע המנטאַש־רעצעפּטן

 And here, for your convenience, is a round-up of all Hamentash-related recipes:

Inside-Out Pumpkin Hamentashn (Pumpkin Seed Pastry with Pumpkin Filling)

Pumpkin Hamentashn (with Pumpkin Seed Filling)

Carrot Filling

Chocolate Dough (English)

Vegan Gluten-Free Hamentash Dough

Vegan Gluten-Free Hamentash Dough
(Yiddish) װעגאַן טײג

Chocolate Dough (Yiddish)

Apricot Filling

Poppy Seed Filling

White Poppy Seed Filling

Hemp Seed Filling

Povidl (Prune Filling)

פּאָװידלע Prune Filling (Yiddish)

Friday, January 22, 2016

טשאָברד Tsholnt in a Hubbard

Friday, October 02, 2015

רעגן אין ייִדיש Rain in Yiddish

Yiddish Rain  Mural from Sholem Aleichem School on Bainbridge Avenue

Another year, another wet rainy Sikes סוכּות (Succoth).  Here is a perfect song for a day like today, performed by Beyle Schaechter Gottesman.

Rain der regn

עס גײט אַ רעגן
It is raining.  Es geyt a regn 

עס פֿאַלט אַ רעגן
Rain is falling.  Es falt a regn

גאָסרעגן, שלאַקרעגן, פּליוכרעגן
gosregn, shlakregn, plyukhregn
pouring rain, beating rain, gushing rain

דער טױ
Dew.  der toy

דער טױטראָפּן
Dewdrop  der toytropn

דער רעגנטראָפּן
raindrop  regntropn 

דער רעגן־בױגן

Rainbow  regn-boygn


wet  nas

די בלאָטע

mud  blote

אױף רעגן און אױפֿן טױט איז ניט װאָס גאָט צו בעטן
Af regn un afn toyt hot men nit vos got tsu betn.
There is nothing to be done about death and rain.

נאַראָנים און פּאָקשעװעס װאַקסן אָן רעגן
Naronim un poksheves vaksn on regn.
Nettles and The Stupid can grow without rain (lit. Fools and nettles grow without rain).

אַגרױסער װאָלקן, אַ קלײנער רעגן
A groyser volkn, a kleyner regn
Lots of smoke and no fire (lit. a big cloud, a little rain).

שמײכלען װי די זון נאָך אַ רעגן
Shmeykhlen vi di zun nokh a regn.
To smile from ear to ear (lit: to smile like the sun after the rain).

Drawing from Sholem Aleichem School on Bainbridge Avenue

Friday, September 11, 2015

ליליע לוביא Purple-Eyed Peas

Violet eyes to die for

Get a load of these jewels, these amethyst morsels.  I found these purple-hulled beans at the Berried Treasures farm stand in Union Square.  Lavender Loubia.  Rubious Rubiya.  I had been planning to make black-eyes peas with tomatoes and vegetables, but I will have to come up with a recipe to show these off on their own, perhaps with some purple onions.

May it be Your will that our merits increase.
יהי רצון . . . שירבו זכויִותנו

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Friday, May 22, 2015

פֿילפֿאַרביק קערניק Spumoni Kernik and Vegan Shvies (Shavuot)

 Spumoni Kernik made with one recipe chocolate kernik, one recipe banana kernik, and one recipe Strawberry almond milk kernik. 

What is a kernik? 
A sernik סערניק is a cheesecake, and kern קערן are nuts, seeds, and kernels.  A kernik is a vegan cheesecake made with nuts, seeds, or kernels.

Why make a kernik?
While many pixels have been spilled on the plight of vegetarians at Peysekh, really, it is vegans to whom we owe some understanding at this joyous time of year.  I feel this especially now.  Last week I was explaining to a colleague my desire to make ever more creamy and succulent desserts for folks who don't eat milkhiks.  She shrugged and said "they can just have fruit."  Now, I think I have demonstrated here In Mol Araan that my enthusiasm for fruit can border on rhapsody, but I am not willing to impose a cheescake-free existence on anyone.

Strawberry Kernik
1 1/2 cups almond milk
One quart  strawberries, 10 ounces weighed after hulling and washing
honey to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons mitoku agar (less if using Eden) 
Blend the strawberries and almond milk ion a high speed blender and strain through a fine mesh sieve.
Heat 3 tablespoons water in your smallest saucepan.  Sprinkle the agar on top and cook until dissolved.  Blend with the strawberry mixture.   Pour the batter into a six-inch spring form pan with the crust of your choice or as is.

Almond milk
two cups almonds
six bitter almonds*
water for soaking
three cups water
Soak the almonds and bitter almonds overnight in water.  Discard the soaking water.  decorticate the almonds and blend them with three cups water in a high-speed blender until the pulp is very fine (about two minutes).  Strain through a fine mesh sieve or a nut-milk strainer.  You may dry the almond pulp to use as almond flour in gluten-free recipes.

Spumoni Kernik
Two recipes Chocolate Pecan Crust
One recipe Strawberry Kernik
One recipe Chocolate Kernik
One recipe Banana Kernik 
One recipe Pistachio Kernik
Pistachio Kernik in Yiddish with picture.

*What are bitter almonds?
Bitter almonds are actually not almonds at all, but apricot kernels (sometimes called apricot seeds by marketers). they are safe, legal, and delicious.  All marzipans, all almond pastes, and all almond extracts are in fact made with apricot kernels, not almonds.  You can find them in some ethnic grocery stores and health food stores, and you can order them online.  If you cannot easily get a hold of any, you may certainly leave them out.  What you may not do, under any circumstances, is substitute almond extract.   There may be situations in which you will want almond extract,and in such cases it is worthwhile to go to the trouble and expense of getting something very good.  Supermarket almond extracts will all too frequently impart a vulgar flavor that is perfumey, excessively "extracty," and  fake-tasting, even when they are "all-natural".

For Vegan Shvies survival see also
Pumpkin Kernik
Vanilla Kernik
Orange Strawberry Banana Kernik
Cheesecake Lexicography

Cashew Cheese

Friday, May 08, 2015

Banana Kernik

Chocolate Banana Kernik
(Made with one recipe Chocolate Kernik, one recipe Banana Kernik, and two recipes chocolate pecan crust)

Banana Kernik
One can (12 ounces) coconut milk
2 ripe bananas
Bamboo honey to taste (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons agar
4 tablespoons water
Juice and zest of one quarter of an orange
(some vanilla and or dark rum might be nice, but I did not use any)

Blend the bananas, coconut milk, honey, juice and zest in a blender.  Bring the water to the simmer in your smallest saucepan.  Sprinkle the agar over the surface and simmer until melted.  Blend the melted agar into the banana cream.  Pour the batter into a 6-inch springform pan.  This is good with a chocolate pecan crust and just wonderful on its own. 

Chocolate Banana Kernik
To make the chocolate banana kernik pictured above, prepare one recipe chocolate kernik, one recpe banana kernik, and two recipes raw vegan pecan dough.  Press the dough into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Pour the chocolate and banana batters into pitchers with spouts.  Pour about a quarter of the chocolate batter into the pan.  Carefully pour a quarter of the banana batter directly into the center of the chocolate batter, forming a bulls-eye.  Continue alternating batters, pouring each portion directly into the center of the circle.  If desired, feather the top with a knife.  Chill overnight to set. 

I am not going to tell my family this is a raw, vegan, gluten-free dessert until it is too late.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Fania Lewando's Rice Dumplings Stuffed with Mushrooms פֿאַניע לעװאַנדאָס רײַז קנײדלעך מיט שװאָמען

This recipe is labor intensive, but deeply rewarding.  I like the part where we add more butter.  Also the other part, where we add more butter.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

אַ גאַנץ יאָר פּורים, און שיכּור ניכטער Purim Time to Pick a Tash of Poppy

 מאַכט'ץ שױן המנטאַשן!
Make homntashn already!

און אָט האָט עץ אַלע צונױפֿגעזאַמלטע המנטאַש־רעצעפּטן

 And here, for your convenience, is a round-up of all Hamentash-related recipes:

Inside-Out Pumpkin Hamentashn (Pumpkin Seed Pastry with Pumpkin Filling)

Pumpkin Hamentashn (with Pumpkin Seed Filling)

Carrot Filling

Chocolate Dough (English)

Vegan Gluten-Free Hamentash Dough

Vegan Gluten-Free Hamentash Dough
(Yiddish) װעגאַן טײג

Chocolate Dough (Yiddish)

Apricot Filling

Poppy Seed Filling

White Poppy Seed Filling

Hemp Seed Filling

Povidl (Prune Filling)

פּאָװידלע Prune Filling (Yiddish)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Two Pecks of Peppers

I ordered half a bushel of Habanero chile peppers from my CSA having no idea just how much half a bushel might turn out to be (I knew it was two pecks, but this helps as much as knowing that a shilling is 12d). As a public service, I am posting this picture for anyone about to order half a bushel of anything so you may look before you leap.  These a pretty large peppers. The Tabasco bottle on the left and the lemon on the right are for perspective.

The chiles weigh 9.2 pounds.

I will freeze as about half for peysekh and process the rest into sauce.

Hot Sauce

Any kind of chiles in any amount
White vinegar or cider vinegar
Possibly a bit of sugar

Stem and seed the chiles.  If they are very hot, or if you are very sensitive, or both, you might want to wear protective gloves and a mask.

Put the chiles into a non-reactive pot.  Add enough water and vinegar (slightly more water) almost to cover.  Salt liberally and cook for fifteen minutes.  Allow to cool.  Very carefully taste a tiny bit and adjust for acidity, salt, and possibly a tiny bit of sugar.

Transfer small amounts of the pickled peppers and brine to a blender and liquefy.  Please be very careful when you remove the top of the blender to decant the liquefied sauce.  It is at its most volatile right after blending and you might want to leave it to cool a bit in the blender.  Avert your face when opening the blender.  Pour the sauce into glass bottles and refrigerate.  Those of you who know how to sterilize bottles for room-temperature storage can probably do that, and please offer tips in the comments. 

Usually, I hoard chiles at this time of year and make all my sauce for Passover, but if I freeze all of these guys, I will not be able to freeze anything else for six months.
I heartily recommend making your own hot sauce, especially if you have some amazing flavorful organic chiles, and I don't want to scare anyone off, but let me just emphasize once more, that you want to be careful inhaling near your freshly processed chiles. 

PS. I tasted the Wa Song and updated my Wa Song post.  Do have a look.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

זיסקײט אין ייִדיש Sweetness in Yiddish

‏ האָניק
Honik  honey

Stelnik  honeycomb
Tsuker  sugar

Hitl-tsuker  Sugar-loaf

Myelits  granulated sugar

Tsuker-zis  Sweet as sugar

Honik-zis  Sweet as honey

לאַקרעץ זיס, לאַקרעצדיק, פּריקרע זיס, סאַכאַריניק, ביטער זיס ‏
Lakrets zis, lakretsdik, prikre zis, sakharinik, biter-zis
Licorice-sweet, saccharine, unpleasantly or unbearably sweet

ניט לעקן קײן האָניק חאָניק
Nit lekn keyn honik
 To have a hard life (not to lick any honey)

אומבאַטעמט װי אַ פּאָדעשװע אין האָניק
Umbatamt vi a podeshve mit honik  
As unappealing as the sole of a shoe with honey

אום ראש־השנה האָט דער גרעסטער קבצן אַ טראָפּעלע האָניק ‏
 Um rosheshone hot der grester kabtsn a tropele honik
On Rosh HaShone, even the poorest person has a drop of honey

שענק מיר ניט קײן האָניק און גיב מיר ניט קײן ביס
Shenk mir nit keyn honik un git mir nit keyn bis
Don’t give me any honey and don’t sting me

װוּ מען דאַרף (האָבן) צוקער טױג ניט קײן זאַלץ
 Vu me darf tsuker, toyg nit keyn zalts
When you need sugar, salt won’t do.

אַ ייִד האָט אַכט און צװאַנציק פּראָצענט פּחד, צװײ פּראָצענט צוקער און זיבעציק פּראָצענט חוצפּה
A yid hot akht un tsvantsik protsent pakhed, tsvey protsent tsuker, un zibetsik protsent khutspe.
A Jew is 28% fear, 2% sugar, and 70% khutspe.