Friday, March 14, 2014

אײַנגעװיקלט און אָנגעפֿילט אױף פּורים Things Stuffed into Other Things for Purim

 חול־המועד פּורים
 kholamoyed purim
When pigs fly (lit: the intermediate days of Purim)

אָן קנײדלעך איז נישט קײן פּסח; אָן קרעפּלעך איז נישט קײן פּורים
On kneydlekh iz nisht keyn peysekh; on kreplekh iz nisht keyn purim
It ain't peysekh without kneydlekh and it ain't purim without kreplekh

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)

 Our Homentashn episode:


The other food associated with Purim is kreplekh, pierogi, pelmeni, or vareniki
Here is our kreplekh episode:

And here is our varenikes episode.  It was our very first!

homentash, homentashn, homentashen, hamentash, hamentashn, hamentashen, (sigh) hamantaschen, kreplekh, kreplach, vareniki, varenikes, pirogn, pirogen

Thursday, October 31, 2013

‏ ‏ Supernatural Phenomena of the Yiddish World (and Pumpkins) כּישוף און באַניעס אױף ייִדיש

 Leib Kvitko's Di Bobe Shlak un ir Kabak, a story about a giant pumpkin and Bobe Shlak


די מכשפֿה


דער  מכשף 


דער כּישוף־מאַכער


די כּישוף־מאַכערין

Evil spirit  REYKH

 דער רוח


 דער גולם


דער דיבוק


דער כּישוף


דער צױבער









Miscellaneous creatures of the spirit world:

באָביק  דער

  דער לאַנטוך



Grandma Yakhne

באָבע יאַכנע

אַ הונט האָט מורא פֿאַר אַ שטעקן און אַ ריח פֿאַר ציצית .

A hunt hot moyre far a shtekn un a rikh far tsitsis.
A dog is afraid of a stick and an evil spirit is afraid of tsitsis (Jewish fringed garments).

אַז מען רעדט אױס אַן עין-הרע  שאַט ניט.

Az men redt oys an eyn-hore, shat nit.
If you say that you gave someone the evil eye, it doesn’t work.

אָפּשפּרעכן און אָפּברעכן איז אַ װאָלװעלע רפֿוה.

Opshperkhn un opbrekhn iz a volvele refue.
Annulling (an evil eye) is a cheap cure.

װאָס שטײסטו װי אַ לײמענער גולם?

Vos shteystu vi a leymener goylem?
Why are you just standing there?  Don’t just stand there! (Lit.: Why are you standing like a clay golem?)
אַ געמאַכטע מכשפֿה איז ערגער װי אַ געבױרענע. ‏
A gemakhte makhsheyfe iz erger vi a geboyrene.
A trained witch is worse than a born witch.

אַ ייִדישער עיִן־הרע איז ערגער װי אַ גױיִשער כּישוף. ‏

A yidisher eyn-hore iz erger vi a goyisher kishef
 A Jewish evil eye is worse than Gentile magic

And here are (from Stutchkoff) some Yiddish words for "pumpkin"

‏דיניע, מעלאָן, קירבעס, קאַבאַק, באַניע, קאַלאַבאַש, פּלוצערן, טיקװע, פּאָמקין

dinye, melon, kirbes, kabak, banye, kalabash, plutsern, tikve, pomkin

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

‏װאָס צו טאָן מיט ענקערע אתרוגים ‏ What to do with your Esrik

In years past I have had, with great regret, to advise that you not eat your esrik.  But until now I had not offered a compelling alternative.

Our long national nightmare is over. It turns out that capaybaras just love steamy hot etrog-scented baths.  If you do not have a capybara, you may indulge in an esrik bath for yourself, just the ticket after weeks of relentless merrymaking.

And have a look at our seasonal stuffed cabbage.
קול מבשר מבשר ואומר

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

‏װידער געפֿילטע ‏ Gefilte Redux ‏

I am all but certain that all the other Yiddish vegetarian Jewish food bloggers will corroborate that the most requested, coveted, and yearned for vegetarian adaptation is for gefilte fish (‏געפֿילטע פֿיש ).  In the recipes posted here and here I followed Lena Braun's suggestion to use salsify, or as she calls it ‏ אױסטער־פּלענט ‏(oyster-plent).  We couldn't find any salsify ‏in time to shoot this video, and first tried Braun's back-up suggestion of cauliflower.  The cauliflower fish was fine, but not really as smashing as the salsify version.  Finally we hit upon the parsnip and cauliflower combination, which provides salsify-worthy verisimilitude with ingredients you can find at a moment's notice.

 For the Joyous holiday of Shvies (the best yontif) have a look at our blintz episode.  Recipes here and here.

And do have a listen to the Tablet magazine Shvies podcast  here.

I have nothing else to add.  I just wanted to type "salsify-worthy verisimilitude" again.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

‏אױף דער לינקער זײַט - ‏ Inside-out Pumpkin Hamentashn --

Purim, like its temporal neighbor Mardi Gras, is a feast of inversion, so turning one's hamentashn inside out seems like the most reasonable thing to do.  I actually like these even better than the right-side-in hamentashn, but both the dough and filling are more difficult to prepare and handle.
I looked at many pumpkin jam recipes while making these.  some call for cooking the pumpkin first, some for starting the jam with raw pumpkin, which is what I did.  I think cooking the pumpkin first might have made a more pumpkiny filling.  Traditional Greek recipes also call for mastic, which I did not have on hand.

Pumpkin Seed Pastry

6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) flour
4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) toasted ground pumpkin seeds
5 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces (3/4 cup, 1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 egg
Combine flour, ground seeds,  sugar, and baking powder.  Rub in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingers.  Stir in the beaten egg with a fork.  Chill the dough briefly.

This pliant dough rolled out very nicely and folded into hamentashn with no resistance.  I should have suspected right away it had something up its doughy little sleeve.  The first batch, baked at 375 F, melted into shapeless little blobs.  Flavorful little blobs, but shapeless blobs nevertheless.  The next batch, chilled in the freezer and baked at 325 F melted into shapeless little blobs (above left).  For the third batch, I just made them into thumbprint cookies and tried to coax them into a triangular shape (above right).

Pumpkin Jam Filling

11 ounces (2 cups diced) pumpkin or other flavorful squash such as butternut or kabocha
11 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
5 slices candies ginger
1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin pieces are soft and the syrup is thick.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Roll out the dough about 3/16 inch thick, a bit thicker than your typical hamentash dough, and cut into circles to fill with jam, or simply roll the dough into balls and make indentations for the filling.  Fill with pumpkin jam.  As the components approach room temperature, the dough will get very soft and the filling will get firm, so you are racing the clock.  Chill the formed hamentashn for 20 minutes and bake for 30 minutes.

 ‏אױף דער לינקער זײַט
af der linker zayt  
inside out (literally: on the left side)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

‏באַניע המנטאַשן ‏ - Pumpkin Hamentashen

Pumpkin Pastry

8 ounces (2 cups) flour (I used a mix of all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) tablespoons brown sugar
4 ounces (1 stick, 1/2 cup) butter
6 ounces (3/4 cup) cream cheese
6 ounces (3/4 cup cooked pumpkin

Combine dry ingredients and butter in the bowl of the processor and pulse to a coarse meal.  Add cream cheese  and pulse until just combined.  Chill a few hours or overnight

Pumpkin Seed Filling

8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) pumpkin seeds
1 cup milk
3/4 cup honey 

Toast the seeds at 375 for 15 minutes or until golden.  Grind to a fine meal in the processor.  cook with milk and honey for about ten minutes or until thick, and allow to cool.


Preheat oven to 375 F.  Roll the chilled dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut into circles, wet the upper surface of each circle with a brush, fill with pumpkin seed filling, and fold into hamentashn.  You may brush the top surface with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse brown sugar for a nice sweet crunch.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.

Round-up of hamentash recipes

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)

This year's Purim video

Last Year's Purim video

Hamentashn, hamentashn, homentashn, homentashen, hamentaschen

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

לשנה־טובֿה, בײמער Trees

‏ It is nearly a month since khameshoser, The New Year for trees, and you know what that means.  The joyous and beloved feast of Peysekh is hurtling toward us like whatever that thing was that just smashed into Siberia.  And, like that thing, whatever it was, the danger is great but precious jewels are to be found in the rubble.
In Yiddish, trees are examples of strength (shtark vi a boym), solitude (aleyn vi a boym), and trembling (treystlen zikh vi a boym), among other things.

אױף אײן שלאַק פֿאַלט קײן בױם ניט אײַן
Af eyn shlak falt keyn boym nisht ayn.
A tree does not fall from one blow (Rome was not built in a day)

אַז עס רײַסט זיך אָפּ אַ צװײַגל װײנט מען, אַז עס פֿאַלט אַ בױם שװײַגט מען. ‏
Az es rayst zikh op a tsvaygl veynt men, az es falt a boym, shvaygt men.
They cry when a branch falls, but are silent when a tree falls (there must be an English  saying for this, but I can't think of any)

איבער אַן אײַנגעפֿאַלענעם בױם שפּרינגען אַלע ציגן ‏
Iber an ayngefalenem boym shpringen ale tsign
All the goats jump over a tree that has fallen (nothing fails like failure; nobody knows you when you're old, down, and out).
אַ בױם בײגט זיך נאָר װען ער איז יונג
A boym beygt zikh nor ven es iz yung
 A tree bends only when it is young (you can't teach an old dog new tricks)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Les Rabbins Volants Yiddish Surf

The barest whisper of daylight still salved the the sky as I exited work this afternoon, and I am daring to hope that spring is on the way.

You all know what that means. 

The joyful and beloved holiday of Peysekh is hurtling towards us like the Silver Surfer comet, possibly the brightest in history, as might this coming Passover be as well.

Watch this space for all your Peysekh Survival needs.  This year I will be concentrating particularly on horseradish.
Does everyone already know the story about the year when the kehile in Madrid had a shortage of horseradish because it was held up at airport customs?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

פֿאַניִאַ לעװאַדאָס קאַװע מיט ‏געלכלעך ‏ ‏ Fania Lewando's Coffe with Yolks

While intensely sweet, this coffee is one of the delightful surprises of Fania Lewando's Vegetarian Cookbook, forthcoming with the help of heaven this year from YIVO.  This is a delicious hot foamy drink. The yolks are, if anything, a more perfect companion to coffee than cream, yielding a satiny non-dairy alternative to cappuccino.  At first I thought adding some cream would make it even better, but it is entirely unnecessary. The coffee and yolks are perfect on their own.

קאַװע מיט  ‏געלכלעך
‏אױפֿבריִען אין אַ קאַװע־קריגל אײן גלאָז װאַסער מיט דרײַ לעפֿעלעך געמאָלענע גוטע קאַװע. צערײַבן ביז װײַס 2 געלכלעך מיט 2 לעפֿעלעך צוקער און אַרױפֿגיסן אױף דעם די דורכגעזײטע אױפֿגעבריטע קאַװע, מישנדיק די גאַנצע צײַט. ‏
Coffee with Egg Yolks
Brew coffee from one cup of water and three tablespoons good ground coffee.  Beat two egg yolks with two tablespoons sugar until pale, and pour in the brewed coffee, whisking constantly.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pick the Prettiest Pumpkin

The prettiest pumpkin will get filled with a challah, onion, and sage stuffing, and the two runners-up will get to be  pumpkin pie, chocolate pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin kernik, pumpkin challah, Yiddish pumpkin challah, balsamic braised pumpkin (English recipe pending), and pumpkin papardelle (watch this space), and so on, but which is the prettiest?  Vote in the comments section.  If you are reading this via email, click here, and then click on comment.

 Pumpkin 1 is a Jarrahdale with lovely wide, even lobes.

 Pumpkin 2 is a Marina di Chioggia.  The elegant dark green rind is almost black.

I'm not sure what Pumpkin 3 is, but the swooping swan's-neck stem makes it a contender.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

‏ Yiddish things in New Orleans ייִדיש אין ניו־אָרלינס ‏

Tonight I attended a  program at which The Michael White Quartet spoke about and played ragtime, blues, swing, and sacred songs from the New Orleans area.  Then they said, those are traditional pieces and here are some of our original compositions in which we include material from other folk traditions, and you may well imagine how I was thrilled to pieces that the first thing they played was a variation on the theme of Dire-gelt.

So the program ends at about ten and I am looking for a place for a late supper and I drop into the a little bar on the way back.  The charming and delightful bartender, like many people who work around here, is covered with tattoos and piercings with sideburns covering half his face.  I ask if they can make a salad without meat and he says he will go to the kitchen to check.

While we are waiting
he comments that it is hard to find vegetarian food around here although there are more vegetables available to home cooks than there used to be. In fact, he and his girlfriend belong to a CSA, and they get a box of fresh organic vegetables every week (I would not have guessed this dude was a CSA member, but that just shows you how conventional and clueless I can be).  Sometimes, he adds, he gets vegetables, and he has no idea what to do with them.  So I say, oh, you have to have a look at my website, I have recipes for all kinds of vegetables, and here, I have a cooking show too, and I start playing Est Gezunterheyt on my phone for him.

He says the show is great and I explain that it is in Yiddish, but has English subtitles. 

You know what I would really love to know how to make, he says, gefilte fish!  My grandmother used to make it every Passover and it was delicious.

Well,  you could have knocked me over with a wet kipper.  If there was ever any dude with whom I did not expect to be having a conversation about his grandmother's gefilte fish, it was most assuredly he.

My vegetarian gefilte fish recipe is here

A Yiddish version is here.

Vegetarian Jambalaya here.

Snow in Yiddish ייִדישער שנײ


עס גײט אַ שנײ
es geyt a shney
it is snowing


driving snow


גרײַפּלרעגן, אײַזרעגן
grayplregn, ayzregn

שנײעלע, שנײפֿליטער, שנײגרײַפּל, סנעזשקע, פּליאכע
shneyele, shneyfliter, shneygraypl, snezhke, plyakhe

קױל שנײ, באַלעם שנײ, שנײבאַלעם, קױל, שנײבאַל, שנײפּילקע
koyl shney, balem shney, shneybalem, shneykoyl, shneybal, shneypilke

עס גײט מיר אָן װי דער פאַראַיאָריקער שנײ

Es geyt mir on vi der farayoriker shney
It concerns me as much as last year's snow

ער הערט די מגילה װי דעם רבֿ, דעם רבֿ װי די מגילה, און בײדע אין אײנעם װי דעם פאַראַיאָריקן שנײ
Er hert di megile vi dem rov, dem rov vi di megile un beyde in eynem vi dem farayorikn shney
He hears the megile like the rabbi, the rabbi like the megile, and both together like last year's snow
גײ זוך דעם פאַראַיאָריקן שנײ
gey zukh dem farayorikn shney
Go look for last year's snow

ייִדיש עשירות (ייִדישער מזל) איז װי אַ מאַצאָװער שנײ (װי שנײ אין ניסן, װי ערבֿ־פּסחדיקער שנײ). מען זעט עס נישט אָפֿט און עס דױערט נישט לאַנג
yidish ashires (yidisher mazl) iz vi a martsover shney (vi shney in nisn, vi erev-peysekhdiker shney). me zet es nisht oft un es doyert nisht lang.
Jewish wealth (or Jewish good fortune) is like snow in March (or in Nisan, or on the Eve of Passover) . You don't see it often and it doesn't last long.

האָב אַ גוטן שליטװעגס
hob a gutn shlitvegs
Goodbye and good riddance (literally: "Have a good sleigh-ride" If someone you know is going for an actual sleigh-ride, and you actually want to wish them a good trip, there is nothing you can say. Not in Yiddish, anyway).

דעם בלאָג־אײנס װאָלט איך נישט געקאנט אנבלאָגעװען אָן דעם עלעטראנישן נוסח פֿון נחום סטוטשקאָװס אוצר
dem bolg-eyns volt ikh nisht gekont onblogeven on dem elektronishn nusekh fun Stutchkoff's Oytser.
This post would not have been possible without the miraculous online searchable Oytser of Nahum Stutchkoff. Inestimable thanks to Raphael Finkel and Shimon Neuberg.

blog post

to blog, to post on one's blog

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Walnut sauce for Pasta

A stone in the Warsaaw Jewish cemetery shows squirrels eating nuts.  Image reproduced from A Tribe of Stones by Monika Krajewski

On Shanerabe (Hoshanah Rabah, The Great Hosanna) we traditionally eat the first walnuts of the year.  I might make spaghetti with string beans and walnut sauce.  The recipe appears in Yiddish here.  Sher's wonderful walnut sauce is here, and a vegan version is here.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with String Beans and Walnut Sauce

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 pound string beans
3-7 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups walnuts
4 sprigs parsley, if you have some
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta and string beans in boiling, lavishly salted water.  the spaghetti and string beans will both be done at exactly the same moment.  There is some evidence of divine providence in the world.
Toast the walnuts in a medium oven for about fifteen minutes.
In a food processor, grind the garlic and toasted walnuts with parsley and salt and pepper to taste.  gradually add a few ladles of the pasta cooking water to the desired consistency.

In the original recipe, I called for Parmesan cheese, but in fact the sauce is absolutely delicious without it, and as it happens, the Italian kosher Parmigiano Reggiano on which I have become dependent all these years is not to be found anywhere, anywhere, anywhere and will not not be available until sometime in 2013!  "We're aging as fast as we can," the lady at the cheese counter assured me.

I have often said the same thing myself.

אַ גוט קװיטל
a gut kvitl (greeting for shanerabe: a good receipt, a good conclusion)

hashgokhe protis  divine providence 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jews Welcome Coffee

I just ordered a copy of Jews Welcome Coffee by Robert Liberles, and anticipate I will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed reading the title.  I hope to be reporting here shortly.

I am heartsick to learn that Robert Liberles did not live to see the book in print.  He was a person of rare decency and quiet kindness who illuminated every room he entered. May his memory be for a blessing, and may his soul be bound up in the eternal bond of life.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

‏ ‏ Crown Challah (Khale) קרױן־חלה

די חלה האָב איך געמאַכט פֿאַר ראש־השנה. דעם קרױן האָב איך געפֿלאָכטן פֿון פֿיר שלענגלעך, און דאָס ברעגל פֿון צװײ שלענגלעך. דער רעצעפּט פֿאַר באַניע־טײג געפֿינט זיך דאָ, און דאָ איז סתּם אַ חלה טײג. ‏
‏אַ זיס געבענטשט יאָר אַלע אין מױל אַרײַן ‏

Here's a khale I made for Rosheshone.  The crown is woven from four strands in a sort of square spiral, and the brim from two strands twisted together.  The recipe for Pumpkin khale is here (in Yiddish, with braiding directions, here), and  a plain khale dough (with Challahsaurus directions) is here.  A sweet and blessed year to you.

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pomegranate Mahlab Honey Cake

Really, I want to tell you about places that you can go to and ingredients you can find, and here I am again going on about another New York treasure that has vanished.  I don't remember when this happened, but I was at the Sunflower grocery store in Queens (don't bother looking for it, it is no longer there) and I saw some whole mahlab (the kernels of cherry stones), and I thought, "better get this; who knows when you will need whole mahlab?" 

I finally used my mahlab this week to make a new kind of honey cake for the New Year.  My cherished friend Marian the Librarian is allergic to all caffeine and cannot have this classic honey cake, which contains coffee, and certainly not the chocolate honey cake, which has coffee and chocolate.  I thought that pomegranate molasses and mahlab might both give the darkness, bitterness and wineyness supplied by coffee and chocolate.  It turns out they add this and much more.  The flavor is vividly bright and tart. Every bite makes you want the next one even more.  This might well be my best honey cake yet.

Pomegranate Mahlab Honey Cake

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare six medium ring-shaped cake pans, or four loaf pans.

Sift together in a large bowl:

6 cups (24 ounces) flour (I used half all-purpose and half whloe wheat pastry flour)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon cardamon
1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon ground mahlab (I was being cautious and used 1 teaspoon. 1 tablespoon should be even better)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Grind together in a food processor:

2 whole oranges (seeds removed)
1 pound (2 scant cups) buckwheat honey
3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
8 eggs (9 if they are smallish) added last of all

2 large firm apples

Pour the orange mixture into the flour and mix gently.  Add the grated apples and mix just to combine.  POur and scrape into the prepared pans.  Bake five minutes at 400, five minutes at 375, and fifteen at 350.  Test with a straw and bake a few minutes more if not yet done.  This cake keeps well and gets better every day.


‏באַניע קערן סאָס ‏ Pumpkin Seed Sauce

A few years ago I visited a restaurant in Vilnius where the menu was in English, of a sort, and I ordered "cauliflower with seeds sauce"  with great curiosity and anticipation.  The seeds sauce was made with flax seeds, and was just delicious.  Ever since I have been thinking about ways to utilize seeds for sauces (and, of course kernik) to make.

It is surpassingly cool if you can find some pumpkin seed oil in a health food store, but olive oil will be just fine too.

This recipe for Legumbres en Pepian is something you want to try as well.

I humbly submit this recipe to Haalo's Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn, and hosted this week by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs.

Pumpkin Seed Sauce

1 cup pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil (or olive oil)
2-10 cloves garlic
1-2 green chiles
black pepper
several sprigs cilantro (about 1/2 cup minced)

Toast the pumpkin seeds to a light brown (about 15 minutes in a moderate oven).  Combine all ingredients in a processor and chop, adding hot water (pasta water, if you have some) to the desired consistency.  This was very nice with roasted pumpkin and Lebanese rice, but I have big, big plans for this sauce.  Watch this space.

Have a healthy and blessed year.