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, but really, it is vegans 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 biter 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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Date Honey Cake

Oh I do love honey. I love bamboo honey, apple locust honey, goldenrod honey, coffee honey (get this if you can find it), manuka honey, and the very dark honey of some unidentified wildflowers I found in Little Falls New York on a bicycle journey this summer. I am also intemperate in my fondness for Lyle's Golden Syrup, and of course all respect is due as well to maple syrup, rice syrup, barley malt, agave, and any number of other sticky substances I have yet to try, but as it happens none of these are the subject of most Tanakhic references to honey.  The honey with which the Holy Land is flowing is not bee honey at all, but date syrup, or silan, a darkly scented, antioxidant-rich ingredient you need to know.

The date honey cake I made this year is a variation on my previous honey cakes (see Classic Honey Cake, Chocolate Honey Cake, and Pomegranate Honey Cake), and also owes some lineage to Judeo-Arabic date cakes, and of course, to English sticky pudding.  I used un-pitted dates because many folks think they are more flavorful, and anyway, I bought them by accident.  Pitting the dates was not at all difficult after they had softened up by soaking in tea or Guinness.

This is not really a carrot cake, but I added some carrots because dates love carrots.  I used sunflower seed oil for the same reason, but any oil should be fine.

Date Honey Cake

8 ounces unpitted dates (or pitted dates, why not?)
1 cup hot tea or Guinness stout

1 cup (5 ounces) palm sugar
1 cup (7 ounces) white sugar
6 cups (24 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 oranges, cores and seeds removed
1 1/2 cup sunflower oil
1 2/3 cups date syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup tahini

8 eggs

3 Macintosh apples, grated (about 2 cups)
2 large carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
5 ounces crystalized ginger, chopped (about 3/4 cup)

Soak the dates in hot tea or stout.  When the dates are very soft, remove the stones and chop coarsely.  Reserve the liquid.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a food processor, grind the oranges, peel and pulp together, and add oil, date syrup, vanilla and tahini.

Beat the eggs and add to the liquid ingredients.

Pour the orange-mixture into the flour mixture and begin folding gently together.  Add the grated apples and carrots and chopped ginger and dates and enough of the remaining date-liquid (about half) to make a loose batter.

Pour and scrape the batter into prepared loaf-pans and/or cake pans. Bake 15 minutes at 400, 15 minutes at 375, and 15 minutes at 350. The cakes are done when a tester comes out clean and they offer mild resistance to a touch.

This recipe yielded five medium loaves and one tiny little loaf  (I was inspired to start making things into tiny little loaves by my recent visits to Claire's Corner Copia, a vegetarian restaurant and cult phenomenon in New Haven).

A sweet and healthy year to all In Mol Araan.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Wasong 瓦松 Orostachys Japonica אָראָסטאַכע Rock Pine

[This post has been updated]
Well, will you take a gander at this thing?  The farmers at the green market said either to add it to salads or make juice, and that it will cure all ills.  It seems to be sort of a succulent similar to purslane, so maybe I will make a fatoush-type salad.  I haven't tasted any yet, because I want to save it for Rosheshone.  I will update this post (no solemn vow implied) when I have more information.

We tried this on Roshshone.  It is juicy and crunchy with a bright tart flavor that is closest to sorrel (shtshav, schav).  It was a very nice in salad and would probably be good in any of these shtshav recipes.  In fact it would probably be much easier than making them with actual shtshav, since you don't have to remove the stems, and it stays fresh much longer than shtshav, which is notoriously frangible.

Deconstructed Shtshav

Hemp Shtshav

Classic Shtshav

Bonus: The post with the classic shtshav recipe also provides sixteen Yiddish synonyms for shtshav. 

Among the remarkable things about this plant are the gorgeous Fibonacci spirals of the spines and leaves.  See Vihart's beautiful video series on spirals and being a plant.

Oh, I can't help it.  These are so good, I have to embed them.  Watch  the whole thing.  I'll wait.

Is that not the bee's knees?

Now be less of a theorist and more of a plant:

Yikes, that ends on a bit of a cliffhanger.  Here you go:

All my best wishes for a sweet and healthy year.  Have a look at:

Date Honey Cake
Pomegranate Honey Cake
Chocolate Honey Cake
Classic Honey Cake

and don't miss our Rosheshone-related videos.

This year we made tsimes!

See also Rice with Apples and Honey

Roasted Fish and Honey Cake

I just wanted to say "notoriously frangible" again.

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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