Monday, September 13, 2021

Chickpea Palette for Your Palate

 Clockwise from 1:00: kala chana, garbanzo beans, ceci neri, desi chana, hara chana, cicerchie

I am particularly interested in the ceci neri right now, and hope I will have links for all of these soon.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Vegan Challah


This recipe differs from the recipe for vegan hamburger buns in that is has a higher proportion of vegetable pulp.  It was also made with rapid rise yeast.  This was not intentional, but resulted in a very fluffy crumb.

 Vegan Challah

1 medium-large  cooked potato, about 6 ounces
2 ounces cooked sweet potato

2 ounces cooked winter squash such as butternut or pumpkin

(you should have a total of 10 ounces (1 1/4 cup) cooked mashed vegetables)

2 pounds and 2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 7-8 cups)

1 cup water (use water from cooking the potatoes, plus enough added to make one cup)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk

1 tablespoon, 3/8 ounce (about 1 1/2 packets) yeast (I think I must have used rapid rise yeast, which I recommend.  This dough rose like The Challah That Ate Cincinnati).

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup date syrup, malt, or sugar (or honey, if cool)
1 tablespoon salt


For the holiday season, you may want to add:

2 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) golden raisins, or Persian green raisins, or any other raisins moistened in a little tea or water (not quite enough liquid to plump them up, just a little, you know?)

Clockwise from 1:00  Black Afghan raisins, Manouka raisins, green Persian Raisins, purple raisins, golden raisins.  Persian greens are the sweetest.  Manoukas are amazingly delicious, but you must deseed them by hand.

Vegan Glaze

1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon agar
poppy seeds

Measure reserved potato water and if necessary, add enough water to make one cup.  If the water has become cool, reheat it.  Combine the water and soy milk in a mixing bowl.  The mixture should be warm.  Sprinkle yeast over the surface and add half the flour.  Mix with the paddle.  Leave the spongy dough in the mixing bowl to rise for 45 minutes.

Mix the dough once more with the paddle.  Remove the paddle and add the potatoes, syrup, oil,  salt, and remaining flour.  Knead with the dough hook for four or five minutes.  This dough can also be kneaded by hand.  The dough will be somewhat softer and stickier than typical bread dough, but worry not.

Turn the dough into an oiled bowl and allow to rise for another 40 minutes.  Punch it down, separate challah, and divide the remaining dough into twelve pieces for three 4-strand challahs or two 6-strand challahs. Allow the dough to rest a few minutes. Roll the dough bits into strands and allow them to rest another few minutes.  You might also let them rest in the middle of rolling if they are showing some resistance.    

Weave the strands into challahs.  

You can make six-strand koyletsh 

or Dem Rebns Khale (pull apart challah)

or challahpakhes

or challahsaurus

or shlisl challah

And of course for the joyous holidays, crown challahs.

Cover and and allow to rise another 45 minutes.

Heat the oven to 350F (Mark 4)

Bring 1/2 cup water to the boil.  Sprinkle the agar over the water and cook until clear.  Brush the tops of the risen buns with glaze, and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake the Challahs for about 35 minutes, rotating the pans after about 15 minutes. 

Just get a load of that tender, fluffy crumb.  No one could believe this was vegan.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Date and Tahini Honey Cake Vegan ταχινοπιτα



The honey in this year's cake is once again date syrup, the lush honey referenced in scriptural sources.  I was thinking of combining tahini and dates in a vegan cake first because dates love tahini, and also because tahini provides richness and structure to an egg-free recipe.  It turns out the tahini honey cake party already started long ago in Greek cuisine, where this cake and a few other intriguing vegan cakes are staples of the Lenten season. I hope I will get a chance to adapt many more of these.  As always, my favorite source for Greek recipes is Laurie Constantino, but this is adapted from Vefa's Kitchen.  I am generally wary of omnibus cookbooks, suspecting that the editors may have pressured the authors into including as many recipes as possible, but I have yet to find a dud in this one.

The cake is lovely.  This should not be a compliment, but no one will guess it is vegan. The moment you take the first bite, you think, oh, it's not sweet, I need to add more sugar or syrup, but then the sweetness sneaks up on you, and you just sink into sweet solace.

Things I substituted:

Instead of orange juice I used a whole orange.  I needed more liquid and added sparkling apple cider.  Probably water, soymilk, or orange juice would all be good.

Instead of raisins I used dates

I used date honey instead of bee honey


I reduced the amounts of cinnamon and cloves so the dates and tahini could shine.

Things I kept the same:

I used self rising flour PLUS baking soda AND cream of tartar (isn't baking soda plus cream of tartar just baking powder)? You might recall that in the final chapter of The Long Winter Ma finally has cream of tartar and saleratus to make a cake("“It seems strange to have everything one could want to work with,” said Ma. “Now I have cream of tartar and plenty of saleratus, I shall make a cake.”"). Both of these terms were mysterious to me the first time I read the book.  Of course I knew about baking soda, but had never heard it called saleratus.  I imagined "cream of tartar" must be something like tartar sauce, because it has the word "tartar" and it is, you know, creamy. It seemed unlikely that tartar sauce would be any good in a cake, but who knew baking better than Ma?

I was excited to use my White Lily self-rising flour for the first time.  My teachers in alimentary school held strongly from this flour, but I never felt the need for special cake flours at home until lock-down, when biscuits became my daily bread (and all-purpose flour works for these too).

Tahini and Date Honey Cake

14 ounces (3 1/2 cups) self rising flour (I used white Lily, for other flour add 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and measure by weight)

2 teaspoons teaspoons baking soda 

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

7 big fat juicy dates (or any dates) 7.6 ounces before pitting, 7 ounces after pitting, 1 1/4 cup chopped 

1 cup tahini

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup date syryp

1 orange

1/4 cup date vodka or slivovitz plus a little more for drizzling, if you like 

apple juice or cider if needed

Heat the oven to 350F, 180C Mark 4. Prepare 2 nine-inch pans, or 24 muffin cups, or 1 nine-inch pan and 12 muffin cups.

Sift together the flour, leavening, and spices.  Chop the dates and toss them with a little of the flour mixture.

Cut the orange into pieces and put the whole thing, peel, pith, and pulp, in the processor with the tahini, sugar,  syrup, and vodka, and blend completely.  Fold the tahini pulp into the flour mixture and when it is about half-mixed add the date bits, saving a few for the top.  If the batter is too dry, add some apple cider.  Scrape into the prepared pans, top with remaining date bits, and bake 25 minutes for the cupcakes and 35 minutes for the cakes.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Black Sesame Soba

Well, there are  a number of reasons I wanted to try black sesame paste, but these noodles were just a quick ad-hoc, weeknight supper for one.  They taste remarkably like sesame noodles.  I will have to make both kinds side-by-side to make an accurate comparison.

I recently learned that there are many colors of heirloom sesame seeds beside the familiar black and white sesame seeds.  Traditional sesame farming methods are back-breaking and labor-intensive, and depend mostly on the work of women in the family.  Heirloom varieties are giving way to high-yield innovations.  The rarer sesame seeds and the women who pick them deserve better. 


Black Sesame Soba (for one)

1 ounce soba noodles

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, or to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame paste (I used Eden)

1/2 tablespoon shoyu, or other soy sauce,  or to taste

A drizzle of hot pepper sesame oil

1 garlic clove

Sesame  seeds, if you like

Cilantro leaves, maybe

Carrots and cucumbers cut into matchsticks?  Sure, I won't stop you from doing that.

Cook the soba in liberally salted water (reserve the water).  Cool the cooked noodles in cool water and toss them in sesame oil. Stir in the black sesame paste, shoyu, and hot pepper oil and enough pasta water to make a lovely sauce.  The black sesame paste I used is more liquid than most tahini, so I used less water than usual. Add minced or microplaned  garlic, and as few or as many garnishes as you see fit.  

This is more delicious than is usually  allowed.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Black Chiles

There are any number of black chile varieties, some sweeter, some hotter.  These are a little on the sweet side and very elegant in their (vegan) soup and fish.

I marinated  these beauties but I am not sharing a picture of the finished product because they faded in their brine and I want you to remember them in all of their ebony glory.

Marinated Chiles

More commonly, though less precisely, known as Pickled Peppers

Pack black chiles, or any chiles, into a sterilized pint jar.  You may slice and seed them, or leave them whole.

In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup cider vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 5  black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds, 1 1/2  teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar.  Bring to a simmer.  Pour the hot brine over the chiles, seal, and refrigerate.  Marinated sweet and hot chiles are welcome in salads and sandwiches.  Brine from marinated chiles is an essential ingredient for the world's greatest hummus.  I have special plans for this black chile brine.  Watch this space.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Spaghetti with Black Garlic and Oil



Here's the first thing I tried with Black Garlic and it is a good, good thing.  I used one head of the black garlic I made, but it was really big, so you might need two heads if working with medium-sized garlic.  While I love the almost syrupy sweetness and umami of the black garlic, I found I wanted to add a couple of cloves of un-blackened garlic (formerly known as "garlic") to  make the sauce a little more garlicky.

Spaghetti with Black Garlic and Oil

4 ounces spaghetti

1 very large or 2 medium heads black garlic

2 very large or 4 medium cloves garlic

olive oil (be liberal)


parsley, if you have some

Cook the pasta in liberally salted water.  While the pasta is cooking, warm olive oil in a skillet.   Peel the black garlic and mash the cloves with some of the starchy pasta-water.  Slice some of the raw garlic and cook it in the hot oil for a moment and add the mashed black garlic.  Add the cooked pasta to the pan, and grate in the rest of the raw garlic.  Add more pasta water as needed and taste for salt.  If you have some parsley, that is lovely too.

Got that?  Three garlics!  First, sauté some sliced garlic, then add the black garlic, finally, microplane in some raw garlic.

In The Food Lab, a book I recommend so ardently that I have caused some alarm, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has a recipe for spaghetti with three garlics: slow-cooked, quick-cooked, and almost raw.  This is good and I have had great joy using the same technique in other garlic-intensive recipes like ratatouille. I am thinking I would like to make this  into spaghetti with five garlics: Kenji's three garlics, black garlic, and this garlic confit

 And sure, scapes too, in season.  Six garlics.

Monday, July 12, 2021

שװאַרצער קנאָבל Black Garlic

דאָסמאָל האָב איך געטראָפֿן אין פּינטל! דער קנאָבל איז װײך און זאַפֿטיק,און שמעקט מיט פּאַטיקע, מאַלץ, אוּן אומאַמי

This time I got it just right! The garlic is soft and juicy and is fragrant with molasses, malt, and umami. 

It is delicious and I have plans.

Black Garlic

Wrap each individual head of garlic in a double layer of aluminum foil.  Then line a rice cooker with another double layer of foil.  Put the double-wrapped heads in and gather up and crimp the foil to enclose the garlic heads completely.  

Set the rice cooker to "keep warm," and keep on keeping warm for two weeks.  For me this meant remembering to reset the rice cooker every twelve hours.  I reset the cooker at the last moment before shkie Friday to maximize residual heat over shabes, and I briefly moved the garlic to an insulated foster home when I needed the rice cooker to cook some rice.  

After one week the house smelled amazing and the garlic looked like this:

 After two weeks it was black, beautiful, and intensely fragrant.  I have seen a number of websites suggesting six or eight weeks, but I think this would have been much too much.

This was my second attempt at black garlic.  The first time I used the "keep warm" setting on  a Crock Pot, and they were quite burnt after two weeks, possibly because the keep warm setting on a Crock Pot is higher than that on a rice cooker and possibly because I had not wrapped the heads nearly as compulsively.

ETA: Spaghetti with Black Garlic

Friday, March 05, 2021

Almond Chips


Raw almonds are good, as are whole roasted almonds, and raw or roasted blanched almonds, and if you are not allergic to almonds, almonds are good for those moments during the joyful and beloved holiday of Passover when you are soooo hungry and have no idea what will do.  

There is no question that these almond chips will provide more satisfaction than any of the above almond preparations.  The only question is whether the satisfaction differential will itself be enough to justify actually making these things, which will require 

Bonbons on skewers instead of candles, even on weekdays.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Really Long Macaroni (and The World's greatest Macaroni and Cheese) אַ לאַנגער לאָקש


What makes you happiest on Roysh Khoydesh Oder?  What most honors the cow on the New Year?  What is the richest treat for Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday)? Of course it is macaroni and cheese, food of the gods, solace of humankind.

Many of you have been asking for the World's Greatest Macaroni and Cheese recipe.  You can scroll all the way down now and read about the big noodles later.  I trust you to come back.

These gigantic macaroni followed me home from the one day and I wanted to make something wonderful with them, but had no cooking vessel big enough to fit them.  I might have tried to break them, but they were very hard, and what kind of an anticlimax would it be to break these beauties up?

I decided to try J. Kenji López Alt's method of pre-soaking the pasta before cooking to get it bendy enough to fit in my longest pot.  I laid them out on a full sheet pan, and covered them with warm water.  The raw noodles were 21 inches long.
Regular pasta hydrates  in 30 minutes, per Kenji, but my megaroni took over 45 minutes to get bendy.  It is some very sturdy pasta.

Bendy bendy bendy.

When the noodles were bendy enough, I slid them into my longest pot.  My longest pot is a fish poacher.  I do not now poach, nor have I ever poached a fish, but I have a fish poacher because Broadway Panhandler was closing and I had to get just one more pot (six years later the storefront is still empty.  I miss that place keenly). I considered getting a pressure cooker, but did not because I don't want a pressure cooker, and the remaining cooker in the store had settings labeled with the names of different ingredients, including pork.* 
The fully cooked noodles were just over 24 inches long.

I buttered  the lasagne pan and put some sauce Mornay on the bottom.  The sauce recipe is downstairs.  Then I laid half the noodles in the pan hanging over one end, and half hanging over the other.

Then I added more sauce, the bits of the noodles that got broken during preparation, and one pound of fresh cheese curds.

Then I folded the overhanging noodle ends over the curds.

Then all  had to do was pour on the remaining sauce and broil.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound macaroni (you may use gigantic macaroni, or the usual sort)

4 ounces (1 stick, 1/2 cup) butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups (1 quart) whole milk

about 1- 1/4 pounds cheese.  This time I used cheddar, sharp cheddar, just a bit of jack, and a little American. Mostly  cheddar. The better your cheese, butter, and milk, the better the sauce.

More flour for dredging the cheese

Optional: up to one pound fresh cheese curds

Liberal amounts of black pepper and sweet and hot paprika 

Salt to taste


Cook the macaroni in liberally salted water.

Butter a lasagne pan or two smaller pans (if you will be baking and/or broiling the macaroni).

While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce:  Melt the butter  in a large kettle and stir in 1/2 cup flour and cook for a few minutes.  When the flour is cooked, pour in the milk, stirring constantly.  Grate or crumble the cheeses and toss with a little flour and lots of paprika and freshly ground black pepper.  You  may use white pepper.  Add the cheese a handful at a time to the sauce and stir until melted.

When the noodles are done, drain them and add them to the sauce. You can serve them just as they are now, or pour half the macaroni into the pan, cover with cheese curds, pour on the remaining macaroni and bake until well melted and bubbly.  Finish under the broiler if you like.

Can you put something crunchy on top?  I cannot stop you, but I never really felt the need for macaroni and cheese to be anything other than its own self.

*On another occasion I bought a more expensive, less versatile rice cooker, because the other rice cooker had a setting labeled "quinoa," and I just didn't want to be looking at that word every day.



Friday, January 29, 2021

פּסח איז שוין אויף דער נאָז Passover is sooner than you think




The joyous and beloved holiday of Passover is hurtling towards us like about a gazillion monkeys at a banana truck.

This year I am delighted to be offering a course in Peysekh survival with the Workers Circle.  The class will be conducted entirely in Yiddish and accessible to learners at every level.

Many of you have requested help with vegan matzo balls, soup, gefilte fish,

  Register here, and have a look at all our Yiddish classes. I want to take them all

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

World’s Greatest Filling for Just About Everything



Here, finally, is the recipe from Yiddishland .

One of you called it "the world's greatest filling for just about anything," and that is just about it.

World’s Greatest Filling for Just About Everything

Olive oil (be liberal)

1 small onion

1 small carrot

1 stalk celery

1pound fresh mushrooms

½ ounce dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water


(You may add all or just some of the following six ingredients)

1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in 3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons hemp seeds, lightly toasted (be careful, they can easily burn)

¼ cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted, ground or whole

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed, ground, or chopped)

¼ cup pine nuts, ground or whole

Salt, pepper, and paprika to taste


(½-1½   cup cooked brown rice, white rice, or barley, if desired)


Dice the onion, carrot, and celery into little ¼-inch cubes, or something close to that.  Warm a liberal amount of olive oil in a large pan (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet).  Add the diced aromatics and stir and fry for about 15 minutes until golden.  Meanwhile dice or process the fresh mushrooms.  Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid for the sauce, and dice.  Add the diced mushrooms and continue cooking.  They will give off a lot of liquid.  Cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add all or some of the seeds listed above.  The soaked chia seeds provide a matrix to hold everything together, the toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds amplify the savory flavor of the mushrooms, sesame and pine nuts are just plain delicious, and the hemp seeds lend themselves to all kinds of vegan applications.  Stir everything up and taste for seasoning.  Now, if you are going to use this filling for pasta or pastry like knishes, pierogi, varenishkes, or strudel, you are all set.  If you are going to use it to stuff cabbage leaves, or a pumpkin or squashes, or eggplant, or kohlrabi, you might want to add the cooked grain. This recipe makes enough for you to do both.



Tuesday, December 29, 2020

װעגאַנער בלינצעס Vegan Blintses



די־אָ בלינצעס, און אויך אַ גאַנצן געפּרעגל פֿון קלאַסישע בלינצעס (ד"ה בלינצעס מדאורײַתא) האָבן מיר געמאַכט אין  אונדזער זומיש קאָכ־װאַרשטאַט אין ייִדיש ניו־יאָרק.  געװײנטלעך װאָלטן מיר אַלע פֿאַרזוכט אַ ביסל, אָבער דאָס יאָר מוזן פֿישל און איך אַלײן אויפֿעסן אַלע בלינצעס.  בלינצעס האָבן מער געגעסן אויפֿן צװײטן פֿרישטיק, װאַרעמעס, און אויף דעזערט, און בלינצעס װערן אונדז נאָך נישט נימאַס. 


We made these blintzes, and an entire batch of classic blintzes (blintzes according to Hoyle) in our Yiddish New York workshop.  Normally everyone would have had a little taste, but these are not normal times, and El Choclo and I have been eating blintzes at every meal. We are not tired of them yet.


װעגאַנישע בלינטסעס



די בלעטער


3 אָנצן באַגרײטע־מעל (אָדער מעל מיט באַקפּראָשעק)

½ לעפֿל פּאַפּשוי־קראָכמאַל

1/2 לעפֿעלע זאַלץ

½ טעפּל סאָיאַ־מילך

½ טעפּל װאַסער

2 לעפֿל בוימל (זונרויז־בוימל, אפֿשר)

1־2 לעפֿל אָפּגעקאָכטע קירבעס אָדער קאַבאַק


שלאָגט'ץ אַדורך דאָס מעל מיטן קאראָכמאַל.  מישט אויס אַלע אינגרעדיענטן.

װאַרעמט'ץ אָן אַ גאָס־אײַזן פֿענדל (סקאָװראָדע) און באַשמירט'ץ זי מיט אַ ביסל בוימל. פּרעגלט'ץ אָפּ די בלעטער אויף אײַן זײַט.



דאָס געפֿילעכץ


װעגאַנישע צװאָרעך:

4 טעפּלעך סאָיאַ־מילך

זאַפֿט פֿון ½ לימענע


קאָכט'ץ די מילך זי זאָל גוט שפּרודלען. לעשט'ץ אויס און גיסט'ץ אַרײַן לימענע זאַפֿט. מישט'ץ אַ ביסל און לאָז אָפּקילן אַ צען מינוט. זיפּט'ץ דורך זיפּעלע מיט אַ בלעטל קעז־זעקל.


קאַשו־נוס צװאָרעך


½ טעפּל קאַשו־ניס אײַנגעװײקט אַ מעת־לעת אין װאַסער

1 לעפֿעלע זאַלץ

1 לעפֿל צוקער

2 לעפֿל בוימל

(אויב מע װיל, אַ לעפֿל קאַבאַק)


גיסט'ץ אָפּ דאָס װאַסער פֿון די קאַשו־ניס און מאָלט'ץ זײ אָפּ אינעם מאַשינדל מיט אַלע אינגרעדיענטן.


לײגט'ץ די בלעטער אויף אַ טעלער מיט דער אָפּגעפּרעגלטער זײַט אַרויף. פֿילט זײ אײַן און פּרעגלט זײ שײן אָפּ.



Vegan Blintzes


The Crepes


3 ounces (3/4 cup) self-rising flour

½ tablespoon cornstarch

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon cooked mashed squash

½ cup soymilk

½ cup water


Sift the flour with the cornstarch and blend in the other ingredients.  Warm a cast-iron griddle and brush with oil.  Fry the crepes on one side only until the upper surface appears dry.  Allow them to cool while you prepare the filling


The Filling


4 cups soymilk

Juice of ½ lemon


Bring the soymilk to a vigorous boil.  Lower the heat and pour in the lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) draw a spoon through the milk as the curds form.  Allow it to cool for a few minutes while you grind the cashews:


½ cup cashews soaked overnight in water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

If desired, a tablespoon cooked squash


Pour off the water and grind up the cashews in a processor.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend.  Strain the soy whey through a cheese cloth. Fold the cashew mixture into the soy curds. 

Lay the crepes fried-side-up on a plate and fill with the cheese.  Roll them up and fry until golden.












Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Pumpkin Pappardelle



I have been thinking of these noodles since at least 2012, when I made this delicious pumpkin seed sauce, and thought, what this sauce wants is some pumpkin pasta.  I made pappardelle because they are pretty easy to make by hand, and also because I just like saying "pumpkin pappardelle." I was also wondering if I could reproduce the success I had with these vegan buns and this vegan challah in making egg-free egg noodles with pumpkin pulp.  These noodles are very toothy and satisfying. Well, they are noodles.

Pumpkin Pappardelle

2 cups (8 ounces) flour

1/2 cup mashed or pureed cooked pumpkin or squash

1/4 cup (possibly more) olive oil

1/4 cup water, possibly more depending on the liquid content of your pumpkin

Pile the flour onto a countertop or into a shallow bowl.  Make a well in the center and put in the pumpkin, oil, and water.

Use a fork or your fingers to draw the flour into the pumpkin to form a dough.  It is really perfectly acceptable to use a food processor to make pasta dough.  Allow your dough to rest a while and roll it out to a thin leaf between 1/8 and 1/16 inch thick.

Roll up the sheet of pasta dough and cut 3/4 in wide for pappardelle or 3/8 inch wide for tagliatelle or fettucine.  Dry the pasta on a rack or make a rack by balancing your rolling pin on two jars of honey.  It can also just rest on the counter top.

Cook the Pappardelle in liberally salted water until done to your taste, and serve with sauce.  Brown butter and sage is good, and of course, I recommend enthusiastically this pumpkin seed sauce 


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Flumpkin פֿלאַבאַק

יאָ, אונדז'אָמער ליב פֿלאַן, און יאָ, אאונדז'אָמער ליב קאַראַמעל, און יאָ, אונדז'אָמער אָן־אַ־שיעור קאַבאַק, אָבער נישט דאָס בין איך אויסן. אויסן בין איך אַז ס'פֿעלט אונדז פֿלאַבאַק, און פֿלאַבאַק גײט זיך אַלײן נישט מאַכן. דער פֿלאַבאַק איז זײַדן־זיס און פּאַרפֿומירט נאָר מיט קאַבאַק און װאַניל. אויב עץ װיט'ץ צוגעבן צימערינג און אַנדערע געװירצן איז מהיכא־תּיתי, נאָר טו אַ פּרוװ װי ער שטײט און גײט. קאַבאַק האָט אַ טעם. זאָל לעבן קאַבאַק 


Yes, we love flan, and we love caramel, and yes we have lots of pumpkin, but that's not the point. The point is that the world needs flumpkin, and it isn't going to make itself. This flumpkin is satin sweet and perfumed only with pumpkin and a little vanilla. I will you to add some cinnamon and other spices if you really like, but try it as is. Pumpkin has a flavor. Let pumpkin be pumpkin.  


For the Caramel 

3/4 cups (150 g) sugar 

juice of one lemon 

Have ready two nine-inch pyrex pie pans or about eight individual ramekins. Place the sugar in a small saucepan and squeeze the lemon juice onto the sugar. Mix the juice with the sugar to the texture of wet sand. Place the pan over medium heat and allow the sugar to melt without stirring until caramel-colored, about five minutes. Refraining from stirring is the only hard part of this recipe. When the caramel is melted and close to the desired color lift the pot off the heat and yes, now you may give it a swirl, but only a swirl. Quickly pour the hot caramel into the pans or ramekins. Place the pans or ramekins in a larger baking dish.

For the Flumpkin 

1 cup milk 

1 cup cream 

2/3 cup (6 ounces) cooked mashed or pureed pumpkin or squash 

3/4 cups sugar 

2 teaspoons vanilla 

5 eggs 

Warm the oven to 325 F. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Combine the milk, cream, pumpkin, and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer, whisking together. Remove from heat and add vanilla.  whisk the eggs in a largish bowl.  When the cream has cooled slightly, whisk it into the eggs. Strain and pour onto the caramel-coated pans. Place the baking pan containing the flan-pans in the oven and pour the hot water into the larger pan so the flumpkin bakes in a hot bath. Bake for about one hour.It will still seem a little jiggly when you take it out.

Remove the Flumpkin from the oven and allow to cool or chill. Unmold onto a flat plate.


 מהיכא־תּיתי If you wish

 װי ער שטײט און גײט as is

Yiddish pumpkin vocabulary is here

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Sunny Honey Bunny Cake and Honey Cake Round-up

These sweet juicy carrots came this week, just in time for honey cake baking.  I had been planning to make a sunny honey cake with whole and ground sunflower seeds, so it seemed providential that it should become a sunny bunny honey cake with the addition of carrots.

I already made this vegan honey cake, so I was planning to make this cake with eggs, but the sunflower seeds and soymilk provided all the richness and structure the cake needed, and I just didn't add the eggs after all and there it is.

I recall once hearing a radio interview with the great Mel Blanc, who provided the voices for Bugs Bunny and almost all the other Looney Tunes characters.  Blanc was an amazingly gifted voice actor who could make almost any sound. The one sound he could not make was the sound of a crunching carrot, so in every single performance over the course of his decades-long career as Bugs, he had to eat actual carrots while doing the dialogue.  Oh, did he get tired of carrots. He tried crunching apples, crackers, every crunchy food they could provide, but nothing made a sound sufficiently carrot-like to suit the master's standards.  Thus did he suffer for his art.

Sunny  Bunny Honey Cake

7 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sunflower seeds
24 ounces all purpose flour (You may use part whole wheat flour)

2 cups sugar  (half or all brown)

2 tablespoos baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

2 oranges

1 lemon
15 ounces (1 1/2 cups) bamboo honey

1 1/2 cup soy milk or other milk
12 ounces sunflower oil (or 1 12.7 ounce bottle) Any sunflower oil is fine, but if you can get this wonderful buttery, nutty unrefined sunflower oil you will be glad you did.

7 medium carrots 18 ounces after peeling  (4 cups) 

Additional raw sunflower seeds for topping

Heat oven to 400 F. 

Prepare 3 medium ring-shaped cake pans (the vegan batter produces a lower volume)

Toast the sunflower seeds, and grind them up in a processor or mortar.

Wash, peel and grind or grate the carrots,

Sift together the dry ingredients.  Whisk in the toasted sunflower meal. 

Cut the oranges and lemon into pieces

Blend the citrus bits in a blender with 1/2 cup of the soymilk,  add the honey and vanilla. With the blender running, drizzle in the oil. If you want eggs, replace the last cup of soymilk with 4 eggs.  otherwise, pour the honey-oil sauce onto the dry ingredients, and blend the remaining cup of soymilk in the blender to free up all the delicious bits clinging to the sides. Mix the batter gently and fold in the carrots.  Pour into baking pans and sprinkle raw sunflower seeds on top.

Bake 10 minutes at 400, 20 minutes at 375, 25 minutes at 350, and leave in the turned-off hot oven for another 15 minutes.  (Egg-free baking takes longer.  Smaller pans might have been good)

Classic Honey Cake

Universal Honey Cake

Michigan Star Thistle Honey Cake

Chocolate Honey Cake

Pomegranate Mahlab Honey Cake

Date Honey Cake

Honey pudding

Honey Pie!   

Chayale Palevski's Honey Teygelekh and Ingberlekh 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Chard or Spinach Cutlets and Rosheshone Silka Round-up (Rosh Ha-Shanah)

Five foods are recommended in the Gemore (Talmud Bavli Horayos 12A and Kerises 6A) for the Eve of Rosheshone.  They are silka סילקא ( בוריק־בלעטער beet greens or chard), kra קרא ( קירבעס zucchini or squash),  rubia רוביא (   לוביע, שװאַרץ־אײגעלע black-eyed peas), karsi כּרתי ( פּאָרעס leeks) and tamri תּמרי ( טײַטלען dates).  This recipe is for chard or beet greens, and can be adapted for any leafy greens.  These are lovely on their own, but I imagine they would have no objections to a yellow tomato sauce, or any tomato sauce, a cream sauce, or a horseradish sauce.

Vegan Chard or Spinach Cutlets

For the cutlets:

2 bunches (about 1 pound) spinach, beet greens,  or chard

1 tablespoon olive oil (or other oil)

1 tablespoon Chickpea flour of fava garbanzo flour 

salt, pepper, paprika

oil for frying 

For the batter:

1/2 cup  tablespoons (56 grams) sifted chickpea flour or fava garbanzo flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

optional: 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, paprika, and/or cumin

Remove the stems, wash the greens well and cook them in the water clinging to the leaves.  Allow them to cool and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop the greens fine or pulse in a processor.  You should have 1 cup (6 ounces, 170 grams) chopped greens.

In a bowl, mix the chopped greens with 1 tablespoon chickpea flour and seasonings.  Form the mixture into pancakes with your hands.

Heat oil in a wide skillet.

Combine the chickpea flour with the salt, baking powder and optional seasonings, if using.  Whisk in enough cold water (about 1/2 cup) to make a thin batter.

Dip the cutlets in the batter and fry on both sides until golden.


This recipe is a vegan, gluten-free adaptation of Fania Lewando's Spinach Cutlets.

Other Silka recipes for the New Year:

Dill and Chard Frittata

Fedelini with Walnuts, Chard, and Garlic Scapes

Braised Chard Stems with Oregano and Chile

White Bean Soup with Chard Stems

Pokey Leek Soup (this recipe has 3 simonim)

Spinach with Pumpkin Seeds

Green Rice

Beet Greens Soup and Beet Soup


Rosheshone Vocabulary from the League for Yiddish part I

Rosheshone Vocabulary from The League for Yiddish part II

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