Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Oh Oh Oh Okra

Red and green okra from Yuno’s Farm

I am staggering to keep up with my CSA farm share deliveries, but even with baskets full of succulent organic vegetables demanding my attention, I could not possibly pass up these breathtaking red and green baby okra from Yuno’s Farm. These are far and away the best okra I have ever tasted in my life. I hope they have some more this week; I can’t wait to make this again. This recipe, which I must own, is the best okra recipe anyone has ever tasted, is similar to one I remembered from Classic Armenian Recipes by Alice Antreassian and Mariam Jebejian. This book is hard to find, so if you are lucky enough to come across a copy do not let it get away.

I just looked it up, and I see that the original recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, and you make a big daisy with tomatoes on the inside and okra all around. That might be fun for next time. This time, I just stirred everything together. I have to insist you try this. The liquescent okra are so silky against their melting, caramelized onions and ambient vegetables. Oh I do believe I am getting the vapors! Perhaps I have just been unusually fortunate, but I have never had an unpleasant okra experience. I have read that if proper care is not taken okra can turn into something dreadful—has this happened to you? What are the dangers? I think I can promise that this recipe is effortless and very forgiving—I don’t see how you can possibly go wrong.

Best Okra Ever

1 pound fresh young okra

Olive oil

1 largish onion, sliced into half-moons

1 largish bell pepper, sliced into thin slivers

1 chile pepper (optional)

5 garlic cloves, peeled, but left whole

1 largish tomato, peeled, seeded, and sliced


Wash the okra and trim the stem-end of each pod into a cone. Heat the oil in a skillet or dutch oven and add the sliced onion, garlic cloves, and peppers. Lower heat and cook until thoroughly relaxed. Add the okra and cook for another ten minutes and finally the tomatoes and salt. Keep cooking until the okra are quite tender.

See Sweetnicks for more colorful and health-giving deliciousness.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

שפּיציק קרױט

דאָס קרױט הײסט „early Jersey Wakefield cabbage". עס איז זײער שײן און זיס. איך האָב נאָך די פּאַסטע פֿון אינגבער, קנאָבל, און פֿעלד־גליאַנדער פֿון מאַהאַנאַנדי װאָס איך האָב געמאַכט צו צו געבן זו די גרינע אַרבעס, האָב איך געמאַכט אַ סאַלאַט.

קרױט־סאַלאַט מיט אינגבער און קונזשוט

1 פֿונט קרױט, צעשניטן זײער דין

1 רױט פֿעפֿערל, צעשניטן זײער דין

1 לעפֿל גראָבע־זאַלץ

½ טעפּל אינגבער, קנאָבל און פֿעלד־גליאַנדער פּאַסטע

¼ טעפּל טונקעלע קונזשוט־בױמל

2 לעפֿל רײַז־עסיק אָדער עפּל־עסיק

באַזלץ דאָס קרױט און לאָז עס שװיצן אַ האַלבע שעה. קװעטשט'ץ אױס דאָס װאַסער. מישט'ץ אױס די אַנדערע אינגרעדיענטן און גיט'ץ זײ צו צום קרױט. מישט'ץ גוט אױס און לאָז עס זיצן נאָך אַ האַלבע שעה.




אַ בעל־הבית איבער אַ העפֿטל קרױט
“a master of a head of cabbage” someone who does not own much at all

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stuffed Summer Squash with Dill and Hemp Seeds

I didn’t know for sure what I was going to make this weekend, but I knew it was going to involve zucchini, which continues to pour in over the transom each week. No, I am not yet the tiniest little bit tired of summer squash. I am not saying that to be brave. I just love making things with zucchini. It helps, of course, that we are getting the best zucchini in the universe. We got more of those adorable little starship squashes, so I made a new recipe for stuffed squash. This one is the simplest yet, made only with squash, hemp seeds, dill and salt, but it is so satisfying, you don’t need anything else. If you want to make it even simpler, you can skip the part about stuffing the squashes and just grind them all up and bake the paté in a terrine or loaf pan. These were very cute, but camera-shy (we ate all the models) I will have to add “photograph all food” to my Friday afternoon checklist. They looked a lot like these guys.

Stuffed Summer Squash with Dill and Hemp Seeds

12 smallish starship zucchini (or about 1 ½ pounds summer squash)

1 cup hemp seeds

½ bunch dill (about ¾ cup snipped leaves)

salt, to taste

olive oil

Cut the tops off the squashes and scoop out the insides with a melon-baller or a small spoon. Place the squash innards in a colander and slat them lightly. Salt the interiors of the squash shells and lids and leave to drain for about an hour. Put the hemp seeds in a bowl with just enough water to come up to the top, about half a cup, and allow them to soak. Drain the squash and grind up the squash insides, the soaked hemp seeds, the dill and salt in a processor. Spoon the filling into the shells. Place the stuffed squashes in an oiled baking dish, and drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Bake for about 40 minutes in a moderate oven.

See the roundup for Weekend Herb Blogging at Anna’s Cool Finds.

I added a gorgeous picture to this eggplant recipe—have another look.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Cold Fried Eggplant

Eggplants from Yuno's Farm

Salty slices of cold fried eggplant are the perfect thing for long shabes afternoons in the summer, and they turn up in the repertoire of many Jewish traditions. These are as irresistible as potato chips. Thinner slices will yield crispier chips, and slightly thicker slices will be fleshly and satiny.

Cold Fried Eggplant

Eggplants (any kind)

Olive oil (it has to be olive oil for this recipe)

Kosher salt

Slice eggplants crosswise ¼ to 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle the slices with salt and allow them to drain in a colander for an hour or more. Squeeze the drained eggplants and pat them dry. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (be liberal), and fry the slices on both sides to golden brown. Drain on paper towels or brown paper and salt to taste.

The Yiddish word for eggplant is patlezhan פּאַטלעזשאַן

See Language Hat's landmark post on eggplant-words, and don't miss the comments by eggplant-poet Peter Desmond:

For colds, take antihistamines.
For everything else, eat aubergines.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging 92

This weekend brought an armful of tonic and refreshing herbal recipes along with sweet, cooling rains to restore us in these intemperate days.

Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook looked through seven random cookbooks on her shelves to find inspiration for stuffed grape leaves with egg-lemon sauce.

Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds made a New World Raclette (melted raw-milk cheese) with organic swiss chard, a Hawaiian sweet onion, and fingerling potatoes.

Shawnda from Confections of a Foodie Bride succeeded in her second attempt to make a grilled pizza. I never heard of this before, but it makes sense.

Ruth at Once Upon a Feast has been enjoying many al fresco meals lakeside this summer, and offers some very welcome ideas for picnics.

Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen, the creator and loving sustainer of Weekend Herb Blogging has begun an affair with tarragon, featured in a Dijon vinaigrette for broccoli and cauliflower.

Simona is the creator of Briciole, a fascinating new blog in dictionary form about Italian food words. This week she is growing and cooking with Santoreggia, or summer savory, an herb reminiscent of thyme, with mint and pepper tones.

Katernina, of Daily Unadventures in Cooking reminds us that “anything where you add a bunch of cilantro can't be all bad, right?” I could not agree more. She adds cilantro, in this case, to a spicy mango sandwich.

Chris at Melecotte made oven-roasted onions, and was inspired to uncover a juicy lode of onion-related information.

Nick at The Tracing Paper introduces a fruit new to me, the cherry plum, neither a cherry nor a plum but a parent of the domestic plum.

Ulrike of Küchenlatein combines three of my favorite things to make honey lavender ice cream, with the warning to be moderate in one’s use of lavender.

Peter M. of Kalofogas—In Pursuit of Delicious Foods, recently celebrated his birthday by using a particularly nice gift to make saffron pilaf.

Kevin at Closet Cooking is experimenting with cherries, slipping them this week into teriyaki lettuce wraps.

Katie at Thyme for Cooking introduces her recipe for herb-roasted chicken with some very amusing anecdotes about family dynamics in the kitchen.

Anna at Morsels and Musings is restoring herself with jamu-kunyit, a tonic made from fresh turmeric juice, lime juice and honey. I will be looking out for fresh turmeric to try this.

Virginie’s blog is called Absolutely Green, but this week’s herbal creation, tahini with beet juice, is bright pink. I do love pink food!

Zorra at Kochtopf combines seasonal sage with lemon and Serrano chlies for a bracing barbecue accompaniment.

Genie at The Inadvertent Gardener spent the weekend reveling in the multiple pleasures of Harry Potter and The Mint Killer’s Mojito. I don’t see how you can do better than that.

Pam at the Backyard Pizzeria seasoned a salad with leaves from rare kaffir limes (pictured below). The recipe for chickpea and pea fritters looks very appealing as well.

Haalo at Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once is using baby herbs and vegetables to make grilled zucchini ribbons with chervil goat cheese and tomatoes. Look at the beautiful picture she took (above)—I am breathless!

Sher at What Did You Eat lives in the sultry climes of Davis, California, where she usually chooses not to bake anything longer than twenty minutes in the summertime, but she stretched that rule to make the cheese and nut loaf, adapted from the divine Deborah Madison.

If you were intrigued by Anna’s turmeric tonic, you will certainly want to read Sarina’s informative essay about turmeric, that vibrant rhizome, at Trinigourmet.

Sra, at When My Soup Came Alive has some very interesting and moving comments on the nature of memory and routine in the culinary repertoire, illustrated with a recipe for tomato egg-drop curry, something that I imagine I will be adding to my own rotation.

Rinku at Cooking in Westchester is making a fusion Desi pizza with tomatoes and herbs.

Arundhati at The Singing Chef made Gatte Ki Kadhi, a spicy stew with gram flour(besan or chickpea flour) dumplings. Wow, that sounds amazing, and perfect for wheat-free diets.

Finally dessert is from Y at Lemon Pi, using up the season’s raspberries making Macrina’s raspberry muffins.

Thrilling, no? I am just amazed anew every week. Just the things to begin to restore ourselves after the fast. Wishing that it will be easy for all of us.
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Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter and the Lady of Chocolate

Follow the chocolate. That’s it. There’s my contribution. I just couldn’t let the last day of Potter-liminality go by without saying something, and it looks like you lot have covered everything else.

You see, two people are reported missing at the beginning of HBP, wand-maker Ollivander and ice-cream-dude Fortescue. Most bloggers have been concentrating on Ollivander, who is presumed to be making a new wand for Voldemort (one that will work against Harry's) or maybe doing something else, but maybe it is Fortescue the ice cream guy we should be more concerned about. And maybe it is the redemptive power of sweets and ice cream that will ultimately save the world from the forces of evil.

Consider the importance of sweets in the books:

1. Dumbledore's password (rotten security, by the way)

2. Chocolates cure lingering effects of dementor attacks

3. Everyone is preoccupied with sweets (OK, maybe this is normal)


4. Surely it cannot be a coincidence that Hogwarts, isolated from the greater world by walls, gates, countless enchantments, and a forbidden forest, is connected by tunnel to a candy store--Honeydukes, the sweetshop. It took a lot of trouble to make those tunnels, even with magic. Each one must be where it is for a very good reason.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

שאָקאָלאַדער זוקיני לעקעך

װען נישט שאָקאָלאַד און זוקיני (Chocolate and Zucchini), װאָלט גאָרנישט געװען אין מױל אַרײַן. קלאָטילדס װוּנדערלעכער בלאָג האָט אינספּירירט טױזענטער צו באַקן, צו בלאָגעװען, און צו טאָן בײדע מיט אַ מאָל. אַזױ גרױס איז געװען איר הצלחה, האָט זי געקאָנט זיך אָפּזאָגן פֿון דער טאָג־אַרבעט זי זאָל קאָנען פֿול־צײַטיק בלאָגעװען, אױף אַלע ייִדן געזאָגט. איצטער קאָן מען קױפֿן איר שײן בוך, װאָס הײסט אױך שאָקאָלאַד און זוקיני, און פֿון דעם האָב איך אַדאַפּטירט דעם רעצעפּט. דער לעקעך איז געשמאַק װי די װעלט, און רעלאַטיװ געזונט.

שאָקאָלאַדער זוקיני לעקעך

2 טעפּלעך מעל

½ טעפּל קאָקאַאָ

1 לעפֿעלע באַק־סאָדע

½ לעפֿעלע באַק־פּודער

½ לעפֿעלע זאַלץ

¼ פֿונט (1/2 טעפּל) פּוטער

1 טעפּל (8 אָנצן) ברױנע צוקער

טעפּלעך (12 אָנץן) צעריבענע קאַבאַטשקעלעך (זוקיני)

7 אָנצן טונקעלער שאָקאָלאַד, צעהאַקט אױף שטיקער (1 טעפּל שאָקאָלאַדער ברעקלעך)

װעראַמט'ץ אָן דעם אױװן אױף 350 גראַד. באַשמירט'ץ אײן אָדער צװײ בעקעלעך מיט פּוטער. מישט'ץ אױס מעל מיט קאָקאַאָ, סאָדע, באַק־פּודער און זאַלץ אין אַ גרױסן שיסל. אין אַ צװײטן שיסל, מישט'ץ אױס פּוטער מיט צוקער. גיט'ץ צו אַ העלפֿט פֿונעם מעל־געמיש, און מישט'ץ גוט אױס. מישט'ץ די צװײטע העלפֿט פֿונעם מעל מיט די שאָקאָלאַדע ברעקלעך און זוקיני, און מישט'ץ אַלץ גוט אױס און גיסט'ץ דאָס טײג אַרײַן אין די בעקעלעך. באַקט 40 צי 50 מינוט.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Confit of String Beans With Green Garlic

I had been waiting for a long, cool rainy evening to make this recipe, which has been haunting me since I first read about it on Anapestic. Such an evening was granted early this week. I am here to tell you that I do not regret one second of the three hours I spent cooking these string beans with their weight in deep fat.
The original recipe calls for the vegetables to be cooked at 200 degrees. I do not have a deep fat thermometer, so I just tried to keep the fire as low as possible. My beans look a touch more well-done than those in Anapestic’s photo, and they reduced to about one third of their original volume. I had lots of fresh green garlic, so I used all of that as well. I love having garlic confit around for pasta, and to add to fillings for stuffed squash. They are thrillingly delicious. I am going to make these again an soon as it rains again, probably tomorrow.

Anapestic’s String Bean and Green Garlic Confit

2 pounds string beans, trimmed (You can use up to 2 pounds of beans. In fact, I used only one pound, because I had been using up my beans while waiting for an evening cool enough for a three-hour fry-up)

4 heads green garlic, separated into cloves and peeled.

1 pound butter

2 cups olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Wash and trim the string beans, and peel the garlic, if you have not already done so. Melt half the butter in a large kettle (a cast-iron Dutch oven is ideal) and add the salt, string beans and garlic. Add the remaining butter and, when it has melted, the olive oil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered for half an hour. Uncover and skim the foam from the top. After three hours total cooking time drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking fat. Spoon the garlic cloves into a jar with some of their fat. Store the beans separately, if you do not devour all of them at once.

I have been using the garlic scented oil for cooking eggs and any other items that might be suitable.

These string beans do have a lavish amount of fat, but all their wonder-working antioxidants make up for that, right, Sweetnicks?

The Halva Girls

Milton Berle and the Halva Girls

The oldest established permanent floating food museum in town, The New York Food Museum, is exhibiting Halva-related art and artifacts at the Mark Miller Gallery this summer. I haven't been yet, but I am curious to see the "underground tahini main."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

װײַסער שאָקאָלאַדער קלאַפֿוטי מיט מאָרעלאָ װײַנשל

אַ קלאַפֿוטי (clafouti or clafoutis) איז אַ מין פֿײַנקוכן מיט װײַנשל אָדער אַנדערע זױערע אױפּס. אַ רעצעפּט פֿאַר אַן אַבריקאָסן קלאַפֿוטי (אין ענגליש) געפֿינט זיך דאָ. װײַסער שאָקאָלאַד איז אַן אינטערעסאַנטער מאצל װאָס איך נוץ זײער זעלטן. עס איז אַ מאָל גוט אָבער אַרײַנצוגנבֿנען מיט אַ ביסל דאָ און דאָרט װוּ מען ריכט זיך נישט אױף דעם. עס איז װיכטיק עץ זאָל נוצן נאָר אײנעם פֿון די גוטע (און טײַערע) װײַסע שאָקאָלאַדן אַזױ װי „על רײ“ עס זאָל האָבן אַ גוטן טעם פֿון קאַקאַאָ־פֿעטס און עס זאָל נישט זײַן צו זיס.

װײַסער שאָקאָלאַדער קלאַפֿוטי מיט מאָרעלאָ װײַנשל

1 פֿונט מאָרעלאָ װײַנשל

1 לעפֿעלע צוקער

אַ ביסל פּוטער צו באַשמירן דעם פֿענדל

1 ¼ טעפּל מילך

3 אײער

2/3 טעפּל מעל

1/3 טעפּל צוקער

זאַלץ אױפֿן שפּיץ מעסער

2.8 אָנצן צעגאַנגענע װײַסער שאָקאָלאַד (אָדער 3 אָנצן--איך האָב געהאַט נאָר 2.8)

װאַרעמט'ץ אָן דעם אױװן אױף 350. שנײַדט'ץ די שטײנער אַרױס פֿון די װײַנשל און באַשיט זײ מיט אַ לעפֿעלע צוקער. באַשמיר אַ באַק־פֿענדל, אָדער 2 אָדער 3 קלײנע פֿענדלעך מיט פּוטער, און לײגט'ץ אַרײַן די װײַנשל. מישט'ץ אױס אַלע אַנדערע אינגרעדיענטן און גיסט'ץ זײ אָן איבער די װײַנשל. שטעלט די קלאַפֿוטי אין אױװן זײ זאָלן באַקן אַ 30 מינוט. באַשיט די געבאַקענע קלאַפֿוטי מיט אַ ביסל צוקער־פּודער.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Williamsburg Bound

The bicycle and pedestrian path on the Williamsburg Bridge has these vivid pink transverse beams. Of course, I want to make a salad about this view. I would use these radishes, of course, but what else? Lavender?

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pillow Blocks?

Acme Leather Belting Co. Broadway and Lorimer Street, Williamsburgh, Brooklyn.


String or Green?

What do you call these vegetables? I never knew of them as anything other than string beans until I was in college. The first time someone mentioned green beans in my hearing I had no idea what she was talking about. Favas maybe? Now I find that if you search for "string beans" on the USDA nutrition site, you find nothing, not even string beans: see green beans, or something like that.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fresh Produce by J. J. Sempé

Fresh Produce by J. J. Sempé

Wow, do I love this week’s startlingly humane NYer cover by J. J. Sempé. There’s a cook. He’s on a bicycle. He has vegetables. Our guy may be about to begin a day of sweaty soul-shredding labor, but he has a few blessed moments of quietude riding back with the vegetables.

Simple Physics by J. J. Sempé

This one of a physicist cooking an egg also bakes my potatoes. It even looks a little like my apartment. I love how our guy keeps the chaos of his work area separate from the sheltering and welcoming tidiness of his kitchen. Oh, those little salt and pepper shakers! I just can’t type another word! I have to go eat something. There. That’s better.

Have a look at Asymptotia’s interesting post (and comments) for some physicists’ take on this picture.


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Peas with Spiced Cashew Sauce

These peas are inspired by Mahanandi, a gorgeous food blog that thrills me every single day. The recipe I made last week closely follows Indira’s amazing Matar Paneer. My adaptation this time was to make a dairy-free version appropriate for Karina (and lots of other folks) by leaving out the paneer. I doubled the amount of cashews to make up for the richness and protein of the cheese. This was easy to prepare and the heady fragrances that floated up while it was cooking just had me dancing around the kitchen and flying into the walls.

First I prepared Indira’s ginger, garlic and cilantro (GGC) paste by grinding up a bunch of cilantro with half a cup of peeled ginger and a quarter cup of peeled garlic (you can save your ginger scraps to infuse ice creams and things like that). I am glad to have it in the house. I used some in a salad of string beans with sesame oil and that was just the bee’s knees, but right now I’m here to talk about the peas.

Peas with Spiced Cashew Sauce

1 ½ cup shelled peas (from 1 pound unshelled peapods)
1 cup raw cashews (or cashew pieces)

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon ginger, garlic and cilantro (GGC) paste
4 tomatoes (20 ounces), peeled, seeded, and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon (generous) cinnamon

¼ teaspoon (scant) cloves
½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste

Shell the peas. Toast the cashews in an iron skillet or in the oven to a light golden color. Grind them to a powder in a processor and set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and cilantro (GGC) paste, and cook a few seconds more. Then add the tomatoes and cook until they have fallen apart. Add the cashew powder, salt, spices, and the peas with about a cup of water. Mix and simmer covered until the peas are tender and the sauce is thick, adding water as needed.

We had this with rosemata rice (rosematta rice) the exquisite, pink-speckled rice of the Kerala region of India. It is a firm rice with a medium oval grain. I bought mine at Spice Market on Lexington Avenue and 29th Street. Oh, I do love pink food.

Gluten-Free By The Bay will be rounding up the gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, pineapple-free, papaya free and other-allergen-free creations that the food blog-world has dreamed up for this inspiring event. Shkoyekh (thanks) Isaiah, and good health and blessings to Karina and to all of us.

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ראָמאַניאָטער קירבעס

הײַנט איז ערבֿ דעם 25טער תּמוז, דער 2טער געבױרען טאָג פֿון מײַן בלאָגעלע „אין מױל אַרײַן”. װוּהין זענען אַװעקגעפֿלױגן די יאָרן? עס גלױבט זיך קױם. דער ערשטער רעצעפּט װאָס איך האָב דאָ אָנגעבלאָגעװעט איז געװען רחל דאַלװענס ראָמאַניאָטער קירבעס (זוקיני). דעם װוּנדערלעכן רעצעפּט מאַך איך אין דער צײַט פֿון יאָר װען פֿרישע קירבעסלעך פֿאַלן אַזױ װי מן פֿון הימל.

ראָמאַניאָטער קירבעס

2 פֿונט זוקיני (גרינע קירבעס)

1 פֿונט צװאָרעך (ריקאָטע איז די בעסטע)

4 אײער

1 קלײן בינטל קריפּ, צעשניטן (אַן ערך ¾ טעפּל צעשניטענע בלעטער)

אַ ביסל צעריבענע פּאַרמעדזשיאַנער קעז

װאַרעמט'ץ אָן דעם אױװן אױף 350 גראַד. צערײַבט'ץ די קירבעסלעך, און לײגט'ץ זאײ אַרײַן אין אַ זיפּ (זײַער). לאָזט'ץ עס זיצן עס זאָל זיך אױסשװיצן אַ שעה. לײגט'ץ דעם צװאָרעך אין אַ צװײטן זיפּ און לאָזט'ץ עס זיצן עס זאָל זיך אױסשװיצן אַ שעה. מישט'ץ אױס אַלע אינגרעדיענטן און גיסט'ץ זײ אַרײַן אין אַ באַק־פֿענדל. באַקט'צ דעם קירבעס־קוגן אין אױװן אַ 40 מינוט.

בשפֿע (פֿילצאָליק) װי רעגן װאַסער
Plentiful as rainwater

װי מן
as manna

װי הובלשפּענער
As wood-shavings

װי שװעמלעך נאָך אַ רעגן
As mushrooms after the rain

קלעקן װי פֿאַר אַ פּאָלק סאָלדאַטן
Enough for a regiment of soldiers

מען קען ניט אַדורכגײן די גאַס
You can’t even walk down the street (because it is so filled with zucchini)

This recipe appeared in English here.

More goodies are at Sweetnicks.

Monday, July 09, 2007

מיט װאָס מען עסט עס

In Yiddish, if you wish to say "I am utterly bewildered, I do not have even the shred of the beginning of a clue," you can say:

איך װײס נישט מיט װאָס מען עסט עס(Ikh veys nisht mit vos men est es)” which literally means “I don’t know how to eat it” or “I don’t know with what you eat it” The possible ambiguity of this expression is one of the subjects of this comic piece.

The consequences of cluelessness with regard to one’s eating implements are discussed by Hotchkiss and the General in Getting Married by GBS. Hotchkiss has just explained that when in the service, he sabotaged the plans of his commanding officer because he would take orders only from a gentleman (spellings and punctuations as in the original):

THE GENERAL. And pray, sir, on what ground do you dare allege that Major Billiter is not a gentleman?

HOTCHKISS. By an infallible sign: one of those trifles that stamp a man. He eats rice pudding with a spoon.

THE GENERAL. [very angry] Confound you, I eat rice pudding with a spoon. Now!

HOTCHKISS. Oh, so do I, frequently. But there are ways of doing these things. Billiter’s way was unmistakeable.

I was very young and utterly bewildered the first time I read this, and to this day it seems to me that anything other than a spoon is heavy equipment, pudding-wise, but numerous sites corroborate the fork-for-pudding position.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Herbed Cashew Paté with Green Garlic for Starship Squash

More wonderful squash is coming in over the transom this week and I really wanted to show off these pretty little starship zucchini, especially after having grated up last week’s bounty. The amount of filling I made would have filled almost twice as many squashes, so I just baked the extra bit in a little terrine.

Herbed Cashew Paté with Green Garlic for Starship Squash

5 starship squash or other small summer squash (more would be even better)

1 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces

3 large cloves (1/2 head) green garlic (or other garlic), peeled

Fresh green herbs (I used leaves from two sprigs oregano, four of dill, one of summer savory and eight of thyme. Some parsley would have been good, too, if I had had some)

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Cut lids in the tops of the squashes. Scoop out the insides with a melon baller or spoon. Place the pulp in a colander over a bowl and salt lightly. Salt the insides of the hollow squash cups and lids as well and allow them to rest upside down for about an hour, or less if you are really pressed.

Put the cashews in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring them to the boil and boil for two or three minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the cashews to cool in their water. Poach the squash cups for about five minutes in boiling water.

Drain the squash pulp and the cashews. Place them in a processor with the garlic, salt and pepper, and herbs and grind everything up. Fill the squash cups with cashew paté, and spread the remainder in a small oiled baking dish. Drizzle them with olive oil, top them with their little stemmy hats, and into a moderate oven for about forty minutes. These are satiny and deeply satisfying.

See the Weekend Herb Blogging report at Mele Cotte this week. Two weeks from today Weekend Herb Blogging will be right here In Mol Araan. Be sure to send along your strengthening herbal suggestions to prepare for (and recover from) the fast.

That’s naturally pink rosemata rice (also called rosematta rice) in the background. I will be getting to this, but in the meantime, read about it here .
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Thursday, July 05, 2007

אַ האָזימע

יחיאל שרײַבמאַן

אַ האָזימע

־עפּעס געדענק איך, מאַמע, אין ראַשקעװ, אַ װאָרט "האָזימע". װאָס הײסט עס, האַ?

־װאָס הײסט װאָס סע הײסט? האָזימע הײסט האָזימע.

־יאָ, אָבער מיט װאָס עסט מען עס?

־מיטן מױל, מיט די צײן עסט מען עס.

־װי אַזױ זשע, אַ שטײגער, מאַכט מען אַ האָזימע?

־װאָס הײסט װי אַזױ? מע נעמט צװײ זשמעניעס טונקל מעל, אַ דרײַ־פֿיר זשמעניעס פּאַפּשױ־מעל, סע שאַט ניט אַ פּאָר געלבלעך, אױב ס'איז דאָ, אַ לעפֿל בױמל, אַ קאַפּעלע סאָדע, סע שאַט ניט אַ ביסל האָניק צי אַ שטיקל סטעלניק, אַ קאַפּעלע זאַלץ, פֿאַרשטײט זיך, אַ מין פֿערטל גלאָז מעלעץ, מע פֿאַרקנעט עס האַרט, מע קאַטשעט עס אױס אַ צװײ פֿינגער די גרעב, מע קאַרבט אײַן קעסטעלעך, אין יעדער קעסטעלע אַ מעסערשטאָך, מע באַשפּרענקלט עס מיט אַ לעק פּאַפּשױנע קלײַען, מע זעצט עס אײַן אין אױװן אין אײנעם מיטן ברױט, און ס'האָסטו דיר אַ האָזימע.

־װען זשע עסט מען די האָזימע?

־װען מע װיל. אַ שטײגער, שבת פֿאַר נאַכט. מיט אַ סלאָיִקל װײַנשל צי מיט אַ טעלערל טשאָלנט־באַרלעך. סע קרישעט זיך און סע צעגײט זיך ממש אין מױל.

־און דאָס איז עס אין גאַנצן?

־יאָ. כ'האָב גאָר פֿאַרגעסן. ס'גלאַװנע, בשעת מע מאַכט די האָזימע דאַרף מען די גאַנצע צײַט האַלטן אין דער מחשבֿה, זי זאָל געראָטן, זי זאָל זײַן באַטעמט און זי זאָל נושׂה־חן זײַן, זון מײַנער

A Hozime (sort of rhymes with Zossima)

by Yekhiel Shraybman (translation by the chocolate lady)

--I seem to recall the word “hozime” from Rashkov; What does it mean, Mother?

--What do you mean, ‘what does it mean?’? It means hozime!

--But what do you do with it?

--You eat it with your mouth, with your teeth.

--How would you make a hozime, for instance?

--What do you mean how? You take two handfuls of buckwheat flour, about three or four handfuls of maize flour, and a couple of yolks wouldn’t hurt, and if you have it, a spoonful of oil, a little soda, a little honey or a piece of honeycomb wouldn’t hurt, a little salt, of course, and about a quarter cup of sugar. You knead it well, and roll it out to a finger’s thickness; you score it into squares, and poke a hole in each square with a knife. You sprinkle it with a bit of maize bran, and you put it in the oven together with the bread, and there’s your hozime.

--When would you eat hozime?

--Whenever you want. For instance on a shabes afternoon with a jar of sour cherry preserves, or a dish of stewed pears. It crumbles up and it literally melts in your mouth.

--And that’s all?

--Yes. Oh, I completely forgot! The main thing is, when you make the hozime, you should be thinking the whole time that it should come out well, and be delicious, and delight everyone, my son. . . .

װאָס הײסט עס
What is it (lit: what is it called)

מיט װאָס עסט מען עס
What is it for? What do you do with it? (lit: how do you eat it)

I came across this dialog here. I am not familiar with this word or this recipe from any other source—has anyone heard of hozime? Made it? Tasted one? I feel I really ought to try it, but I would like to have more of a clue as to how it is supposed to turn out—sort of like shortbread? But with only one spoonful of oil? Maybe it was a pretty big spoon. I just had another thought. If the yolks are optional, we can make the yolk-free version of these lost-and-found cookies for Karina.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Zucchini Hemp Seed Latkes: Cooking for Karina

This is the first in what I hope will be a veritable avalanche of recipes suitable for Karina, the Gluten-Free Goddess, who has recently found that she is allergic to milk, eggs (including whites and yolks), chicken, turkey, gluten (that includes wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut - and oats, to play on the safe side), peanuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, lemon, avocado, pineapple, papaya, green beans and kidney beans. In Karina’s honor, and for the benefit of the growing number of folks with multiple food allergies, and to give us all a chance to flex our food-blogging muscles, Isaiah of Gluten Free by the Bay has created “Cooking for Karina: A Blogging Festival and Cooking Challenge” for which she asks us to post wonderful recipes that don’t have any of the above ingredients.

If you have a recipe that would be useful to Karina and do not have a blog, send it along to me or to Gluten-Free by the Bay so it can be included in the round-up.

This week I made these light, flavorful zucchini latkes. The squash flavor really shines in this egg-free batter. I used some very pretty starship squash, and I was almost sorry to shred them up, but glad I did.

Zucchini Hemp Seed Latkes: Cooking for Karina

1 pound summer squash (about 4 smallish zucchini)

½ cup (about 6 ounces) hempseeds

½ cup coconut milk

½ cup chickpea flour (besan), or a bit more if needed

7-8 sprigs (4 tablespoons) snipped dill


black pepper and paprika, if desired

oil for frying (be liberal)

Shred the squash place it in a colander. Salt lightly and allow to drain for an hour or so. At the same time, soak the hemp seeds for an hour or so in water. Drain the hemp seeds and grind them in a processor with the coconut milk. Drain the zucchini and mix it with the ground hemp seeds, snipped dill, about another half teaspoon of salt and some pepper if desired. Mix in the chickpea flour. Now heat the non-allergenic oil of your choice in one or two large skillets. With your hands, form the zucchini and hemp seed batter into pancakes and fry them on both sides until golden. The smaller you make the latkes, the more meltingly crisp surface area you will have. We had these with black rice and the last bit of these white beans with thyme with some sautéed chard and garlic mixed in. That was really the cat’s pajamas.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

געבענטשט מיט אַ שצאַװע

ס'איז רײַסן געבענטשט מיט אַ האָריקן שצאַװע אַ קאַלטן („נאַסטאַסיע“ פֿון משה קולבאַק)
"Belarus is blessed with a sorrel that is cold and fuzzy" (From “Nastasye” by Moyshe Kulbak)

בעסטע װוּנטשן צום טאָג פֿונעם רעפּובליק פֿון רײַסן
Belarus Republic Day

לײענט אַ שלאַל מיט ייִדישע שטשאַװ־װערטער דאָ
Find a wealth of Yiddish synonyms for shtshav (sorrel) here.

גאָלדענע רענדלעך

Summer squash from Maxwell Farm


גאָלד לײַכט אַרױס פֿון דער בלאָטע
Gold shines through the mud.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cherries in Yiddish and Other Languages

Left to right Montrmorency Cherries (pie cherries), Bing cherries, Ranier Cherries, and Morello cherries

I picked up two kinds of sweet cherries and two kinds of sour cherries at the market on Friday. Since this post is in English, I could have written that I got four kinds of cherries, but in Yiddish, sweet cherries (karshn קאַרשן ) and sour cherries (vaynshl װײַנשל ) have different names and are considered two entirely different ingredients. Botanically, they are two different species. Sweet cherries are prunus avium and sour cherries are prunus cerasus.

It is nice and cool now, and I will get around to baking something, but so far, I am just nibbling them on their own.

Montrmorency Cherries are face-scrunchingly sour, but kapow, they come with an amazingly bright, lollypop-cherry finish that makes you want the next one even more. Many cherry websites will tell you that sour cherries need to be cooked, and are too sour to eat out of hand, but you may find you get used to them almost immediately. The Morello cherries are tart, but not as sour as the Montmorency cherries, and they have a big, mouth-filling cherry and berry flavor. The Ranier Cherries are mildly sweet and flowery. The Bing cherries are intensely sweet and winy. They are the cherries immortalized in countless Yiddish poems and songs (like this one), and the phrases below.

ברױן װי אַ קאַרש
Brown as a cherry

שװאַרץ װי אַ קאַרש
Black as a cherry

אַז עס גײט די סדרה קרח, קומט אױף׃ קאַרשן, רעטעך, כרײן
In the week of Korakh (two weeks ago, this year), cherries, radishes, and horseradish appear (In Yiddish, the initial letters of these words spell “korakh”)

װי זײ שטײען און גײען
As they are; on their own

Other healthgiving foods, slow and fast, are to be found at Sweetnicks.
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