Friday, April 25, 2008

The Chocolate Lady 2008 Vegetarian Peysekh Survival Guide

The Chocolate Lady 2008 Vegetarian Peysekh Survival Guide

This year I picked up this amusing little notebook plate at Fishs Eddy. You can write on them with dry-erase markers.

I think I have time to convey two new recipes before yontif. For me the biggest revelation this year was baked plantains. I can’t think of anything easier to make.

Baked Plantains

Heat oven to 400F. Place whole ripe plantains on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. They will split open at exactly the right moment all by themselves. Serve with butter, coarse salt, and sour cream (or, if you prefer, butter, brown sugar, and sour cream)

Red Pepper Puree for Asparagus (or Other Things)

2 red bell peppers

1 fresh chile pepper (optional)

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar


Place the peppers on a sheet of aluminum foil and cook them under the broiler, turning a few times, until the skin is charred all over. Wrap them in the foil until they are cool enough to handle. Peel the peppers and remove the seeds. Puree them with the oil, vinegar and seasonings. Lovely with fresh steamed (peeled!) asparagus)

I also made spinach soup with whole wheat matzo balls. Click on the top photo for the recipe.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Peysekh Survival (Short-Term)

Artichoke by Cooper

The (abbreviated) Chocolate Lady's 2007 Vegetarian Peysekh Survival Guide
is here. The more comprehensive 2006 Survival Guide is here. These will have to get you through the first two days of yomtov. Keep a lookout for this year's edition, featuring Banana-Free Banana Cake With Bananas. A sweet and kosher festival to all in mol araan.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Intriguing Street Names of New York Part I

Gravesend Neck
Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn

Not as grim as it sounds. "Gravesend" means "the count's beach (graf's send)"

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Hot Bird

Dean Street near Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn. I like the “four blocks back” bit.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Passover is Already on One's Nose פּסח איז שױן אױף דער נאָז

Major Kovalev's Nose by Vyacheslav Bukhayev based on Gogol's story (the building looks sort of matzo-like)

די װאָך געלײענט "מיט פּרעהן אין רײַטװאָגן פֿאָן דער טונקעלער אין הערשל גלעזערס װוּנדערלעכן קלאַס. די דערצײלונג איז אַ סאַטירע װעגן פּױלן, פֿאַרשטײט זיך, נישט מצרים. שטאַרק אינטערעסאַנט איז אַן אינטערװיו מיטן אַנטױשטן פּרעהן:

איר פֿאַרשטײט, פּאַניע שרײַבער, אַזױ אָנפֿײַפֿן, אַזױ אָנפֿײַפֿן. . .איך זאָג אײַך, אַז איר מעגט זײ באַשרײַבן. איר זאָלט זײ, למען־השם, אַרױפֿשטעלן אױפֿן בלאַט. װאָס־װאָס, אױף דעם האָב איך זיך גאָרנישט געריכט. נעמען און אַנטלױפֿן אָן אַ זײַ־געזונט. און װען? פֿאַר יום־טובֿ. איבערלאָזן די פּיראַמידן אין מיטן דער אַרבעט. . . פּסח איז שױן אױף דער נאָז. עולים און טוריסטן װעלן באַלד אָנהײבן צו פֿאָרן קײן ארץ־ישׂראל, װעלן פֿאָרן דורך מצרים, װעלן אָנקוקן די באַרימטע פּיראַמידן, און די פּיראַמידן שטײען נישט פֿאַרענדיקט. . . אַ שײן פּנים װעט עס האָבן.

From Der Tunkeler’s “In the Chariot with Pharaoh: a Passover Dream,” in which the narrator interviews a bitterly disappointed Pharaoh:

You understand, Mr. Writer, to show such disrespect, such disrespect! I’m telling you so that you can describe them, for God’s sake, get it down on paper. I was like, so unprepared for this, them running off, without even saying goodbye! And when? Right before Yom-Tov! Leaving the pyramids in the middle of the job. Passover is any day now, and immigrants and tourists will be headed for Israel; they’ll be traveling through Egypt to have a look at the famous pyramids, and the pyramids won’t be finished. A pretty kettle of fish that will be.

אַרױפֿשטעלן אױפֿן בלאַט
Arufshteln oyfn blat
Get down on paper (lit: put up on paper)

פּסח איז שױן אױף דער נאָז
Peysekh iz shoyn af der noz

Passover is any day now (lit: Passover is already on one’s nose)

אַ שײן פּנים װעט עס האָבן.
A sheyn ponim vet es hobn
A pretty kettle of fish that will be (lit: it will have a pretty face)


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Flowering Bok Choi

Spring is in the air. The blossoms on the callery pear trees are at their beautiful peak and Yuno’s farm has returned to a somewhat smaller stand in for the duration of construction in Union Square. This thrilling vegetable is not flowering broccoli, as I first guessed, but flowering bok choi (look at the leaves). They call it “over-winter bok choi”
Flowering Bok Choi
Trim the bottoms and cook in liberally salted water for ten minutes. Drain and dress with oil and salt.
To preserve the pristine beauty of the blossoms I tried to do as little as possible to cook the bok choi, and this may have been a mistake. I was fooled by the slender stems into thinking that this might be another vegetable suitable for one-handed cooking, like this lovely yu choi, but the stems, while slender, are pretty tough.
Even so, I urge you to try this if you can find it. Tricky as it is to describe the variations in flavor between different strains of bok choi, I would say this bunch at least was sweeter, milder and more flowery than any I have tasted. I had never seen this before, and I bet Sweetnicks hadn’t either.

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Monday, April 07, 2008


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Spiced Black Lentils with Cilantro

I was thinking I wanted to make something like Girgir Aloo (lentils with potatoes), but I did not have any aloo, and I didn’t really have any garden variety girgir either. My very last lentils of the year were some exquisite black beluga lentils. Tiny and very pretty and flavorful. Lovely with basmati rice—on our way to a kitnyes-free household

Spiced Black Lentils with Cilantro

Olive oil (be liberal)

2 medium onions, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ teasppons whole cumin seeds

2 cups black lentils

1 cup prepared tomato sauce (or 6 ounces tomato paste)

1 ½ teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons paprika


½ bunch cilantro (1/2 cup minced leaves)

Heat oil in a heave saucepan and cook the onions over a moderate flame until soft and translucent, about fifteen minutes. Add the garlic and cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, another five minutes or so. Wash and pick over the lentils, and add them to the pot with the spices. Give a stir and add five cups of water and about two teaspoons of salt, and cook for about an hour or until the lentils are quite tender. Stir in the cilantro and taste for seasonings. Serve with rice, or whatever else you are finishing up before peysekh.

Have a look at Weekend Herb Blogging, back home at Kalyn's Kitchen this week, for other seasonings of the season.


קיכעלעך אָדער פּײַעלעך מיט פּאָװידלע

װעגאַן טײג

2 טעפּלעך מאַנדלען (12 אָנצן)

4 אָנצן קאָנאָפּליעס

2 לעפֿל פֿלאַקס־קערן

¼ טעפּל בעסאַן (אַרבעס־מעל)

1 טעפּל צוקער

½ טעפּל קאָקאָנוס־שמאַלץ

מאָלט'ץ אָפּ די מאַנדלען אױף מעל. עץ װעט האָבן 2 ½ טעפּלעך מאַנדל־מעל. בראָט'ץ אָפּ די קאָנאָפּליעס אין אַ פֿענדל זײ זאָלן האָבן אַ גאָלדענעם־קאָליר אָן מאָלט'ץ זײ אָפּ אױף מעל. מאָלט'ץ אָפּ די פֿלאַקס־קערן אױף מעל (עץ קאָן להתחלה קױפֿן פֿלאַקס־מעל אױך). מישט'ץ אױס דאָס מאַנדל־מעל, קאָנאָלפּליע־מעל, פֿלאַקס־מעל און אַרבעס־מעל מיט צוקער און קאָקאָנוס־שמאַלץ עס זאָל װערן אַ טײג, און לאָזט'ץ עס צו רו אין לאָדאָװע אַ שעה־צײַט.

צו מאַכן די פּאָװידלע האָב איך ספּעציעל געקױפֿט פֿלױמען מיט די קערעלעך, װײַל איך האָב אַ מאָל אין ערגעץ געהערט אָדער געלײענט אַז די קערעלעך געבן צו אַ בעסערן טעם.


12 אָנצן פֿלױםען מיט די קערעלעך אָדער 10 מיט ½ אָנצן אָן קערעלך

1 לאַובער־בלעטל (אױב מע װיל)

אַ ביסל מאַרטאַנצן אָדער לימענע שאָלעכץ (אױב מע װיל)

אַ װאַניל־שײטל (אױב מע װיל)

אַ לעפֿל שליװאָװיץ (מע װיל)

½ ביז 1 טעפּל האָניק אָדער אַגאַװע

קאָכט'ץ אָפּ די פֿלױמען מיט 3 טעפּלעך װאַסער און די אַנדערע אינגרעדיענטן, אױב מע װיל זײ. נאָך צען מינוט קאָכן, דעקט'ץ צו דעם טאָפּ אָן לאָז זײ זיך באָדן אַ פּאָר שעה אָדער אַ נאַכט. גיט'ץ צו נאָך אַ ביסט װאַסער אַלעש זאָלן זײַן גוט צוגעדעקט. װען זײ זענענ זײער װײך, װעט עס זײַן גרינג אַראָפּצונעמען די קערעלעך. פֿאַרגעסט'ץ נישט אַרױסצונעמען די בלעטלעך, אָדער װאַניל־שײטלעך, אָדער מאַראַנצן־שאָלעכץ, אױב מע האָט זײ אַרײַנגעטאָן. מאָלט'ץ אָפּ די פּאָװידלע אין אַ פּראָצעסירער און גיט'ץ צו האָניק אָדער אַגאַװע. מאַכט'ץ קיכעלעך אָדער קלײנע טערטלעך פֿונעם טײג און פֿילט'ץ זײ אײַן מיט פּאָװידלע. באַקט זײ אױף 350 גראַד אַ צװאַנציק מינוט.

The recipe for gluten-free vegan dough appeared in English here.

The recipe for prune filling (povidle) appeared in English here.

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