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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Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The Jewish Holidays are WHEN?


עץ װעט מיר שטאַרק אויספֿעלן דאָס יאָר צוליב גאָר אַ סך סיבות. מיר האָבן דעם שוין אַרומגעשמועסט אויף פֿאַרשידענע דיגיטאַלישע פּלאַטפֿאָרמעס.  אונדז'עמער אײנזאַם, מיט צעבראָכענע הערצער, אונדז גלוסט זיך מיר זאָלן קענען זיך באַרויקן אַז אונדז'עמער רײנגעװאַשן און ליכטיק און ציכטיק  פֿון אַלדאָס בײז; אײן זאַך, אָבער, האָט מע נאָך נישט דערמאָנט: אַלע יאָר באַמערקן מיר װי די יום־טובֿים פֿאַרשפּעטיקן זיך, אָדער קומען פֿאַר דער צײַט.  דאָס יאָר האָר און נעגל שטעלן זיך קאַפּויער־־קומען זײ פּונקט צו דער צײַט. זינט פֿאַר אַ יאָרן ראשהשנה־צײַט האָב איך אַרויסגעקוקט מיר זאָלן זיך צונויפֿקלײַבן אין שיל און טרײַבן קאַטאָװעס װעגן װי די יום־טובֿים קומען  צו דער צײַט, און אַפֿילו דאָס טאָר מען נישט     

There are many reasons I will miss gathering with all of you this year for the Holy Days.  Most of these have already been discussed on multiple platforms:  we are lonely, our hearts are breaking, we want reassure one another in person that we are washed and shriven of all ill will; but I don't think anyone has mentioned one other thing.  Every year we remark that the Jewish holidays are late, or that they are early.  This year, oh my stars and garters, they are right on time.  Ever since last Rosheshone, I have been looking forward to seeing folks at services and talking about how the holidays are on time this year and now we can't even do that.

האָר און נעגל שטעלן זיך קאַפּויער  

Hor un negl shteln zikh kapoyer! Oh my stars and garters!  I'll be bound! Whod'a thunk it?


 Fania Lewando's Rice with Apples and Honey



Honey Cake


Chayale Paelvski's Teygelekh and Ingberlekh


Thursday, September 03, 2020

Honey Cake for Everybody אַלגעמײנער לקח


I am anticipating your question.  If this is a honey cake, where's the honey? The honey is in the dates.  Many of the scriptural references to the honey flowing through the Land of Israel are not to bee honey at all but to the lush syrup exuded by the dates.  I did not set out to make a vegan, wheat-free honey cake, but it was inspired when I bought several young coconuts for the juice and needed to do something with the pulp and my beautiful neighbor gave me a box of succulent dates from the Holy Land (These fabulous vegan brownies were inspired by the same windfall).  You can probably make this with any kind of dates, just re-hydrate them a little if they are very dry.

If you have not yet tried green coconuts, or young coconuts, you might just love them. The flavor is very mild, so if you do not care for the flavor of mature coconuts, they will be your cup of tea.  The pulp is soft and jelly-like, making them a natural for vegan baking. 

Universal Honey Cake

12 Medjool Dates (about one cup, 8 ounces)
2 ounces raw almonds
4 ounces raw walnuts (about one cup)
4 ounces cocoa butter (about one cup depending on how coarsely it is chopped.
Pulp from 2 young coconuts (about one cup, 8 ounces)
2 ounces almond flour

(optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon cloves) 

1/2 cup toasted pecans for garnish, or leave them raw to make this an all-raw dessert. 

Remove the pits from the dates.  Place almonds and walnuts in a processor and pulse to a powder.  Add  the remaining ingredients except the pecans and grind to combine.  Pat the batter into a nine-inch pie plate and arrange the pecan halves on top.  Chill to set.




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