Monthly Archives: December 2010

Old Country

I grew up in the Bronx, which if you don’t know, is part of New York.  Outside my house was one of the most amazing cities in the world, but step through the doors and you would find yourself on the set of Yentl.  My parents were immigrants, Holocaust survivors who felt most comfortable with the familiarity of their original environment.  Our house may have been furnished with La-Z-Boy recliners and dinette sets bought on Jerome Avenue, but my parents brought their own Old Country touches to the house — a samovar here, European-style dishware there (no Corelle for my mom, nuh huh).  And nothing personified the shtetl atmosphere of the house more than the food that was served up every day of the week.  My parents may have moved their bodies to the States, but their souls were steadfastly left behind in Vilna and Hungary.

Dessert in our house was always compote, or some other stewed fruit, never this jiggly American standard

I would watch TV with my brother, afternoon programming aimed at the kids — Gilligan’s Island, The Addams Family, Batman (kerpow!), and then the commercials would come on, commercials aimed at kids watching afterschool television.  Yes, you too can be popular if you drink Dr Pepper, stuff your face with Yodels and sit down to the wonderful family dinner of Swanson’s frozen mystery meat and peas.  My brother and I begged for a yodel or two, and my mother smiled at us as she served up her stuffed cabbage and or her gebroteneh (braised) chicken. Tea was served in a glass, sweetened with a spoon of strawberry jam.  I wanted to be American, I wanted to be a Pepper, and my parents insisted on all this Old Country food in the house.  I remember one time having a teenage rant, claiming my parents refused to embrace their new country by not buying junk food.

We brought back three of these boxes from England last time. Yes, there are 240 tea bags in each box.

At the age of 20 I left my Old Country behind and moved to Israel, where I could finally eat my fill of American junk food.  Yes, you read that right.  You see, Anglo immigrants may move their bodies to Israel, but go into their kitchens and you’ll find that a part of their culinary souls have refused to make aliya.  Anglos in Israel love their Old Country foods.  Americans who go back for a visit always return with a suitcase full of chocolate and other yummies from Shop Rite.  Brits smuggle in PG Tips and Marmite.  They’re even selling Entenmann’s donuts in Meatland in Ra’anana, charging a whopping NIS 50 (about 14 dollars).  We all do it, and I am guilty as well.  I remember one trip where I got caught at Kennedy airport with one suitcase full of chocolate and junk food (it was right after Halloween and everything was on sale) and another suitcase full of Slim Fast.  The woman x-raying my luggage commented, “Let me guess, first you eat everything in this suitcase, then you eat everything in that suitcase.”  Yup, that was the plan.

My precious box of Splenda

Come into the Miriyummy household and you will see hummus, za’atar, Telma cereals and Pri-Gat juice.  You will also see a huge box of PG Tips tea, a jar of Marmite, an occasional bottle of Newman’s Own salad dressing and my hoarded box of Splenda.  Ju-Boy brought me back a large box of baking Splenda on one of his trip to the States and I have been hoarding it, sparingly baking with it.  I want to use it, but I don’t want to use it up.  Can you understand my logic?

Didi and bestest friend Hilaly

Back in this post I wrote how my Didi has a bunch of friends who want me to name a Miriyummy creation after them.  One of Didi’s very bestest friends is Hilaly, who happily noshes on the Hadar Bars and Luscious Lambies in spite of the fact that these babies are packed full of sugar and she’s diabetic.  It drives her mom crazy!  It was time for Hilaly to have a confection of her own, and one she could indulge in without guilt or parental angst.  So when I asked her what she would prefer in her namesake nosh, she so very responsibly said, “Coffee, and Splenda!”  Oh no, not my Splenda!  She wants me to use up my Splenda!

Could you say no to these sweet darlings?

But I do have a soft spot for Hilaly, and I don’t want her getting into sugar trouble because of me, so I dug out my precious Splenda and came up with…

Hilaly Dollies

  • 1 cup (200 grams) butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons instant coffee (I use instant espresso powder, which makes these Dollies lethal!)
  • 1 1/3 cup baking Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 300 grams sugar-free bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely

Cookies or science experiment?

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (350 degrees F).  Grease cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.  Actually, forget about the greasing, just use parchment paper.  There’s something in the Splenda that makes these cookies look like a science experiment while they bake.  Trust me, it’s ugly, and messy, and you’ll thank me later for that parchment paper advice.
  2. Cream together the butter, Splenda and coffee.
  3. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and flour.  Mix until well blended.
  4. Add the chocolate bits and combine with a wooden spoon.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Don’t be afraid of them when they come out of the oven and look like rabid cookies foaming at the mouth.  They calm down after they cool off.

If you have these with a cup of joe on the side you may go into a coffee coma.  But what a way to go, huh?  Brits will enjoy this with a cup of tea, if they can bear to part with one of their PG Tips.

 

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Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Once upon time, about 26 and a bit years ago, the X told me we were having a guest for Shabbat.  “He’s Irish, he’s funny, you’ll like him.”  He was, he was, and I did.  He busted up my bathroom door, he practically flashed my neighbors (not on purpose) and spoke to me in that Lucky Charms leprechaun voice.  Shabbat was magically delicious!  I was eight months pregnant with Sassy at the time, and I laughed so hard that Shabbat I thought I would go into early labor.

Irish Jonny went on to marry Aussie Vicki and over the years the family grew to include Awesome Eytan, Famous Seamus, Lambie Leah and the ever mischievous Bambi (their baby deer who’s growing some serious antlers, watch out girls).

 

Tinky the Party Girl

I met Jonny back in Chapter One, and now we flash forward to Chapter Two.  I’ve been firmly ensconced in Ra’anana for several years now.  Sassy and Nomush are grown and live elsewhere, Sassy with her Sabraman in London, Nomush in Jerusalem.  My baby, Didi, has found her niche here in Ra’anana, but my Tinky was at loose ends.  She lives in Jerusalem with the X, but tried to make it under my roof for a while.  When I first moved into the Ju-Boy household Tinky was in boarding school, so she never really lived with me here in R-Town.  After her year of National Service she moved in.  She fitted seamlessly into the family, found a job, but was unhappy.  Tinky is my party girl, a real social butterfly, and she missed her gaggle of friends in Jerusalem.  In my effort to rev up her Ra’anana social life I tried to find her some friends.  Bad move.  Sad move.  How embarrassing is it for your mother to find you some friends?  If my mom had tried that when I was 20 I would have left the country (wait a minute, I did that anyway…).  So Tinky returned to the hills of Jerusalem and her father’s house, where her favorite hang-outs are all within walking distance.

 

I didn't have a photo of the two of them together so I had to mock one up

One Shabbat, when she came to visit us here in R-Town we invited Irish Jonny, Aussie Vicki and their hybrid crew over for a meal.  Famous Seamus is Tinky’s age, so I said, “He’s (part) Irish, he’s funny, you’ll like him.”  Much rolling of the eyes ensued, but this time Miriyummy planned and also got to laugh.  Tinky and Famous Seamus hit it off, and even though she no longer lives with us, she has a friend in Ra’anana.  They meet up every time she comes to visit and the house is filled with their laughter.

Famous Seamus is fond of my desserts, which I find very flattering since his mom is such an amazing cook.  I would sell my soul to the Devil for her Pavlova.  She’s Carine Goren with an Aussie accent.  A few weeks ago I was playing around with my usual brownie recipe, adding a bit of this and tossing in a bit of that.They were a hit with everyone, but they had no name.  How sad for them to be stuck in Brownie Limbo.  Then Famous Seamus came over one Shabbat to hang with Tinky, and the smile on his face and the disgusting sounds he made while inhaling these babies gave me the idea to name them after him.  See people, make my kids smile and you too can be immortalized in chocolate!

Famous Seamus Brownies

They’re more-ish, they’re funny, you’ll like them.

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, broken into bits
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature (I usually just use 3 eggs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup craisins (or raisins)
  • 2 cups (or 300 grams) white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (350 degrees F).  Position the rack in the lower third of the oven.  Grease or line with parchment paper (my preference) a 13 X 9 inch (32 x 23 cm) pan, set aside.
  2. Melt the butter with the chocolate, either in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Stir to a melded, yummy mixture.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes so you don’t scramble the eggs when you add them in.
  3. In a large bowl, beats the eggs and the egg yolk (if using) together with the sugar.  Beat for about 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and a pale yellow.  Then beat in the vanilla and the chocolate mixture until smooth.
  4. With a wooden spoon or a spatula stir in the flour and the salt, until just incorporated.  Do not beat (or I will call the Brownie Police for aggravated assault of brownie batter).
  5. Add the pistachios, craisins and white chocolate chips.  Stir until just evenly combined.
  6. Pour (more like cajole) the thick batter into the prepare pan.  Bake for 35 minutes.  The middle of the cake will be soft, but the brownies will set up as they cool.  Remove from the oven and let cool for at least two hours.
  7. If you have used the parchment paper, just lift the brownies out of the pan and cut into squares.  At this point they can be frozen, or just served to the hungry hoards who have come drifting in while smelling the amazing chocolate aroma drifting out of the house.

Green-Eyed Monster

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I developed an Electra Complex at a very early age.  I was a Daddy’s Girl, he was my quiet hero, telling me stories of an innocent childhood in rural Hungary before the Holocaust.  He was my knight in leather-bound armor, showing me the wonders of his collection of books, teaching me to read Hebrew before I entered the first grade and properly learned English.  How dare he smile up at my mother like that as she serves him his stuffed cabbage!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I was the Little Princess, the much wanted and finally adopted heiress to my parents’ meager possessions.  The interloper was my brother, Skeezix.  All of a sudden, this mewling, pooping boy was taking up my parents’ time.  Take him back, I know you have the receipt!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  Mewling and pooping turned into obnoxious and wild (wild being the 60s and 70s term for today’s ADHD).  Skeezix would draw his space wars in my pristine Partridge Family notebook.  He would take his orange Hot Wheels race tracks and whap me with them while I was mooning over Captain Kirk on TV.  How many times did I have to tell my parents to take that kid back?!?!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing.  I went to an all-girls high school which taught that each and every one of us was unqiue.  They taught us this wonderful lesson while all the girls sat in their seats wearing rugby shirts, flair jeans skirts and Frye boots.  Or argyle socks and clogs.  Or Huckapoo print blouses and skirts with Jordache written on the back pocket.  Everyone but me.  My mom believed in hand-me-downs from my cousin from the Sixties instead of the brand new fashions of the Seventies.  Not fair, I wanted to be unique like everyone else!

I want this kitchen!

Jealous can be a terrible thing.  I want the kitchen that you see on the Food Network.  I want two giant stainless steel sinks.  I want an island big enough for both Ju-Boy and me to cook together without one of us elbowing the other into a pot of boiling water.  I want gleaming copper pots hanging overhead and a cozy little nook with overstuffed armchairs surrounded by my ever-growing cookbook collection.  I want a kitchen worthy of the Food Network star I am inside!

Jealousy can be a terrible thing!  I’ve created Hadar Bars for Hadar, Luscious Lambies for Leah, and Dalia Bars for, well, Dalia, of course.  But the requests for fame keep coming, even though that person already has a Miriyummy confection named after her.  So, at the behest of someone who loves to be immortalized in sugar and spice, I futzed around in the kitchen just to keep a certain green-eyed monster at bay, or at least in a cinnamon coma.

These little mouthfuls of cinnamon are yummy.  Jealousy can be a wonderful thing…

Mini-Cini Bites (alias, You Know Who Bars)

 

Photo taken by baskerville_gal -- I tried to photograph these babies but they were gobbled up before I could and I have to make them again, but it's difficult to keep up, so many people want me to name recipes after them, hmmmmm...

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and the sugar.
  3. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the flour, cinnamon and salt.  Add to the creamed mixture and beat until smooth.  Stir in the pecans.
  5. Spread into a greased 8 inch (20 cm) greased (or parchment paper lined) square pan.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cut into small squares while still warm and dredge in powdered sugar.

Daddy’s Girl

I have just lit the yahrzeit candle for my father.  Tonight and tomorrow is his yahrzeit, 8 years since he passed away, according to the Jewish calendar.  He had had problems with his heart his whole life.  First it was broken in the Holocaust.  His family was wiped away, most of them taken off to Auschwitz.  In the late 40s he patched it together and found, loved and married my mother.  In the 60s my parents adopted first me, and then my brother, and each time my father’s heart grew stronger, strengthened by family, the one thing that made life worth living for him.

It was in the late Seventies that he had his first heart attack.  Another two followed in the 80s, and an “incident” in the 90s.  In 2002 he had a quadruple bypass.  He survived the surgery, but complications set in, hindered his recuperation, and he died six weeks later.

My father always said that he felt he was given a second chance at life.  He loved life, and taught me and my brother that it was precious and not to be wasted.  He so desperately wanted to live in Israel, but my mother had had enough wandering and he settled down with her in New York, and lived vicariously through me and my life in Israel.  He once told me that it made him so happy that my children were the first members of our family in two thousand years to be born in the Jewish homeland.

So because my father loved life, revered it, I have chosen to celebrate his life on his yahrzeit, not to mourn him.  Every year I cook up a big Hungarian feast, making all the foods he loved, and we invite friends and sit down at the table and raise a glass to a life almost extinguished, but brought back into the light.

Photo found on chocablog.com

Last year my father’s yahrzeit fell on the day that I was traveling to the States to clean out my mother’s apartment after she died.  I didn’t have the time, and being deep in mourning for my mother, the inclination to put on a festive meal.  So I went to a Hungarian bakery and bought some cakes and we celebrated the sweetness in life with the sweetness of Hungarian pastry.  This year, this week, on this day my life, both vocational and personal, has taken a turn for the busy.  Very busy.  So on my way home from work I stopped off at that bakery once more and brought home some kyortosh, which isn’t really a Hungarian pastry, but is making a splash here in Israel as one.  My father, who enjoyed a sweet nosh just as much as a savory bowl of my mother’s gulyas, would have enjoyed a bit with a hot cup of coffee, I know it.

Something else my father used to enjoy was singing songs in Hebrew, any song.  Badly.  My father so could not sing, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying him serenading me with a little Numi Numi each night as he put me to bed.  And later on, after we had traveled to Israel for my brother’s Bar Mitzvah, the song Rak B’Yisrael got stuck in his head and we all had to listen to him singing that as he sat reading the paper.  And davka today my attention was brought to something that my father would have loved.  I have a collection of photos on Facebook, and album called Only in Israel, filled with pictures that are unique to our sometimes odd but always wonderful and  country.  My friend Judi sent me an email to congratulate me, my Facebook album has been set to music and has been turned into a YouTube video.  Here’s the link.  My father would have loved it!

KCC #61 — Let Tevet Bring The Rain!

Welcome to the 61st Kosher Cooking Carnival — the Tevet 5771 issue!  As I’m putting together this issue it is still Kislev.  We are in the midst of Chanuka and the candles are burning, as is our wonderful land of Israel, both physically and psychologically.  The horrific forest fire in the Carmel Forest has claimed 41 lives (edited after posting — 42).  The weather continues to be hotter than normal for this time of year.  As the sun continues to shine and balmy weather brings warm breezes and banishes all thoughts of a wintry Chanuka, we still continue with our holiday traditions, the frying of latkes, the filling of sufganiyot, the caloric intake as if to bulk up for a winter that has yet to arrive.  But rumor has it that with the month of Tevet comes that rain!  Inclement weather is predicted for the erev of and the first day of Rosh Chodesh.  May the rains come and wash the burning land and perhaps the Carmel Forest can start to regenerate the green we long for.

Just a note — today, as I finish writing this post, erev Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the rain has come, washing the country in its blessing and causing Am Yisrael to smile and breathe a sigh of relief.  But still, the showers of last night and today are not enough, so please pray that the weather stays wet and gray!

Over the centuries Israel has been beset by many a tragedy, and how have we always managed to get through it?  We eat!  So let the Kosher Cooking Carnival begin!

The Kosher Cooking Carnival KCC is a monthly blog carnival, a “round-up” of blog posts about all aspects of kosher food and cooking.  It includes Jewish Law, customs, kosher restaurants, cookbooks and kosher recipes, too.  Every month it’s on another blog.  Next month the KCC is once again going home and will be hosted by Batya at me-ander.  If you’d like to host an edition, please contact Batya.

Anything Kosher

Leah of Ingathered brings back some childhood memories with her Quick and Easy Homemade Pickles.

Batya, of me-ander, decided to do something we do almost weekly in our house and did a little Cashing In, Frozen Foods.  In our house we always cook twice or three times as much as we need, just to feed the Freezer Gods.

Leora who lives over Here in HP posted a wonder No Cook Pea Salad.  This one is absolutely going into the Shabbat rotation at our house.

Jennifer is having some Adventures in BreadLand, and is stretching and folding, stretching and folding and wants us to Bake Bread Bold with “Stretch n’ Fold”!

Even though we are in the midst of Chanuka, not too long ago we were celebrating Thanksgiving.  Mirj of Miriyummy (hey, that’s me!) didn’t quite make the traditional dinner, but had a little party to give thanks, and served up some unconventional Thanksgiving food.

Desserts

Phyllis, our favorite Ima On (And Off) The Bima, made a supercool dragon cake for her son’s 5th birthday.  You can read all about it at Move Over, Cake Boss – Dragon Cake.

What do you do when you just don’t know what to call your creation?  You do what Mrs. S. over at Our Shiputzim:  A Work in Progress did.  Curious?  Find out what she called her dessert in Freshly Baked Goods Friday: Nameless Edition.

Not that I want to get political or anythings, but… with all this talk about a building freeze, Jennifer and her Adventures in MamaLand is building houses, gingerbread houses, and they look good!  Have a peek at Gingerbread Night.

One way to avoid politics is to focus on the ying and yang of the sweet stuff.  Mirj of Miriyummy (me, again) gives it to you in black and white with Reality Bites.

Diet Food

There were no entries this month for Diet Food.  Like, duh!  This is the Chanuka season!  Latkes, sufganiyot, anything fried, oil, oil, oil, get the picture?  Just in case you don’t, here’s one…

Everyday Meals

Ilana-Davita took one of my favorite side dishes and gave it her own personal twist in Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apple.

If you head over to Here in HP you can read how Leora made Kid-Friendly Spicy Potatoes.  Sounds like something my kids would love to cook, and love to eat.  Very kid-friendly!

With the drought we’ve been having here in Israel Batya has come up with a very economic way to save water over at me-ander.  See this new innovation with Water-Saving Meatloaf.

Halacha

Mrs. S. on Our Shiputzim discusses the mitzvot of blogging on Chanuka.  Nothing to do with food, but worth reading, just so you know…  Happy Chanukah!

Jewish Shabbat and Holiday Food

Mimi of Israeli Kitchen receives some potato inspiration with 2 Recipes:  Spiced Olives and Potatoes with Olives.

Just in time for the last days of Chanuka (and who says this should only be limited to Chanuka?), West Bank Mama tells us Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Latkes.

Over at JewishBoston.com we have an interesting take on the usual latke thanks to Dan Brosgol.  Check out Hybrid Latkes: Low-Fat, High-Flavor, and Interestingly Textured.

Bookishima, who’s In Our Small Garden, wants to tell you All About Sufganiyot.

Mirj of Miriyummy (me, again) has way to chill down in Israel with memories of the cold north and little baby sufganiyot with There’s a Hole in My Donut.

Just because it doesn’t feel like winter yet here in Israel, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world isn’t freezing its tuchas off and in need of hot and nourishing food to stave off the cold.  Beth, the Upper West Side Mom, has a warming recipe for Fassoulyeh b’Lah’meh (Syrian Cholent).

And while were still talking about Shabbat food, doesn’t every shul have a Kiddush Club?  Mine does, so I blogged about it at Miriyummy.

Restaurants and Cookbook Reviews

Gillian Pollack of BiblioBuffet takes us down under and back in time with In Search of Nineteenth-Century Food.

In Jerusalem?  Hungry?  Batya at me-ander has found The Best Lunch Deal in Jerusalem!

Still in Jerusalem?  Still hungry?  The trials and tribulations that Batya of me-ander goes through to find us An Even Better Salad Deal for a Great Lunch!

Miscellaneous

Okay, so while this doesn’t fall under the issue of kashrut per se, I just couldn’t pass up including this entry from Erin Lenderts from Bachelor’s Degree Online: 40 Beautiful Coffee Table Books for Foodies.

Maybe I should call this the Not Kosher But Interesting Nonetheless category.  In any case, Jennifer Lynch submitted an entry which is good for those of you who keep kosher but like to read about weird, non-kosher restaurants.  Check out 20 Strangest Restaurants Around The World over at TopOnlineColleges.com.

Everything you wanted to know about the food pyramid but couldn’t be bothered to Google it yourself?  You can find the Top 50 Blogs About the Food Pyramid and Macronutrients at ADN to BSN.

So how many of us who regularly read the KCC deep-fry their turkeys for Thanksgiving?  Hmmmm, thought so.  We’re just not in that demographic, are we…  But just in case you ever get the, erm, hankering to try, Susan Howe discusses how Deep-fried turkey fiascos can spoil Thankgiving at Insure.com.

Have a happy holiday full of light!

Here are the previous editions of the Kosher Cooking Carnival:
123456789101112131415161718,192021KCC Meta Carnival22232425262728,293031323334353637383940414243,444546, 47, 4849505152,  53,  54555657, 58, 59 and 60.  Click on the numbers to check them out.  Blog about them and visit the various links.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of kosher cooking carnival-kcc using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

There’s A Hole In My Donut

A summer's day in Oslo, you can tell she's cold

Once upon a time, in 1970, my family spent some time in Norway.  There’s not much I remember, I was 7 at the time, but what I do remember was that I got to hang with some cool cousins, I got to say Jeg ikke gjør det oppfatte (I don’t understand) a lot, and I was cold, always cold.  Even in the summer.

You can tell it's summer in Oslo, we're only wearing sweaters

My family of four moved in with my uncle’s family of four.  Eight people in one house, two women sharing one kitchen.  My mother and aunt were in each other’s pots and pans and dinnertime was always a combination of my once Lithuanian now American mother, and my once Hungarian now Norwegian aunt.  We had a few weird combinations.  It was in Oslo that I learned to eat hot dogs with ketchup, which I still love to this day.  It was in Oslo that I learned to eat chunks of bread mixed with sour cream and sprinkled with sugar.  I’ve never seen that combo before, and quite frankly, am happy to never see it again.  And it was in Oslo that I had the most amazing jams, made from the most amazing berries.  They have berries up there that I’ve never seen in the States or in Israel.  I put jam on everything back then, except for hot dogs.

Cousin Rebecca and family in Sweden

My cousin Rebecca, that sweet little bald thing up there in the picture, the cutie on the right, left the frozen fjords of Norway and now lives in the frozen hustle bustle of Sweden.  I haven’t seen her in a while, but we chat on Facebook.  Just today I was complaining about how hot it is here in Israel.  It’s Chanuka, it’s not supposed to be hot on Chanuka.  We’re supposed to be wearing sweaters, eating hot latkes, drinking hot chocolate, and instead I’m trying to stay cool in the hot sunshine while walking to work.  Rebecca said she would trade places with me, she’s drinking her mug of hot tea while staring out into the brisk Swedish weather, with the temps a cozy -15 degrees C.  Yes, that’s minus 15.

So I’m trying to conjure up some memories of Norway to cool me off.  They say foodie memories can be very strong, so I’m making the traditional Chanuka sufganiya, otherwise known as the jelly donut.  Carine Goren, my favorite dessert diva, posted her recipe for sufganiyot on Facebook this morning, and the dough is rising now, ready for a bath of hot oil and then some yummy jam.  The last time we were in Ikea I picked up some Swedish lingonberry jam, and some of that spread on a slice of Rykrisp took my straight back to those white Oslo nights.  I think a little lingonberry jam on my Chanuka sufganiyot is the perfect remedy for a balmy Chanuka.

Jammy Donut Holes

Rising holes

I very rarely make full-blown jelly donuts for Chanuka, they’re a pain to fry, I never manage to get them just right on the outside, just right on the inside, and oy, all that oil!  So I make donuts holes, and we all get to dip them in whatever we like, and the filling becomes a topping.

This is Carine Goren’s recipe for sufganiyot, but she uses a whole kilo of flour to make 30 huge donuts.  I’ve halved the recipe, to make lots of little holes.

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried yeast
  • 2/3 cups milk (I use soy milk), heated to lukewarm
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • canola oil, for deep frying
  • jam for filling
  • powdered sugar for dusting
  1. Place all the ingredients except for the oil, jam and powdered sugar in the mixer fitter with a dough hook.  Mix until the dough is smooth, it should feel like your earlobe, go ahead, give it a pinch.
  2. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3. When the dough has doubled its bulk punch it down, knead by hand for about two minutes, and then pull off pieces and roll into balls.  The size of the piece should be based on the size of the sufganiya you want.  Golfball sized pieces will give you a full-size sufganiya.  We like to make bite-sized donuts, so our pieces are about a third of a golfball.
  4. Put the balls to rise again on pieces of parchment paper.  Let rise again for about 20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime bring the oil to a low boil in a pan.  I’m not going to tell you how big of a pot and how much oil, since that should be a cooking preference.  Big pots, lots of oil, lots of room for many large donuts.  I use a small saucepan with about 2-3 inches of oil, and fry about 4 or 5 holes at a time.
  6. Carefully lower the balls into the hot oil and fry for 2 minutes on each side for the big boys, 1 minute or less for the babies.  Remove with a slotted spoon and let rest on some paper towels to sop up any extra oil.
  7. Fill with the jam and dust with the powdered sugar.  Or do it Miriyummy-style, serving up the plain donut holes with the jam on the side, and dip at will.

Happy Chanuka!  May your holiday be filled with light, and yummy little holes!

Happy Chanuka, Hannukah, Chanoo… whatever….

While trying to wrap my head around this gorgeous, sunny and yet, depressing Chanuka weather, I’m trying very hard not to find solace in the plethora of sufganiyot both in the bakeries and on the blogosphere.  So far the best post I’ve seen about Chanuka comes from Mrs. S. of Our Shiputzim, and she is so right, I now can’t get that song out of my head, so I’m going to stick it in yours!

 

Please Rain!

It’s the first day of Chanuka and I am sitting in my family room with a Boston creme sufganiya and a huge cup of super-strong espresso with a splash of milk.  I am also sitting here in a flowing summer blouse, my favorite black summer skirt and a pair of Teva Naot sandals.  It’s the first day of Chanuka, it’s December 2nd, and we haven’t seen rain in over a month, let alone winter.

My daughter Sassy is buried under eight inches of snow in London and my cousin Rebecca just offered to trade houses with me, she’s in Sweden where the temps have just hit a high of -15 C!

We’ve prayed, we’ve fasted, we’ve promised to be good, we’ve even gotten together in spite of religious and national issues, and still it doesn’t rain.

The entire nation of Israel is depressed due to the weather.  Have you ever known beautiful, bright sunny days to do this to a person (let alone a whole country)?

Please rain!

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