Schalet, cholent, kugel, charlotte – any connection?
In my latest column on OU's website I find that one of these favorite dishes is the ancestor of the others. Can you guess what it is? Read the full story.
In a jam? Try this recipe for Hanukkah doughnuts.
The Orange County Register/Fullerton News Tribune
November 29, 2007
by Judy Bart Kancigor
An old joke goes like this: The Jewish holidays are always either early or late. They’re never on time!
Hanukkah sneaks up on us early this year. We’ll begin lighting candles at sundown on December 4, so prepare for an oil crisis, and I’m not referring to the price of gas. Who knew when Judah Maccabee's tiny flask of oil miraculously burned for eight days that for thousands of years Jewish families would celebrate by frying!
While Jews of Eastern Europe descent eat mountains of latkes (potato pancakes), the Hanukkah treat in Israel is sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
Fullerton's Pnina Shichor, a former teacher and proprietor of Bound to Travel on Euclid, has been making them for years.
"When my children were young," she recalled, "my cousin, Esther Schechter, and I would do Hanukkah at Rolling Hills Elementary School. We'd tell the story, sing songs, and teach the children to make sufganiyot."
When the Shichors were considering transferring daughter Nomi to Jewish day school, Nomi said, "But, Mom, if I go there, who will do Hanukkah for our class?"
Pnina's mother-in-law, Malka Suranyi, brought the recipe from Budapest where the family survived under Nazi rule. Luckily an uncle owned an exclusive men's clothing store, which the Nazis wanted, so they kept the workers alive. After the war the Communists took over, and Pnina's husband, David, professor of criminal justice at Cal State San Bernardino, was barely 16 when the Jewish Agency smuggled him and other children out of Hungary.
My column on OU's web site features easy latkes for Hanukkah. Click here to read it.
One of the area’s more, shall we say, interesting dining establishments recently was not a newly opened theme restaurant or even an established eatery, but the Del Mar Race Track, where thousands of evacuated refugees from San Diego’s raging fires found solace, comfort and more than sustenance.
“The food was great and the experience uplifting,” said Mark Sherman of Del Mar Heights, who got what he termed “our first reverse 911 call” to get ready at about six pm on Monday, October 22, followed by the evacuation order a couple of hours later.
“This was not your New Orleans nightmare,” he said. “About a thousand evacuees at the shelter were all cooperative, supportive, and well managed by the uniformed Army and National Guard personnel.”
The shelter was located under the stands of the racetrack, where, during summer, guests with far less on their minds leisurely stroll through the Del Mar Fair Art Show.
Once inside, the Shermans were directed to the far end of the area reserved for people without pets. “We were assisted to cots carried by a military escort,” Sherman said. “They provided toothbrushes, etc. The pillows, blankets and sheets were all new and still in the package, I think from Wal-Mart.”
The couple got to sleep at about two am and awoke at about six to the smell of fresh coffee. “People were lining up for breakfast,” he recalled, “coffee, fruit, milk, cereals, hot bagels and cream cheese from Garden State Bagels, then trays of Krispy Kreme donuts. My two ‘emergency’ Nature Valley granola bars and the water we brought was a joke. They had enough water to bring life to the desert and enough granola bars, pretzels, chips, candy, and snack food to feed Iraq for a year.”
As I travel around the country on my book tour, I'm writing my column from the road. Here's my favorite dining spot in Allentown!
If it’s Tuesday it must be Allentown, I thought, as my plane hit the runway. Stop number two on my book tour, but this gig was special, because I would be staying with my oldest, dearest friend.
Arlene picked me up at the airport and said, “Let’s have lunch.” She didn’t have to ask where I wanted to go. Pistachio’s is always my first choice.
Owners Sid and Lynne Stetcher joined us, but this wasn’t the usual meeting of friends. For this column from the road, I wanted to find out what makes this restaurant special.
I asked Sid if I could talk to the chef and was surprised when he informed me, “There is no chef!” Stetcher employs only line cooks and personally trains them himself. “I don’t need a prima donna,” he said. “I have one wife. I don’t need another.”
Having no formal training, Stetcher, a self-professed foodie, claims a natural affinity. “I see it as an art form,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed food, and I’m blessed with good taste buds.”
In my latest column on OU's website, I help some nostalgic friends and relatives recreate two cookie recipes they remember from the past.
A&E’s Dog the Bounty Hunter tracks down fugitives and brings them to justice. The History Detectives on PBS search for clues to unlock mysteries of the past. Just call me the Cookery Sleuth, Seeker of Lost Recipes and Restorer of Dreams. Click here to continue.
from The Orange County Register
September 14, 2001
by Judy Bart Kancigor
When Hana Lustigova Greenfield returned to her native Czechoslovakia in 1945 after liberation from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, she miraculously found her sister, then her rabbi, who was preparing the synagogue for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). He had the sisters cut an apple and dip the slices in honey, telling them, "As bitter as was our past life, we should have a sweet future."
Just one of hundreds of stories in "The Foods of Israel Today" (Knopf $40), the latest book by Joan Nathan, the award-winning author of "Jewish Cooking in America" and host of the PBS TV series of the same name. More than a cookbook, it is an exhaustively researched and compellingly told saga of a vibrant land and its diverse people, from its rich ancient history through its beleaguered present.
Nathan is a tireless investigator and a good listener. She entered the kitchens of both ordinary Israelis and popular restaurants, gathering stories to accompany the 300 recipes from Jews, Christians and Moslems.
The Orange County Register
September 9, 2004
by Judy Bart Kancigor
When the exotic yellow Barhi date first appears in the open-air markets of Israel, no one needs a calendar to sense that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is approaching. So, too, did the ancient Hebrews mark the seasons with cues from nature - the ripening of wheat in spring, the profusion of figs in summer, pomegranate harvest in fall, the pressing of olives in winter.
Rosh Hashanah, which starts at sundown Sept. 15, began as an agricultural festival and might have remained so if not for the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans, which forced the Jewish people into exile. "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking" by Phyllis Glazer with her sister, Miriyam Glazer, (HarperCollins, $29.95), explores, through mouthwatering recipes and their fascinating origins, how the holidays were remolded by the rabbis and sages in the Diaspora.
"There were no familiar signs of nature for the people to follow in their new land," Phyllis Glazer explained, visiting from her home in Israel, where she is a cookbook author and well-known food journalist. "The rabbis sought to save the holidays and give them other meanings.''
"There's a beautiful line in one of the Psalms: 'How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?' " added Miriyam, a professor of literature and a rabbinical student at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. "And so the rabbis looked for scriptural evidence in the Bible itself in order to preserve the festivals."
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
September 19, 2003
by Judy Bart Kancigor
from The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
September 26, 2003