If I had to choose one word to describe the last few weeks it would, without a doubt, be indulgence. Between my birthday celebrations and holiday celebrations, I’ve done quite a lot of feasting. Friends and family have fed me delicious meals and I’ve also had the opportunity to cook some fabulous food as well. Yet, as good as it all was, when thinking about what to make for dinner one night last week all I wanted was something healthy (some vegetables, please) but that was also hearty.
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Katherine Romanow is a graduate student in Montreal who is lucky enough to have been able to convince people to let her study two things that she is truly passionate about, namely food and Judaism. When she is not reading or writing about Judaism, food and women, she can usually be found cooking or baking up a storm in the kitchen and then sitting down to share this food with family and friends. Katherine is continually inspired by the voices of the Jewish women she encounters in the cookbooks she reads as well as those in her everyday life, and strives to bring these voices along with feminism into the kitchen with her.
A quick read through the food sections of many newspapers and you’ll find a multitude of articles suggesting what to make for holiday (read, Christmas) meals. On the other hand, a read through Jewish newspapers, magazines and blogs leads one to find articles discussing the relationship between Jews and Chinese food that has long defined Christmas for many in the community.
Once you’ve read this post, get to the kitchen and make this recipe because these leek patties are delicious. I even think that these might be one of my favorite recipes I’ve made for the blog so far. They’re satisfying and comforting, in the way that dishes with potatoes in them usually are, and the perfect thing to eat at his time of year when it’s getting colder outside. They are ideal Hanukkah fare but I also know that this recipe will make a recurring appearance in my kitchen throughout the rest of the year as well.
Any excuse to eat fried foods is a good thing in my books. Fried foods are my weakness, something I just can’t help myself from eating despite knowing that the outcome will usually involve an unhappy stomach and a lot of sparkling water to try to make myself feel better. If there’s anything fried on a restaurant menu, you can almost be certain that I’ll order it and I’m of the opinion that most things taste better after having been cooked in some hot oil until they are golden and crisp.
As an academic of Jewish food, I’m always on the lookout for new publications on the topic. It is a burgeoning area in which new research is being done all the time and a multitude of books and cookbooks are consistently being published. Despite wanting to buy all these books (especially the cookbooks), it is simply impossible, both financially and due to the fact that I can’t spend every waking hour reading about Jewish food (despite the fact that it would appear that’s what I do to the people close to me).
The words for this post seemed to escape me every time I sat down to write it, over the last few days. I got as far as a few sentences but seemed incapable of writing anymore. I can’t really say what stopped me from putting the words down on paper (or more accurately in a word document), but they simply weren’t flowing. I enjoyed making and eating these pumpkin pancakes but couldn’t find a way to express this. Yet after reading a friend’s thoughts concerning the act of cooking, I was reminded (something I’m grateful for) of some of the reasons I love spending so much time in the kitchen.
With all the delicious desserts that are part of the Ashkenazi culinary repertoire it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I think that after trying many of them I can safely say that babka is my favorite. My love for babka only developed relatively recently but it’s a strong one. I owe my introduction to this delightful dessert to my wonderful friend and fellow blogger Alma Heckman. We lived together in Boston over the summer of 2008 when we both cooked and ate considerable amounts of Jewish food.
I want to start off by saying that this may not be the prettiest dish to look at, but trust me, it is very tasty. I will admit that I was doubtful about how this dish would taste while it was being prepared. It looked more like an unappetizing mix of chicken and tomatoes to me than a delicious Indian chicken dish, and not something I wanted to be eating for dinner that night. I almost gave up on the whole thing and decided that I wouldn’t be writing about this dish for Eating Jewish, when my friend insisted otherwise and added the remaining ingredients that brought the dish together.
In the middle of brunch with friends on Sunday afternoon, a leaking ceiling in our apartment left my roommate and I scrambling. In the middle of preparing the meal we were going to serve, we had to stop cooking and deal with the water that clearly should not have been coming through the ceiling. Rather than frying eggs and baking potatoes, we were trying to strategically place buckets under the leaks, mopping the water that had accumulated on the floor, moving furniture and assessing the damage.
As I walked through the fruit and vegetable section of my local grocery store, I couldn’t help but notice the pile of oval shaped, deep purple Italian plums that were for sale. For weeks I had been buying deliciously juicy peaches and nectarines (of which every bite evoked summer), but it was impossible to ignore the dark color of these plums, which stood out against the bright oranges and reds of these other fruits, signaling the onset of fall. Aside from buying a few to eat that day, I knew I had to find a recipe that would highlight these fruits.