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Jewish Journal

Linda Morel

  • Cheese for Shavuot wrapped in tradition and variety

    May 17, 2007 | 8:00 pm

    More than 50 years ago my grandmother took me to a friend's apartment. "Bertha turns out blintzes by the dozen," Granny explained. "Even if there's no company expected, she makes them and stocks her freezer."

    I stood on a stool and watched melting butter turn frothy before...
  • When it gets colder, grab a sweater—and a spork

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    Of all the family-oriented holidays on the Jewish calendar, Sukkot, which entails setting up a temporary house, is probably the most homey of all. But even as we complete our days in the one-room harvest hut, whose interior walls are draped with apples and eggplants, peppers and...
  • Atoning for the sin of rushing dinner to get to Kol Nidre

    September 28, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I consider Yom Kippur eve the sandwich holiday. Not because I would ever serve my family and friends sandwiches before going to synagogue on the eve of a solemn fast. I see the start of Yom Kippur this way, because it's sandwiched between two days of Rosh Hashanah celebrations and...
  • Recreate, Update Bubbe’s Specialties

    April 14, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    The first time Tina Wasserman prepared gefilte fish for Passover, it smelled up her whole house. The fish was past its prime, but it wasn't spoiled, so "it didn't make my family sick," she said. But still, the experience was so horrifying that she didn't attempt to prepare gefilte...

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  • It’s All About the Olive Oil

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    "I like to have fun in the kitchen," said Susie Fishbein, a stay-at-home mother of four -- three girls and a boy -- who became an overnight success with the publication of her cookbook, "Kosher by Design: Picture-perfect food for the holidays & every day" (Mesorah, 2003).

    While...

  • Create Festive Table in a Blue Mood

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    Following are pointers on livening up your Chanukah table from "Kosher by Design" by Susie Fishbein (Mesorah, 2003).

    1. In the Beginning: Dress your dining table with a snazzy tablecloth. A gold one will glitter. Using narrow runners and/or yards of wide ribbons, preferably in...

  • Give Thanksgiving a Jewish Flavor

    November 18, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    "My sister-in-law stuffs Thanksgiving turkeys with a matzah ball mixture," says Faye Levy, food columnist and author of 14 cookbooks. "Instead of making patties and poaching them, she cooks this tasty mixture inside the turkey."

    This never struck Levy as odd, because her mother...

  • No Wrong Way to End Yom Kippur Fast

    September 23, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    I grew up in a family that never seemed to do anything right. Our approach to Yom Kippur, for example, was mixed: My father and I observed it; my mother and brother did not. Returning from synagogue at the end of the day, Dad and I were starving, so we grabbed a couple of slices of...

  • Holiday Breads Worth the Calories

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    With the no-carb craze sweeping the nation, Atkins Diet adherents make sure to avoid pasta and potatoes, but when the High Holidays roll around, even purists are tempted by succulent Jewish breads.

    What would Rosh Hashanah be, after all, without huge round challahs? Or Yom Kippur...

  • Not Your Grandma’s Honey Cake

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It wouldn't be the second night of Rosh Hashanah if our friends didn't come for dinner, contributing a cornucopia of dishes, especially divine desserts. There are enough pastries covering the buffet to keep judges at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest busy for a week.

    I always bake a...

  • Not Your Grandma’s Honey Cake

    September 2, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    It wouldn't be the second night of Rosh Hashanah if our friends didn't come for dinner, contributing a cornucopia of dishes, especially divine desserts. There are enough pastries covering the buffet to keep judges at the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest busy for a week.

    I always bake a...

  • Sorrel Helps Liven Up Neglected Schav

    May 6, 2004 | 8:01 pm

    "Mother used to leave jars full of schav in the refrigerator," says a friend of mine. "Because the stuff looked like seaweed, I would run from the kitchen in horror."

    Schav, the khaki-colored soup once savored by Ashkenazi Jews, has fallen on hard times in recent decades. In a world...

  • Thanksgiving’s Sukkot Roots

    November 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Did you know that Thanksgiving is really a Jewish holiday? Although Thanksgiving is not on the Jewish calendar, historians believe that Sukkot may have inspired America's favorite farewell to fall, often nicknamed "Turkey Day."

    "The pilgrims based their customs on the Bible," said...

  • Getting Stuffed on Sukkot

    October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    "Have you ever noticed how plump autumn foods are?" asked my 9-year-old daughter two decades ago as we passed a sukkah, a leafy hut, locked behind the gate of a Manhattan synagogue.

    "You mean the peppers, pumpkins, eggplants, apples and squash?" I said, staring at a farmers market...

  • It’s Passover Time Down Under, Mate

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Because Australia is situated below the equator, its seasons rebel against the Jewish calendar. Our winter is their summer; our spring their fall. Although Passover's rituals and symbols resonate spring, the holiday is celebrated in autumn Down Under.

    "Passover begins just as the...

  • Kindle Lights,      Rekindle Traditions

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "The sizzle of latkes in the kitchen, the glow of Chanukah candles in the window, the sounds of children playing with dreidels," these are what most of us associate with Chanukah celebrations, said Linda Burghardt, the author of "Jewish Holiday Traditions" (Citadel Press, 2001).

    ...

  • A Great Party Happened Here

    November 28, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "Entertaining is a lot like gardening," Linda Burghardt said. "You can't make mistakes."

    In other words, no matter what you do, it's OK.

    Just as each combination of flowers produces a different garden, each approach to party planning results in a unique gathering. Through these...

  • Leftovers Just the Dish for Chanukah

    November 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    "I was searching for Chanukah on my calendar and couldn't find it in the month of December," said Jennifer Felicia Abadi, author of "A Fistful of Lentils: Syrian-Jewish Recipes From Grandma Fritzie's Kitchen" (Harvard Common, $24.95)

    Who could have guessed that this year Chanukah...

  • When Everything Goes to Pot

    September 12, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    In America, the land of excess calories, boiled chicken has a bad reputation. People much prefer their chicken fried, barbecued or sautéed.

    But although they may joke about boiled chicken because of its anemic skin and bland personality, on erev Yom Kippur, it graces many a table....

  • A Feast From Jewish Tunisia

    August 29, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Imagine a Rosh Hashana table adorned with fruits and vegetables galore. Ruby-red pomegranates beckon; their jellied seeds symbolize your good deeds in the coming year. A bowl of crunchy sesame seeds promises that your virtues will be as numerous as the seeds themselves. You partake...

  • A ‘Cheesy’ Holiday

    May 9, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    My father never missed a chance to eat cheesecake. He was a furniture salesman whose territory covered the New York metropolitan area, and whenever he called on stores near a bakery, he purchased a cheesecake. While my mother and brother avoided cheese in any form, he knew he could...

  • Remembrances of Passover Food Past

    March 21, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Ruth Reichl, Gourmet magazine's editor in chief, reminisced about the versatility of matzah brie in her memoir, "Tender at the Bone."

    Likewise, Elizabeth Ehrlich wrote of her longing for the salty gefilte fish of her childhood, comparing it to her mother-in-law's sweeter variety in...

  • Holiday Heroine

    November 29, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Each year, Jews light Chanukah candles for eight evenings in a row, repeating the story of the Maccabees, the ancient guerrilla warriors who launched surprise attacks on the occupying armies of Syria.

    Judah the Maccabee and his four brothers overthrew Syrian tyranny, restored the...

  • There’s Other Fish in the Sea

    September 20, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    Although most American Jews break the Yom Kippur fast with bagels and lox, there is no reason why the menu has to be limited to what has become for many people, everyday fare, the equivalent of Jewish fast food.

    "I know you're supposed to break the fast with smoked fish," says a...

  • The Signature Dish of Chanukah, Potato Latkes, Hits the Big Time

    December 3, 1998 | 7:00 pm

    Potato latkes are Chanukah's signature dish, not because of the potato -- but because of the oil. Potatoes did not exist in the Holy Land when the ancient Israelites triumphed over the Syrians.

    During what may have been the region's first oil crisis, a 24-hour supply of oil lasted...

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