If you're not Jewish, it might take a bit to decipher some of these words. That's why I've put a short list of Yiddishisms at the bottom of this article. Mazeltov!
The fact that mom cleaned houses and served meals for some of the Jewish ladies in our ethnically diverse neighborhood may have had something to do with her affinity for Jewish cuisine.
That's where she learned about matzoh ball soup so rich with shmaltz, it tasted like bubbe's. She learned about blintzes, potato latkes with sour cream and applesauce, gefilte fish, corned beef on Rosen's rye bread, challah, and bagels and cream cheese before bagels were fashionable.
It wasn't much of a leap for her, actually, since Ashkenazic Jewish cuisine has its roots in German, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian and Russian food. Besides, my mother always identified with what she called Jewish people's rakmonhes and zest for life. It's not surprising, then, that mingled with the Polish dishes of our heritage were heaping helpings of delicious Jewish food.
I have fond memories of Mom taking us to Chicago's Maxwell Street, considered the bargain mecca of the city, to hunt for fabrics and then having lunch at Manny's Deli. The restaurant still exists and, in fact, is one of President Barack Obama's favorites.
People think I'm meshuge when I recount stories of grating pounds and pounds of potatoes for latkes on meatless Fridays. So, OK, I'm an ersatz yidene, but I think my matzoh balls hold a candle to anyone's.
A friend once told me, "Never cook with your tokhes." In other words, don't turn your back to your cooking, it takes watching to turn out right. And no matter what you cook, if you cook with tam, you'll do fine.
So, now, I say to you, nu, don't make a tsimmes out of cooking Jewish. Try these recipes. Some I've collected over the years from friends at local hadassahs, and some are my own. Lechaim!
- Matzoh Balls Recipe
- Beef Brisket Recipe
- Apricot-Baked Chicken for Passover Recipe
- Russian / Ukrainian Sorrel Soup Recipe - Schav Borscht for Passover
- Noodle Kugel Recipe
- Potato Knishes Recipe
- Meat Knishes Recipe
- Fat-Free Potato Latkes Recipe
- Potato Latkes for Passover Recipe
- Kasha Recipe
- Carrot Ring for Passover Recipe
- Onion Rolls Recipe
- Bread Machine Challah Recipe
- Cheese Blintzes Recipe
- Blintz Souffle Recipe
- Chocolate Babka Recipe
- Cinnamon Babka Recipe
- Almond Babka Recipe
- Rugelach Recipe
- Hamantaschen Recipe
- Mandelbrot Recipe
- Flourless Chocolate Cake for Passover Recipe
- Cocoa-Pecan-Meringue Cookies for Passover Recipe
- Apricot Squares for Passover Recipe
|THE SHORT LIST OF YIDDISHISMS|
(Spellings May Vary)
|Blintz||Thin crepe stuffed with cheese or fruit filling|
|Challah||Sabbath loaf; braided, yeast-raised egg twist|
|Gefilte Fish||Fish dumplings similar to French fish quenelles|
|Goy, Goye||Gentile (masc., fem.)|
|Gribenes||Chicken fat cracklings|
|Hamentaschen||Cookies served for Purim|
|Hadassah||An American Jewish women's volunteer organization|
|Kasha||Roasted buckwheat groats served as a starch|
|Kishke||Sausage made of buckwheat groats|
|Knish||Baked dumpling stuffed with potatoes, cheese, meat or kasha|
|Kreplach||Meat- or vegetable-filled dumplings|
|Latkes||Pancakes (usually potato)|
|Lechaim||To life! To your good health!|
|Mandelbrot||Twice-baked cookie like Italian biscotti|
|Mazeltov||Congratulations! Good luck!|
|Mentsh||A good and kind human being|
|Nu||Well; so; get on with it|
|Oy vey||My God!|
|Shmaltz||Rendered chicken fat; oversentimentality|
|Tsimmes||Stew or casserole made with dried fruit or meat; make a big deal or fuss out of something|
|Yenta||Female busybody; nosy person|