“Did you drink limonana when you were a kid?” people ask me. The answer is no. Lemonade with mint (nana in Arabic) was popular in Syria and Turkey. Israel discovered limonana serendipitously, as a byproduct of an experimental advertising campaign. [Read more…]
When the sun sets on May 1, the celebrations — and the grilling — will begin. [Read more…]
One of the staples of the Tunisian table is the fourma, or molded noodle dish. Cooked noodles are mixed with spiced meat or vegetables. Eggs are beaten and used to bind the noodle mixture. The casserole is baked and served at any meal, hot or cold. The Jews of Tunisia have a special fourma recipe that they prepare for Passover.
Tunisian Jews eat kitniyot (grains and legumes) during Passover. The starch in the Passover fourma is rice, which has been carefully picked over and cleaned to make sure that there is no chametz in it. Those of you who don’t eat kitniyot during Passover may substitute the rice in the recipe for boiled, diced potatoes or matza farfel.
Adapted from Laurent
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 Lb. ground beef
- 1 large onion, minced
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 4 eggs, whisked
- 1 bunch parsley, minced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet.
- Brown the onion.
- Add the ground beef.
- Season with ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- Mix in the parsley.
- Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl mix the rice, marinara sauce, meat, and eggs.
- Pour the mixture into an oiled casserole dish.
- Bake for about 45 minutes.
- Serve with harissa and a crispy green salad.
A new Passover Haggadah is being distributed by StandWithUs, an international Israel education organization, that emphasizes not only the themes of slavery and freedom but also underscores Jews’ 3,000-year-long connection to their ancestral homeland, Israel. The Haggadah, From Ancient Egypt to Modern Israel, is the brainchild of StandWithUs co-founder and COO, Jerry Rothstein.
“According to a Pew research survey, 70% of Jews in America from all denominations will likely participate in a Passover Seder,” states Rothstein. “This statistic is greater than participation on Yom Kippur, on Rosh Hashanah, or during the lighting of Shabbat candles. What better time to reach high numbers of Jews of all ages as well as their non-Jewish friends who will be attending their Seders?”
The new StandWithUs Haggadah contains the traditional service and adds beautiful original artwork, Hebrew text with English translation, and updates the language to modify the text from “you should tell your sons” to “you should tell your children.” StandWithUs is also preparing to distribute this Haggadah published in other languages.
“While all Haggadahs do a great job focusing on the Jewish suffering during slavery and the miracle of the escape from Egypt, the subsequent arrival in the ancestral land of Israel (immediately following the Exodus) should also be taught at the Passover table,” adds Rothstein.
Have you ever enjoyed an Israeli-style Shabbat dinner? They tend to be casual family get-togethers, with delicious home-cooked food. Even many secular Israelis still congregate for Shabbat dinner every Friday evening, sans the blessings. If you are not fortunate enough to have an Israeli relative to invite you, you may now join the Israeli American Council (IAC) community for potluck Shabbat dinners. The main courses are cooked at the venue by a group of volunteers, lead by Devorah Selber and Mazal Fellah. [Read more…]
Jews have lived in the Central Asian city of Bukhara since the reign of King David. One of their unique Purim specialties is an intricately decorated flatbread called Kulchi Ravghaniy. Flatbreads have been baked in Bukhara for over 12,000 years, and are described in one of the world’s oldest written stories, The Epic of Gilgamesh. In Bukhara bread symbolizes life. Jews celebrate the life of Queen Esther and the Jewish community by serving these festive loaves during the Purim feast. [Read more…]
Marianna Bergues, a 17-year old Narberth native, has published a whimsical children’s book in English, Hebrew, and French. The Cat, the Fish, and the Waiter is a retelling of a French bedtime story that her father tucked her into bed with throughout her childhood.
It is a story of a French waiter who works in a café in Paris. He makes many friends while doing his job, and agrees to take care of some of their pets while they are away.
The charming illustrations, executed by Christian Bergues, convey what café life in Paris is like. The cat and the fish take the reader on a wonderful tour of Paris.
Ms. Bergues gives her readers a glimpse of what it is like to grow up in a multicultural and multilingual home. As it becomes more common for families to relocate, many families are becoming more international. Readers of all ages will enjoy this delightful story, and perhaps improve their Hebrew or French.
In Morocco, the Jewish community would celebrate Tu BiShvat by gathering for a collective feast. Tu BiShvat is the New Year of the trees as described in the Mishna. The wealthiest family would serve a delectable slow cooked meat and dried fruit dish called a tagine. It was named after the special clay pot used to prepare the stew. Traditionally it was prepared with chicken or lamb, dried fruits, and nuts. When the feast ended, every person went home with their hat filled with a gift of various fruits.
You may celebrate with your friends and family with a taste of North African hospitality this Tu Bishvat. On February 10th, when winter is in full force in Philadelphia, serve an exotic fruity chicken tagine. Send your guests home with a care package of fresh or dried fruits, just like the parnassim of Casablanca, Tangiers, and Tetouan.
Chicken Tagine with Honey and Dried Fruits
Adapted from Cuisine Marocaine
- 6 chicken drumsticks
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup dried dates
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 4 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- Pinch of saffron threads
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot.
- Add the chicken and onions.
- Season with the ginger, cinnamon, saffron, salt, and pepper.
- Mix in the honey.
- Toast the almonds in a hot non-stick frying pan.
- Place the almonds in the pot.
- Add the dates, garlic, cilantro, and broth.
- Bring to a boil, cover the pot tightly with a lid, and lower the flame to a simmer.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Serve with fluffy steamed couscous.
What should you serve when the last night of Hanukkah abuts the secular New Year’s Eve? The Yoruba tribe of West Africa offers the perfect recipe for a mash-up of traditions. It makes it possible for you to combine the American southern custom of serving black-eyed peas for good luck with the Hanukkah tradition of serving latkes. The result is akara, one of the most popular snacks in West Africa. [Read more…]