In celebration of Jewish New Year this month, I went back to the basics to make traditional cinnamon sugar mandel bread (aka mandelbrot). Every year, I would eagerly wait for my cousin in Chicago to send them to us in the mail, reserving a whole bag just for myself! A few years later, I tried baking these cookies myself, and I realized how similar they are to an Italian biscotti in flavor, texture, and recipe. So, if you liked my previous Chocolate Dipped Almond Biscotti or Double Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti posts, this is the recipe for you!
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Right before the start of Shavuot, on May 14, Israel’s chief rabbis, the British ambassador to Israel, airline employees and others took part in an event to mark the completion of the writing of the El Al Torah Scroll for the Unity of Israel.
El Al CEO Elyezer Shkedy, who initiated the writing of the Torah Scroll, said the project was motivated by a desire to help strengthen ties between the Jewish population in Israel and around the world.
Shkedy told a group of journalists about this Torah during the American Jewish Press Association’s press tour in January and I was fortunate enough to “write” a letter in this Torah (through a scribe, of course) during an El Al-sponsored dinner at a Tel Aviv restaurant. I feel like I was in very good company, as thousands of people have inscribed a letter in the Torah Scroll for the past three years —…
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The Old City of Jerusalem is a labyrinth of narrow streets contained in a walled fortress, with access by one of seven gates: the Golden (or Lion) gate, Herod’s Gate, the Damascus Gate, the New Gate, the Jaffa Gate, the Zion Gate, and the Dung Gate. Inside the walls is the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. The city has four neighborhoods: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter, and the Jewish Quarter. Vendors, elbow to elbow in the narrow corridors of the souk, vie for buyers. Christian pilgrims walk the Via Dolorosa and visit churches commemorating the life of Jesus. Children go to school. People live here, as evidenced by the water tanks, satellite dishes, and hanging laundry in the rooftop view above. It is a busy and vibrant place.
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My Family Table
Chag Semach! It’s Purim or what I think of as the Jewish Halloween. When my husband asked me what the story was, I will confess that I had to go look it up. I could only remember a few key words… Queen Esther, Hayman, gallows, the annihilation of the Jews (again) and a three pointed hat. Click here for a better explanation.
The upshot of it is that we spent Saturday making Hamantaschen, the traditional Purim cookie. I used the recipe posted on one of my favorite Jewish websites, Kveller.com. No photos as I made it but I did get one of the finished product. We made strawberry, apricot and (untraditional) chocolate. I wanted to make the poppy (mohn) filling but it was too complicated. Maybe next year.
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Got Your Holiday On!
Lox are thin slices of cured salmon which are usually paired with a bagel, cream cheese and capers and is an iconic Jewish-American dish.
Originating in Poland in the 17th century, Jewish families ate bagels at the end of the Sabbath on Saturday evenings. Bagels symbolize the circle of life with Lox symbolizing the saltiness of tears.
The Mid-1800’s the transcontinental railroad shipped salted salmon to the East coast and saw Lox become a popular sandwich filling.
Celebrate this day by partaking in a great Jewish-American tradition. Enjoy a tasty bagel topped with cream cheese, lox, red onion, and capers with maybe a tomato or two!
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Foodimentary - National Food Holidays
National Bagel and Lox Day
Five things you should know about
Bagels and Lox
- The word Bagel is often thought to have derived from the ‘buckle‘ shape it has, but actually it is from a Yiddish word ‘beygl‘ meaning ring or hole.
- Bagels are one of the few breads that are boiled then baked. creating the sought inside while retaining a crisp exterior.
- Over a Billion dollars a year are spent on bagels in the US alone.
- The top selling bagels are Plain(#1), Whole Wheat(#2) and Sesame Seed(#3)
- Originally bagels were baked and sold by street vendors. They would have been carried around on a long string draped over the sellers’ shoulders.
On This Day in Food History…
1870 The creation of the U.S. Weather Service (National Weather Service) was authorized by Congress
1889 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was established as…
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