Growing up, I always looked forward to the Jewish holidays, even though my family was not very religious. Those were pretty much the only times we had real food in our house.
Chicken soup, known as “Jewish penicillin,” is an essential recipe for all grandmothers and mothers to have in their bag of tricks. It’s delicious, and bone broth is touted for its restorative powers. I used to look forward to preparing this sweet soup with my grandmother Beauty as a kid, and now as a mom I love preparing this memorable dish for my kids.
An essential component of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, known generally as the Jewish New Year, a honey cake (lekach in Yiddish, derived from the German lecke, for “lick”) is meant to symbolize a sweet year ahead. Slices of apples dipped in honey, the other food tradition most associated with Rosh Hashanah, are served for this same reason.
My grandmother was a very young bride, and she had a Hungarian neighbor who taught her to cook. My grandmother was a marvelous cook and a marvelous baker. And she always made this wonderful honey cake. It gets very dark and rich, because of the boiled honey.
Tonight I’ll be a member of a live audience watching one of my favorite cooking competitions in the world — not “Chopped” on the Food Network (though I love that one to), but Chop Hunger, a “Chopped-style” competition that will raise money for Masbia Soup Kitchen Network.