This Tu B’Shvat challah incorporates wheat, dates (in syrup form), figs, pomegranate, grapes (raisins), olives (in oil form) and barley.
The seven fruits incorporated into a challah honor Tu B’Shvat and re-engage a taste for the new fruits by elevating them with intention.
Watch and learn as Dahlia Abraham-Klein makes her rose-shaped challah at our Eat, Drink + Think event, then try her recipe.
Pilaf with Kidney Beans and Carrots
The Israelites escaped from Egyptian slavery through the parted waters of the Red Sea from a “narrow place”, and were born anew when they came out of the canal as a free nation. Egypt, in Hebrew Mitzrayim, means a tight and narrow place. In the world today, we are also caught in a narrow place, and being chased by the impending need to make the necessary changes in our personal lives to reduce our man made climate crisis.
I know what you are thinking…. the Hanukkah story had a femme fatale?? When you think of Hanukkah you probably think of how the Maccabees defeated the Syrian-Greeks in a revolt that recaptured the Holy Temple. And once the Maccabees did, the first order of business was to light the menorah in the Temple, but very little oil was found and would only last one day. The miracle of Hanukkah was that the little vile of oil that was supposed to last for one day lasted 8 days. It is for this reason that we eat foods fried in oil (typically olive oil because it’s a characteristic of the Land of Israel). What you may not know is that there is an underlying story of events that led to the victory of the Maccabees and it all started in the town of Bethulia, in the Judean Desert with a woman named Judith.
The smell of savory challahs permeates the kitchen with sweet hints of cinnamon and raisin. We knead, stretch, sweat and grunt as we shape the dough with our fingers into elaborate braids, rolls and twists. Our hands have been inherited from a long line of women empowered by a sacred undertaking: the making of challah.
Typical of crops that grow well in the late spring, is the Swiss Chard, which is making its first appearance in the local farmers markets and CSA’s. It contains a lot of fiber, and a host of antioxidant vitamins. It is a tall leafy green vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk that comes in a fuchsia, white, organge or yellow stem with wide fan-like green leaves. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile: it has the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavor of spinach leaves. Both the leaves and stalk of chard are edible. In fact, chard and beets formally share the same Hebrew name, selek.
May is bike Month! Besides getting outside in fresh air for the first time since last summer, the extra activity means that cyclists of all levels will be looking for a little extra energy. Cycling is not a free pass for indulgence, but it definitely requires you to consume more calories. It’s not just more calories; you will also need to fuel your body more efficiently for endurance.
In modern times, Passover has become a holiday where a lot of the foods prepared, rely on processed items, like matzo meal, making one feel shackled down by the weight of those carb bombs. However in keeping with Chag Ha Aviv, it’s more appropriate for seasonal produce to shine. Of the many dishes I am preparing for Passover, one is a Cauliflower and Leek Soup, which serves as an edible illustration to inculcate the story of Passover. This seasonal vegetable soup symbolizes the many meanings of Passover, with an emphasis on the newness of spring, where we have the potential as a nation to always renew ourselves.