The answer is nothing, and everything. My family’s trilingual Persian Seder is filled with rice, songs — and hitting one another with leeks.
Got the green-light to eat rice, beans and legumes? Here are some dishes to incorporate into your Passover-week menus.
In 1916, the New York Board of Health issued a concise 36 page recipe book aimed at Jewish American homemakers. Published bilingually in both Yiddish and English, “How to Cook for the Family” contained recipes for such “plain, substantial and wholesome” dishes as tomato soup, beef stew and cornstarch pudding. So far as we can tell, the book was a flop among its intended audience. When a reporter working on a story about it asked a couple of Yiddishe homemakers for their opinion, the women told her off.
One of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs, Augusta National, has decided to allow former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become its first female members since it was founded in 1932. The first challenge to the club’s ‘no women’ policy came over a decade ago. But it wasn’t until 2002, after a very public disagreement between outspoken womens’ rights activist Martha Burk and then club chairman William Johnson, that the debate really took off. And Johnson, who stepped down from the chairmanship 6 years ago, said that he was pleased about the decision. This is not the first time that Rice has broken social boundaries. In 1993 she became the first black woman to be a Stanford University provost, where she is now a professor of political economy.
Most foods of Jewish ritual are well known to the larger Jewish community. The entire seder is focused around a series of symbolic foods that are familiar to almost all Jews. However, the foods of smaller and lesser known Jewish communities around the world are often lost as their numbers dwindle and dishes are prepared less and less.
T’beet, a chicken stuffed with rice and spices and cooked buried in more rice and spices, was the traditional Sabbath lunch of the Babylonian Jews of Iraq for generations. I say “was” because apart from the older generation of exiled Iraqi Jews, like my mother and a few relatives, very few people make this dish today.
Just like the elements of the seder plate or oil fried latkes, most Jewish holiday foods recall the story of the holiday. Purim is no different — we feast on hamantaschen that represent Haman’s hat (or pockets, or ears, depending upon which story you buy). But one of the central themes of Purim, hippuch or sudden reversal, is often left out of our celebratory food for the holiday. By adding dishes that include an element of reversal we can recall the story of the holiday at our own banquet. This year, I will serve Shirin Polo, a traditional Persian rice dish, which is served upside down to tell the Purim story through food.
Makes 6 Cups
The judge in the Aipac trial just ruled that defendants Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman can subpoena 15 government officials to testify in their trial, scheduled for early next year.