Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Welcome to Bubbie’s Kitchen

    An integral part of Jewish life in America involves the preparation of foods that are eaten by the family together in an atmosphere of love and respect for one another, and for the Jewish community as a whole, including all the communities of the past whose people have helped to form what our community has become today.




  • Curriculum Objectives
  • Course Content


I. Kitchen Skills

  • A. Following the Recipe
  • B. Dealing with Ingredients
  • C. Dealing with Equipment and Supplies

II. General Goals and Objectives for Courses

Ill. Using Lesson Objectives and Outline for Teachers

  • A. Lesson Objectives
  • B. Kitchen Organization: Tips and Techniques
  • C. Food for Thought

IV. Using Materials Lists

V. Meeting the Objectives—Tests




















Bubbie’s Kitchen Teacher’s Guide—Acknowledgements and Introduction

   Special acknowledgement must be given to other authors whose ideas and recipes provided inspiration and practical, well-written instructions for creating wonderful dishes. These are Gloria Kaufer Greene in The Jewish Holiday Cook Book: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs, and Leslie Land in “A Good for You Sweet Stew.”

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following for permission 
to reprint previously published material.

Times Books: recipe for “Eir Kichlah,”
from The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs.
Copyright © 1985 by Gloria Kaufer Greene.

Times Books: recipe for “Kugel Yerushalayim,”
from The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs.
Copyright © 1985 by Gloria Kaufer Greene.

Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.: recipe for “Caramels,”
from Better Than Store-Bought.
Copyright © 1979 by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie.

Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.: recipe for “Gingerbread and Ginger-Cookie Mix,”
from Better Than Store-Bought.
Copyright © 1979 by Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie.

Leslie Land: recipe for “A Small to Medium Tzimmes,”
from an article which appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer dated January 22, 1989.
Reprinted with permission of Leslie Land.

BUBBIE’S KITCHEN. Copyright © 1989 By Marilyn S. Senders. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information address Details & Designs.

Cover and illustrations designed by Marilyn Senders.

    This book was made possible by the support and enthusiasm of my children, Jessica and Ari; parents, Philip and Evelyn Strongin; sister, Adele Abramovitz; brother, Kenneth Strongin; and particularly, by my husband, Saul Senders, who has been a constant fountain of practical ideas and information from his many years of teaching experience and an inspiration in times of self-doubt.

by Faith B. Rubin
Principal, Temple Sinai Religious School and Jewish Community High School
Dresher, Pennsylvania

    One of the nicest things that could happen to me at the end of a week is to be invited to Shabbat dinner at the home of Marilyn, Saul, Jessica, and Ari Senders. Along with wonderful dinner companions and stimulating conversation, I know that the meal will always be unusual and delicious.
    The idea for a high school cooking class was probably born during one of these dinners, and I am delighted that I had the opportunity to see the idea grow and develop into the most popular class in our school.
    This cookbook is a summary of all the exciting cooking adventures experienced by our students. I am pleased that through the publication of this important cookbook, more young people will be able to learn about our rich culinary tradition and even to taste it! I am convinced that their mothers (and fathers) can profit from it, too! Try it. You will like it.


   An integral part of Jewish life in America involves the preparation of foods that are eaten by the family together in an atmosphere of love and respect for one another, and for the Jewish community as a whole, including all the communities of the past whose people have helped to form what our community has become today. Judaism is a religion that provides nourishment for both body and soul. As the body is being nourished by the delicious dishes of the past, the soul is enriched by the symbolism of these dishes that reaches into the millennia to provide a link with our ancestors and that also teaches us lessons about our history and humanity in general. 

    While Judaism can be appreciated on a purely intellectual level, the true spirit, the Yiddishkeit, emanates from the nourishment and satisfaction of being in the midst of a loving family and community that supports us when we stumble and teaches us to attain our potential in society. This wonderful and ancient support group is being eroded in many ways in American society. Today, it is most likely that both father and mother work, leaving little time for moments of family togetherness. Very often, what little time the family has together is spent recuperating from the stresses of the day in front of a television screen. Fast food eaten by various family members, at whatever time is available between hectic schedules, has become a regular part of our culture. While this lifestyle may be economically enriching, it leaves a lot to be desired in the area of spiritual nourishment, not to mention physical nourishment.

    Traditional family get-togethers involving the preparation, serving and eating of a ceremonial meal can provide an antidote to the depersonalizing effects of American society. Judaism, in all the richness of its customs, rituals, laws, and history surrounding these preparations can provide the foundation for an equally rich moral, social, and spiritual relationship among family members.


1. The student will demonstrate his awareness of the relationship between the food he is preparing and the customs, rituals, laws and history of Judaism by responding correctly to questions regarding this relationship.

2. The student will demonstrate his knowledge of kitchen technique by performing tasks in the kitchen in the proper manner.

3. The student will show familiarity with the dishes prepared by responding correctly to questions regarding the preparation and some of the ingredients in these dishes.


    The curriculum is intended to be a three-year course of study with classes being convened at one week intervals. There are six courses of study, each consisting of 15–20 lessons. Each lesson is designed to fill a time slot of from 40 to 60 minutes. In order to tailor the recipes to fit this time slot, it is often necessary for the teacher to perform preparations which take as much time as the class itself. This is in addition to the time devoted to gathering materials and ingredients. Every attempt has been made to minimize this preparation time by providing lists for the teacher giving guidelines, and previewing the order in which the class will proceed. Good organization on the part of the teacher is essential to the smooth flow of activity in the kitchen.

The six courses of study are as follows:

  1. Bubbie's Kitchen—Traditional Jewish dishes for the holidays
  2. Jewish Foods and Traditions From Around The World—International recipes from both Ashkenazic and Sephardic traditions
  3. Passover Feasts—A wealth of ideas for feasting in observance of Pesach kashrut
  4. Israeli Food— A look at the lifestyle in Israel and the distinctly Middle Eastern food that is a part of it
  5. Mishloach Manot for Purim—A treasury of goodies and ideas for presenting food gifts on Purim
  6. Jewish Life Cycle Cuisine—Food and traditions for special occasions that mark the milestones and simchas in the life of a Jewish family, i.e.: births, marriages, bar and bat mitzvot, namings, brit milot, etc.

Another consideration in designing this curriculum is the cost and difficulty of preparing fleishig recipes in a synagogue’s kosher kitchen. For this reason, most of the recipes included in this curriculum are dairy or pareve so that, if desired, only dairy or pareve equipment needs to be purchased. However, in order to give a well-rounded and representative sampling of our cuisine, some fleishig recipes have been included.


I. KITCHEN SKILLS - Teachers must have the following skills, as they are intended to teach them to the students:


    Students who have never cooked or followed a recipe before have a tendency to begin with the ingredient list, dump everything together in a bowl, and then say, “What do I do now?” At the very beginning, it is a wise idea to read over a recipe with your group and show them that to begin cooking, they must read over the recipe from start to finish once or twice to get a general idea of what is going on. The second reading is necessary when they are at home to make sure all the ingredients are assembled. Action begins with the first step of the directions, not the ingredients! As they are performing each step, the ingredient list is referred to for the quantities.

    All the recipes in this curriculum have been put forth in the same format. The relevant historical, religious, and traditional background is provided first. This is followed by a list of ingredients with quantities. The quantities are usually abbreviated; therefore, “c.” is cup, “t.” is teaspoon, “T.” is tablespoon, etc. Please make sure that the students are aware of the differences in these measurements or you might wind up when you are not looking with a cup of salt in a recipe instead of a teaspoon of salt. The ingredient list is followed by numbered directions which are intended to be performed in the order in which they are given. Sometimes, these numbered directions are divided by group numbers so that several operations can be going on simultaneously. This often facilitates the smooth flow of activity given the time restrictions involved. When a recipe is divided by group, each group begins with the first step of the directions for its group.


    Teachers must be familiar with the basic ingredients which are used in many recipes, such as: eggs, flour, sugar, butter, salt, common vegetables, etc. They must possess a knowledge of the basic language of cooking which includes words such as: braising, creaming, sautéing, boiling, baking, steaming, dicing, mincing, etc. An understanding of these two facets of cooking confers a knowledge of the practical chemistry involved as well. All basic cookbooks contain information of this type and are suggested for reference if there is any doubt.

    In addition, the teacher must be familiar with the tenets involved in keeping kosher. Utensils must be washed and stored separately for meat and dairy recipes and it is important within a synagogue or Jewish community center setting to be aware of which closets and drawers are meat and dairy and which sinks and counters are meat and dairy. Ingredients used should be checked in the usual way when purchased to ensure that the criteria for kashrut have been met.

    If an ingredient or preparation technique is unusual in some way, every effort will be made in the lesson for both the teacher and student to understand what they will be encountering.

    While the law-by-law rules of kashrut have not been stressed in each lesson, it is expected that the teacher will inject any pertinent observations regarding kashrut during the course of the lesson if it is thought to be appropriate. Other than the separation of meat and dairy ingredients, the one procedure that must be stressed in every lesson is the procedure for adding eggs to a recipe.

    Every time an egg is opened, it must be separated from the other ingredients to make sure it is kosher—then it can be added. Aside from a spoiled egg ruining all the other ingredients, there is the fact that if it contains even a speck of blood, it is not kosher. This is because a blood speck indicates that the egg has been fertilized, and so in Judaism, we consider it a life. Even as in an animal which has been slaughtered in a kosher manner, we are prohibited from eating blood, so in an egg the same rules apply.


    There is an entire course within this curriculum entitled “Passover Feasts” which observes the whole gamut of dietary laws which are special to Passover. During this facet of the curriculum there will be a special emphasis on these laws and the reasoning and traditions behind them.


    A comprehensive listing of equipment is provided elsewhere in this curriculum with suggestions regarding types and brands. Along with this list are suggestions for securing and maintaining equipment and supplies in the kitchen/classroom. This curriculum is designed to maximize the hands-on participation of the students. To this end, it is suggested that as necessary to the job, the student be familiarized with the practical workings of each piece of equipment along with common sense advice regarding safety. If a particular procedure is perceived as being tricky or dangerous in any way, the lesson will provide notation for both the teacher in the lesson outline, and the student in the lesson itself.


A. BUBBIE'S KITCHEN—This course is designed to introduce and familiarize the student with the Ashkenazic dishes that most American Jews associate with the Jewish holidays while, at the same time, to give a background of the religious, moral, and historical reasons why these dishes have come to be a part of a specific holiday. 

1. The student will be able to write a brief description of each holiday that includes the season when it is celebrated, the religious significance, and some of the dishes that are associated with its symbolism.

2. The student will demonstrate his understanding of the cooking techniques involved in the preparation of these dishes by helping to prepare them.

B. JEWISH FOOD AND TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD—The purpose of this course is to introduce a potpourri of unusual dishes with interesting symbolism or historical tradition—to show how diverse a people we are in culinary matters, while the ancient rules and laws are a common thread that ties us together.

1. The student will be able to identify the origin of each dish presented and its religious, symbolic, or traditional background.

2. The student will demonstrate his understanding of the cooking techniques involved in the preparation of these dishes by helping to prepare them.

C. PASSOVER FEASTS—This course is designed to familiarize the student with the special dietary laws and regulations governing the preparation of food for observance of this special holiday and to enable them to prepare all the foods that would be appropriate for the seders, including a family dinner.

1. The student will show familiarity with the special dietary laws governing the preparation of food during Passover by correctly responding to a True/False test about which foods are or are not acceptable during this holiday.

2. The student will demonstrate his knowledge of the religious significance of this holiday by participating in a seder.

D. ISRAELI FOOD—The purpose of this course is to present a glimpse of the lifestyle in Israel, the way the holidays are celebrated there, and the unique foods that are a part of the Middle Eastern culture.

1. The student will be able to identify the dishes in English when given the Hebrew names of these dishes, including the major ingredients. 

2. The student will be able to give some facts regarding the unique observance of Jewish holidays in Israel.

3. The student will demonstrate his understanding of the cooking techniques involved in the preparation of these dishes by helping to prepare them.

E. MISHLOACH MANOT FOR PURIM—This course is designed to teach the students to prepare foods which are easily stored and lend themselves to attractive presentation for gift-giving. The recipes are chosen for this purpose rather than for tradition. As in every country, the traditional foods are those which are best-liked and most familiar in that particular country.

1. The student will be able to explain the reasoning behind the giving of mishloach manot and its relationship to the holiday of Purim.

2. The student will prepare and give mishloach manot to friends or to charity.

F. JEWISH LIFE CYCLE CUISINE—This course introduces foods and traditions which relate to the milestones and simchas in the life a Jewish family, i.e.: births, marriages, bar and bat mitzvot, brit milah, etc.

1. The student will be able to describe at least one tradition that is uniquely Jewish associated with each of the life cycle celebrations and describe a dish that would be appropriate for this celebration.

2. The student will demonstrate his understanding of the cooking techniques involved in the preparation of these dishes by helping to prepare them.



    The “lesson objectives” for each lesson provide the teacher with a preview of what skills are necessary for the students to be able to prepare the recipe. Although this is designed to be a “hands on” curriculum for the students, it is often necessary for the teacher to demonstrate these skills for the students to perform. It is suggested that when previewing the lesson, the teacher be aware of which skills are necessary so as to be prepared to demonstrate them. Other objectives regarding the absorption of information regarding these dishes are included as well, and pertinent facts can be found in the section entitled “Food For Thought.”


    This section deals with the practical organization of the lesson including timing suggestions to keep the class running smoothly, what steps should be performed ahead of time by the teacher, and any specific knowledge of cooking techniques the teacher might find useful for this particular lesson.


    In this section, the teacher will find information regarding the significance, symbolism, religious law, or history regarding the particular recipe that is presented so as to be able to pass this information on to the students, as well as questions that might lead to relevant discussion about related aspects of Judaism.


    Each lesson includes a list of ingredients, equipment, and tools which are needed to implement the lesson, as well as suggested costs. These lists are meant to be used as checklists for the teacher in preparing for the lesson so that gathering together the necessary items in the classroom/kitchen is facilitated.

    The teacher is usually required to submit an itemized list of materials and ingredients used in order to be reimbursed by the school. Each list can be modified to represent the actual costs and submitted for reimbursement.


    A test will be provided at the end of each course with pertinent information regarding all facets of the course included. The use of these tests is optional for measuring the success of the students as they have already demonstrated a knowledge of the recipes, techniques and purpose by participating in the preparation of these recipes.


    The following lists assume a kosher kitchen is available with the standard amenities of kitchens, such as stove, sink, oven and counter space for working. Keeping equipment and supplies in closets in synagogue kitchens can be a very great source of frustration unless the closets lock and only the teacher has a key. Usually, many organizations within the synagogue use the kitchen and are not adverse to borrowing equipment and “leftover” food items, if they are easily accessible, with the result that the baking powder you left last week and were counting on for this week’s lesson has mysteriously disappeared. One solution to this problem is to obtain access to a locking cabinet within the kitchen, or find a closet that can be protected somewhere in the synagogue, and store the equipment in cardboard cartons on the shelves. Most synagogues have rolling carts on wheels and it is relatively easy to load the cartons onto these carts and wheel them into the kitchen as needed. To make your life as a cooking teacher possible, it cannot be overemphasized that you must have a secure place to store your equipment and supplies!

    The emphasis in the majority of the recipes in this curriculum has been on dairy and pareve dishes as in that way, it is possible to minimize the amount of equipment needed, and to avoid some of the stickier problems associated with preparing meat dishes in a synagogue’s kosher kitchen. There are a few recipes that include meat so as to give a representative sampling of dishes that are very traditional to our cooking.

    Needless to say, an investment in good quality equipment is most advisable as it will take a great deal of wear and tear.

    It is also assumed that class size will be anywhere from 6 to 15 students.

Dairy Equipment:

  • 2 sets of plastic graduated measuring cups
  • 1 1-cup glass measuring cup
  • 2 2-cup glass measuring cups
  • 1 4-cup glass measuring cup
  • 3 sets of measuring spoons
  • 4 rubber spatulas of different sizes
  • 1 metal spatula
  • 2 metal pancake turners
  • 1 cake tester
  • 2 large mixing spoons
  • 1 large slotted spoon
  • 1 large ladle
  • 6 wooden spoons of various sizes and shapes
  • 2 6 to 8-inch knives
  • 1 paring knife
  • 1 12-inch straight-edge knife
  • 1 12-inch wave-edge or serrated knife
  • 3 carbon-steel vegetable peelers
  • 2 9-inch layer cake pans with removable bottoms
  • 4 large jelly roll pans (to be used also as cookie sheets)
  • 6 mini muffin pans (1-1/4 inch diameter cups)
  • 1 12-cup bundt pan
  • 1 deep-fat/candy thermometer
  • scissors
  • 4 fluted pastry wheels
  • 1 strainer with handle or sifter (after years in the catering business, I prefer stirring dry ingredients through a medium strainer, rather that exhausting my hands with the standard type of sifter where one pulls on the handle).
  • 1 dozen assorted sizes of plastic buckets with lids—These are the type used by delicatessens to send out quantities of potato salad and cole slaw. They should be of a heavy quality of plastic and can be used as canisters for storing flour, sugar, etc. and also as mixing bowls and for bringing home leftovers. They come in an assortment of sizes from 1 cup to 1 gallon.
  • 1 Electric Mixer (preferably a Kitchen-Aid) The mixer will take a great deal of wear and tear and this particular type is very durable. It also comes equipped with different types of beaters for whipping, beating, and making bread. If it is to be available for synagogue use, there are also many attachments that can be purchased for it. The grinder is particularly useful for making gefilte fish and chopped liver, among other items.
  • 1 Food Processor with attachments for grating, chopping and blending.
  • I graduated set of heavy-bottomed pots and pans with lids (including 1-qt., 2-qt., 4-qt., 6-qt., 8-qt. pots, 10-inch diameter frying pan, and strainer-type pot insert for 6-qt. pot.)
  • 4-6 rolling pins (these can be made cheaply by buying a thick dowel stick and having someone cut it into rolling pin size lengths.)
  • 1 wire whisk
  • 1 colander
  • 4 small non-stick surface frying pans (6 or 7 inches in diameter)
  • 2 small glass bowls or custard cups
  • 2 2-qt. glass serving bowls
  • disposable-type wipes to be used as dishcloths
  • dishwashing soap
  • dishtowels
  • pot holders
  • rubber gloves
  • 2 2-inch paint brushes
  • paper supplies such as: towels, napkins, plates, plastic knives, forks, spoons

Meat Equipment

  • 1 2-qt. pot
  • 1 heavy-bottomed 6-qt. pot with lid
  • 1 heavy-bottomed 8-qt. pot with lid
  • 2 large mixing spoons
  • 1 large slotted spoon
  • 1 long-pronged meat fork
  • 1 large ladle
  • 3 wooden measuring spoons, various sizes
  • 2 6- to 8-inch knives
  • 1 large strainer
  • 1 paring knife
  • 1 12-inch knife
  • 2 carbon-steel vegetable peelers
  • 1 set plastic graduated measuring cups
  • 1 4-cup glass measuring cup
  • 1 set measuring spoons
  • 1 pancake turner
  • 2 rubber spatulas
  • 1 colander 




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the apple honey cake; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:

  1. Peel, core, chop and measure out apples.
  2. Use the food processor.
  3. Boil water.
  4. Measure and combine ingredients.
  5. Cream shortening and sugar in an electric mixer.
  6. Sift dry ingredients.
  7. Alternately add dry and liquid ingredients to a recipe.
  8. Prepare icing and ice a cake with a “drizzled on” icing.

B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Rosh Hashanah by completing the final Sample Test.



1. Since there will not be enough time to bake and cool the cake before icing, it is necessary to bake one ahead. While theirs is in the oven, the students will ice the one that is already made. If there is only one class, you may want to have them make a double batch of icing so the second one can be glazed when it comes out. If there is more than one class, it can be iced by the next class. If it is necessary to leave directly after class, take the pan home unbaked and finish immediately at home. The uncooked batter should not stand more than an hour. The cake also freezes well when unglazed and can be used on another day by another class.

2. The class is divided into three groups so that several activities can take place at the same time and each group has two sets of activities to perform. If they perform their tasks efficiently, everything should flow smoothly. Students who finish early and don't wish to observe the rest of the class can work on cleaning up.


1. I teach the students to use a sharp vegetable peeler rather than a paring knife to peel apples. It is easier to manage, takes off less of the apple, and is not as likely to cause cuts to the fingers. To core and section the apple, use a divided metal apple corer/slicer. Make sure you train them to keep their fingers out from underneath it as they press down.

2. I sift using a medium sieve with a handle. Measure the dry ingredients into the sieve which is placed over a deep plastic bucket and then stir with a metal spoon until all has come through into the bucket.

3. The paste for the icing should be very thick and drip very, very slowly or eventually, it will run off the sides of the cake. That is why the liquid is to be added a few drops at a time. If it accidentally becomes too thin, add more confectioners sugar until it is the right consistency.  If you make a “ribbon” with the icing, you should be able to count to ten before it disappears into the remainder for it to be the proper consistency.


A. Apples dipped in honey are eaten with almost every meal during Rosh Hashanah to insure a sweet year. Honey can have many different flavors depending on the trees, plants, and flowers that the bees pollinate in a particular area. Orange blossom honey is completely different in both flavor and color from buckwheat honey, for example. In some stores that stock different kinds of honey, it is possible to buy samplers of many different kinds to try. Some of the kinds that are available are: orange blossom, clover, buckwheat, blueberry, cantaloupe, and tulip poplar. Since honey is a significant part of the Rosh Hashanah celebration, this might be a good time to bring the different kinds of honey to the students’ attention and perhaps have a honey sampling session.

B. Apples also come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Present the students with several different types of apples and slice them for the students to sample. Discuss the fact that certain apples are better for cooking because of tartness, or firmness, or texture. More than likely, there will be differences of opinion about which apples are the best for eating. By sampling many different kinds, each student will know which apples appeal the most to his/her own personal taste.


  • vegetable shortening
  • brown sugar
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 lb. honey
  • 2 t. grated lemon peel
  • 8 c. flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • allspice
  • instant coffee
  • shelled walnuts
  • non-stick spray
  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • red cinnamon candies
  • apple juice
  • sugar
  • 6 medium golden delicious apples (2 cups chopped)
  • 1 unglazed cake (ingredients included above)
  • mixer
  • 2 vegetable peelers
  • 1 apple corer slicer
  • 2 sharp knives
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • 1 bundt pan—full size
  • food processor
  • small custard cups
  • sifter or sieve
  • white plastic buckets large & small
  • large spoons
  • cake tester
  • cardboard cake circles
  • wooden spoons
  • waxed paper
  • aluminum foil
  • paper towels
  • dish cloths
  • dishwashing liquid
  • dish towels
  • pot holders



    “ …[A]t Rosh Hashanah Jews approach God through the use of symbols (the shofar, for example). ….Symbolic expression is also in evidence through the special foods (they) sample at the start of the Rosh Hashanah evening meals. On these occasions, God’s blessing is sought through the very foods which are eaten. …It is told that when the Babylonian scholar Hai Gaon (939-1039) left the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, his students would bring him a basket filled with different fruits over which he recited various blessings and Biblical verses. …Before tasting particular fruits and vegetables, an appropriate prayer for each kind, beginning with the Hebrew words yehi ratson (may it be Thy will) is uttered. Included among the special foods are dates, pomegranates, apples dipped in sugar or honey, pumpkins. …The Sephardic table on the New Year also offers a variety of candies, cakes and pastries to symbolize our desire that the forthcoming year will be a sweet one. …Sweet dates are served to symbolize the wish that the New Year will be equally sweet. …They dip the dates in a mixture of ground sesame seeds, aniseeds and powdered sugar. (Apples are also dipped in this mixture.) …Every pomegranate, it is said, contains exactly 613 seeds, precisely the number of mitzvot, Biblical commandments, Jews are obliged to fulfill. …The apple's roundness symbolizes a hope that the New Year will be joyous from the beginning until it goes full circle. Dipping an apple in honey expresses a wish for a sweet New Year. …Food made with pumpkin is served to express the hope that as this vegetable has been protected by a thick covering, God will protect us and gird us with strength.1


  • 2/3 c. vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. honey
  • 2 t. grated lemon peel
  • 3-1/2 c. flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg
  • 1/4 t. allspice
  • red cinnamon candies
  • apple juice
  • 1/2 c. warm coffee
  • 2 c. peeled, cored and chopped golden delicious apples
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 c. 10 X confectioners sugar


1. Peel, core and chop apples and measure out 2 cups.


2. Boil water. Measure out 1/2 cup and add 1 T. of instant coffee and stir to dissolve. Spray bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.


3. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Chop and measure out walnuts and set aside. Measure out honey and add lemon peel. Add eggs to creamed shortening and sugar mixture one at a time. Add honey and lemon peel to creamed mixture.


5. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Add to creamed mixture alternately with coffee, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.


6. Stir chopped apples and walnuts into batter. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour 10 minutes until cake tests done.


7. Make a paste by adding apple juice to powdered sugar (IOX confectioners sugar) A FEW DROPS AT A TIME and stir. If you make a “ribbon” with the icing, you should be able to count to ten before it disappears into the remainder for it to be the proper consistency. Drizzle cooled cake with this paste so that it drips down the sides and center and decorate with red cinnamon candies.


    1Text from Gilda Angel, Sephardic Holiday Cooking with an introduction by Rabbi Marc Angel (Mount Vernon, New York: Decalogue Books 1986), p. 16 - 19. 


Click here for additional photos.



A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the caramel apples; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:

  1. Measure and combine ingredients.
  2. Caramelize sugar without crystalizing it.
  3. Use a candy thermometer.
  4. Transfer warm caramel to a bowl.
  5. Wash and dry apples.
  6. Insert pointed sticks into the stem end of apples.
  7. Dip apples in caramel and drain off excess.
  8. Maintain the proper temperature of caramel and apples.

B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Simhat Torah by completing the final Sample Test.



1. It is not necessary to prepare ahead of time for this lesson.

2. Much of the time involved in this recipe is spent watching the thermometer until the mixture reaches the correct temperature. Therefore, the apples can be washed and dried by the students and returned to the refrigerator while the caramel is cooking. 

3. Students with extra time may spend it cleaning up as necessary.

4. During a two-hour period of Religious School, a hundred children can make caramel apples if the caramel is prepared ahead of time. Allow each child to put the stick in the apple and dip his own. Students may write their names on the waxed paper sheets and retrieve their own apple when school is over. If the children are sent into the room where this is being done a dozen at a time, there is no need to disrupt the school day and there is less of a chance of having them get into trouble if they don’t have to wait too long for their turn.

5. If there are two or three bowls of caramel, the dipping process can proceed even while a bowl of caramel is being rewarmed in the microwave oven and the bowls can alternately be kept at the right temperature this way.


1. Do not stir the sugar while it is caramelizing as the stirring action may cause it to form crystals. If crystals do begin to form, use a wet brush to drip water down the sides of the pot at the edge of the caramel.

2. Use a pot that can accommodate double the amount you are making as the mixture bubbles up and expands as the butter and milk are added.

3. As stated in the recipe, this works best when the caramel is warm and the apples are cold.

4. Using very small apples allows more of them to be dipped in the caramel and creates less waste on the part of the children.

5. Popsicle or lollipop sticks can be used if pointed ones are not available, but they are more difficult to insert into the apple and the apples have more of a tendency to fall off a popsicle stick.

6. Allow time for the caramel to drain off the apple so that it is not wasted making a mess by running all over the waxed paper sheet. Part of the fun for the children is watching the caramel drip.

7. Resist the temptation to add water to the caramel when it has thickened and is being rewarmed as it will not adhere to the apples properly when it does solidify.

8. Chilling the apples in the refrigerator once they have been made makes them less messy to deal with when it is time to take them home.


A. Our synagogue began this project to make coming to Religious School an anticipatory experience, and during the week that the children know this is being done, it has been a great success. We began originally by getting together to peel the wrappers off of thousands of caramels, but this recipe, which uses real milk and real vanilla and no artificial flavorings produces a superior candy that is much cheaper when a quantity is being made. The added benefit is that the older kids who make the caramel in class can help the younger kids dip the apples and it is fun for everyone. Extra caramel that is left over can be put into miniature paper candy cups and distributed as rewards in class.


  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • salt
  • 2 dozen small apples
  • 2 dozen pointed wooden sticks
  • waxed paper bakery sheets
  • 1 jar unsalted peanuts
  • 6–8 qt. pot
  • candy-jelly thermometer
  • large mixing spoon
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • small clean paint brush
  • medium glass bowls or large glass measuring cups
  • pencils for writing on waxed paper
  • flat trays for carrying apples to refrigerator



    Shemini Atzeret which immediately follows Hoshanah Rabbah, the seventh and last day of Sukkot is considered a separate, independent holiday from Sukkot. “On this day, it has become customary to say a solemn prayer for rain. According to tradition, this is when God judges the world’s water, so the prayer asks for enough rain to support life but not so much as to cause flooding and famine. “As with several other Jewish holidays, Shemini Atzeret was extended to two days in early times, to allow for a ‘margin of error’ should the exact date of celebration be slightly miscalculated by those far away from the Land of Israel. The second day eventually became known as Simhat Torah, or ‘Rejoicing in the Law,’ because this is when the last verses of the Torah—the Five Books of Moses—are read in the synagogue, and the cyclical reading of the Torah is begun anew at Genesis.”2

    During the morning services on Simhat Torah, an aliyah is given to every member of the congregation during the reading of the last book until every member who wishes to partake of this honor has had an opportunity to do so. During the reading of the book of Genesis, the aliyot are given to the children of the congregation and again, every child who wishes to partake of this honor may do so. The celebration may involve the making of flags by the children of the Religious School or the distribution of colorful printed flags to the children. The children also receive apples which are sometimes mounted on the pointed top of the flag stick. Another element of the celebration of this holiday is the removing of all the Sifrey-Torah from the Aron-ha-Kodesh so that individual members of the congregation may have the honor of promenading around the synagogue carrying them while singing and dancing in a joyous tribute to the acceptance of the law by the Jewish people. At times, the celebration becomes so spirited that it spills out onto the streets surrounding the synagogue and catches up the passers-by who may join in the dancing and singing.

    While the recipe below for caramel apples is not really a tradition in “Bubbie’s Kitchen,” it has become a traditional treat in many synagogues in the United States along with the candied apples that are traditional in Israel. This recipe was included in “Bubbie’s Kitchen” at the request of many of the Religious School children at Temple Sinai, Dresher, Pennsylvania (where the research for this curriculum was carried out) because every year as Simhat Torah approaches, each child makes his own caramel apple during Religious School with the help of some very cooperative mothers and teachers.


  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 c. evaporated milk, scalded
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. salt

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Stir over moderate heat until the mixture boils and becomes clear. Wash down the sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet brush.

2. Boil the syrup over high heat until its temperature reaches 25() degrees on a candy-jelly thermometer. Stir in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. Turn the heat down to moderate and add the evaporated milk gradually--in about six parts--boiling and stirring constantly until each addition is thoroughly incorporated.

3. Continue boiling the syrup, stirring often, until the thermometer registers 245 degrees (the temperature will have dropped with the addition of the milk); this usually takes about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Cool for 2 minutes.

4. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Pour the caramel mixture onto the sheet, placed on a rack. As the candy begins to cool down--in about 5 minutes--form it into a 10-inch square with a buttered spatula or your hands. Cool until firm throughout, about an hour.

5. Place the candy on a board and cut it into 12 strips, using a sharp, serrated knife and cutting with a rapid sawing motion (cut in any other fashion, the caramels will stick together). Separate the strips as you cut them. Cut each strip into 12 pieces, again separating the pieces as you cut them apart. 6. Immediately wrap each square in plastic or waxed paper. Pack airtight; the caramels will last for months.


    The quantities for this recipe are a little sketchy because depending upon the temperature of the caramel at any given time, the size of the apples used, and the amount of time allowed for the caramel to drip off the apple back into the bowl, the amount of coverage of a quantity of caramel is extremely variable.

  • 1 recipe caramels (see above)
  • approximately 2 dozen small apples
  • pointed sticks for the apples
  • waxed paper bakery sheets
  • 1 jar finely chopped peanuts

1. Wash the apples and dry thoroughly.

2. Refrigerate apples and keep them cold right up to the minute when they are used.

3. Follow the caramel recipe above only through Step 3. Pour the warm caramel into a small glass bowl or large glass measuring cup. The cold apples can then be dipped in right away, or refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap until needed. The caramel can stay in the refrigerator almost indefinitely.

4. The caramel must be kept warm as the apples are being dipped as it begins to thicken too much as it cools. If this happens, the best solution is to microwave for a minute or two, periodically, as needed. The caramel adheres to the apples better if a cold apple is dipped in warm caramel.

5. Press the pointed end of the stick into the stem end of an apple and dip the apple into the  caramel.

6. Hold the apple on the stick over the bowl and allow the excess caramel to drip back into the bowl. When the excess has dripped off, turn the apple right-side-up for a moment to allow the caramel to coat more evenly, then turn upside-down again and dip the top in chopped peanuts.

7. Immediately place on a sheet of waxed paper and return to the refrigerator until ready to eat. 


    2Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook; International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), pp. 107-108.

    3Recipe from Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider Colchie, Better Than Store-Bought (New York, New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc., 1979), pp. 272-273. Recipe has been doubled from original.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the cake and icing it; thereby demonstrating that they know how to: 

  1. Measure, combine, and bring ingredients to a boil.
  2. Correctly use an electric mixer.
  3. Crack eggs into an individual cup before adding to the recipe.
  4. Measure quantities using measuring spoons and cups.
  5. Pour warm icing over a hot cake.
  6. Spread warm icing on a hot cake.
  7. Decorate the cake with a pattern made from dried fruits and nuts.

B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Tu B’Shevat by completing the final Sample Test.

C. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of what carob is and its origins by completing the final Sample Test.



1. This recipe has been divided for two groups to work on simultaneously. Each group starts with the numbered step where its work is indicated. Group 1 has three separate jobs to do and Group 2 has two.

2. Unless you have two mixing bowls and beaters for the mixer, the batter must be completed and the bowl and beater washed before Group 2 can finish the icing, so try to keep things moving in the preparation of the batter.

3. The baking time for this cake is relatively short (22 minutes), but the cake must be hot when it is iced, so it is suggested that you begin preparing the icing while the cake is in the oven. The entire recipe can be made during one class period and does not require advance preparation, but the cake is better when chilled in the refrigerator and if several classes will be making them, it would be best to have one ready ahead of time and let each succeeding class taste the one from the class ahead so that it will have time to chill after baking. It freezes beautifully if it is necessary to make it far in advance.

4. Each group has a clean up detail for the mess created up to that point, so almost everything should be cleaned up by the time the cake is ready to be removed from the oven.

5. If the class is very large and there are not enough jobs to go around, you may want to provide additional activities for the students.


1. Remind your students to start the mixer slowly when adding ingredients to the bowl.

2. For this particular recipe there is no need for concern if the carob powder is very lumpy. Ordinarily, it would need sifting, but because it is dissolved in hot liquid, even large lumps melt away.

3. Carob can be found in powdered form in health food stores, specialty gourmet stores, and some supermarkets and is usually grouped with hot cocoa and drink mixes because it is often used in this form as a chocolate substitute.

4. Look for a trail mix that contains the following because they create an interesting mosaic on the top of the cake and are particularly appropriate for Tu B’Shevat: candied pineapple, papaya, coconut, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, banana chips, hazelnuts, dried apricots.


A. If time permits, reading aloud about the significance and origins of carob, and showing the students a whole carob pod if available, make the lesson more meaningful.

B. While it is considered a chocolate substitute by many people, it would be a good idea to stress the fact that the taste and smell of carob is unique and should be enjoyed on its own merits and not compared with other flavors.

C. A Tu B’Shevat Seder such as the one described in the lesson can make the holiday more memorable because the act of eating symbolic foods causes the holiday to leave an unforgettable impression on the mind. This cake would make an interesting dessert as a finish to a whole meal that emphasizes fruits and nuts and includes a Tu B’Shevat Seder.


  • 3 sticks unsalted butter (1 lb.)
  • carob powder (8 T. heaping)
  • white flour (preferably unbleached) (2 c.)
  • sugar (2 c.)
  • salt
  • commercial sour cream
  • baking soda
  • 2 large eggs (1 doz.)
  • non-stick spray
  • 1 box confectioners sugar (1 lb.)
  • 1 c. milk
  • vanilla extract
  • trail mix (dried fruit and nut mix)
  • 2 qt. saucepan
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • 11" x 15" baking pan
  • electric mixer
  • large mixing spoons
  • small bowls
  • metal icing spatula or butter knife
  • paper plates and/or napkins
  • large sharp cake knife for slicing
  • spatula or cake server for serving
  • dishwashing liquid
  • dishcloths
  • dishtowels



    “Rosh Hashanah Le'llanot—the ‘New Year of the Trees’—is a minor, but joyous, festival that is commonly known by the abbreviated form of its date on the Hebrew calendar. Thus, it is usually called Tu B’Shevat, which is short for Hamishah-Asar B’Shevat, the fifteenth day of the month Shevat.”4

     The date coincides with the time of year when the sap begins to flow in the trees in Israel and the holiday is an affirmation of our pledge to share in the rebuilding of Medinat Yisrael and make the desert bloom. At Temple Sinai in Dresher, Pennsylvania, as well as at many other synagogues across the country, a Tu B’Shevat seder is conducted and is a delightful way to celebrate the importance of trees and the bounty of nature that God has provided.

    The seder proceeds with a collection of readings and songs from the Bible, the Talmud and various rabbinical and poetic sources which are particularly appropriate for the occasion. Interspersed with these readings are symbolic tastings of fruits, nuts, and wines. The tastings begin with a pure white wine (or white grape juice) which symbolizes winter and the dormant stage of nature. This is followed by a tasting of fruits or nuts with an inedible outer shell or rind, such as almonds, which represent the physical being as a soul covered by the body. The next wine or juice is white tinged with red to symbolize the beginning of springtime and the earth’s reawakening. This is followed by the sampling of fruits with inedible inner pits, such as dates. These represent the heart protected by the body. The tamar, or date palm, has a further symbolism. In Bereshit Rabbah 41, the rabbis compared Israel to a date palm because it is a tree of which every part is useful. The third cup of wine is red with some white to represent the full arrival of spring. This is followed by a fruit that has both inner seeds and a hard outer skin, such as carob. The symbolism here is from Genesis 1:9-13 which reads: And God said, “let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth,” and it was so. This may be followed by the tasting of wheat in the form of cake, bread, or cookies. The Torah characterizes Israel as being blessed with seven varieties of produce: “A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olives and honey.” (Deut. 8: 8) The fourth cup of wine is completely red, symbolizing the full glow of summer. The fourth fruit is one which can be eaten in its entirety, such as raisins, and represents the highest form of spirituality. There is no rigidity to the exact form that the seder must take and it is left to the ingenuity and erudition of each congregation to select those songs and readings which it finds most meaningful and symbolic.

    In Israel, the holiday is always marked by the planting of trees. Schoolchildren are taken on field trips especially for the purpose of planting trees, and great importance is placed on this simple act for many reasons. The pledge to make the desert bloom is part of the overwhelming desire to ensure a rich life in the “land of milk and honey.” In recent times, the burning of forests by enemies of Israel has strengthened the resolve to maintain and beautify the land to assure our continued presence there. In the Diaspora, the concern of Jews for the land of Israel is expressed through the purchase of tree certificates from the Jewish National Fund. A certificate is purchased which indicates that a tree has been planted in memory of or in honor of someone. In addition to the planting of trees, these monies are used to maintain existing forest.

    “Carob pods come from an evergreen tree which is indigenous to the Mediterranean area but also found in many other parts of the world. The dried pods are usually 6- to 7-inches long and about 1-inch wide, and are flat and leathery looking. They are sweet and very chewy, with a flavor vaguely similar to chocolate… Carob became particularly traditional on Tu B’Shevat for Jews in Eastern European shtetls because it was one of the few ‘fruits’ from Israel that was available during mid-winter…”5



  • 1 c. unsalted butter - 2 sticks
  • 1 c. water
  • 4 heaping T. carob powder
  • 2 c. flour, preferably unbleached
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. commercial sour cream
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/2 c. or 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 6 T. milk
  • 4 T. carob powder (level)
  • 1 lb. confectioners sugar (1 box)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • trail mix (dried fruit and nut mix)


1. Combine butter, water and carob powder in a 2-qt. saucepan and bring to boiling on medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Give to Group 2.

2. Spray an 11" x 15" baking pan with non-stick spray.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


4. Measure flour, sugar, and salt into mixing bowl and beat on lowest setting until they are mixed well.

5. Pour in the hot carob mixture from Group 1 and beat well. (Saucepan need not be washed.)


6. Add sour cream, baking soda, and eggs to mixture and mix until blended.

7. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 375 degrees for 22 minutes.

8. Clean up except for measuring spoons and 2 qt. saucepan.


9. Combine butter, milk, and carob powder in same 2 qt. saucepan.

10. Heat to boiling on medium to high heat, stirring until mixture bubbles.

11. Empty box of confectioners sugar into mixing bowl.

12. Pour hot carob mixture over and add vanilla.

13. Beat on medium speed until icing is smooth.

14. Clean up.


15. Pour icing over hot cake.

16. Decorate the top with a pattern made from dried fruits and nuts selected from the trail mix.

17. Cool for a few minutes and refrigerate.

Chilling the cake gives the frosting a fudge-like consistency.
Can be cut into approximately 40 2-inch squares (5 x 8)

This cake can be cut up into squares and then frozen in trays to use at a later time.

Be sure to unwrap the top before defrosting so that the icing doesn't stick to the wrapper.


    4Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 185.

    5Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 195.




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by preparing the blintzes; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:
  1. Measure and combine ingredients.
  2. Use a food processor.
  3. Skillfully swirl crepe batter around a pan to fill it in.
  4. Recognize when the crepe is ready to come off the pan.
  5. Skillfully remove it from the pan and stack.
  6. Fold the crepe around the filling.
  7. Fry the blintzes.
B. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of the relationship of blintzes to the
holiday of Shavuot by completing the final Sample Test.



1. This recipe divides the class into two groups. Filling and batter can be made at the same time, and crepes can be made and filled by the two groups working together.

2. It is best to let the batter stand for about 30 minutes before using to allow the flour to soften. It is not absolutely essential, but if you have a few classes, it is better to make the first batch ahead of time and let each class make the batter for the next class.


1. You will have far better success with this recipe if you use non-stick surface pans. It also goes much faster if you have a pan for each burner.

2. Instruct the students who are making the crepes to stir the batter with the ladle before they lift it out to make the next crepe. The flour tends to settle to the bottom, and the batter gets thicker as you continue, if you do not remember to stir each time.

3. The technique for tilting the pan takes a little practice in the beginning and works better if you pour the proper amount of batter in the center of the pan while beginning to tilt it and then swirling it around the edges.

4. It is worthwhile to invest in a very small, long-handled ladle for the purpose of pouring in the batter. If there is too much batter in the pan to form more than a very thin skin, it can be poured off back into the standing batter. A thick crepe will not fold up properly and may crack.

5. The crepe will not peel off the pan properly if it is not cooked enough.

6. It is only necessary to grease the pans lightly at the beginning as, after the first crepe is fried, they are tempered.

7. Leaving the fried crepes stacked between layers of waxed paper for a few minutes softens them and makes them easier to roll.

8. It is sometimes easier to bake the finished blintzes rather than frying them. To do this, brush melted butter on shallow baking pans, place a single layer of blintzes in them, and then brush the tops with butter. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges. Whether you decide to bake or fry depends upon your time frame and the logistics of the kitchen.


A. Why are cheese and other dairy dishes eaten on Shavuot?

1. Shavuot occurs during a season when grazing animals are giving birth and the pasture land is lush; thus, there is an abundance of milk during this season. (The holiday is celebrated on the sixth and seventh day of Sivan, and only on the sixth day in Israel. This usually corresponds to late May or early June.)

2. The Jewish people did not know about kashrut until they received the law and since they did not have time to prepare kosher meat, they had to eat dairy dishes instead.

3. The total numerical value for the Hebrew word for milk (halav) equals 40, which is the number of days Moses waited on Mount Sinai to receive the Torah.

4. Milk products are usually white, and especially to the Sephardim, white foods symbolize the purity of the Torah. (They prepare many special dishes with rice as well for this holiday.)

B. What other dishes are significant for this holiday?

1. Shavuot (meaning “Weeks” because it immediately follows the seven-week period when the Omer is counted) is also called Hag Ha’Bikurim, or Festival of First Fruits. It was originally a pilgrimage holiday to the Temple in Jerusalem to offer the first fruits of the harvest. In keeping with this, dishes incorporating new fruits that have not been tasted yet during this season are particularly appropriate.

2. In addition to the bikurim, or first fruits, two long loaves of bread baked from the new wheat were offered in the Temple as well. During this holiday, loaves are sometimes shaped like ladders representing Moses’ ascent to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah.

C. This lesson was particularly meaningful when used by the students to prepare meals for Kosher Meals on Wheels. Students not only prepared the blintzes, but packed 80 meals which also included applesauce and a vegetable into sectioned foil trays which were frozen and delivered by Kosher Meals on Wheels to elderly people who were unable to prepare meals for themselves.


  • 1 dozen extra-large eggs
  • 1 qt. milk
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. sugar
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • butter for frying
  • non-stick spray
  • I pt. sour cream
  • 6" skillets
  • large dairy frying pans or foil trays for baking
  • food processor
  • plastic buckets
  • crepe ladle
  • waxed paper sheets
  • large spoons
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • brush for butter (optional)



    “It is very traditional for Ashkenazic Jews to eat dairy blintzes on Shavuot. Not only are they filled with the customary cheese, but two of them, placed next to each other, look like the two tablets of the Ten Commandments that were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.”5

    Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments, the end of the barley harvest, and the offering of the first fruit at the Temple. It is customary to eat dairy dishes on Shavuot, especially those made with cheese. There are many explanations of this custom. One of them is that the Jews did not have time to slaughter animals and kosher the meat after leaving the Sinai; another is that the Torah is like milk and honey; and another is that the period of May to early June is the spring harvest season, when more milk and cheese products are produced.”6


  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/3 c. milk
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2-1/2 T. oil
  • 1 c. flour

1. Put all ingredients into bowl of food processor and process for about 15 seconds.

2. Let stand for 30 minutes before frying.


  • 4 lbs. ricotta cheese
  • 6 T. sugar
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. cinnamon

1. Stir above ingredients together thoroughly.


1. Spray 6 or 7-inch skillets with non-stick spray lightly.

2. Heat until a drop of water froths but does not jump or sizzle.

3. Pour in just enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan.

4. Quickly tip and rotate the pan so the batter covers the bottom.

5. When the crepe looks dry around the edges and begins to curl from the pan, invert the pan over a sheet of waxed paper.

6. Stack the crepes in this way until you are ready to fill.


1. On the cooked side of each crepe and near an edge, place a rounded tablespoonful of cheese filling. Turn the edge of the crepe over the filling once, fold the sides up over this, and continue rolling the filling to form a rectangle.

2. At this point, blintzes can be put on buttered pans and frozen to be fried or baked at a later date.


1. Melt a pat of butter in a large frying pan on moderate heat.

2. When it just begins to sizzle, put in filled blintzes seam side down and fry until golden brown at the edges.

3. Serve warm with sour cream. Makes approximately 25. 


    5Text from Gloria Kaufer Greene, The Jewish Holiday Cookbook: An International Collection of Recipes and Customs (Published in the United States by Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto, 1985), p. 358.

    6Helen Nash, Kosher Cusine, Illustrations by Pat Stewart, (Random House, New York, New York and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. 1984), p. 305.

Monday, November 2, 2020




A. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of proper cooking techniques by helping to prepare the chicken soup and by preparing the matzoh balls; thereby demonstrating that they know how to:

  1. Skim foam from chicken soup.
  2. Recognize and clean leeks for use in chicken soup.
  3. Recognize dill, parsley, parsley root, parsnips, turnips, celery and celeriac and their preparation for chicken soup.
  4. Form and boil matzoh balls and prepare them for freezing.
  5. The students will demonstrate their knowledge of Shabbat and some of the customs associated with the holiday by completing the final Sample Test.


1. The timing involved requires this particular class to be more of a demonstration-type class than most of the others, but if the below suggestions are followed, it can be one of the most popular and practical classes: (Simulating Friday evening should use about one-half the class time.)

    a. Prepare a batch of soup ahead of time.

    b. Arrange to have a long table and chairs set up in the kitchen or nearby.

    c. Set the table with white paper goods: tablecloth, napkins, soup bowls, soup spoons and small plastic wine glasses with a small amount of grape juice.

    d. Bring a pretty bunch of flowers in a vase, a nice kiddush cup, candelabra with candles, salt and pepper shakers, two challot, a challah cover, and a bread knife and set them on the table.

    e. As soon as all the students are present, hands washed, and seated, light and bless the candles, sing the Kiddush, and do the Motzi. The teacher may do all of these, or may select students to lead these blessings.

    f. Serve and eat the chicken soup with matzoh balls.

2. The students and teacher should move immediately after the above to the demonstration area.

3. As you introduce each ingredient that goes into the soup, it should be passed around so that the students can feel and smell and examine it so as to familiarize themselves with it if they are unfamiliar.

4. At the beginning of class, start the water boiling for the matzoh balls. The matzoh ball mixture should be made ahead of time. If time permits, the students can prepare a batch to see how it is done, which can be used at a later time. Demonstrate how to form a matzoh ball and let each student try to make a few.


1. Some of the ingredients mentioned in the recipe are difficult to obtain, but contribute greatly to the flavor of the soup if they can be found and provide a wonderful new experience for the students if they are unfamiliar with these ingredients.

2. The reason the matzoh ball mixture must be prepared several hours ahead is to give the matzoh meal time to absorb the liquid and thicken so that it can be formed into balls. Just adding more matzoh meal to thicken the dough will make the balls heavy and unpleasant. Also, keeping the dough very cold will make it easier to handle as it causes the margarine to solidify.

3. Wet hands are very important to handling and forming the matzoh balls, but it is common for people to drip into the dough unconsciously as they are working with it. This thins out the dough and makes it difficult to handle.

4. A steamer/strainer insert in the pot makes it possible to remove all the matzoh balls at once without wasting time trying to fish out each one. By adding a little more hot water and bringing the water back to a rolling boil, it is possible to make several batches without starting over.

5. Have a pan close by to stand the steamer/strainer insert in for just a few moments to let the balls stop dripping before emptying them out onto a baking pan. That way they won't drip on you when you remove them.

6. Matzoh balls sink to the bottom when first dropped into the boiling water, but then rise to the surface as they cook. Turning the heat down under the pot so that the water is not at a rolling boil will cause the floating matzoh balls to sink to the bottom.


A. During the first part of the lesson is a tremendous opportunity to encourage the students to try a family Shabbat of their own. If you are able to create the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of a mini Shabbat in the classroom/kitchen, imagine how nice it would be at home in the dining room.

B. A central theme in Judaism which threads through all our religious law is the focusing on small, mundane acts and the hallowing of these acts. The eating of a mouthful of bread, a sip of wine, the lighting of a candle are all occasions for the sanctification of life. In America, we are often so affluent that we begin to take for granted these small pleasures. We don't have to worry about where our next meal is coming from and whether we will have light when darkness falls. If we begin to take for granted the small pleasures of life, it seems that they are no longer pleasures and a sense of discontent begins to replace the appreciation when small pleasures are never enough. This can be an opportunity to discuss values with your students. What material benefits make them happy and how do they plan to go about securing these benefits in the future? Do they feel contented or discontented most of the time and why?

C. Why are two challot necessary? They are a reminder that a double portion of manna was given to our ancestors traveling in the Sinai Desert on Fridays so that they would not violate the Sabbath by gathering and carrying food.



  • 1 cut up chicken
  • 1 large or two small leeks
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley or 1 parsley root
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • 1 bunch celery or 1 celery root
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 Telma chicken bouillion cubes
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. carrots
  • I bunch flowers and vase
  • 2 challot
  • kosher grape juice
  • 1 vegetable peeler
  • 1 sharp knife
  • cheesecloth
  • two 8-quart pots
  • string
  • refrigerated matzoh ball mixture
  • 1 bag frozen matzoh balls
  • 4 quarts chicken soup
  • candles
  • candelabra
  • kiddush cup
  • challah cover
  • plastic soup bowls
  • plastic soup spoons
  • napkins
  • 1 bread knife
  • salt and pepper shakers
  • paper tablecloth
  • plastic wine glasses



    Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday. In Judaism, we are commanded by God to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy in a document important to the history of the morality of mankind—the Ten Commandments. No other holiday is mentioned there. In ancient times, observance of the Sabbath was a custom that distinguished Jews from other cultures and some cultures thought it such a good idea that they adopted the practice also. It is a practice that not only allows one to rest and feel good, but commands one to do so. Why, then, are we so resistant in America to observing this commandment? Our lifestyle seems to put constant demands on our time and many people have somehow lost the art of planning and setting up an occasion designed to be enjoyed by all members of the family.

    If your family is anything like ours, all during the week we rush from place to place and very rarely sit down to a meal together. Things got so hectic when we were first married that we decided to institute a traditional Shabbat dinner on Friday night to give us a chance to relax and enjoy dinner together. This tradition became especially important when the kids came along because it gave us a chance to talk about the events of the week and a special time to communicate with grandparents, whom we sometimes forgot to call and check in with during the week.

    Now, everybody in the family looks forward to the sights, smells, and tastes of Friday night’s Shabbat meal. All it takes is someone in your family, who is willing to take the time to make things a little more special, to begin your own tradition. It could be you!


l. Light and bless candles. (We light one for each member of the family.)

2. Arrange to have two challot for Motzi. Make a challah cover that is special and beautiful for the occasion. (You might want to make the challah yourself. It can be made ahead in quantity and frozen.)

3. Pick or buy fresh flowers for the table. Use a tablecloth if you don't ordinarily bother with one during the week.

4. Use an especially nice stemmed glass or goblet for Kiddush.

5. Sing the Birkat Hamazon after dessert.

6. Call your grandparents before you sit down to dinner to see how they are and tell them what you've been doing all week. Better yet, invite them for dinner!



  • 1 whole chicken, cut up, with heart and gizzard (Do not use the liver in the soup. Freeze it until you have enough to make chopped liver.)
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley (flat leaf is better than curly if you can get it) or 1 parsley root
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 turnips
  • All the tops with leaves cut from a whole bunch of celery. (Save the stalks for salad) or 1 large celery root (also called knob celery or celeriac)
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 2 Telma chicken bouillion cubes
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 lb. carrots

1. Rinse chicken and put in the bottom of an 8-quart pot.

2. Cover with warm water and bring to a boil on high heat.

3. Skim off foam that rises to the top and discard. Turn heat to simmer.

4. Remove any discolored leaves from leek and cut off tips of leaves and bottom of bulb. Slice leek lengthwise halfway up from the bottom and rinse out any dirt or sand between the leaves. Add to pot.

5. Rinse parsley and dill well and add to pot. If you were able to get a parsley root, peel it with a vegetable peeler before you rinse the leaves.

6. Peel parsnips and turnips with a vegetable peeler and add to pot.

7. Rinse celery and add to pot. If you were able to get a celery root, peel it with a vegetable peeler before adding to the pot.

8. Add bouillion and salt to the pot.

9. Peel carrots removing tips. Cut in three or four lengths and cut each length in half. Put cut up carrots into a length of cheesecloth and tie up with string. Add to pot.

10. Add water to within an inch of the top of the pot and simmer for two hours.

11. Remove bag of carrots and pour soup through a strainer. Discard vegetables, separate chicken meat from bones and add to the strained soup or save for another purpose.

12. Cut open bag of carrots and add to the strained soup.

13. At this point the soup can be ladled into plastic containers to be frozen until needed, or add matzoh balls and boil for 20 minutes and serve. (See recipe for matzoh balls below.)


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 c. warm water
  • 3-1/4 c. matzoh meal
  • I c. (2 sticks) melted margarine
  • 1 T. salt
  • dash of pepper

1. Mix all the above ingredients and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.

2. Bring 8 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a pot for which you have a steamer insert that can be lifted out.

3. Form the refrigerated dough into walnut-sized balls with wet hands. Be careful not to drip water into the dough. Drop, one by one into the boiling water. When the pot is full and about half the dough has been used, cover and let boil for 15 minutes. The balls will rise to the surface as soon as they begin to cook.

4. Remove balls by lifting them out in the steamer insert and dump out onto a jelly roll pan.

5. Return steamer insert to pot and repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

6. When the balls have cooled slightly on the pans, place them uncovered in the freezer and freeze solid.

7. Remove balls from the pan and dump into plastic bags.

8. Refreeze immediately and add to boiling soup as needed.

Makes about 100 matzoh balls. 

Welcome to Bubbie’s Kitchen

     An integral part of Jewish life in America involves the preparation of foods that are eaten by the family together in an atmosphere of ...