Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past. We are all, to some extent, encumbered by memory. We can’t totally recreate what was, and is no longer, because these memories usually encompass a person we once loved and who is, perhaps, gone from our lives.
Sometimes though, it is possible to recapture some elements of that nostalgia. If I’m feeling low, I find I am comforted by cooking certain foods from my childhood that seem to have disappeared from our menu. As I savor them, I can see my mother in our old-fashioned kitchen and I feel her love in the taste and flavor of the past. Here are some of her recipes:
I remember this from cold winter days, coming home from school to find this marvelous dish waiting for me.
Ingredients: 1 lb. lean ground beef 2 chopped onions 1 1/2 tablespoons flour 1 16 oz can tomatoes Diced carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes and celery 4 large potatoes mashed with a pinch salt Margarine
Directions: Brown the meat and onions, stirring. Sprinkle flour over them. Add the tomatoes (broken up) and all the vegetables, with just enough water to cover. Simmer until all the vegetables are soft (approx. 45 minutes). Place in a deep pie dish, cover with mashed potatoes dotted with margarine. Bake at 350° until the top is golden brown.
Do you remember the A.A. Milne poem that goes on about “What Is the matter with Mary Jane? And it’s lovely rice pudding for dinner again…”? I always thought her a spoiled brat because rice pudding was one of my childhood favorites and I still enjoy this simple, creamy dessert.
Ingredients: 1 cup soft cooked rice (moist – not dry) 1 ½ cups milk 1/2 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla nutmeg
Directions: Beat the milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the rice. Place in a greased pie dish with nutmeg sprinkled over the top. Stand in a dish of cold water (to prevent curdling) and bake at 350° F until set (about 45 mins.) Delicious as is, but superb with cream or ice-cream.
Trifle No party was ever complete without a trifle for dessert. It’s a great way to use up stale cake and makes a festive centerpiece for a party meal.
Ingredients: 1 stale sponge cake Raspberry jam 8 small macaroons 1/2 cup sherry or sweet red wine 1 packet instant red jello 2 cups custard filling Whipped cream
Directions: Cut stale sponge cake into fingers shapes, and spread with jam. Use them to line a deep glass bowl, peeping over the top. Arrange macaroons in the bowl and pour wine over them. Make jello and allow to cool. When cold, cut in squares and cover cake and macaroons. Pour custard over everything and top with cream.
You can decorate the trifle with sliced strawberries, almonds, bananas, kiwi fruit or chocolate and silver sprinkles. It’s a simple dessert, but your guests will think you worked on it all day.
Ingredients: 4 large Granny Smith or green cooking apples Water 2 tablespoons golden syrup or honey Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 cup self-raising flour 1 pinch salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons. margarine 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons dried shredded coconut
Directions: Simmer sliced apples in a little water until soft. Mix with syrup and lemon juice. Place in pie dish. Mix flour, salt, cinnamon and sugar. Combine with margarine until it is the texture of breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the apples, and then sprinkle with coconut. Bake 30 minutes at 350° F. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
These were my mother’s standby if unexpected visitors arrived and we were out of cake. Australians love them. In England, Devonshire Tea is scones, strawberry jam and cream. We preferred them piping hot with butter and a good, strong cup of tea.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoons butter 2 cups self-rising flour Pinch salt Equal parts milk and water
Directions: Rub the butter into the flour and salt. Add liquid slowly – enough to form a soft dough. Work quickly without kneading. Place on a lightly floured board and pat to a thickness of 1 inch. Cut into shapes with a floured scone cutter (or use a wine glass). Bake on a greased tray in a hot oven for 12 minutes. You can add chopped dates or raisins to the dough for sweeter scones, or grated cheese and rosemary for savory ones.
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Wouldn’t it be great if you had a chavrusa working with you, guiding and helping you in your work environment?
Just imagine you are walking through a beautiful garden. Feast your eyes on the colors of the flowers, the grass at your feet, the leaves of the trees in shades from green to silver. Listen to the birds. Let the sunshine caress your face. Smell the perfume.
This is a remarkable book to assist those of us – and that means everyone – who are trying to find our way in life, with all its setbacks and pain, as well as for people who want to help people.
Forty-six years ago, in the first week of June, Israel stunned the world when it wasn’t looking. Four years later, Israel stunned me when I wasn’t looking.
Jerusalem was never real to me. It was a name I came across in books of Bible stories as a child. If I’d ever tried to imagine it, it would have been like places in my books of fairy stories. I knew it was a city with crenellated walls, with domes and towers and minarets. In my mind, I saw it peopled with old men with long beards and flowing robes, and women with clay jugs precariously balanced on their heads.
Jews all over the world celebrate Israel’s Independence Day – even those who have no intention of ever coming on aliyah, and many of whom have never even visited Israel. “It’s a kind of insurance policy” one overseas friend told me. “By supporting Israel financially and emotionally, I know that its sanctuary is available to me or my children or grandchildren should the need ever arise.”
As we get older, nostalgia takes over many areas of our life and we often yearn for things from the past.
One of the most popular of our chaggim is Simchat Torah, which falls on the last day of Sukkot. As its name suggests, Simchat Torah celebrates the joy of the Torah. There is no record of this holiday before the 11th century, and its origin may have been in Spain.
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