A family kitchen affair | The Jewish Standard

A family kitchen affair |  The Jewish Standard

As a long-time member of the Agudath Israel Congregation, I was naturally very excited when I was asked to participate in the publication of “Nourishing Our Souls”. I had edited much of the content of “From Generation to Generation”, a cookbook the Synagogue Sisterhood published over 20 years ago, and I was pleased when I was asked to edit the “foreground” – the introductions, holiday descriptions , pretty much everything except the recipes themselves — for this one.

And while I’m not a vegetarian (yet) myself, my 10-year-old granddaughter, Maayan, is inspired by her love of animals, and I thought any contribution I could make would be in her honor.

Then I was asked to contribute my hamantaschen recipe. (Well, not exactly my recipe; it’s from “The Complete Family Guide to Jewish Holidays” by Dalia Hardof Renberg. I’ve been using it – slightly modified – for decades to make the hamantaschen that go into my mishloach manot baskets, and people seem to like them. I know I do, mostly because, as the recipe rightly states, they “rarely open up during baking.”)


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And so it came full circle, as Maayan has been my faithful Purim baking partner every year since her second year, developing into an excellent roller, filler and “squeezer” of the triangular pastry. Her younger brother, Leo, also lends a hand in the kitchen, but he seems more adept at eating than baking.

Another family tie: Maayan’s father, Meny Vaknin, was happy to contribute a recipe to “Nourishing Our Souls.” This is no ordinary dish; my Israeli son-in-law is the award-winning chef and owner of Marcel Bakery and Kitchen in Montclair, and his Curry Masabacha, he wrote, is a “quick, healthy, vegan dish with a delicious blend of flavors from my favorite cuisines: Middle Eastern , Indian and of course the rich Israeli-Moroccan-Jewish culinary heritage that I learned – with love – from my mother and grandmothers.”


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