Shakshuka

My version of Shakshuka, an Israeli and Middle Eastern breakfast dish that is eaten all around the Mediterranean. My version is slightly spicier and I often add some extra ingredients. It is not authentic maybe, but my own variation on a classic dish.

  • Ingredients
  • 1kg fresh tomatoes unpeeled and cut in quarters
  • 6 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 chilly, diced
  • 1 large Spanish onion, diced
  • 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, in thin strips
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • One teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • One teaspoon of hot paprika
  • 2 tsp tomato paste/puree
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp tablespoon Harissa paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground fenugreek
  • ½ tsp caraway
  • ½ tsp ground fennel
  • juice of half a lemon

Method

  • Sweat the onions for 5 minutes on medium heat in the oil and add the peppers. Fry another 5 minutes on medium heat until soft
  • Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt, spices, harissa paste, tomato puree, lemon juice and oil to the pan and simmer for about half an hour uncovered on a low heat and then stir until it has thickened. Sometimes I add some chopped olives, some feta cheese, or chopped spinach.
  • Ladle the sauce into a greased frying pan
  • Bring to a low simmer and break the eggs over the tomato mixture
  • Gently cover and cook for about three minutes until the eggs are set
  • Serve the pan direct to the table
Advertisements

History of the Cork Hebrew Congregation and the Jews of Cork.

History of the Cork Hebrew Congregation and the Jews of Cork. 
The first wave of Jewish emigration to Cork was in 1772 with the influx of a small community of Sephardic Jews from Portugal.
Relatively little is known about this first community. Although they didn’t have a synagogue, a burial ground was discovered at Kemp Street, to the back of the present synagogue on number 10, South Terrace.
The community didn’t exceed about 40 in number, and disappeared through intermarriage with local Protestant families.
Written records from 1891 point to the emergence of a second Jewish community in Cork, following the assimilation of the previous Sephardic community. This community, by contrast, were Ashkenazi, coming (mostly) from a town called Yakmyan in Kovno (former White Russia).
It is very unlikely that Cork, Ireland, was the intended destination of these Eastern European émigrés. They had fled persecution (pogroms) in a staunchly Catholic Country.

Many among their ranks were also very religious. That they would willingly come to another stronghold of Catholicism, such as Ireland, with no traditional ties to Judaism, seems mostly unlikely. Among various explanations proposed, it may have been the case that an unscrupulous ship-captain advised the Jews to disembark and row to America to save money.
Possibly they confused ‘Cork’ for New York (the Jews spoke only Yiddish, and the words are – slighly – cognate). From Cobh (then Queenstown), where they disembarked, the Jews made their way into Cork City, and specifically settled in an area known as Hibernian Buildings, in the City Centre, soon to be known as ‘Jewtown’ by the locals.
This initial crop of Jews worked mostly as peddlers, selling door-to-door. They were known, amongst each other, as the vicklemen (vickle means weekly in Yiddish, and their door-to-door rounds took roughly a week). They would travel around Cork City and its hinterland knocking on doors and selling various things to the local Catholic farming community.

The community reached its peak in the early 20th Century. Family of the first arrivals soon followed when they found out that Cork, and Ireland in general, was tolerant, even friendly, towards the Jews. The community first prayed in a small room in Eastville before renting a room in Marlboro Street, and finally building the present synagogue at 10, South Terrace.

A Jewish cemetery – Beit Olam in Hebrew – was acquired at Curraghkippane, on the outskirts of the cities, and some Jewish victims of the Lusitania disaster (a ship that sank in 1912 off the Old Head of Kinsale, Cork) are buried there.

At its peak of about 450-500 congregants, the community was very active.
Before the decline in numbers, there were two football clubs, a table tennis clubs, a debating club, a branch of the Bnei Akiva, as well as, of course, an officiating ‘Reverend’, a butcher, a doctor and a Chevre Kedushsa (burial society).

By 1939 the community had reached its peak. The sons and the grandsons of the peddlers and vicklemen had qualified as professionals in University College Cork and wanted to leave for a place with greater Jewish life and professional opportunities. There was also emigration to the State of Israel, established in 1948. The combination of emigration to Israel and the U.S. (among other destinations) resulted in a steady decline in number which persisted from the late 1930s until the 1980s, by which stage only 15 to 20 Jews remained in Cork, Ireland.
At present there are only two families left, as well as a scattering of Jews in the surrounding country, as well as transient visitors and businessmen who may come to pray at the shul.

Because of the decline in numbers, services are now only conducted every fourth Friday night, and during the High Holidays. Even during the High Holidays extras, in the form of Chabad-Lubavitch trainee Rabbis, have to be ‘imported’ from the U.K. to make a Jewish religious quorum (a ‘minyan’).

The Cork shul and the Jewish congregation have been featured in a number of online articles, some or all of which may be of interest if you are looking to know more about Jewish life in Cork.

The first wave of Jewish emigration to Cork was in 1772 with the influx of a small community of Sephardic Jews from Portugal.

Relatively little is known about this first community. Although they didn’t have a synagogue, a burial ground was discovered at Kemp Street, to the back of the present synagogue on number 10, South Terrace.

The community didn’t exceed about 40 in number, and disappeared through intermarriage with local Protestant families.
Written records from 1891 point to the emergence of a second Jewish community in Cork, following the assimilation of the previous Sephardic community. This community, by contrast, were Ashkenazi, coming (mostly) from a town called Yakmyan in Kovno (former White Russia).
It is very unlikely that Cork, Ireland, was the intended destination of these Eastern European émigrés. They had fled persecution (pogroms) in a staunchly Catholic Country.

Many among their ranks were also very religious. That they would willingly come to another stronghold of Catholicism, such as Ireland, with no traditional ties to Judaism, seems mostly unlikely. Among various explanations proposed, it may have been the case that an unscrupulous ship-captain advised the Jews to disembark and row to America to save money.
Possibly they confused ‘Cork’ for New York (the Jews spoke only Yiddish, and the words are – slighly – cognate). From Cobh (then Queenstown), where they disembarked, the Jews made their way into Cork City, and specifically settled in an area known as Hibernian Buildings, in the City Centre, soon to be known as ‘Jewtown’ by the locals.
This initial crop of Jews worked mostly as peddlers, selling door-to-door. They were known, amongst each other, as the vicklemen (vickle means weekly in Yiddish, and their door-to-door rounds took roughly a week). They would travel around Cork City and its hinterland knocking on doors and selling various things to the local Catholic farming community.

The community reached its peak in the early 20th Century. Family of the first arrivals soon followed when they found out that Cork, and Ireland in general, was tolerant, even friendly, towards the Jews. The community first prayed in a small room in Eastville before renting a room in Marlboro Street, and finally building the present synagogue at 10, South Terrace.

A Jewish cemetery – Beit Olam in Hebrew – was acquired at Curraghkippane, on the outskirts of the cities, and some Jewish victims of the Lusitania disaster (a ship that sank in 1912 off the Old Head of Kinsale, Cork) are buried there.

At its peak of about 450-500 congregants, the community was very active.
Before the decline in numbers, there were two football clubs, a table tennis clubs, a debating club, a branch of the Bnei Akiva, as well as, of course, an officiating ‘Reverend’, a butcher, a doctor and a Chevre Kedushsa (burial society).

By 1939 the community had reached its peak. The sons and the grandsons of the peddlers and vicklemen had qualified as professionals in University College Cork and wanted to leave for a place with greater Jewish life and professional opportunities.

At present there are only two families left, as well as a scattering of Jews in the surrounding country, as well as transient visitors and businessmen who may come to pray at the shul.

Because of the decline in numbers, services are now only conducted every fourth Friday night, and during the High Holidays. Even during the High Holidays extras, in the form of Chabad-Lubavitch trainee Rabbis, have to be ‘imported’ from the U.K. to make a Jewish religious quorum (a ‘minyan’).

The Cork synagoguge and the Jewish congregation have been featured in a number of online articles, some or all of which may be of interest if you are looking to know more about Jewish life in Cork.

Go > to > Sourcehttp://www.corkhebrewcongregation.com/history

Cork’s Jewish Community — Small in Size, Grand in Spirit (Marlena Thompson)

Gerald Goldberg (Wikipedia)

Cork Festival of Jewish Culture (Held in UCC, 2008)

Kosherme.net Entry

Folklore CD Series: Fred Rosehill

Cork’s Oldest Jew Reflect’s In Sadness [Article, Irish Times]

Vibrant Jewish Community in Irish City of Cork has Dwindled Away [Article, Seattle Times]

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrews

Resources

Zmanim (halachic prayer times) for Cork.

Latest kosher product list (2012-2013) 

Google Maps listing

Websites

Irish Jewish Genealogical Society

Irish Jewish Museum

Articles, Media

A Place in Time, Ep. 5

History of the Jews in Ireland (Wikipedia)

Cork’s Jewish Community — Small in Size, Grand in Spirit (Marlena Thompson)

Gerald Goldberg (Wikipedia)

Cork Festival of Jewish Culture (Held in UCC, 2008)

Kosherme.net Entry

Folklore CD Series: Fred Rosehill

Cork’s Oldest Jew Reflect’s In Sadness [Article, Irish Times]

Vibrant Jewish Community in Irish City of Cork has Dwindled Away [Article, Seattle Times]

Netanyahu Causes Uproar by Linking Palestinians to Holocaust

by Aron Heller / Associated Press 6:52 AM ET Updated: 10:52 AM ET

Benjamin Netanyahu

Abir Sultan—APBenjamin Netanyahu chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, on Oct. 11, 2015.

Experts slammed Netanyahu’s comments as historically inaccurate and serving the interests of Holocaust deniers

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sparked an uproar in Israel on Wednesday for suggesting that a World War II-era Palestinian leader convinced the Nazis to adopt their Final Solution to exterminate 6 million Jews.

Holocaust experts and survivors slammed Netanyahu’s comments as historically inaccurate and serving the interests of Holocaust deniers by lessening the responsibility of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Critics also said the statement amounts to incitement against modern-day Palestinians in the midst of a wave of violent unrest and high tensions.

Speaking to a group of Jewish leaders Tuesday, Netanyahu tried to use a historical anecdote to illustrate his claim that Palestinian incitement surrounding Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site goes back decades. He has repeatedly claimed that a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent weeks is the result of decades of hatred, and not connected to Israel’s 48-year occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians, as the Palestinians have claimed.

Netanyahu said the World War II-era grand mufti of Jerusalem, Nazi sympathizer Haj Amin al-Husseini, also instigated Palestinian attacks on Jews over lies that they planned to destroy the Temple Mount, known to Muslims at the Noble Sanctuary.

Netanyahu said al-Husseini played a “central role in fomenting the final solution” by trying to convince Hitler to destroy the Jews during a November 1941 meeting in Berlin.

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu told the group. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’”

Details of the meeting between al-Husseini and Hitler are sketchy. The Nazis released a grainy propaganda video showing the mufti making a Nazi salute before a warm handshake. The official record from the meeting says Hitler pledged “the annihilation of Jewry living in Arab space.”

While the Nazis’ official endorsement of the Final Solution came months after the meeting, historians note that the Nazis’ mass killing of Jews was already well underway.

Several concentration camps were up and running, and Hitler had previously repeatedly declared his lethal intentions for the Jews. If anything, they said it was the Nazis who were trying to use al-Husseini for their own propaganda interests and that Hitler didn’t need any outside inspiration. When Hitler did consider deporting Jews, it was in the context of sending them to countries like Ukraine and Lithuania where they would face persecution or death.

Moshe Zimmermann, a prominent Holocaust and anti-Semitism researcher at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Netanyahu made a “far-reaching argument” that didn’t hold up.

“Any attempt to deflect the burden from Hitler to others is a form of Holocaust denial,” he told The Associated Press. “It cheapens the Holocaust.”

Al-Husseini was an enthusiastic Nazi supporter who helped recruit Bosnian Muslims to their side and whose anti-Semitism was well documented. But Zimmermann called him a “lightweight” who was pleading with Hitler for assistance in getting rid of the British Mandate and the Jewish immigrants coming to the Holy Land. He said there was no evidence al-Husseini had any real influence on Hitler. Records show that at the meeting, Hitler turned down a request to form a formal treaty.

Dina Porat, the chief historian at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, said that al-Husseini’s goal was to have Hitler include the Jews of Palestine in his extermination plans.

“Still, this does not mean that he was the one who gave Hitler the idea to get rid of the Jews,” she said. “He didn’t need the mufti in order to have the idea.”

Netanyahu has long been criticized for invoking the Holocaust when talking about current affairs, alluding to it especially when discussing Iran and its nuclear program. The son of a historian, Netanyahu also has a record of slipping up when citing historical facts.

The prime minister’s comments came at a particularly sensitive time, as he was making his way to Berlin Wednesday for meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Netanyahu tried to calm the uproar and clarify himself prior to his departure.

“I had no intention of absolving Hitler of his diabolical responsibility for exterminating European Jews … at the same time, it is absurd to ignore the role the mufti played,” he said, adding that it was tied directly to Palestinian sentiments today.

“The father of the Palestinian nation then, without a state and without what is called ‘occupation,’ without the territories and settlements, was involved then in serial incitement to destroy the Jews,” he said. “Unfortunately, Haj Amin al-Husseini is still an admired figure in Palestinian society.”

Asked by reporters, Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert wouldn’t address Netanyahu’s statements directly.

“We are aware that this crime against humanity was Germany’s very own responsibility,” he said. “It must never be forgotten, and I see no reason for us to change our picture of history in any way.”

Netanyahu is also set to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin in new efforts to bring an end to a monthlong wave of attacks that have raised fears that the region is on the cusp of a new round of bloodshed.

Netanyahu has repeatedly accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inciting the violence, while Palestinians say years of Israeli occupation are at the root of the unrest.

In Israel, many quickly accused Netanyahu of going overboard.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called it a “dangerous historical distortion” that plays into the hands of Holocaust deniers.

“It downplays the Holocaust, Nazism and the role of Adolf Hitler in the great tragedy of our people,” he said.

Colette Avital, who heads the umbrella organization of Holocaust survivors, said survivors were baffled and Zehava Galon, head of the dovish Meretz party, noted that her ancestors were killed months before Hitler and the mufti even met.

“To what depths will this man stoop?” Galon said. “He who can’t act to change the future, all he has left is to rewrite the past.”

Even Netanyahu’s loyal defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, distanced himself from the comments, saying that “history is actually very, very clear.”

“Hitler initiated it, Haj Amin al-Husseini joined him and unfortunately the jihadist movements promote anti-Semitism to this day, including incitement in the Palestinian Authority that is based on the legacy of the Nazis,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

Palestinian officials accused Netanyahu of distorting history.

“It is a sad day in history when the leader of the Israeli government hates his neighbor so much so that he is willing to absolve the most notorious war criminal in history,” said senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.

He sidestepped the Palestinian role in World War II, claiming that “Palestinian efforts against the Nazi regime are a deep-rooted part of our history.”

At a meeting with the visiting U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Netanyahu of trying to rewrite history. “Now he says Hitler is not responsible,” he said.

In a Ph.D dissertation, Abbas questioned the extent of the Holocaust, drawing accusations that he was a Holocaust denier. He has since distanced himself from the claims, calling the Holocaust a “despicable crime.”

____

Associated Press writer Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Balaboosta: A Perfect Israeli Cookbook

The bold flavored Sephardi and Mizrahi recipes featured in Balaboosta make the new English-language cookbook more Israeli than those written in Hebrew.

by Vered Guttman for Haaretz, Oct 04, 2013 9:44 AM

How the humble Jewish herring became haute American cuisine
Goodbye beautiful tomatoes, welcome winter yams
Chef and restaurateur Einat Admony’s new cookbook, Balaboosta, Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love (Artisan Books, 2013) is beautiful, fun and has many great looking recipes. And it just might be the most Israeli cookbook I’ve seen lately (and that includes Hebrew cookbooks published in Israel). Everything from the Yiddish name (Balaboosta means the perfect housewife) to the Sephardi and Mizrachi recipes. The openness and direct language in which Einat talks about everything, from her relationship with her mother to why she came up with the Morning Orgasm Cocktail recipe. The bold flavored Israeli recipes, including Israeli kids’ favorite chicken schnitzel, shakshuka and Persian rice, and even Mussels drenched in ouzo, that you just might find at chef’s restaurants in Tel Aviv. But above all it’s the sense of longing Einat expresses to her old homeland and to her far away family and childhood flavors – evident in almost every page of the book – that makes this book very Israeli, at least in my Israeli eyes.
Yet, when you first see the book, the word Israel appears so small and only on the back cover, that it took me awhile to find it. With all the praise and attention modern Israeli cuisine is getting lately, especially in New York, I was surprised.
Einat worked her way up, starting at culinary school in Israel, working in some of the finest restaurants in Israel and the U.S., including Haim Cohen’s Karen in Jaffa and Bolo and Tabla in New York. But when it came time to open her first place she chose to start a falafel joint, Taim in West village. “It was kind of an embarrassment for me to open a falafel place,” Einat told me in a phone conversation on Thursday. After scoring an impressive resume at the fanciest restaurants, falafel seemed too simple. “Now I’m proud. It’s a good falafel.” The NY Times and many other publications from all over the world agree with her.
But for Einat, “falafel is not Israeli, and hummus is not Israeli. But it is natural that we will be influenced by the Arab cuisines around us, and don’t forget that many of our parents came from Arab countries, where they had falafel.”
Einat’s mother is of Persian origin and her father is Yemenite. “I come from home cooking.” she said, “and from a family where everyone cooks. I think that’s why I’m a little different than my colleagues, and that’s why I go back home after work and cook. It’s not hard when you love it.”
In her second restaurant, Balaboosta in Nolita, she found a way to combine her home cooking with more sophisticated and individual creativity. “For lunch we serve home style cooking, like hamousta and shakshuka, schnitzel with Israeli couscous, Morrocan style fish and a platter of hummus, labne, matbucha and za’atar served with bread. In the evening we serve the hummus in a mortar and pestle, and it looks cool. And in general, a more sophisticated fare. Like pasta with lemon zest and cardamom together with braised lamb shoulder and beans. More Mediterranean than Israeli.” To her version of the Spanish shrimp with garlic, parsley and chili she adds slices of preserved lemon, adding her own touch on traditional fare.
For me, this couldn’t be more Israeli. But however you call it, Einat’s food is fabulous and all these yummy sounding recipes are available in her book.
She shared a few of them with us.
Casablanca Catch
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.
Serves 4
A sure way to my heart is a North African fish recipe. There are dozens of ways to prepare it; in this version I combine my favorites into one. Sure, the sauce is oily, but Moroccans use oil in almost everything, so to remove it would be inauthentic. The preserved lemon melted around the chickpeas gives it a distinct kick, and the cilantro, my favorite herb, opens up the earthiness that comes from the combination of the oil and chickpeas, lightening the whole recipe. I love to serve this with challah on the side for sopping up the sauce.
1⁄2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, or 1 heaping cup drained canned chickpeas
1⁄2 cup canola oil
15 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 fresh chiles, cored, seeded and halved lengthwise (I use jalapeño, but you can use 2 long, skinny red ones)
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and sliced into 2-inch strips
1⁄4 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons World’s Best Harissa (below)
4 skinless white fish fillets (bass, grouper, snapper, or tilapia), cut into twelve 4-inch pieces
4 to 6 Perfect Preserved Lemons (page 276)
1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro without tough stems
1. Simmer the dried chickpeas in water to cover until not quite tender, about 1 hour (if using canned chickpeas, skip this step but rinse them thoroughly). Drain the chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. You can cover and refrigerate the chickpeas and the liquid separately overnight.
2. Warm the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, chiles, bell peppers, and paprika. Stir until the peppers are coated really well and cook until soft and fragrant but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the harissa and cook for a minute or so, just long enough to let the flavors meld.
4. Meanwhile, pat the fish dry. Place it on a plate, squeeze the juice of one of the preserved lemons over the top, and let the fish soak for 5 minutes. Rinse the fish and pat it dry. Cut the remaining lemons into wedges.
5. Scatter a handful of cilantro over the peppers and then arrange the fish on top. Pour just enough of the chickpea cooking liquid into the pan to reach halfway up the pieces of fish. Give the skillet a gentle shake.
6. Add another handful of cilantro, then the preserved lemon wedges and the chickpeas. Cover and simmer very, very gently, so only an occasional bubble breaks the surface of the sauce. After 10 minutes, uncover the pan and let it continue to simmer gently until the liquid has reduced, 10 to 20 more minutes. You’ll know the dish is ready when the chickpeas are perfectly tender, the fish is milky white throughout, and your house is filled with fragrance.
7. Remove the skillet from the heat and toss one more handful of cilantro over the fish.

World’s Best Harissa
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books).Copyright © 2013.
Makes about 21/2 cups
Think of harissa as a modern-day gourmet hot sauce—or, if you prefer, as an update to Tabasco: it can be used on anything, in anything, and with anything, and will always make it better. My harissa can be used as a sauce, a paste, or a broth for slow cooking. The main ingredients are garlic and an array of spices, most notably red pepper (cayenne).
10 garlic cloves
1 large roasted red bell pepper, peeled, cored, and seeded
1 1⁄4 cups canola oil
1⁄4 cup tomato paste
1⁄2 cup ground cumin
1⁄3 cup cayenne
1⁄3 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
1⁄4 cup ground caraway
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1. Combine the garlic, bell pepper, 1 cup of the oil, and the tomato paste in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is almost pureed.
2. Add the cumin, cayenne, paprika, caraway, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup oil while the machine is running. Keep processing until the harissa is completely pureed and all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
3. Store the harissa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Perfect Preserved Lemons
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books).Copyright © 2013.
Sure, they take ninety days to make. But they’re such an amazing addition to so many different kinds of dishes that it’s totally worth the wait. And actual prep time is only 20 minutes. Preserved Lemons are essential to the Casablanca Catch but they’re equally fantastic with chicken—really, with anything.
3 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 tablespoon coriander seeds
11⁄2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄4 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
12 to 16 lemons, or more
2 bay leaves
1. Mix together the salt, sugar, coriander seeds, peppercorns, turmeric, and paprika in a large bowl. Place half of the mixture at the bottom of a 1-gallon glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
2. Cut the lemons into wedges and place them inside the jar, squeezing the juices into the jar as you throw them in. It’s important to pack the lemons in the jar with little room around them, so there is no air to oxidize them. Don’t worry about squishing the lemons; they like it this way. Next add the bay leaves, the remaining salt mixture, and top it off with just enough water to fill it to the rim. Seal the jar and forget about it for the next 3 months or so. Well, remember it once in a while and gently flip the jar upside down a few times to make sure all the flavors are mixing together. The lemons are ready when the skin is soft.
3. Before you open the jar, the preserved lemons can be stored at room temperature, but once they are ready, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for at least 6 months. Be sure to rinse away the excess salt from the lemons prior to each use and discard the pulp.

Butternut Squash and Saffron Soup
(Marak Ktumim)
Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books).Copyright © 2013.
Serves 8 to 10
Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables: it’s sweet, tasty, and filling with barely any calories or fat. The soup is extremely rich despite containing not a drop of cream—kind of unbelievable, because the texture is so creamy. If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight, this recipe is a keeper.
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large leek, white part only, finely chopped
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch chunks
5 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1⁄4–inch chunks
5 celery ribs, cut into 1⁄4-inch pieces
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
10 cups water
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig
Pinch of saffron threads
Greek yogurt
Za’atar seasoning
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Don’t be afraid to let the edges turn a deep brown color, because this will give the soup an even better flavor. Add the leek and garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash, carrots, and celery. Place a lid on the pot and allow the vegetables to cook for 20 minutes.
2. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, water, thyme, rosemary, and saffron. Stir to combine all the seasonings and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are so soft you can press down on them with a spoon, about 30 minutes.
3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. Puree the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one of these, allow your soup to cool completely, then puree in small batches in a blender.
4. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then transfer the soup to another pot and reheat slowly before serving. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and a generous sprinkling of za’atar.

Vered Guttman
Haaretz Contributor
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/modern-manna/.premium-1.550506

Modern Manna Recipe; Beet and Pomegranate Seed Salad

A Persian-inspired dish, with a host of different textures.
To make this Persian-inspired salad even easier to prepare, use pre-roasted beets and peeled pomegranate seeds, available at many supermarkets, such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Otherwise, roast the beets in 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius), wrapped in aluminum foil for about one hour, or until a knife goes in easily. Let cool and peel (this can be easily done by hand).

Pomegranate syrup is available at health food stores and Middle Eastern supermarkets.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb. Roasted beets, peeled
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves only

Directions:

1. Cut the beets into small cubes, about 1/4-inch in size. In a large bowl, mix with pomegranate seeds and onion.
2. Make the dressing by mixing pomegranate syrup, balsamic vinegar, lime juice and salt. Add to the salad and mix well. Add cilantro and mix gently. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving.

By Vered Guttman, Haaretz Contributor

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/life/food-wine/recipes-appetizers-sides-salads/modern-manna-recipe-beet-and-pomegranate-seed-salad.premium-1.481163

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, which literally means “head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year. It marks the beginning of the autumnal High Holy Day season, when humanity is judged for its deeds during the year just past. It is followed, on the 10th of Tishrei, by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when according to the same tradition a Jew’s fate for the coming year is “sealed.”

The period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is sometimes called the Ten Days of Repentance, to indicate the soul-searching and making of amends that are supposed to characterize the period.

When is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, takes place during the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is generally in September (the lunar Jewish calendar does not precisely correspond with the solar Gregorian one). Like all Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown, starting on the 29th of Elul and ending at sundown on the 1st of Tishrei.

Rosh Hashanah 2015 – September 13 to September 15

Rosh Hashanah 2016 – October 2 to October 4

Rosh Hashanah 2017 – September 20 to September 22

Rosh Hashanah 2018 – September 9 to September 11

Rosh Hashanah 2019 – September 29 to October 1

At least since the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, in 70 C.E., Rosh Hashanah has been celebrated for two days, both in the Diaspora and in Israel; this was meant in ancient times to allow for a margin of error for the sighting of the new moon that marks the opening of the month.

How do we observe Rosh Hashanah?

We prepare for Rosh Hashanah during Elul, the final month of the year, with penitential prayers, “Selichot,” being said during all or part of the month (traditions vary) and the shofar being blown early in the morning.

On both days of Rosh Hashanah, we attend long synagogue services, with extra readings and prayers. Additionally, on the afternoon of the first day, it is traditional to visit a body of flowing water and throw bread crumbs, meant to symbolize one’s sins, into it. People greet each either by saying simply, “Shana Tova” – “have a good year” – or with more complicated formulas, such as “Leshana tova, tikateivu vetihamtemnu” – “may you be inscribed and sealed [in the Book of Life] for a good year.”

Today, one of the key elements of the Rosh Hashanah synagogue service is the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) – 100 notes, played according to a fixed score – which many interpret as a “wake-up call” to the human conscience. If however the Rosh Hashanah service falls on Shabbat, the shofar is not blown, as that would fall into the category of forbidden “work,” like the playing of any musical instrument.

Why do we blow the shofar? Rosh Hashanah has its roots in the Torah (the Pentateuch), although it has a different name there: In both Exodus and Leviticus, it is referred to as the day of the “sounding of the horn” or the “day of remembrance,” and was supposed to take place at the beginning of the seventh – not the first – month, Tishrei. The reference to the horn may be an allusion to the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Isaac, after he had proven ready to make the ultimate sacrifice to God (Genesis 22). Or more generally, it may be a reference to the sacrifice made in the Temple in ancient times on this day.

Unlike sometimes raucous Western New Year’s celebrations, Rosh Hashanah, although festive, is an introspective period. The liturgy and Bible readings serve as constant reminders of the individual’s mortality, and of the personal responsibility we all bear for our behavior. But Rosh Hashanah also stands for forgiveness, and for the opportunity that returns with annual regularity to apologize, to make amends, and to try to be a better person.

When does the Jewish new year begin?

Rosh Hashanah has not always been the day the Hebrew calendarbegins. The Bible refers to Nissan, the early spring month when Passover falls, as the “first month,” but nowadays, we celebrate the Jewish new year on the first day of the fall month of Tishrei, which in the Bible was called the “seventh month.” (To read more about the curious history of Rosh Hashanah, click here.)

According to the Talmudic sage Rabbi Eleazar, Rosh Hashanah was the day on which man and woman were created – that is, the sixth day of creation. According to tradition, the number of the Hebrew year (the year that overlapped with 2014-2015 was 5775) is supposed to indicate the number of years since the world was created.

Rosh Hashanah is definitely the start of the Jewish year in respect to determining the timing of grain tithes and the beginning of the “sabbatical” year for the Land of Israel that takes place every seven years, known as “shnat shmita“. Other “new year” dates are Tu Bishvat, the 15th of Shvat, a sort of Hebrew Arbor Day, and the 1st of Elul, by which timing of animal tithes was marked.

What do we eat on Rosh Hashanah?

Many of the holiday’s rituals revolve around food, with a number of symbolic dishes being served: apple and honey or honey cake, which mark the hope for a “sweet” year, and also leeks, black-eyed peas, a fish head and pomegranate, among other things, whose Hebrew names are worked into puns that are supposed to express a variety of wishes for the new year. Also, the challah bread served on Rosh Hashanah – in fact, through Sukkot, which ends three weeks later – is round, another symbol of the cyclical nature of time.

Most of the restrictions that apply to the Sabbath also pertain to Rosh Hashanah, although cooking is permitted under certain circumstances, unlike on Shabbat.

What is Rosh Hashanah?