Posted on October 15th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik.
Sukkot may have been over for the rest of the world last Thursday night, but at the JMM, it was still in full swing! As part of our Brooze & Schmooze event series for young adults, we held the second of what I hope will be many more Iron Chef competitions. The first Iron Chef competition here was held during Passover and featured horseradish as the secret ingredient; this time around, our secret ingredient was whatever seasonal produce Kayam Farms had on hand, which I thought fit nicely with the Sukkot, the harvest festival, theme.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the food channel competition show “Iron Chef,” a little explanation is in order. The original series involves two teams, each headed by a celebrity chef, who compete for the ultimate title of “Iron Chef” by cooking a three course meal in one hour that utilizes, in each course, a surprise ingredient that is only revealed at the last minute.
In our version, we had four teams: Team “BIYA” (B’nai Israel Young Adult); Team “Kayam” (they swear they didn’t know the secret ingredient beforehand!); Team “Honey Jew Jew”; and, the defending champions from Iron Chef: Passover, Team “The Still Very Last Minute Goyim.” We provided all of them with all the equipment and food materials they were allowed to use (which included a very heavy pumpkin), and we required that they cook only two dishes–one savory, one sweet–with the secret ingredient.
One minute before their time began, Elena announced the secret ingredient of the night: Winter Greens! (Collard green, kale, mustard greens, etc.) And the race was on!
All four teams came up with some very creative dishes–though a couple of them were more creative than tasty. These dishes ran the gamut of mustard greens falafel (one of my personal favorites from the night); a mixed vegetables salad served on large kale leaves; and sweet “dolma” made with nuts, date syrup, and wrapped in collard leaves.
By the time our three judges were ready to make their rounds to all the teams’ tables, there was a lot of built up suspense, anticipation, and hunger! The teams were judged according to creativity, aesthetics, and, of course, taste. Once the judges had each had their tastes, all of the spectators were allowed to try the dishes as well.
In the end, though it was a close call, Team “Kayam” won first place, with Team “The Still Very Last Minute Goyim” in second; Team “Honey Jew Jew” in third, and Team “BIYA” in fourth.
We all had a great time putting on this event, and it looked like our participants had as much fun as we did!
Posted on September 28th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Senior Collections Manager Jobi Zink.
Amy, Sharon & Colin
Is there a better way to celebrate the fall – the autumnal equinox, and a dear friend’s birthday—than a (fairly) impromptu pumpkin potluck party on our patio? We gathered outside and enjoyed pumpkin hummus* [recipe below] on fresh veggies, curried pumpkin soup with a balsamic reduction, salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin risotto*, Moroccan couscous and a variety of pumpkin desserts.
The air was nearly crisp enough to warrant a jacket, but when the sun went down we lit a fire and enjoyed the warmth and glow. Even though you couldn’t see the stars in the sky from our city yard, the evening was nearly perfect.
That is until Colin said that he wanted to cut down and even out our fence posts. It’s true they do extend way past the gate top, but Eric left them that way on purpose. And if they were chopped down we couldn’t build a sukkah in the backyard. Okay, we’ve never built a sukkah in our back yard, but now I kind of want to. We can use our fence as the framework, and then we just need to rig up a roof of branches. The idea is that the sukkah is a temporary structure representing the biblical booths, and that light (and rain!) can stream in through the ceiling. Since it is a mitzvah to eat in the sukkah, we’ll have a chance to try out some more fall favorite recipes!
For inspiration for sukkah construction, I turned to the JMM photo collection.
The Lutsky family Sukkah, 1904 seems very formal with framed photographs and glass lanterns, 1994.206.1.
Chizuk Amuno Nursery School children built their sukkah out of cardboard bricks, but a good strong wind might knock it down outside, 2002.111.159.
This sukkah is the size of a gymnasium! I’d love to play basketball in a sukkah, but it may be a little too big for my rowhouse back yard, 1999.167.
While most people decorate the inside of their sukkah, I really like the painted garden on the exterior of this one.
I love the beautiful streaks of light coming through this sukkah. Plus, it looks like it was constructed the same way Fluid Movement makes their sets!
This one might require a little bit more engineering than I can manage.
The exterior house wall gives a solid, homey feel. I don’t think our white vinyl siding will have the same effect.
This style matches our back-gate, which is also made out of recycled doors! I love the idea of being eco-friendly. I bet a quick trip down to the Loading Dock (http:///www.loadingdock.org/) would net us all of the supplies we need.
Recipe for Pumpkin Hummus
1 15 oz can drained garbanzo beans
1 cup (or more) pureed pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
Or the pulp of one roasted sugar pumpkin
½ cup oil
2 TBS tahini
2 TBS lemon juice
1-2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup parsley
2 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground smoked paprika
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
Blend all of the ingredients in the food processor to the your preferred hummus consistency .
Serve with toasted pita chips or fresh vegetables
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBS oil
2 cups arboio rice
2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
6 cups vegetable stock (or more), heated
½ cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat and sweat the onions until soft.
Add the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure each kernel is coated with oil.
In a separate pot, heat the vegetable stock to a simmer. Whisk in the pumpkin puree. Maintain at a simmer.
Add the broth to the rice, 1 ladleful at a time. Stir the rice so that the broth is fully absorbed before adding another ladleful. Continue to cook the rice until it is slightly al dente and most of the broth has been absorbed.
Finish the risotto by stirring in the Parmesan cheese.
Posted on September 21st, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Assistant Director Deborah Cardin.
It’s erev Rosh Hashanah and as I arrive at my parents’ house for our family meal (and by family I mean all 30+ of our nearest and dearest) to kick off the holiday celebration, I am overwhelmed by the delicious aroma of dinner – homemade gefilte fish, brisket, turkey, and all the trimmings. It’s true that for many, it’s the traditional foods that hold center court – kreplach (check out Esther Weiner’s recent blog post for her wonderful recipe at http://?s=kreplach), matzah ball soup, gefilte fish. For me, however, it’s all about the dessert. And not just any dessert, but Grandma Hilda’s chocolate and white cake.
Grandma Hilda’s Chocolate and White Cake at the dessert table.
While I have fond memories of many of my grandmother’s meals (fried chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, and let’s not forget the iceberg salad wedge!), it is her famous cake that has lived on as a must-have at family celebrations including birthdays and holiday meals. I have shared the recipe with many friends who are always delighted by how easy it is to make and how wonderful it tastes.
Recipe for Hilda Edelman’s Chocolate and White Cake
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter*
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup milk*
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
¾ can chocolate syrup
¼ tsp. baking soda
Cream together sugar and butter, blend in eggs. In two separate bowls, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt) and liquid ingredients (milk and vanilla). Alternate adding dry and liquid ingredients to sugar mixture. Begin and end with dry ingredients. Pour 2/3 of the batter into a well-greased and lightly floured tube pan. Add chocolate syrup and baking soda to remaining batter. Spoon chocolate batter over white batter in pan. Do not mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and ten minutes.
*To make a pareve version, substitute margarine and coffee rich for butter and milk.
See how pretty it looks inside!
Best wishes to everyone for a sweet and happy new year!