17 April, 2009

Matzah without the crunch

Filed under: Food,Halakha by Joel @ 1:20 pm, 17 April 2009.

I want fresh, soft matzah served daily in Pesach! Why do the Yemenites get all the fun?

It is clear that biblical matzah isn’t in fact referring to our crisp (if sealed i the factory), indigestible, bubbly sheets:

5 September, 2007

Experiment: toffee apples for a sweet new year

Filed under: Food by Joel @ 12:18 am, 5 September 2007.


Toffee apple general pic While considering something exciting instead of the usual apples-dipped-in-honey to celebrate Rosh Hashana on campus, I suggested the idea of toffee apples. But full apples would be too expensive to hand out to passerby students, and too much effort to make. So I set out to find out if I could toffee-coat sliced apples. The web had nothing, as far as I could Google. I would need to conduct an experiment…


To determine if toffee apples can be made with apple slices.


13 May, 2007

Kosher in Paris

Filed under: Europe,Food by Joel @ 5:24 pm, 13 May 2007.

It may surprise some to know that Paris has more than twice as many kosher restaurants than Manhattan (or Brooklyn or Long Island for that matter; according to, at least), despite having many less Jews in the neighbourhood. The French are known for their good food and their appetites for good food, so it’s not entirely surprising. But it also comes at French prices, so I haven’t had the opportunity to sample too much French kosher cuisine (the 4-Euro falafel wasn’t bad, though). Of course, many make the same mistake as with kosher restaurants around the world and are afflicted by not offering the quality of food and service expected from non-kosher equivalents. (more…)

13 March, 2007

I still call Australia home

Filed under: Food,Travels by Joel @ 2:05 am, 13 March 2007.

a Sunday Vegemite lunch

(… even if I don’t know how to spread butter on my vegemite sandwich without ripping the bread to pieces…)

28 February, 2007

Poppy pockets

Filed under: Art,Food,Hebrew,Judaism,Language by Joel @ 10:05 am, 28 February 2007.

Hamentaschen Part of proper Purim partying is the preparation and packaging (as presents) of triangular pocket pastries of poppy seeds or other pleasant puréed produce (jams; marmalades; honey and walnuts). You take a circle of cookie dough, drop a dollop of something sweet in the centre and fold in three sides to make this popular Purim delicacy. There are plenty of recipes available if you need more detail (but mum’s are the best).

As the Yiddish name “Hamentaschen” (hamentashen, hamantaschen, hamantashen, homentaschen, homentashen, hamentash, hamantasch, etc…) suggests, these are an exclusive tradition of European Ashkenazi Jewry, and yet they have been borrowed into Israeli (and thus international Jewish) culture as “אוזני המן” (Oznei Haman, “Haman’s ears”). It might seem predictable enough for something named after the infamous Book of Esther character Haman to become part of the Purim tradition, but it’s not quite so simple… (more…)

6 July, 2006


Filed under: Family,Food,General by Joel @ 9:26 pm, 6 July 2006.

Tanya's cheesecakeCheesecake is a regular feature of my birthday celebrations, which happen to coincide annually with Shavuot. I’m not generally a big fan of cheese, but when it comes to cheesecakes, I can get quite picky. My mum’s recipe — secretly shared with her mother and no other — makes the best birthday cake in town. Fluffy and lemony, its delicate surface adorns a crumbly shortbread base.

Some years ago, I struck up an argument with Tanya as to whose cheesecake recipe was better. With an ego that’s probably too big for my own good, I didn’t dare back down from my position.

Finally, some six years later, the Nothman jury is out after Tanya appeared at my place with a full-size yellow beast, nicely browned, with only one crack down the cheesy centre (we weren’t judging on style). (more…)

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