In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 5, 2007 / 23 Elul, 5767

An Old Country Rosh Hashanah feast

By Ethel G. Hofman

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every German and Austrian family has an Oma — the grandmother who brought recipes and customs from the Old Country and dispensed it all with a generous amount of love and nostalgia.

The Hofman family had an Oma; a warm, practical and stoic lady who really never mastered English and yet was able to communicate with me, a young Scottish newly wed. In her sensible, low-heeled, laced up shoes, she walked to the shops, then came back to her tiny kitchen where she cooked delicious meals — briskets, salads, cakes and cookies, all it seemed with little effort. Sadly, recipes were never written down — it was a "bissel" of this and a handful of that and although I never took the time to watch and measure as she cooked, I've been able to re-create some of her dishes. But back then, we just ate and enjoyed.

So I was delighted to see a review copy of Doris Schechter's new book "At Oma's Table" Home Hardcover, $23.95. Besides more than 100 recipes, the story spans four generations, three countries and the shared meals that held the family together as they fled Vienna. From Vienna, to Italy and finally to the United States — a journey that many first generation American Jews can identity with.. In Italy, where they lived from 1939 — 1944 they were "free prisoners". Doris notes "this was an oxymoron meaning that we were allowed to walk around freely, though each morning my father had to report to the mayor of Guardiagrele, the little town where we lived".

She fell in love with Italian food and culture, learned Italian and made close friends returning frequently to a country of happy memories in the midst of war torn Europe. The Blumenkranz family (Ms. Schechter's maiden name) were among the fortunate. In 1944, Doris and her parents were among the one thousand refugees invited to the United States by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They arrived in New York on August 3, the same day that Anne Frank was betrayed in Amsterdam. In detail, Ms. Schechter tells how the family adapted to a new country with a completely different culture and how, when her father died suddenly of spinal meningitis, the women in the family were supportive and strong — food instilling comfort and identity.

Besides growing up in an atmosphere where the best natural ingredients were simply cooked so that the resulting dish was a mouthwatering, aromatic blend, Ms. Schechter is the owner of My Most Favorite Food, a catering company with a bakery, restaurant and cafe located on 45th Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway in the heart of the Theater District. She says that her cooking differs from her Oma's in the details. For example, she tends to use lots of fresh herbs and she uses extra virgin olive oil instead of flavorless vegetable oil. But she adds "I share Oma's criteria when it comes to food preparation."

The starred recipes below are from A Rosh Hashanah Luncheon included in At Oma's Table. The other recipes are remembered from the late "Oma" Hofman.


Red and Golden Beet Salad with Scallion Dressing*

Veal Roast with Roasted Fresh Vegetables *
Brown Rice with Mushrooms*
Marinated White Asparagus Spears

Chocolate "Cream"
Cinnamon Scented Apple and Raisins


Serves 8

  • 3 medium golden beets, trimmed of greens
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 3 medium red beets, trimmed of greens
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 large or 6 small heads endive

Cook the beets: Cook gold and red beets in separate saucepans. Bring 2 large pans with enough water to cover the beets to a boil over medium high heat. Add the golden beets to one pan and the red beets to the other. Simmer 30 — 40 minutes or until fork tender. Drain, cool and peel. Do not combine the beets or the red beet juice will bleed into the golden beets. Slice the golden beets thinly and place in a medium bowl. Slice the red beets thinly and place in a separate bowl. Divide the oil and vinegar evenly between them. Toss gently and let stand at room temperature to develop flavors while you prepare the dressing.

For the dressing: In a blender or food processor combine all the ingredients except the oil. Blend until almost smooth. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream and process until totally combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. To assemble: Cut the stem ends off the endive and remove the leaves, one by one.

Arrange the leaves, fanning out from center, on a wide, shallow serving platter with sides. Spoon the sliced beets decoratively in the center. Drizzle with some of the dressing. Pour the remaining dressing into a pitcher and pass with the salad.

Chef's note: Any leftover dressing may be used to toss with cooked vegetables. Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 320 protein — 1g carbohydrates — 8g fat — 33g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 248mg


Serves 8-10

Chef's note: No garlic oil? Add 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic to vegetable oil

  • 5 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 5-pound rack of veal, filleted and tied with kitchen string
  • 1/4 cup garlic infused oil
  • 2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, with leaves, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Preheat the oven to 375F

In a small bowl, combine the chopped herbs with a scant tablespoon salt and 5 or 6 grindings of pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the veal , then press it on with your hands.

Rub the garlic oil all over the roast. Transfer to a medium roasting pan with low sides and grind more pepper over.

Place the vegetables in the pan around the roast, then pour the broth over.

Roast the veal on the middle rack of the oven for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to ensure perfect doneness; 160 — 165F for rare, a minimum of 170F for medium, and 180F for well done.

Remove the roast to a platter and tent it closely with foil to keep warm. Return the pan of vegetables to the oven and roast about 30 minutes longer or until the broth has cooked off and the vegetables have turned a deep, rich brown and the onions are carmelized around the edges.

To serve: remove the strings from the roast. Slice into even pieces, arranging on the platter. Cut the racks where the meat was tied into individual ribs and arrange them on the platter as tasty morsels.

Arrange the vegetables alongside and serve.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 452 protein — 59g carbohydrates — 10g fat — 18g cholesterol — 236mg sodium — 305mg


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Chef's note: Although the original recipe calls for butter, I've substituted margarine to make this a pareve dish

  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small thyme sprig

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a flameproof 2 1/2 quart casserole, heat the margarine and oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring until the onion is translucent and mushrooms are soft, 8- 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until completely coated, about 2 minutes. Add the water, bay leaf and thyme and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer the casserole to the preheated oven. Bake for 35 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Before serving, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig. Fluff the rice with a fork.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 116 protein — 2g carbohydrates — 18g fat — 4g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 19mg


Serves 8

Canned white asparagus spears were a luxury item in Eastern European homes. Marinated, these were the predictable vegetable almost always served to dinner guests, a dish carried over from the Old Country

  • 3 (15-ounce) cans white asparagus spears, drained
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 small shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped parsley
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Place the asparagus in a serving dish. Set aside

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and peanut oil. Stir in the shallots and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour evenly over the asparagus. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 112 protein — 2g carbohydrates — 3g fat — 10g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 468mg


Serves 8

Note: this recipe contains partially cooked egg yolks

  • 6 ounces pareve semisweet chocolate, at room temperature, coarsely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons sweet red concord grape kosher wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey, warmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups non-dairy whipped topping
  • Candied violets or mint leaves (optional)

Place the chocolate and wine in a medium microsafe bowl. Melt in the microwave for 1 minute at Medium. Stir. Chocolate should be silky smooth. If not, microwave for 30 seconds longer at Medium or until chocolate is completely softened and able to be stirred to a smooth mixture. Cool slightly. Whisk in the honey, orange extract, then the egg yolks, one at a time, until completely blended. Return to microwave and cook at Medium for 30 seconds. Mixture will be beginning to thicken. Whisk until smooth. Cool. Fold in the non-dairy whipped topping until no white streaks remain. Chill.

Spoon into small dessert dishes. Before serving, garnish with candied violets and mint sprigs (optional).

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 243 protein — 3g carbohydrates — 24g fat — 14g cholesterol — 106mg sodium — 48mg


Serves 8

A speedy rendition of Oma's cinnamon scented apples which were baked in the oven for an hour or so

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, cored
  • 2 Gala or Braeburn apples, cored
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • Scant 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

Cut the apples into 1/4-inch thick wedges ( no need to peel). Set aside. In a large, deep skillet, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, lemon juice and raisins. Stir well. Add the apples. Stir, partially cover, and cook over medium high heat until tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir often. Serve warm.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 153 protein — 0g carbohydrates — 31g fat — 4g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 54mg.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Ethel G. Hofman is the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, whose members include the likes of Julia Child. She is the author, most recently, of "Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home: More Than 350 Delectable Recipes". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

To comment, please click here.

© 2007, Ethel G. Hofman