Southern & Jewish
Southern & Jewish celebrates the stories, people, and experiences – past and present – of Jewish life in the American South. Hosted by the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, posts come from educators, students, rabbis, parents, artists, and many other “visitors-to and daily-livers-of” the Southern Jewish experience. From road trips to recipes to reflections, we’ll explore a little bit of everything – well, at least all things Southern and/or Jewish. Shalom, y’all!
In October 2015, I wrote a blog post about learning to cook in my Southern and Jewish kitchen. At that time, my recipes were pretty basic (not quite “college student who only knows how to boil an egg” basic, but pretty close). Over the past couple of years, I really stuck to my goal of mastering my kitchen. Bolstered by my increasing sense of confidence and inspired by the awesome kitchen supplies we received for wedding gifts, cooking started to become a more natural practice.
Now, a little over two years after I wrote that initial blog post, I am happy to report that I cook dinner almost every night, and have a pretty impressive repertoire (if you don’t believe me, ask my husband!). However, as the High Holy Days rolled around this past autumn and I began to reflect on my last Jewish year, I realized that there was one very important type of food that I had not yet learned to make: Jewish food.
I immediately decided that I needed to remedy the situation, and I set about scouring the Internet for the highest-rated round challah to make for Rosh Hashanah dinner. I settled on a cinnamon-apple-stuffed challah recipe and went to work. I had such a good time preparing it, and loved being able to contribute to a holiday meal. When Hanukkah came, I once again searched for a great recipe and went to work frying up sufganiyot for a holiday party. I was so proud to be able to share a piece of Jewish tradition that I had made with my friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
Two close friends of mine took notice of my newfound affinity for Jewish cooking, and gifted me with the Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Joan Nathan at our annual gift exchange. Their generosity inspired me to make my secular New Year’s resolution distinctly Jewish: In 2018, I aspire to make a Jewish recipe for every holiday.
I can’t wait to further explore Jewish culinary traditions. Next up: Hamantaschen!
Anyone have a favorite recipe for Purim they want to share? There’s an amazing amount of recipes available right here on My Jewish Learning. the only question is, which one to make?! Maybe I’ll take inspiration from the recipes and come up with a Southern twist, like the recipes in Taste of Torah. You never know!