The making of a culinary Jew

30 Sep

I grew up going to Sunday school and had my Bat Mitzvah at 13–like any good Jewish girl. But over the years, I felt myself drawn much more to the cultural aspects of Judaism than to the religious ones. And so I started spending fewer hours at shul, and focused more on celebrating the holidays with friends and family. I had become a cultural Jew.

Years later, I’m still very much a cultural Jew–though I now prefer the term culinary Jew.

Because let’s be real, Jewish culture is very much about food and wine.

So today, on this second day of Rosh Hashanah, I’m here at home surrounded my dirty pots and pans with flour dusting my counters and clothes. On the menu, my grandmother’s chocolate roll and apple cake, round challah, kugel and brisket.

Round challot

It’s turning into a busy day, but it’s worth it–because it means that I’ll get to celebrate the Jewish New Year with food, friends and wine.

  • I use this challah recipe, shaping it into round braids (to signify a smooth New Year);
  • You can find my kugel recipe here. I use low-fat sour cream and cottage cheese to make it a bit healthier;
  • I usually use my aunt’s brisket recipe with onion dip mix and BBQ sauce, but tried this one for the holidays and really liked the garlicky flavor;
  • I’ll post my apple cake and chocolate roll recipes on the blog. I’m actually attempting to make the apple cake gluten free this year so that my friend with Celiacs can enjoy it too!
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