Vivid on the outside, they’re crisp-white inside, and a wonderful addition to a festive tray of roast vegetables. They were just the inspiration I needed for my Asian-twist latke tradition, an annual rite which enters its 17th year (er, I started very, very young). (more…)
Happy Lunar New Year!
Where I grew up, in Malaysia and Singapore, this festival (along with Hari Raya Puasa (the Muslim Eidl), Diwali and Christmas) were open-door celebrations, with neighbors and friends dropping in and out of the celebrants’ homes to wish them well and to partake of the festive goodies. They would mostly be invited, although it would be perfectly normal also to drop in unannounced (to avoid horrified looks, this helps if you know the person 😉 ).
My late Granddad’s best friend, Uncle Guan (which was actually his first name), was Peranakan Chinese. He was a descendant of late 15th and 16th century immigrants to the Indonesian islands, who adopted some of the local customs and style of dress, and developed their own hybrid of Nyonya or Baba Chinese cuisine.
He also might have been a perfect character for an Asian version of the TV drama, Big Love (albeit a more genteel, non-violent one) .
For the longest time (okay, the past 15 years), I have made the family’s favorite cilantro-ginger-chili latkes – a Diva original – for Hanukkah and also come up with a new one each year.
This year, I take inspiration from the Chinese.
(Photo-viewing tip: To see close-ups, click on the pic, and scroll right or left with arrows)
Well, the honey cake, or lekach, is normally ready well before Rosh Hashana, which was a week ago. But it’s not possible to be Wonder Woman every minute of every day (getting into this costume alone is hard work). Luckily, it’s never too late for cake. (more…)
It’s hard to not love a holiday that mandates that one drinks four cups of wine over dinner. But, just in case you had a hankering for a cocktail over Passover, here’s a list of grain-free alcohols to work with. (Warning: Do not drink all at once, or together with the four cups of wine)
It’s time to reenact the Miracle of the Oil in the Temple again, by lighting the Hanukkah candles. And (the best part, surely), we get to eat fried food for eight days running, with impunity.
Well, thighs and hips may be impugned, but with the obligatory New Year diet round the corner, the sacrifice is small, necessary, and metabolism willing, easily reversed.
(Published on Baristanet April 15th, 2011)
What could be sweeter than having some charoset at your Seder table made by Mesiah? Not the Messiah, but Nicky Mesiah, Montclair’s own queen of the caramelized confections, who has come up with a charoset-inspired toffee.
Warning: Mushy content.
This year, like every year since the boys were 5, both sons (now 9 and 10) came home with full lists of their classmates’ names – basically a command from their teachers that they write out noncommittal, non-anonymous Valentine’s Day notes, attach the compulsory Hershey’s kisses to them, and dispatch to all in their classroom – boy, girl or the disinterested (that’d be my offspring). (more…)
But faced with the eating of latkes and donuts all week, they forget the Miracle all over again. (more…)