There’s the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and then there’s the miracle of
The night before Succot Eve, a Tuesday, I took some things
home from the supermarket and overlooked five cucumbers in a plastic bag. They
stayed in the trunk of my car, which was parked in the street throughout the
first days of the festival, until they were discovered on Friday
Lo and behold, they were firm and fresh – as a
HERE’S A colorful garnish from Michelle DeMars, via the
Internet, that should make your guests ooh in aah-dmiration:
Whole cucumbers, washed but unpeeled
Whole carrots, peeled
cucumbers into 8-cm. lengths. Hollow out the middle section containing
the seeds. Push a carrot into the center of each cucumber piece.
cucumber into half-centimeter slices – each one will have a neat carrot
For prettier slices: Before beginning, score the cucumber skin by
scraping a fork lengthwise down the cucumber all the way around.
Succot, I took a day off work to join some friends from the Sam Orbaum Jerusalem
Scrabble Club who had gathered in Elazar to indulge their passion. It was, to my
mind, an act of bravery since they were mostly “A” players and I am in the “B2”
division, with no sign of quitting it anytime soon. I felt like a Sunday
afternoon golfer suddenly and unaccountably finding himself on the Olympic
Though I lost every game, I enjoyed them all and felt that they
hadn’t been total pushovers for my opponents.
My reward came afterwards,
in the form of dinner, served informally but with flair by our hosts, Madeline
and Aryeh Wetherhorn.
“This is my version of Russian cabbage borscht,”
said Madeline of the main course. “It has no beets – but when did that ever stop
This savory, satisfying and fragrant recipe serves 12. I think I’ll be
making it often over the winter.
Beetless cabbage borscht
A small amount
of canola oil to just cover the bottom of an 8-liter pot
2 large onions, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, finely diced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into
4 large carrots, sliced diagonally
3/4 head of a medium white cabbage,
1/2 head of a medium red cabbage, finely sliced
1 830-g. can
1 454-g. can tomato paste
1/2 kg. ground beef
1/2 kg. ground
4 generous Tbsp. each of citrus vinegar and brown sugar
1 scant tsp.
salt, or to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Saute the onions and
garlic, add the meat and saute until it loses its pinkness.
Throw in the
cabbage, stir and cover. Let the cabbage sweat for 3-4 minutes. Stir and add the
other vegetables. Stir again and add the tomatoes and tomato paste.
Add enough water to cover, then add the vinegar, sugar and
seasonings. Cover, and cook on low heat for at least an hour and a half,
“CABBAGE has been beneficially linked to reducing
risk of cancer,” writes British food maven Nigel Slater in Real Fast Food
you tried it stir-fried?
450-g. green cabbage
2 Tbsp. oil,
vegetable or peanut
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
tough stalks from the cabbage. Roll the leaves tightly, then shred them finely
with a sharp knife.
Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until
very hot, pour in the oil and the garlic. Fry, stirring constantly, for no
longer than 30 seconds.
Add the salt and the cabbage and cook, stirring
and tossing the cabbage for 3 minutes until it is wilted but still crisp, and
with a bright color.
OVERHEARD during lunch on Simhat Torah: “Eat, drink
and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.”This column is adapted from one that
first appeared in the popular ‘Short Order’ series three years ago.