Roasted Whole Grain Buckwheat, Bow Tie Pasta,
Caramelized Yellow Onion, Sautéed Mushrooms, Parsley
Irving and Fanny Hirsch
The holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur begins in a few hours, at sunset. Last night we made Kasha Varnishkes. It always brings back memories of Nana and Auntie Edythe. This year my version of Kasha Varnishkes (also called Kasha & Bows) is heart healthy, high in fiber, and includes wild mushrooms. Auntie Edythe would prepare hers with lots of kasha in proportion to the bows. My recipe is more like a pasta dish with buckwheat, mushrooms and onion.
My Nana was born in Kiev, Russia 1894. The family fled to Canada to escape the pogroms when she was a young girl. Her name was Vitte but she took her sister’s name, Fanny, after Fanny was killed in a machine accident. She met my Papa (paternal grandfather) when they were teenagers and their families were living in the same apartment complex in Montreal. His name was Yitzcok when he was born in Romania 1891 but changed it to Isadore upon arrival in Canada when he was 13 years old. He celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the boat.
Fanny and Isadore married then made their way to America and settled in Chicago where Papa took the name Irving, and they raised their children, Edythe (back, center right in photo) and Leonard (my father, far left in photo). Sitting next to Aunt Edythe is her husband, my Uncle Sydney, and his mother, Rose. On the other side is my Aunt Gloria and Uncle Mickey (Papa’s youngest brother).
Continue reading “Yom Kippur & Kasha Varnishkes”
Kasha & Bows
One cup of kasha (granulated roasted whole grain buckwheat) is toasted in a dry non-stick pan for a few minutes, then cooled. A beaten egg is added, stir to coat all the grains. Cook briefly over medium heat until the egg has dried. Add 2 c. seasoned hot chicken stock plus 1 T. vegetable oil, stir, cover and cook on low heat until the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile sauté a chopped yellow onion in 2 T. vegetable oil, or in schmaltz (rendered chicken fat), as my Aunt Edythe did. When the onion is nice and browned, toss with al dente bowtie pasta and then add the kasha. This is usually served as a side dish but along with a salad, makes a tasty weeknight meal as well.
Yesterday was the anniversary of my father’s passing, 38 years ago. I always light a Yahrzeit candle in his memory on this day, say a personal prayer, and spend a few moments “in conversation” with my Dad.
This year I made Kasha Varnishkes, like my Aunt Edythe (his sister) used to make and served it on my parents’ old china, Franciscan Apple.
Also known as Kasha & Bows, this is a traditional Russian Jewish dish, one no doubt taught to my Aunt by my Nana, who was from Kiev.
I find the annual act of lighting the Yahrzeit candle on this anniversary very comforting, and along with the cooking of traditional Jewish foods, it helps to keep the memory of my Dad, Aunt, Nana and Papa alive.
Now, Passover is just around the corner, starting at sundown on April 8. And like last year,
I am excited to host a Round-up of Passover Photos.
If you are participating in a Seder this year, I hope you will join in. Please send me a photo of your Seder plate, Passover dish(es), or your Passover table. If you would like to use my Passover Round-up badge in your blog post, please feel free. There are no rules to take part, just email your photo to tastewiththeeyes AT cox DOT net, and tell me a little about you and your Seder photo. I am hoping that those readers without a blog will participate as well. Let’s share! I will post the round-up after the eighth day of Passover. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Pesach.