What we ate by
(14 Stories)

Prompted By What We Ate

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I remember sugary cereals and rice crispies cereal and the desert we made with soft marshmallow mixed with rice crispies then lightly baked.  We ate Blintzes on special holidays.  Sometimes they were filled with ground meat and spices and sometimes they were filled with farmers cheese.  My grandmother made the very best ones.   We often ate the cheese filled blintzes with homemade applesauce and sour cream. My family never made any of the other flavors that you can buy these days and the taste was so much better than the frozen ones.

"On Purim we ate triangular pastries."

On Hanukah we had latkes which are potato pancakes made out of grated potatoes with onions.  According to the recipe my cousin gave me, one drained as much of the potato liquid off as possible while saving the starch and adding it back in with an egg or two .   Then oil was poured into a cast iron pan heated up and the pancakes were cooked as you might cook any other pancakes.

On Purim we ate triangular pastries stuffed with either a poppy seed filling or one of prunes.  Although some might groan at the thought of prunes, they were especially delicious.   They were triangular because the nemesis of the Jews, (Haman) wore a triangular hat and it seems to be the case that since he was destroyed, instead of  Esther and her uncle and the entire Jewish community.  Almost every  Jewish holiday is celebrated with special food.    Haman died and we ate pastries and were given noisemakers to drown out Haman’s name every time it was mentioned as the story was either acted out or read at the party for the children, every year.

All of this food and a very long list of foods from every Jewish holiday except Yom Kippur, has special foods associated with and sometimes rituals with how and when they are eaten.  Yom Kippur is the day of private prayers, no food (24 hour fast unless you are sick or a young child) and no water or liquid for the period of the day.  You are supposed to be asking for forgiveness for the wrongs you have committed in the past year and to be written into the book of life for the next year.

Profile photo of rosie rosie
born, lived, cried, appreciated, lost, found, lived, laughed, flew in my dreams,
taught others to fly in their dreams, became a telescope reflecting the stars,
dove to the depths of despair ,recovered and walked along the beach as the water escaped from the sea and erased my footprints.

Tags: food and holidays
Characterizations: been there, funny


  1. John Zussman says:

    I love this story! Thanks for sharing these memories. The little details make the story, like the prune pastries (hamantashen), which were my favorite too. Your story reminds me of the old adage that every Jewish holiday is the same: “They tried to kill us. We won. Let’s eat.”

  2. Constance says:

    Sounds so delicious. You can’t even buy these things in stores. Maybe I could make friends with someone with a mom or grandma who still cooks.

    • rosie says:

      There are cookbooks or if you have some Jewish friends that know how to cook these foods, most will gladly share their recipes. Which are you interested in? Blintzes are basically like a crepe with farmers cheese and a little flavoring. You cook the blintze (mainly egg and a little flour and salt) like you would a crepe and then put a spoonful of cheese in the center and fold them up like a little box. Make as many as you want. Set them out for a while to settle if you want or cook them until browned slightly, turn them over and slather them with butter or just eat them plain or with sour cream which was a delight of my life when I was too young to worry about heart disease and some of the other end of life treats we hear about.

      I ought to look up Passover foods in detail, each one is eaten or drunk during a particular time during the evening and for a particular reason and the food is fabulous. Much of my family came from Latvia or Kiev and so some of the foods tended to have a Russian slant. There was borsht (beet soup) with sour cream and many others.

  3. Loved the window on your family and culture- how food is symbolic, even when we don’t know the meaning! Sweet story!

  4. Constance says:

    Haman, boooooo. I eat your hat. So there.

    Definitely the poppy seed and the prune filled pastries. Looking up recipes, yes, er well, I will definitely put it on my list of things to do when I get some free time. lol

  5. rosie says:

    Constance you are so funny. Thanks for the comment. That is really funny!

  6. rosie says:

    January thanks for reading the story. I am glad that you enjoyed it. I do miss those days sometimes, as I rarely observe the ways of my parents and grandparents. It brings back memories of a certain innocence that we lose as we grow older. Rituals can bring us together if they are uplifting but are so destructive if they result in acrimony.

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