Monthly Archives: October 2016

Taiglach or Honey Dough Balls

Taiglach or Honey Dough Balls

This year, I thought I would try to make taiglach for the first time with Raizel. 

The word “taiglach” is Yiddish for “little pieces of dough” which are cooked in honey. 

Growing up, this was a very special holiday treat that we only enjoyed on Sukkot. Taiglach are traditionally served on holidays which emphasize sweetness and joy. Some people have the custom of eating them on Purim as well.

I have very fond memories of eating taiglach in the sukkah as a child. I looked forward to them every year! 

Raizel was very excited to try this. 

I was excited that she was excited. 

Aside from Mommy time, making this also gave Raizel an opportunity to practice using her hands and develop her fine finger dexterity. 

Since my oven is still not working well, there was the added incentive that taiglach can be made on top of the stove. No oven required! So, it’s a win-win!

Dolly from koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com graciously made this recipe at my request. Unfortunately, I didn’t see it until after I made the version below. Happily, our versions are slightly different. Experiment with which one you like best.

According to Dolly, her family made them with raisins and almonds and piled the taiglach up in a mound. However, growing up, our taiglach were made in a single layer and made without raisins or nuts. Instead, they were sprinkled with coconut.

Please check out her blog and wonderful explanation on this delicious treat.

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/silver-chair-polygamy-and-mount-sinai/

Ingredients

Dough

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons oil

About 1 ¾ cups flour

1 teaspoon ginger

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla

Syrup

1 cup honey. (I think that this is 1 lbs of honey, but I only had 12 oz so I added more sugar instead.)

1 ½ cups sugar.

2 teaspoons ginger

Optional: ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons boiling water. This is critical, because otherwise the syrup will become too stiff and hard when it cools.

Optional: 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans, blanched almonds or hazelnuts

Optional: ½ cup coarsely raisins or minced candied fruit.

Optional: shredded coconut to sprinkle as desired.

Instructions:

To make the dough: Combine the eggs, vanilla (if using) and oil together until smooth. Add 1 cup of flour, baking powder and the salt. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft, workable dough. If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of cold water. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be soft, and not sticky.

Traditionally, the dough is divided into 4 and rolled into a rope until it is approximately .5 inches thick. Then the dough is cut into .5 inch pieces. Some people then tie them into loose knots and tuck the ends underneath. 

This dough, however, is very flexible. It can be cut into squares, or rolled into balls instead of twists. The pieces can even be baked or fried first for added crunch.

Since I am time challenged, I cut the dough into 36-40 pieces and then rolled them into balls. Some people like to add a few raisins inside the balls. Feel free to experiment. 

Syrup: Combine honey, sugar and spices in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.

To assemble: Drop the pieces of dough into the syrup one at a time. Reduce the heat to low, and let them rise for 2 minutes. Cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes, without stirring. Then, stir the dough pieces occasionally so that all the pieces will cook evenly. Simmer (up to 45 minutes) until golden brown and the dough sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

Add boiling water and remove from heat. Spoon onto lined cookie sheet or pan in a single layer to cool. If desired, roll in chopped nuts or sprinkle with coconut. Pour some of the honey syrup over the taiglach if you would like them to stick together.

Save the rest of the sauce for a recipe that calls for honey. I am planning on using it to make chicken.

When cool, place in a sealed container. Do not refrigerate. 

The taiglach can remain at room temperature for several weeks, but hopefully they will be gone before then.

I was only able to take a few pictures:

A few left in the saucepan.

Raizel rolling them in nuts.

All done and ready to eat.

 

Raizel and Yaffa LOVED them!

I was particularly overjoyed when Raizel said, “the only reason why these taste so good is because we davened (prayed) while we made them.”

That was the first time that she validated my beliefs that prayer and love are critical to successful cooking!

It was “Yiddishe nachas!”  For those who may not know, Yiddishe nachas is a term which refers to the inner warmth and pride one feels when one observes the transmission from one generation to the next of one’s spiritual values and traditions.

True bliss on so many levels.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Surprise! Happy Birthday!

I wanted to share this adorable story about the girls.

Yesterday was their birthday. Unbelievably, Raizel and Yaffa just turned 15 years old!

 

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However, I did not plan any celebrations. Between all our recent (and ongoing) holidays, and various illnesses, I thought I would wait until their Hebrew birthday. Only a few weeks away, I thought it would be easier to plan something special for them then.

I believe that you can never have too much joy, but I thought this was funny!

However, God clearly had other plans. He was clearly determined that the girls would have their birthday party on their secular calendar date as well.


It just so happened that we were invited out for lunch yesterday, on their actual birth date. But, I neglected to mention to our hosts that that it was also the girls’ birthday in advance. So, we were all very surprised when we got to our friends’ house and it was full of birthday balloons.

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I asked my friend, Marcie – “Who are the birthday balloons for?”  Ironically, it was the birthday of another one of the other guests, Aimee. It seems as though several other families were also invited for the meal.

It was such hashgacha pratis (Divine Providence) — on so many levels!

Aside from the obvious, there is a little history involved.

When the girls were born, Yaffa was very sick and was frequently hospitalized.

Our routine in those days was that I would spend the morning at the hospital with Yaffa. Then, I would arrange for different people to stay with Yaffa at the hospital so that I could go home and spend the afternoon with Raizel.

In the evening, after my husband came home from work, we would have dinner together.  Then, one of us would go back to the hospital to be with Yaffa, while the other would stay home with Raizel.  This way, we were able to minimize the amount of time that Yaffa was left alone in the hospital and have someone at home with Raizel too.

Aimee, the other guest, whose birthday was also being celebrated, was actually one of the women who used to stay at the hospital with Yaffa. And now, it seems as though she also has the merit of being the harbinger of the girls’ birthday party. Unbeknownst to me, they all share the same birthday!

The girls had birthday balloons, a birthday cake (actually 2 different birthday cakes) and everyone sang happy birthday to them.

God,  in His kindness, orchestrated a perfect birthday for Raizel, Yaffa and Aimee. He arranged for the girls to have a birthday party after all – with many of our dearest friends too.

Does it get any better than that???

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Tonight also begins the final days of the holiday of Sukkot. I want to wish everyone a beautiful and joyful Sukkot.

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Just for fun, in honor of the new year, I thought I would post this inspirational quote as well:

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Happy Birthday Yaffa and Raizel and Aimee!

And, a happy and joyful Sukkot to all!

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

Rosh Hashanah – Pressing the Reset Button on Life

roshhashanahshofar

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year begins tonight. It is a 2 day holiday, rich with symbolism and meaning.

On this blog, I like to highlight the Jewish holidays in order to provide a larger context for the role of food within the Jewish culture and religion.  Naturally, I am only speaking from a personal perspective, based on my own understanding. I am not an expert!

On Rosh Hashanah, we do “teshuva” for any of the mistakes that we made during the year.

The word “teshuva” which is commonly translated as “repentance” literally means “return.”

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to reset our spiritual connection to God. We identify and attempt to correct our mistakes, and reconnect and return our souls back to their original and pure connection of our Source — God.

The analogy that I like to use is the “factory reset button” on a cell phone. The function of the “factory reset button” is to return your cell phone to its original pristine condition when you first bought it. This function enables us to remove any software errors that one may have acquired over the lifetime and use of the phone. We have an opportunity to start with a clean slate.

So too with us.

On this holiday, we have an opportunity to repent and seek to repair any of our errors, misjudgments or miscalculations. Through the process of teshuva, on Rosh Hashana we return and reconnect to our inner essence which is created in God’s image. We have the opportunity to transform ourselves into better people.

Just for fun, I thought I would post this video in honor of this auspicious time of year. I had another one, but unfortunately, I do not seem to be able to upload it.😕


If anyone would like to read more of my thoughts on this holiday, I wrote something on my other blog, coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com.  Here is the link:

https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/elulfeeling-believing-knowing/

May we all be inscribed in the book of life and be granted a year filled with health, happiness and positive growth.

With blessings,

Carol & family.

rosh-hashanah