This is your grandmother’s cooking, homestyle Jewish food that has been served for generations. Bubbe, the grandmother of Avrom Honig, began a new career at eighty, when her grandson Avrom asked her to let him make a video of her cooking for a demo to help him find a media job. From a YouTube video, an online cooking show was born.
Practical and wholesome, Feed Me Bubbe is Jewish Cooking 101 with a supportive and experienced teacher who laces her lessons with personal anecdotes, advice, and a Yiddish word a day. Chopped herring, brisket, chicken fricassee, stuffed cabbage, matzo brei, a variety of blintzes, kasha varnishkes, potato knishes — for everyone who craves the food of his or her grandmother, Feed Me Bubbe serves it up clearly and concisely. The chapter on baking is particularly attractive, with easy-to-bake home cakes and cookies, highlighted by Bubbe’s signature Jelly Jammies.
But Bubbe is open to innovation, substituting tofu and low-fat ingredients to reduce cholesterol in classic dishes, enclosing kreplach in wonton wrappers, and embracing new flavors like honey mustard for baking salmon and lavash for Lox and Cream Cheese Rollups. Like most skilled everyday cooks Bubbe uses ready-made ingredients judiciously — bouillon cubes if necessary to bolster chicken soup, packaged puff pastry, ketchup — to save time without sacrificing flavor. All the recipes are kosher, with symbols indicating whether they’re meat, dairy, pareve, or for Passover.
To round out her book, Bubbe has a short list of her favorite Yiddish songs, which she suggests listening to while cooking; menus for the holidays and for everyday; a glossary of basic cooking words; and formulas for metric conversion. Although Bubbe doesn’t divulge her name or address, she does give a phone number and e‑mail address to which readers can address questions. Proudly old-fashioned, Feed Me Bubbe is a lively and relevant guide for the homestyle cook. Index, photographs.
Recipe: Jelly Jammies
Makes 16 servingsThese days, everyone has fancy kitchen equipment like miniature food processors and spice grinders. But when I need to chop nuts, like I do for this recipe, I just put them in a plastic sandwich baggie and roll a soup can across them. My Jelly Jammies have become so famous I have to keep a continuous supply in my freezer for guests. Fortunately, they couldn’t be easier to prepare. I like them best made with strawberry jam, but feel free to use your favorite. These make a perfect afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of coffee or tea. Here is a tip: I hate washing pans! If you do too, try lining yours with nonstick aluminum foil. When your Jelly Jammies are done, you can just throw the foil away — no cleanup required!
¾ cup strawberry jam
1 medium tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled and coarsely grated2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest4 teaspoons chopped walnuts1/8 teaspoon cinnamon2 tablespoons golden raisins1½ cups all-purpose flour½ teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon baking powder4 ounces (1 stick) pareve margarine, softened½ cup granulated sugar1 large egg1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 9‑inch baking pan with nonstick spray or line the bottom and sides of the pan with nonstick aluminum foil.
In a medium bowl, stir the strawberry jam, apple, lemon juice, lemon zest, walnuts, cinnamon, and raisins until combined. Set it aside. In another medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
In a large bowl, beat the margarine and the sugar with an electric mixer until they are nice and light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat, scarping the sides as you go, until it is well mixed and forms a dough.
Spread two-thirds of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam mixture over the dough. Using your hands, gather tablespoon-size pieces of the remaining dough and flatten them into little disks. Place the dough pieces over the jam filling. (They won’t cover the filling entirely, but don’t worry, it’s supposed to be that way. The dough will spread.). Bake the Jelly Jamies for about 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the dough is golden brown.Cut them into 16 squares while still warm. They are hard to cut when completely cool.
Note: This recipe easily can be doubled. Just use a 13 x 9‑inch baking dish and bake 25 – 30 minutes.
Recipe reprinted with permission from FEED ME BUBBE © 2011 by Chalutz Productions, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.