Eat, eat, you’re too skinny.
I have to say that I was not raised by what you might consider a traditional Jewish grandmother. While I was lucky to have both of my grandmothers until quite recently, and they were both Jewish, neither really fit completely into the Jewish grandmother stereotype. In fact, both sides of my family emigrated from Europe fairly early (for Eastern European Jews, at least), largely in the late 1800s. So all four of my grandparents and a number of my great grandparents were actually born in America. There was little Yiddish spoken in their households and you were as likely to be served Caponata as Kugel. We certainly had some family recipes, largely trotted out for holidays, but it wasn’t everyday fare.
(My husbands grandparents, on the other hand, were definitely old country and if his grandmother cooked it was generally goulash, stuffed cabbage, chicken soup, and other typical Jewish fare. Alas, I think she never wrote them down. She did ply me with them at every opportunity.)
I may not have been raised on Jewish food in the same way as some American Jews, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a big part of my life. There were weekly Shabbat luncheons. There were Yom Kippur break-fasts and Passover seders, at home and at synagogue. There were trips to the deli for decadent peanut butter and jelly and new pickles. There were bagels and black-and-white cookies from the bakery. There was fresh-baked challah every week at home. We kept kosher at home; things like bacon or cheeseburgers or shrimp cocktail were foreign to me. There was no meat on my pizza, no sour cream with my steak and potatoes. I grew up with a knowledge and understanding of traditional Jewish eating. And I would NEVER eat pastrami on white with mayo.
So I’m pleased to introduce this year’s Vegan Mofo theme:
A month of Jewish vegan food! Since Vegan Mofo tends to fall during the High Holidays, it made good sense. And you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it. With recipes from cream cheese to smoked “salmon”, there’s something for everyone to love. I hope you are as excited about this as I am!
(For those not in the know, Vo Den is Yiddish for “what did you expect?” or “what else?”.)