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Welcome to Spike's & Jamie's "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection Archives"!!  Here we store all the back issues of the original "Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection" and of the "Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection". These newsletters were written by Spike (Jann McCormick) and published by Jamie from 2000 until Spike's death in 2008.  Spike loved to cook and share her cooking with those she loved.  Sharing her recipes was the next best thing.

[Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipes]  [Spike’s Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection]

(¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·-> Spike’s Jewish Good Eatin’ Recipe Collection 13a<-·´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯) - A Seder for the New Year

September 10, 2001
from: Spike's and Jamie's Recipe Collection

Many of these recipes have not yet been added to the recipe web site so 
you are getting a "sneak peak" of future additions. We hope you 
enjoy these recipes!!!

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress



One of the lesser-known customs for Rosh Hashanah involves conducting a "Seder" for the New Year. The custom, Sephardic in origin, involves participants in creating puns and word-plays to express their hopes for the year to come. Each prayer begins with the formula "Yehi ratzon," or "May it be your will, God." 

The seder involves several specific foods that are considered symbolically important, either because the food itself symbolizes a blessing, or because the food's name connotes or sounds similar to words that indicate a blessing. These foods, and the accompanying blessings, include:

Leeks: The Hebrew word for leeks is "karti," which sounds similar to the word "yikartu," to cut off or destroy. We ask God, "Yehi Ratzon (May it be your will) that our enemies be cut off." Leek Fritters are a tasty way to enjoy this symbolic food.

Beets: The Hebrew word for beets, "silka," sounds similar to the word "siluk," which means "removal." We ask, therefore, "Yehi Ratzon (May it be your will) that our enemies be removed."

Fish: Fish, an ancient symbol of fertility and abundance, are present as a symbol of our wish that our merits may multiply like the fish of the sea. Some families, however, do not include fish on the table, because the Hebrew word for fish, "dag," is so similar to the word "de'aga," or worry. There is no specific "Yehi ratzon" associated with fish. 

Sheep's Head: The sheep's head symbolizes our hope that we may become "like the head, and not the tail." Traditionally, the sheep's brains were removed and served as part of the meal (Claudia Roden writes in The Book of Jewish Food that brains and other types of offal were very popular in many Sephardic communities.) While modern sensibilities may not take to the idea of displaying a sheep's head as a holiday  centerpiece, you may want to consider an alternative proposed by the Canadian Jewish News: Use a head of lettuce instead.

Gourd: The Hebrew word for gourd, "k'rah," sounds both like the word for "proclaim" and the word for "tear" or "rip." There are thus two customs for this yehi ratzon: One asks "May it be your will that our merits be proclaimed before you," and the other asks "May it be your will that the decree for our sentence be torn up." 

Fenugreek: The Hebrew word for fenugreek is "rubia," similiar to the word "yirbu," which means "increase." The yehi ratzon for fenugreek, then, is to ask "may our merits increase." Unfortunately, this item may be difficult to procure, except at an Indian or Chinese ethnic market. This obscure spice is a member of the pea family, according to The Joy of Cooking. Joy describes its aroma as "a pungent blend of celery and maple," and notes that the flavor is "bitter until cooked." 

Dates: Two separate interpretations of the blessing for this food exist. One notes that the Hebrew word for dates is "temarim," which sounds similar to the word "yitamu," or "end." We ask, therefore, that our enmity ends in the year to come.

Talmudic authorities debated whether these foods were to be eaten or simply displayed on the table. Apparently, our ancestors simply recited blessings over the foods, touching each one as it was blessed in turn. Today, however, it is customary to recite the appropriate "Yehi ratzon" blessing over each food, and to sample each in turn. 

The foods listed above, while traditional, are only a stepping-off point for formulating your own Seder for Rosh Hashanah. Like many other Jewish traditions, this one is open to improvisation and personalization. Participants in the Rosh Hashanah meal are encouraged to make up their own food-related puns--for example, some may stuff some   raisins in a stalk of celery and request a "raise in salary." If you're entertaining guests or seeking a way to get children involved in Jewish rituals, this "punning" game may become a favorite way to greet the New Year.

L'Shanah Tovah!



(Turkish Style)

This is a typical Israeli recipe for eggplant. A popular Arab proverb in the Middle East claims: "A woman who does not know how to prepare eggplant 101 different ways is not yet prepared for marriage."

1 medium eggplant 
1 onion, finely chopped 
salt and pepper to taste 
1/4 tsp. cinnamon 
chopped mint to taste 
2 tomatoes, chopped 
1/4 cup cooked rice 
3 tbs. oil 
3 tbs. white wine 
juice of 1 lemon

Cut eggplant in half, scoop out pulp, cube and fry with onion. Add tomatoes and rice, salt, pepper, cinnamon and mint. Fill in shells and steam in a covered pot adding a little oil. Add wine and lemon juice. Cool and serve.



(Chick-pea Patties)

Falafel is sold on street corners in every city and town in Israel. Some call it the "Israeli hamburger." Its popularity can be attributed in no small part to the Yemenite Jews who have brought a particularly tasty version onto the culinary scene. Students living on a meager budget consume full-portion falafels in whole pitas on the sidewalks as their 
noon "dinner."

1 lb. canned chick-peas (drained) 
1 large onion, chopped 
2 tbs. finely chopped parsley 
1 egg 
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs or fine bulgur (crushed wheat) 
1 tsp. ground coriander or cumin 
1 tsp. dried hot peppers 
1 tsp. garlic powder 
vegetable oil (for frying)

Combine chick-peas with onion. Add parsley, lightly beaten egg and spices. Mix in blender. Add breadcrumbs until mixture forms a small ball without sticking to your hands. Form chick-pea mixture into small balls about the size of a quarter (one inch in diameter). Flatten patties slightly and fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain falafel balls on paper towels. Serve individually with toothpicks as an hors d'oeuvre or as a sandwich filling with chopped tomato, cucumber, radish, lettuce, onion, hummus and/or tehina inside pita bread. Makes about 24 falafel balls.



This is a Jewish Sephardic dish which is quite similar to the Turkish "burak." Burekas can be prepared with various types of dough: strudel dough (thin leaves), rising dough, or with types of prepared dough found in the market. This is a dish served on festive occasions, but also widely sold on Israeli street corners. To be tasty, it must be served 
hot and fresh.


1/2 lb. margarine 
1 tsp. salt 
3 cups self-rising flour 
warm water


1/2 cup cheese (feta) 
1 cup cooked spinach 
3 egg yolks


1 egg yolk 
4 cups sesame seeds

Dough: Melt the margarine and mix with flour and salt. Add warm water until able to roll dough. Roll it, cut a leaf, and cut circles with a cup.

Stuffing: Mix all the ingredients. Put one teaspoon of stuffing on each dough circle. Fold in half. On top, spread yolk and sprinkle sesame seeds. Place on a well-greased cookie tray and bake at 350 deg F (180 deg C) until golden (approx. 15-20 min.). Serve hot.



This is the well-known and now universal soup of the "Yiddishe mama" as it was served in east European Jewish homes. Former Prime Minister of Israel Golda Meir was known to cook a fine-tasting chicken soup for both family and VIPs whenever they came to call. Chicken soup is reputed to cure the sick but is equally recommended to the healthy.

1 soup chicken 
2 cubes chicken bouillon 
3 1/2 quarts water 
2 onions 
2 sprigs dill 
1 tbs. salt 
2 carrots 
3 celery stalks 
1 parsley root 
3 sprigs parsley 
1 tsp. lemon pepper salt

Clean chicken thoroughly. Combine in a deep saucepan with water, onions, and bouillon. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for 1 hour. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook over low heat 1/2 hour longer, or until chicken is tender. Remove chicken and strain soup. Taste and correct seasonings. Makes about 2 to 2-1/2 quarts of soup. Use the chicken in other dishes or serve with the soup.



This is a Romanian dish which is also featured in Middle Eastern menus. Israeli green peppers are known for their sweetness.

4 large green peppers 
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
2 tbs. lemon juice 
2 garlic cloves, minced 
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 deg F (210 deg C). Place whole peppers on a flat baking tray and roast, turning often, until skin is soft. Remove from oven and peel. Remove seeds and cut peppers into strips. In a non-metal dish, mix oil, lemon juice and garlic. Stir in pepper strips, season with salt and pepper, and chill.



In Israel, all young men and women are required to enlist for military service at the age of 18. The soldiers, who manage to get home only once every several weeks, enjoy getting parcels with sweet things from home; and mothers are very efficient in keeping them well-supplied with cakes. Derived from central Europe, the popular kichlach are to be found in many of the packages destined for young soldiers. No adequate substitute has so far been found for the homemade product. The word kichlach is Yiddish for cookies.

3 eggs 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 tbs. sugar 
1 cup sifted flour 
1/4 tsp. salt 
4 tbs. poppy seeds (optional)

Beat eggs until light, then beat in oil, sugar, flour and salt. Beat until very smooth. Stir in poppy seeds, if you desire. Drop by the teaspoon onto a greased baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between each (they spread and puff while baking). Bake at 325 deg F (170 deg C) for 15 minutes or until browned on the edges. Makes approximately 36 cookies.

[] I think you could use sesame seeds instead of poppy seeds if you like. []



There is nothing like this drink to quench the thirst in Israel's hot climate. During the summer months (June through September) people look for ways to overcome the effects of the heat. The natural mint leaves which many Israelis grow at home are favored as a cooling addition to tea and vegetable salads.

8 tsp. sugar 
2 tsp. mint leaves 
4 shakes lemon salt 
5 cups boiling water 
4 tea bags

In a teapot or carafe put sugar, tea bags, mint leaves, and lemon salt. Add boiling water, cover and let steep.

[] Mint is easy to grow, and many benefits can be derived from it. If you plant it among your roses – or any other plants to which aphids are attracted, the aphids

disappear, along with the ants that arrive to eat the aphids secretions. Further, Mint Jelly is a nice thing to have on hand to serve when you have lamb, or take a lovely bath (just put several bruised mint leaves in your bathwater).[]



2 medium onions, peeled and grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 kilo lean lamb, minced very finely (can substitute beef)
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. pine nuts (or shelled roasted sunflower seeds)
1 1/2 Tbsp. each margarine and olive oil, melted together
chopped parsley and lemon slices for garnish

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. (350 F.) In a mixing bowl combine the onions, egg and lamb. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Knead the mixture vigorously by hand or in a food processor, making sure that it is very soft and pasty.

Divide the mixture into six equal portions and flatten each on a board into a rectangular shape. About 1 cm. from the edges of the longer sides of each rectangle place a row of pine nuts and then roll each rectangle into a fat sausage shape, starting from the edge lined with pine nuts.

Arrange the six rolls in an ovenproof dish just large enough to hold all of them side by side. Brush the rolls with the melted margarine and oil mixture, sprinkle with about 3 Tbsp. of water and bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or longer, depending on the thickness of the rolls. Transfer the meat rolls to a preheated serving dish, garnish with 
chopped parsley and lemon slices and serve hot, accompanied by rice or sautéed potatoes.

[] When I first spotted this recipe, it had a typing error. It said to set the oven for 1800 Celsius. I looked at my translating page and it said it was 3,720 degrees Fahrenheit. ! It occurred to me that the extra zero may have been an attempt to type the small superscript “o” used for “degrees” but failed. Either that, or the writer thought we should forge our own baking pans and must melt some aluminum or titanium or something before actually cooking in them. []


[] This gives you an assortment of things to serve during the high holidays. []

L’Shanah Tovah


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