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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]  

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October 7, 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.

Spike’s comments are in [] [] brackets.

Shalom, from Spike the Grate and Jamie the Webmistress

May God bless us all.

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[] I offer my deeply-felt apology for not having sent this issue of our newsletter in a timely fashion. For those who do not know, Sukkot is celebrated from October 2 through October 10 this year. I failed to save this issue properly on my computer and send it, even though it had  been prepared. Mea culpa. – Spike []

FOND REMEMBRANCES OF SUKKOT PAST
Defending the traditional way of creating a sukkah of one's own
BY LINDA MOREL, Jewish Telegraphic Agency 

Caryl Ehrlich has vivid memories of the sukkah built by an Orthodox rabbi in the Miami Beach neighborhood where she was a child. 

That grid of streets is still lush with green lawns in front of pastel houses; behind them grass-covered alleys wider than trucks. Every Sukkot, the rabbi erected the ceremonial hut in the alley behind his house, diagonally across from the Ehrlich family's back door. In the spirit of the holiday, the rabbi and his wife invited their neighbors to celebrate Sukkot. 

``We were not a religious family,'' Ehrlich says, explaining that they hardly saw the rabbi all year. ``I used to look forward to this festivity every fall; it was my only connection to Judaism.'' 

A Manhattan resident for decades, Ehrlich, who teaches a behavioral approach to weight loss, recalls the palm fronds that created a lacy ceiling and the rabbi filling his small hut with oranges, grapefruits, limes, mangoes, papayas, lemons -- and etrogs, the citrus-like fruit that is used to celebrate the holiday. Their varied shapes and colors mesmerized her; tropical perfume filled the air. 

``The dangling decor wasn't just for show,'' says Ehrlich, describing large baskets filled with Florida's finest fruit among dishes on the table that the rabbi's wife had prepared from the same kind of produce gracing the sukkah's walls. 

Her description brought back Sukkot celebrations from my childhood. But since I grew up in the suburbs of New York, I was smelling and tasting entirely different crops: apples and pears, eggplants, peppers, pumpkins and parsnips. 

In contrast to our visceral memories, there are people who now decorate sukkah walls with plastic fruit and vegetables, which they recycle and use year after year. A page in a Jewish holiday cookbook I own features a photo touting ``creative Sukkah decoration in Los Angeles.'' Its walls are made from bamboo curtains stenciled with bananas, watermelons, oranges and strawberries; its ceiling supports super-sized cardboard pears and twirling mobiles of artificial fruit.

In a world where computer programs compete with real life experiences, is virtual fruit becoming the link to our ancient harvest festival? How did Jews stray so far from our agrarian roots? 

Sukkot began as a pilgrimage holiday, a time when our forbears traveled to Jerusalem carrying figs, dates, pomegranates, apricots, squash, oil, barley, wheat bread and wine. After the year's final harvest, the Israelites offered thanks for the blessing of fruit and grain and shared the earth's bounty with the poor, none of which involved plastic produce or pictures of fruit. Since Sukkot marked the end of the growing season, thousands of people were able to spend a week celebrating and living in harvesters' huts, a precursor to the modern sukkah. 

Although it takes more time and effort, hanging a farmers market worth of produce on Sukkah walls and incorporating some of the fruits and vegetables into recipes, such as the ones below, is far more rewarding than decorating the easy way, with toy food. 

Lemon chicken is a traditional Sukkot dish, probably because the etrog, a lemon flavored, divinely scented citrus the size of a grapefruit, plays a pivotal role in the holiday's rituals. The Book of Leviticus says, ``You shall take for yourselves the product of goodly trees,'' which rabbis throughout the ages have interpreted as the etrog. Along with the lulav -- branches of palm trees, willows of the brook and leafy trees, assumed to be myrtle -- the etrog is one of the four species of the earth, which represent all growing things. 

In today's push-button world, many of us have lost the connection between farming and the food on our table. Perhaps it's because we purchase shrink-wrapped produce, order groceries online or rely on restaurants to deliver dinner. We couch potatoes have become too comfortable to adorn a sukkah with food we cook and eat, to entertain friends outdoors, or simply to commune with nature. For centuries, people have read, noshed and -- on warm afternoons basked in filtered sunshine inside sukkahs -- chatted for hours under the stars within their walls. Traditionally these makeshift huts have been a place of hospitality and openness, a place to invite guests for dinner, especially those who do not have a sukkah of their own. Weather permitting, people should enjoy as many meals as possible inside sukkah walls during the eight-day holiday, all of which is more meaningful surrounded by the touch, sight and smell of real food.

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AUTUMN VEGETABLE SOUP 

3 quarts chicken broth
3 potatoes, peeled and diced into bite-sized chunks
6 carrots, 2 parsnips, 2 zucchini, cleaned & sliced into circles
6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced 
2 large onions, skinned and diced
1/2 pound string beans cleaned and cut horizontally into two or three pieces
1/2 teaspoon minced parsley and dill, fresh or dehydrated

Place all ingredients in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower temperature to medium, stirring occasionally. Simmer for one hour or until vegetables soften. Ladle into a soup terrine and serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat. Tastes better when prepared a couple of days in advance.

Yield: 8 servings

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LEMON CHICKEN

1 chicken cleaned and cut into 8 pieces
1 lemon for squeezing; plus 2 lemons for slicing
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoon dried rosemary needles
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
Optional: 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced

In a bowl, pour juice of one lemon and olive oil. Add garlic, rosemary and salt. Mix well. Coat chicken with mixture and marinate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heavily coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. 

Slice remaining 2 lemons into rounds (removing pits) and scatter on bottom of pan. Arrange  chicken pieces on top. 

Place in oven and baste every ten minutes with pan liquids. Roast for 45 minutes, or until chicken browns and juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Serve on a platter, surrounding chicken with lemon rounds. Garnish with parsley.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

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ROASTED EGGPLANT AND TOMATO

Cooking spray
4 small eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch circles
Garlic salt to taste
8 medium tomatoes, sliced into approximately 1/8 inch circles
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heavily coat a shallow ovenproof roasting pan with cooking spray.

Place eggplant circles in roasting pan. Sprinkle with garlic salt.

Cover with tomato slices. Sprinkle bread crumbs and garlic salt on top. Drizzle with oil.

Roast for 45 minutes, or until tomatoes shrivel and both vegetables soften. Serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings.

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PEAR and PLUM CRISP 

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
5 plums, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1 tablespoon white sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7 x 11-inch ovenproof dish with cooking spray.

Place pears and plums in a large bowl. Add lemon juice, spices and sugar, mixing gently.

Line baking dish with fruit.

Sprinkle topping (below) over fruit and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until casserole bubbles and topping turns crunchy.

Topping: 

1/2 cup margarine at room temperature
1-1/4 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour

Place topping ingredients in a bowl and blend with a fork until mixture becomes lumpy and pasty.

Yield: 8 servings.

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[] Our Islamic friends have a fine cuisine. I will include some items that we will enjoy preparing and serving. []

SALATIT KHODAR MESHAKEL
Mixed Fresh Vegetable Salad

This popular Arab salad is different from conventional Western salads in that all the ingredients are finely chopped and absorb the dressing and each others' flavors better. Do not prepare it too long before serving, as the ingredients will wilt. Dress it just before putting it on the table. Ingredients can vary according to taste. Serves 6. From "A Book of Middle Eastern Food" by Claudia Roden 

1 small romaine or cos lettuce or 1/2 large one 
2 small cucumbers or 1 longer one 
3 tomatoes 
1-2 red Italian onions if available, or 1 large mild onion, or 1 small 
bunch scallions 
6 radishes, thinly sliced (optional) 
4-5 T. finely chopped parsley 
1 T. finely chopped fresh dill or chervil (optional) 
2 T. finely chopped fresh mint or 1 t. dried crushed mint (optional) 

Dressing 
3 T. olive oil 
1 T. lemon juice or wine vinegar 
1 clove garlic, crushed with salt (optional) 
Salt and black pepper 

Wash the lettuce, if necessary. Peel the onion or scallions. Shred the lettuce; cut the cucumbers (peeled or unpeeled, as you wish) into small dice. Dice the tomatoes (remove the seeds and juice first), and chop the onions finely, using a sharp knife, or an Italian mezzaluna chopper if 
you have one. Put the prepared vegetables into a salad bowl and mix ightly with the radishes and herbs. 

Mix the dressing ingredients thoroughly, sprinkle over the salad, and toss well. 

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SWEET CARDAMOMED CARROTS
(Helawat al Jazr)
From "The Arabian Delights Cookbook" by Anne Marie Weiss-Armush 

1 pound carrots, peeled and finely grated 
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar 
2 cups low-fat milk 
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom 
2 tsp. grated lemon peel 
2 tbsp. butter 
2 tbsp. flour 
garnish: pine nuts, pistachios, almonds, raisins 

Steam the carrots with the sugar, milk, cardamom, and lemon peel for about 15 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Pour into a sieve, pressing firmly on the carrots to remove all the liquid. Reserve the liquid. 

Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Add the carrots, stirring to coat with the flour mixture, and toss for 3 or 4 minutes. 

Pour the cooking liquid over the carrots, mix well, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into individual serving dishes and garnish with nuts and raisins. 

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KOFTA MLEBISSA
(Batter Kofta)

1 lb. beef 
2 onions, finely chopped 
3 T. rice 
1/4 bundle finely chopped parsley 
1 T. finely chopped fresh mint 
1 t. salt 
1 t. ground black pepper 
1 t. ground cinnamon 
4 eggs 
1/2 cup flour 
1 t. baking powder 
1-1/2 cups oil for frying 

Wash the rice and add to the meat with the parsley, onion, mint, spices and salt. Mix thoroughly. Take a small piece of the mixture and roll into a ball between wet palms; place in a pan. Continue until all the mixture is used. Pour half a cup of warm water over the koftas, cover the pan and cook over low heat until the rice is soft. Remove from heat and leave aside until cool. Mix the eggs with the flour, baking powder, a pinch of salt and half a cup of warm water. Mix to a batter. Heat the oil, dip the koftas in the batter, place in hot oil and fry until golden brown. (Note: Koftas should be evenly sized and trimmed of excess batter.) Serve hot.

Recipe from "Saudi Arabia Magazine" (an official publication of the Information Office of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia), Spring 1995 

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EGYPTIAN SWEET COUSCOUS DESSERT
Among the variations of couscous this recipe from Egypt is unrivaled for the sweet-toothed palate. Serve with a cold glass of milk or a demitasse of heavy Arabic coffee. Serves 6. From "Middle Eastern Cookery" by Eva Zane 

Follow basic directions for steaming couscous, using:

1 cup couscous 
2 cups fruit juice 
2 Tbs. rose water 

After first steaming, rub well into grains: 
3 Tbs. melted sweet butter 

After second steaming combine couscous with:
4 Tbs. melted sweet butter 
1/4 cup each finely ground blanched almonds and pistachio nuts 

Mound on serving platter and sprinkle with mixture of:

1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 to 1 Tbs. cinnamon 

Surround with: 1 cup kufeta (candy-coated almonds) 

Sprinkle with: 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds if in season 

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[] Our hearts ache for the innocent citizens of Afghanistan who will be unintentionally affected by the military activities that were begun this date.[]

Shalom

SHALOM FROM SPIKE & JAMIE


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