Thursday, 29 December 2011

Delicious Leek Fritters

The thing I love about cooking is trying out new recipes. When I was flicking through my recipe book and saw these Leek Fritters I just had to give them a try out. They are really simple to make and even the kids loved them - which is always a bonus!

These crispy fried morsels feature prominently in the Sephardi kitchen. Legend has it that these were what the fleeing Israelites were missing and moaning for when they were in the desert. 

They are best served at room temperature with a good squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of salt.


4 large leeks thickly sliced
1/2 - 3/4 cup coarse matzo meal
2 eggs lightly beaten
large pinch of dried basil
pinch nutmeg
oil for frying
salt & pepper to season
lemon wedges to serve


1. Cook leeks in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender and bright green, drain and leave to cool.

 2. Chop leek roughly, put in bowl and combne with matzo meal, eggs, basil, nutmeg and seasoning.

3. Shallow fry, carefully adding spoonfuls of mixture to frying pan of hot oil, Cook until golden brown on both sides, drain on kitchen paper.

4. Serve with lemon wedges.

.... Just another day ....

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Pig’s Head Hung In Tree At Jewish Appartments In Sydney

This just disgusts me, and the response from the local police even more so. It hasn't made it as 'important' news in any of the major daily Sydney newspapers such as Sydney Morning Herald or The Daily Telegraph - but 'more important news' such as Aussie ex-model Elle McPhearson holidaying in Byron Bay does? Hmmm...priorities? Thankfully J-Wire is on the ball and reported the following article:

A pig’s head, a traditional Eastern European sign of anti-Semitism, has been found in a tree outside a small exclusive block of flats in the Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill.

Of the five residents in the block, two are Jewish and a third Jewish-born. One of the owners spotted the head tied to the branch of the tree as she exited the block on the weekend.

Calls to the police and the State Emergency Services failed to get a response with replies stating that it was not in their domain.

The resident, who declined to be named, told J-Wire: “I also complained to Woollahara Council. In the meantime, a friend cut it down and the Council arrived, even though it was Crhistmas Day, to take it away”.

A spokesperson for the Community Security Group told J-Wire: “It was no doubt a lack of education which prompted Rose Bay Police Station’s response and we will act on this. This is not first time a pig’s head has been placed outside buildings with Jewish connections. Fortunately, it is a very rare occurrence.”

The resident told J-Wire she was unaware of any possible reason the head was placed in the tree.

Peter Wertheim, executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry, told J-Wire: “Despite the general goodwill that prevails at this time of the year, Christmas and Easter are also occasions when a handful of nutters come out of the woodwork to give vent to their prejudices. They are invariably too cowardly to openly claim responsibility for this sort of a stunt. The community can have every confidence that the CSG is handling the matter appropriately.”

.... Just another day ....

Monday, 26 December 2011

Our Own Little Hanukkah Miracle

I've been contemplating whether or not to share the news we received on the first day of Hanukkah. Most people would wait until a bit further down the track, but I figure, why not share the good news - it's kind of our own little Hanukkah miracle! Such a blessing should be shared! Mr Bagel and I discovered that we are expecting our 6th baby. It's early days yet, I'm around 5-6 weeks and due toward the end of August 2012. I'm hoping everything will be ok and we'll have a nice healthy bub.

We have chosen to tell the girls, they were all a bit stunned as we already have two babies under 2 years in the house at the moment. By the time this one arrives Sapphire will be almost 2.5 years and Topaz 16 months. As I said, it's exciting news for us and as I haven't shared the news with anyone outside of our immediate family, my blogging friends are first to know! I have decided I will wait a few more weeks until after I have had my first ultrasound and when I'm out of the 'danger period' - when I'm about 12 weeks before I tell my 'local' friends.

I wanted this Hanukkah to be special and being able to spend it with my husband and our 5 girls makes it very special of course, but this new makes it even more special. I wonder if this will be our 6th girl?!?

.... Just another day ....

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Simple and Delicious Latke Recipe

Ok, so I'm sure there are 10 billion Latke recipes around, but I wanted to share the recipe I use anyway! This recipe obviously doesn't make a lot of Latkes, but can be doubled, tripled or whatever you like. I ended up doing 10 times the amounts below which was heaps for two days for my family of 7.


2 potatoes
1 onion
1 egg
2 tablespoons matzo meal
oil for frying
salt & pepper to taste


1. Peel potatoes and grate along with the onion into a bowl (a food processor is a life saver for larger amounts!).

2. Place in a colander and press down to drain excess liquid and return to bowl.

3. Mix in lightly beaten egg and matzo meal. Season well.

4. Add tablespoon sized dollops of the mix to a frying pan of hot oil and flatten slightly with an egg flip. Cook until golden on both sides, drain on a paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil and serve hot with apple sauce or sour cream.

5. Enjoy....but not too many!!

.... Just another day ....

Thursday, 22 December 2011

'The Promise' an accurate representation?

Just over a month ago, my husband Mr Bagel and I were very excited to see advertised on the television channel 'SBS' the drama/mini-series, 'The Promise'. For anyone who is not familiar with the show, its about a young British girl who travels to Israel, retracing the steps of her grandfather - a British soldier stationed there in the 1940s.We really don't get many Jewish/Israel related television shows or movies on the television here in Australia. It ran over four Sunday nights at 8.30pm and what started out as excitment on our behalf soon turned to bitter disappointment that grew with each painful episode. This British production was horribly inaccurate and anti-semetic. Mr Bagel and I were horrified we had allowed our 11 year old daughter to be exposed to such rubbish. Mr Bagel had a few of his own thoughts to share - I suppose, a small review of sorts that he originally wrote on another site, which I wanted to share.

Finished watching the fourth part of this English produced 'drama' shown in Australia, it was horribly inaccurate, biased and appallingly acted.
What looked promising in the first episode became a tiresome justification for Arab terrorism, giving the mythologised Nakba narrative some pseudo historical foundation.
Simply stated the British soldiers were swell guys, the Arabs peace loving beatniks and the Jews, rich, uncaring and murderous. Just what the British viewing public needed to reaffirm their swelling antisemitic stereotypes of Israelis.
For a little more background try:
Channel 4?s four part drama “The Promise,” has caused a great deal of concern and prompted a number of complaints to HR UK.

I would love to here the thoughts on this show from others who have seen it also.

.... Just another day ....

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Hanukkah Preparations - Are you ready?

It's the 20th December today, and tonight is the first night of Hanukkah! I'm not sure who is more excited, the girls or I? Without putting to much focus on presents, I must say, I am looking forward to seeing them open their presents over the next 8 nights. As I said, it is not just about presents though, I also am looking forward to lighting the menorah tonight, watching the girls play dreidel and teaching the girls the history behind Hanukkah.

I have been making plans since mid year for Hanukkah and even though last Hanukkah was a good one, I wanted to make this one even better! The past few weeks have really dragged on awaiting the 20th December to finally arrive. Presents have been organised for many weeks, and now, it is a bit hard to believe Hanukkah is almost here!

This morning I put my final preparations in place and went grocery shopping with all 5 of the girls - who, thankfully, were well behaved while we were out (that always makes the trip easier!). Two hours and two trolley loads later, I have finished my grocery shopping also. I have many different recipes lined up for the next 8 days, so look out Kosher Cooking Carnival, I will be submitting a few recipes for the next carnival!! Hmmmm....I wonder if the 8kgs of potatos I brought will be enough for Latkes this year??

This video is one of my favorite for Hanukkah, I'm sure you have all seen it before, but I thought I would share it anyhow :)

Chag Sameach!! Happy Hanukkah to all!!

..... Just another day ....

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Gingerbread Dreidels

The first thing Ruby (our 8 year old daughter) asked me this morning when I woke up was, "How many more days to Hanukkah?". With only 2 days until the first night of Hanukkah, I am feeling really good to be so organised this year! The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur with getting presents for all the girls, deciding on food, Hanukkah related learning and activities for the girls. Thanks to the lovely Batya over at me-ander, we now have another activity for the girls.... "pin the candle on the chanukiya". I know the girls will have so much fun with not just playing this game, but also with the 'making' side of it all too. My 3 older girls love anything to do with craft and cooking. Which brings me to the whole point of this post! A few days ago, the girls and I made gingerbread dreidels, they hardly lasted long enough to be iced even after making a double batch! So obviously they were delicious! Here is the recipe for anyone wanting to give them a go.

  • 125g pareve margarine or butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) molasses
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tbs ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 150g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 8-10 drops blue liquid food colouring

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
2. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the molasses and egg yolk and beat until combined. Stir in the flour, ginger, mixed spice and baking soda. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Press dough into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
3. Meanwhile, place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Use an electric beater to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Divide icing between 2 bowls - one for white icing, one for blue (or whatever colours you choose). Cover 1 bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Add blue colouring to 1 bowl and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
4. Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out until about 4mm thick. Use a dreidel cutter (or cutter of your choice) to cut out shapes. Place on trays about 3cm apart. Repeat with any excess dough.
5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven. Transfer to a rack to cool.
6. Place prepared icings in small plastic bags. Cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe icing over gingerbread to decorate as you choose.

{before icing}
Makes about 25 (depending on cutter size used)

Just another day ....

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Why do we really blog?

It has been a very long time since I last blogged on this blog. I've had some major changes in my life since then - including the addition of 2 baby girls, one now aged 21 months and the other almost 8 months. That's right, they are only 13 months apart and I now really have my hands full with my 5 girls. We have also moved house once again to what was at the time a reasonable sized house to us as a family of we are a family of 7 and have quickly out grown this house over the past 2 years. It does have its perks though, we are right on the beach front and have fantastic views which somewhat compensate for our crowded house. Ultimately, we still dream of one day making Aliyah to Israel, I don't know if it will ever happen, Aliyah from Australia is quite a bit harder than it seems to be from the USA or UK. I would move tomorrow if I could. There are no programs for Aliyah from Australia, which is pretty disappointing, but, I will not give up on the hope of getting there in the end.

There are many other changes that we have had as a family, some big, some little, some significant, some not. Many to mundane to even bother listing here. I assume in the past 3 years since I have really blogged on a regular basis that there have been many changes to the Jewish blogosphere also. Bloggers come and go all the time - I've looked up a few of my old favorites who are still on my blogroll to sadly discover that they no longer blog. Even after taking such a long break from blogging myself, and after contemplating it numerous times, I have not been able to call blogging quits forever like some of my favorite bloggers have done. In my quick browse around the blogs, I have noticed Jewish bloggers who I have never heard of before, who are blogging regularly and climbing the ladder to the top of the JBlog world. So, I wonder if this post here of mine, on my blog that I haven't written on regularly for 3 years will even get read? Why do we really blog anyway? I guess it really doesn't matter anyway - for me its more about therapy rather than about pulling massive reader numbers - therapy that I would like to take up on a regular basis once again. At the end of the day, I guess everyone blogs for their own reasons...whatever they may be.

.... Just another day ....