Archive for the 'Gut Yontif' Category

Plum Chicken for a Sweet New Year


I like to serve a sweet chicken on Rosh Hashanah and  I found the plum chicken recipe I made few years ago–it got rave reviews!  I quadrupled (or maybe quintupled) the recipe, made the sauce ahead of time and when I got home from shul I poured the sauce over the chicken and popped it in the oven.  The most difficult part was finding plum jam. 

 Plum Chicken

1 chicken cut in 8ths

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup orange juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

Combine all ingredients and pour over chicken.  Bake uncovered at 350 F for 60-75 minutes.  Baste occasionally.


* Just a note: I totally concur as I’ve had Plum Chicken at Your Other Jewish Mother’s house.  It was the first time my daughter ever asked for “more chicken!”

– Your Jewish Mother


High Holiday fun


When my kids were little I always looked for ways to have all Jewish holidays fill more than just our time in services or their lessons at preschool and Hebrew School.  For most holidays – aside from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – my kids went to school, so  I made a habit of having Jewish books and crafts or toys out on the living room coffee table so that they naturally looked at them and played with them.

My kids aren’t growing up in an area where “everyone” is Jewish, so I found this to be a way of also having their friends see and learn a little about holidays and to integrate it into their day and their play.

My not-so-Jewish Jewish mother

I was raised by a not-so-Jewish Jewish mother.  Oh, my mom is Jewish, there is no doubt.  My siblings and I were raised in a small suburb with a pretty small Jewish community.  We went to services and Sunday School and Hebrew School and youth groups and jewish camp, and ate matza balls and gefilte fish and lit Shabbos candles and even build a Sukkah.  That should have been a clue–my mom built a Sukkah.  I didn’t know any moms (or dads) who built sukkahs.  My mom was not like other Jewish moms.  My mom never complained, or even sighed.  My mom thought childhood should be an adventure-so we were left to our own devices and allowed to roam and explore.  We played outside in the rain. My mother took us on rock collecting hunts, she took us to the forest preserves, and she didn’t care if our clothes got dirty.  Skinned knees were common place in our house.  We had a lot pets: dogs, gerbils, fish, turtles, tortoises, hamsters, frogs, birds, and a few others that we caught or found, including crayfish and a snake.  Once she brought home a snapping turtle that she found ambling across a street. 

My mom was not a worrier.  She did not worry about us–she said she didn’t need to–my father worried enough for both of them.

And worst (or best) of all, my mother did not make decisions for us.  She was not great at telling us what to do.  My brothers and sister and I grew up with “Well honey, I can’t tell you what to do.  What do you think you should do?”

What kind of a Jewish mother is that?

My mom was (is) not like other Jewish moms.  In the 1950’s she had natural childbirth.  No one did that!  My childhood friend says that my mom was always cutting edge.  Her mom was more of a typical Jewish mother.  She made more traditional foods, played mah jong, smoked cigarettes while ironing and watching the soaps.  And she told her daughter/my friend what to do!

This was not my mom’s style.  With one exception:  On Jewish holidays we would go to services in the morning and were home most of the afternoon.  Our non-Jewish friends and neighbors were all in school or at work.  This was the only time we were not allowed outside.  After all, “what would the goyim neighbors think?  That Jews did not send their children to school?”

This is what my mother worried about.

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