Tradescantia Zebrina .:. The Wandering Jew


tales and opinions of the wandering Jew

Recent Recipes

A little late, but as promised… recipes! The lasagna recipe is modified from one I saw on Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian. Her version called for a whole lot of cheese and dairy and pancetta. For obvious reasons, my version had to change. The second recipe is one of my own creations for lemon pie. Enjoy!

Asparagus Lasagna
Lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
2 or 3 bunches of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 bunch basil
1 tbsp Parmasan cheese, grated
1 container (15oz) light ricotta
1 package of Lightlife’s Smart Bacon (vegan), diced.
salt and pepper

In a food processor, make a pesto out of the sun dried tomatoes (use some of the oil from the jar, but discard most), basil, and Parmesan.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanche the asparagus pieces, drain, put back in the pot. Add the onion and garlic. Stir in the ricotta, a dash of salt and pepper.

Spread half of the pesto in the bottom of your lasagna dish. Add two tablespoons of water, spread around. Put down one layer of noodles (about 3 noodles). Spread half of the asparagus mixture on top of the noodles. Sprinkle half of the bacon on top. Add a layer of noodles. Spread remaining half of asparagus, then bacon. Add a layer of noodles. Cover top with the remaining pesto. Optional: sprinkle cheese on top. (I didn’t do that.) Bake at 375F until bubbling, about 20 minutes.

The feedback was that we were all rather surprised to be eating “bacon” on Shabbos (myself included), even though we all knew it was a vegan product. The saltiness of the bacon went really well with the asparagus. It’s not a saucy lasagna, but still works.

Lemon Slice Pie
4 lemons
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Using a mandolin, slice the lemons as thin as possible. (Including the rind; try to remove the pips as you spot them.) Put in a bowl; try to include as much of the juice as possible. Add the two sugars and vanilla to the bowl. Cover, refrigerate 24 hours, stirring once or twice.

I ran out of time, so I bought frozen pie shells. Which you can too, or make your own pie shells. You want a top and bottom crust on this pie. If using frozen pie shells, you can use one as the top. Read the instructions on the package for doing this, or ask me if you get stuck.

Put the lemon mixture in the bottom shell, filling it up high. Put the top shell/dough on top. Cut a slit/X in the middle for steam to escape, and seal it with the bottom crust by pressing a fork all the way around. Place the pie on a baking sheet, then bake for 45 minutes as 375F. (Top will look golden and yummy.) (The sheet is needed as excess lemon juice might bubble out.)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to help cut the tartness of the pie.

The feedback on the pie was that half thought it was perfectly tart, while a couple thought it was too tart, and a couple thought it wasn’t tart enough. With one exception, everyone liked the texture.


Filed under: good eats, recipes

Organic Farming

Did anyone catch tonight’s Daily Show? In honour of Michelle Obama breaking ground on the White House organic garden, Samantha Bee gave an inspiring investigation into the pros/cons of organic farming.

What did we have to learn? Jeff Stier, Associate Director of the American Council on Science and Health, said that organic farming, and Michelle Obama as an extension, is a public health concern. Why? Because most people can’t afford organic vegetables, and if they can’t afford to eat organic vegetables, they’re going to stop buying vegetables, since people like Michelle are telling them that organic is better. Therefore, Americans are going to a) starve and b) become obese because they’ll eat more crap and stop eating vegetables.

Makes sense, right?

But there’s more. Michelle is also irresponsible and inconsiderate towards the children of America, screwing with their ability to grow into contributing citizens. How? Michelle is failing to teach children that using pesticides is an efficient farming model, therefore children aren’t learning how to be efficient with tasks. Um…

Right. Got it. Jeff Stier, whose organisation is a lobby group for many pesticide and “machine of farming” corporations, is just doing his job. Too bad he comes across as a fool. (And no comment on his black kippah.)

Filed under: america, good eats, politics, seasons, wtf?

1000 words x 2

Caught up on my photo-uploading. There are now albums from the crazed NY-Mtl-NY move, and autumn in New York.

IMG_0041 marisa-bday-11
Crazy quick road trip and moving. Driving up to Montreal, enjoying the local foods (poutine! bagels!), packing up the uhaul truck, and back down to NYC. Next night: moving furniture from Brooklyn with the roommates. (September) The usual suspects: International Pickle Festival; cruising the waterfalls and a birthday, with parents; prepping for Sukkot, with challot and shopping on the Lower East Side; roomies; foliage; produce from the co-op. (September-November)

Filed under: america, canada, family, friends, good eats, home, judaism, parties, photos, random, seasons, travels

Shanah Tovah!

The challahs are cooling, which makes this the perfect time for a post.

Wishing you a sweet, healthy, just, happy New Year.

לשנה טובה ומתוקה



Filed under: good eats, judaism, seasons

Just, ethical kashrus!

Check out my post on Jewschool about Hekhsher Tzedek!


Filed under: cooperation, good eats, judaism, politics

Quinoa Salad

Cross-posted to Two Heads of Lettuce.

By popular request, the recipe for my quinoa salad, which some folks supped on at Kol Zimrah earlier this summer.

½ cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp orange juice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 orange, peeled and chopped coarsley

In a strainer rinse the quinoa under running water and drain. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the of the water is absorbed.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the quinoa and mix well.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Filed under: good eats

Pickles and Poutine

Motzei Shabbos I was exhausted, and planned to trek home to sleep. Instead, I was convinced to make an appearance at a friend’s going away party. He’s a good enough friend to not mind me saying that I was won over by the promise of deep-fried pickles. Seriously. To say I was intrigued would be a gross understatement. So after we separated Shabbos from chol, welcomed the new week, we walked over to Dive Bar.

We were pleasantly surprised by the numerous vegetarian offerings to be found on the menu. Then, while debating between a veggie burger and beer chaser for the deep-fried pickles, or just a beer, my friend spotted it: poutine.

A well known Quebecois comfort food: A heap of Dive Bar Fries studded with farm fresh cheddar curd cheese that melts under hot, thick gravy! Tremendously satisfying. Goes well with a cold beer! Vegetarian gravy available.

The menu said everything it had to. We ordered a side of poutine for our pickles.

The pickles were good, but not great. I’m not a huge fan of salt (the flavour that is; I certainly am a fan of its chemical reaction in cooking and baking), but even I was giving the salt shaker a work out. They were lightly beer battered then fried. The pickles were still crunchy on the inside, while the batter was golden brown. I’d order them again, but maybe from another establishment (you know, in hopes of finding a better purveyor).

And then the poutine. Oh, the poutine. It was not poutine. It was possibly passible as disco fries. Maybe. The gravy was clearly from a vegetarian gravy mix; I could recognize and taste the dehydrated peppers, onions, and celery in the sauce. And the gravy was under the fries, not spooned over the whole dish to help in the cheese melting process. But no worries – the cheese was melted in an oven (gah!) or under the heat lamps (oy!) so it didn’t need the gravy’s assistance. And the cheese. Certainly not cheese curds. Probably not of the cheddar variety either. (We guessed it was mozzarella.) So entirely disappointing. Lacking the necessary components, it had no hope of tasting good, let alone tasting like real poutine. They should not be allowed to call it poutine on the menu. I feel quite strongly about this. I mean, what if some unsuspecting New Yorker ate this alleged poutine, not understanding the dish to be an imposter, and then never sought out the real goodness in Quebec? Tragedy. (The above picture is what poutine should look like. Saturday night’s poutine was nothing at all like this yummy concoction.)

In honour of the lack of squeaky cheese (cheese curds squeak, when you bite them, oh yes), I revive danse la poutine:

Filed under: america, canada, friends, good eats, wtf?


This is mostly a post reminding myself to take advantage of this. But, hey, you should too! From the Jew and the Carrot we find that there’s a coffee

that’s not only organic, kosher and free trade, but it’s grown by a cooperative of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Uganda. The co-op is called Mirembe Kawomera, which means Delicious Peace in Luganda. You can buy the coffee off their website, for $10.50 for 12 oz. which comes out to almost ten cents less per ounce than some blends at Starbucks. And if you can arrange a big order for your community (20 lbs or more), prices go down even further, to $8.00 for 12 oz. Coffee that saves me money, is free trade, organic, kosher, and part of a project that promotes peace and interfaith initiatives? The only way it could get any better would be if it found me a boyfriend and cleaned the cat litter.

Once I’m settled into my new place, you can be certain I’ll be looking for folks to join me on a bulk buy.

(And, yes, this means that my attempts to give up coffee have been going poorly. I’m back up to 3-4/week from the 1/week from the 2-3/day.)

Filed under: cooperation, good eats

Vancouver Pics

The Vancouver photos!


Filed under: canada, family, friends, good eats, parties, photos, random, seasons, travels


I’ve updated the Winter in Jerusalem photo set to include more photos from the last snow “storm”, along with some from today’s.

And what do you do when it’s sleeting and hailing and snowing and thundering and raining and crazy wind blowing all in one night? Go to a friend’s for a MEAT date! (You too can have a MEAT date: find a friend with a fleishig kitchen, cook MEAT for your friends, maybe make some ‘smores over the stove for dessert, drink a bunch of wine, neglect your Hebrew studies, and dance to the 80’s-a-thon on the teevee.)

Finally, we have some photos from ulpan at Hebrew University. Most of them are of the views, as requested by several of you. If you look closely, you’ll see a desert, goats, MS, and Palestinian neighbourhoods.

Filed under: friends, good eats, israel, palestine, photos, school