Author Archives: nonnka

Make Your Own Matzoh

By Nonna Gorilovskaya

My friend and cooking goddess Jenna Huntsberger never tasted matzoh before she decided to bake her own. (Note to self: I am a bad Jewish friend.) matzoh2She documented her valiant efforts on her ModernDomestic blog:

This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s book, The Bread Bible, but the recipe is originally from Noel Comess, founder of Tom Cat bakery in Queens, New York. The recipe takes liberties with the original recipe for Matzoh, which is traditionally made from plain flour and water. Beranbaum adds olive oil for crispness, and salt, wheat flour and rosemary for flavor. According to Jewish law, the dough must be baked 18 minutes after the dough is mixed, otherwise it is considered “leavened” and unsuitable for Passover. But Beranbaum’s dough rests for a full 30 minutes before shaping…

While this matzoh is not strictly kosher for Passover, it is a recipe well worth adding to your year-round baking arsenal. The flavors are earthy and satisfying, with the rosemary and salt adding a savory punch to the simple dough.

Jenna liked matzoh so much that it might make a cameo on her Easter dinner plate. Click here for Jenna’s adaptation of Beranbaum’s Mediterranean matzoh recipe.


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Son of Jewish Refugee Elected Prime Minister of New Zealand

By Nonna Gorilovskaya

John Key, son of a Jewish refugee, was elected the next prime minister of Middle-earth New Zealand, the country best known for its kiwi fruit and as the gorgeous backdrop for the Lord of the Rings movies.

John Key

Ruth Lazar, Key’s mother, escaped Austria in 1939 with her family to Britain by paying for a paper marriage. After the war, she married George Key, and the couple immigrated to New Zealand. John’s father died of a heart attack when he was six. Ruth raised John and his two sisters by herself in public housing.

Key started out as a currency trader in his 20s and rose to become head of foreign exchange for Merrill Lynch and a multimillionaire. The center-right National Party recruited him to run as an MP in 2002, and his political career took off. Key has expressed admiration for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who moved the Labor Party toward the center, and is taking over after nine years of Liberal rule. As the Jerusalem Post reports:

Key campaigned as a moderate, but his policies include plans to eventually abolish special parliamentary seats for Maori and making the country’s greenhouse gas emission trading scheme more favorable to business.

On Sunday, he promised to follow through on tax cuts and pro-business, tough-on-crime policies that include registering the DNA of any suspect arrested for an imprisonable crime. Continue reading

But is Palin good for the Pakistanis?

(Flickr/Mayank Austen Soofi)

(Flickr/Mayank Austen Soofi)

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari got woman trouble. During their meeting at the United Nations, Zardari told the Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin that she was “gorgeous” and hinted that he just might hug her. Wrong answer!

“Gushing compliments make Palin blush” one headline in Dawn, Pakistan’s English-language daily, blushed. Pakistani feminists are enraged as are the religious conservatives. The Christian Science Monitor reports that “one radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for ‘indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.'” Presumably, praising a non-Muslim lady in a pantsuit or a Muslim lady in a short skirt would be totally kosher. Or, at the very least, not earn you a fatwa. Continue reading

Dreams about Sarah Palin (with Jewish content)

At some point before I cast my ballot this November, I am going to have a dream about Sarah Palin. It is just inevitable—she is everywhere right now. And though I may be a would-be Palin dreamer, I am not alone. As of Friday, Slate received almost 500 letters from readers whose partisan, bipartisan, juicy and just plain weird dreams about Palin were, as we would say in California, totally awesome:

It’s hard to generalize about such a large group of dreams, but there were a few persistent themes: Palin as a gun-toting animal killer, pregnancies and denied abortions, baby Trig, and the landscape of Alaska. Many of you reported dreaming about John McCain dying and Palin taking over the Oval Office. Both men and straight women reported sexual fantasies involving the Alaska governor…

Palin appeared sticking her finger in Indian pudding, washing dishes at a Jewish summer camp, and making a hotel bed in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, the Jewish summer camp dream was not one of the 20 entries Slate published, so we may never know whether Palin was there in the capacity of a pushy Jewish mother or as an undercover missionary from the Wasilla Assembly of God.

Whatever the case, more gold is out there. I know that you have had dreams about Governor Palin. There’s no shame! It happens to all of us. Or will soon. Did you break challah with Palin? Had a tryst at a Tel Aviv nightclub? Did she officiate at your daughter’s bat mitzvah? Was Palin sworn in as the prime minister, shattering that “hardest, highest ceiling” in Israel “once and for all”? Oh wait, they already had Gold Meir.

Let it off your chest! Post away your dreams in the comments section below.

Nonna Gorilovskaya

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Palin asked Jesus for a gas pipeline and God for a plan in Iraq

What did you do this weekend? Me? I just sipped some superb Merlot from nearby what Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of that backward village called New York City, would describe as “cosmopolitan” San Francisco and watched some videos of Republican veep pick Sarah Palin.

Speaking at the Wasilla Assembly of God, her former church, last year, Governor Palin asked Jesus for a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in Alaska and called the war in Iraq “a task from God.” As she put it, “Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God’s plan.” Continue reading

Black Jews and the 2008 Presidential Election

One of my favorite Soviet jokes goes like this: An old Jew is taking a walk in a Moscow park when he sees a young black guy sitting on a bench reading a Yiddish newspaper. “What, it is not enough for you that you are black?” asks the Jew, sighing.

In the land of the free, however, multiple minority identities are celebrated, if not always understood, as today’s Christian Science Monitor article on African-Americans’ embrace of Judaism points out: Continue reading