by Dena Zigun
Almost three years ago, I stood around Rachel Telio’s kitchen table with five other young leaders trying to decipher a puzzle . . . what is a “Moscow nut”?
Onions were caramelizing on the stovetop for Mujadara. The freshly cooked pasta was waiting for its cheese sauce. And the chicken burgers needed their “Moscow nut.” We were setting the table for a new initiative from the Boston-Haifa Connection – the Young Leadership Division’s Boston-Haifa Cookbook.
Sprung from Stephanie Gertz’s visits with young leaders in Haifa, the cookbook was a trans-oceanic collaboration. The Haifim pulled together their favorite recipes, from every day dinners to special occasion, made an attempt at translation, and sent them to Boston.
In Boston, the new recipes were tested in cooking parties – proportions modified, selections adjusted to what’s available here…and mystery ingredients deciphered. Moscow nut – with a few creative Google searches – became nutmeg. And words became meals that brought us together.
Cooking somebody’s favorite recipe is an intimate affair. The Garam Masala Chicken brought me to a new friend’s table. The use of maple syrup in Vered’s favorite cake made me smile. The cookbook project connected me deeply to Haifa without ever getting on a plane.
So give the gift of Haifa for Hanukkah this year – click on the link below to order your copy of the Young Leadership Division Boston-Haifa Cookbook. The proceeds help build more connections like the ones I experienced. Even better, not only will you get delicious recipes with mouthwatering photos for everything from Hummus to Shashuka to Braised Beef Cheeks to Sufganiyot (the sample recipe below), you’ll also get transported to our sister city. And that’s a gift that lights things up.
1 2/3 cups of flour (plus more for dusting hands)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar
Oil for frying
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except powdered sugar and oil.
In a frying pan, heat oil to medium heat.
Carefully place dough into oil, 1 tbsp at a time.
Fry 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown all over.
Carefully remove sufganiyot from oil and place on paper towels to drain.
Gently roll warm sufganiyot in powdered sugar (or sprinkle on top), and set aside. Serve warm.
Dena Zigun is the current chair of the Boston-Haifa Connection Young Leaders Committee.