It was the summer of 1972, I was 16 years old and I was going to Israel for the first time. The trip was organized by Hadassah, six weeks long, we were to spend a week on kibbutz, a week on Gadna (pre-army training camp) at Sde Boker, and the remaining month touring. After we arrived, […]
Sitting in my backyard for hours on Shabbat morning is one of my greatest pleasures. I usually have a magazine or book in my hand, cookbooks and crossword puzzles stacked next to me on the table, and a hot cup of French Press. But when Spring arrives, it’s hard to sit still and I find […]
November 18, 2012
At 5:40 this morning we drove our friends to the airport. They were flying to Boston to be with their “East coast” family for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday we will return to LAX to pick up my daughter, and on Thursday to pick up my youngest son. It’s the wonderful pull of Thanksgiving, being with the family and hanging out in kitchens where the smells are familiar. Today I started baking, and so this morning my kitchen smelled like cinnamon and allspice from the pumpkin breads in the oven. This afternoon it smelled of apples and dried cherries baking inside puff pastry squares that I folded into individual turnovers. On Thanksgiving day the kitchen will smell like the mulling spices simmering in the pot of apple cider on the stove top, but as soon as the fridge door is opened, the predominant smell will be the garlic that was rubbed into the turkey on Wednesday morning. That specific smell of garlic-covered poultry is embedded in my memory because it is the smell that I most closely associate with my mother’s kitchen. The smell that signaled it was Shabbat, Yontif, and yes, Thanksgiving. On Thursday the kitchen will smell both savory and sweet, depending if you are standing near the oven or closer to the kitchen table covered with desserts. I love the old recipes combined with an occasional new one, it sets the mood and gives me the perfect opportunity to remember and be thankful for what we had, what we have, and what we look forward to. Happy Thanksgiving.
Mixture for a 15 pound turkey
1 Tb kosher salt
1 Tb. paprika
2 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
2 whole heads garlic, peeled and minced
Mix all ingredients together until you have a paste-like consistency. It should be red from the paprika and thick, almost like tomato paste. Rub the garlic mixture on the inside and outside of the turkey and let marinate in fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place turkey in a roasting pan, breast down, with about 2 ” of water on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes and then baste with liquid. Add more water to pan if necessary. Lower heat to 350 degrees. Continue to add liquid and baste about every 30 minutes. When turkey is golden brown, turn breast side up and finish roasting. Total baking time is about 3 hours depending on size of the bird.
They are almost like characters in a book, these relatives that I have heard so much about but never had the opportunity to meet. The baker, the grocer, and the tanner. Yisroel (Isser) Gutman, my maternal grandfather, the one who I know the most about, owned a tannery in Mogielnica. Is it coincidence or […]
As the summer comes to an end, my thoughts are beginning to turn to Rosh Hashana. These long, lazy days will soon be replaced with an onslaught of holidays and the frenzy of preparation. I wonder if my Mother compiled lists in her head as I have already begun to do. In some ways, even […]
We shared a room until the day she moved away from home. Meticulous by nature, my sister used to draw an imaginary line across our bedroom, a line that I was not allowed to cross. Eight years older than I, Anita was more than just my big sister. She was my role model. Her shoes […]
My father had a standard response to a certain type of question, and that response was “only the best.” That’s a tall order, and of course the idea of what’s best is very subjective. The statement taught me not to settle for mediocrity. At work I meet with families and often tell them to manage their […]