I started this Blog when I suddenly found myself wanting to write about my childhood, my family, my friends, and food. Sometimes I wonder if I will run out of ideas or inspiration but what I have discovered is that each time you post a comment, I am inspired.
Growing up in The Bronx, there was a little corner store called The Rendezvous. It was a place to meet. I hope you will use this page as a place to rendezvous with me and share your family recipes and the stories behind them.
A glimpse of the garden….
October 19, 2017 at 12:21 PM
Hi Irene, I came across your blog via a web search for potatonik and found your 2010 entry. Although my DNA test says I have less than .ooo1 Jewish ancestry, I was so touched by your stories of family growing up in the 50s and just wanted to reach through the internet and give you a big hug!! Love your blog, your recipes and your tales of family and friends. Keep it up !! Doug in DC
October 20, 2017 at 7:41 AM
Thank you so much for commenting. I am very touched, please keep in touch, ask any questions and feel free to send me any “old” family recipes. I love hearing about other’s people’s families and kitchen stories.
Have a great weekend!
February 28, 2017 at 7:05 AM
Hi Ilene, thanks so much for your blog here! I want to ask about your humin recipe (Iraqi cholent recipe that you got from Iraqi Jews in LA). My grandparents were part of the Burmese Jewish community in LA when I was growing up, and they were all, before living in Burma, from Iraq several generations back. Do you know who you got the recipe from and/or what synagogue they attended?
I’m going to try the recipe this weekend because I’ve been questions for Grandma Toba’s humin for years! Wish me luck!
February 28, 2017 at 9:41 PM
I think it came from the Shamam family who went from Iraq to Israel and then came to L.A. Please let me know how it comes out!!
March 11, 2017 at 11:00 PM
Wondering if you made it and how it came out?
February 19, 2012 at 8:58 PM
I went to Theodore Roosevelt High School. Two of my aunts lived at 2300 GC – which was by 183rd and Ryer Avenue. And my great-grandmother lived on Creston Avenue, and my grandmother lived on Grand Avenue near Burnside. What high school did you go to?
February 20, 2012 at 7:27 AM
We lived at 2274 for the first 10 years of my life and at 2195 for the next 6. There was a kosher deli at 183rd that we loved. Two brothers?? So fun to reminisce!
February 19, 2012 at 8:17 PM
I was looking for a macaroon recipe and came upon this site. Then I read that you grew up on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx! I grew up in the Bronx too – on Kingsbridge Terrace off of Kingsbridge Road! I have so many memories of food – Jewish bakeries and delicatessens, the “appetizing” stores, Italian pizza places, Chinese restaurants (every Sunday afternoon), we even had an egg-butter-and-cheese store on Kingsbridge Road! And of course Jahn’s Ice Cream Parlour and Krums! What a wonderful place the Bronx was to grow up in! Thank you for your recipe! By the way, where was the Rendevous? I don’t think I have heard of it.
February 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM
Thanks so much for e-mailing me. It was such a wonderful place to grow up in, I have nothing but good memories. My parents only ate in delis so no Chinese food for us but I did have pizza almost every day and my father took me to Jahn’s for ice cream sundaes and Krums as well. Remember the counter with the roasted nuts at the front? The Rendezvous was on the corner of 181st and The Concourse. I was ten at the time of the blackout. Where did you go to school??
January 7, 2012 at 6:57 PM
How so very lucky you are to have had Anita as a teacher and how lucky for her to have had you as a student. The bond you two have is so very wonderful. How your parents (may they rest in peace) must have been so proud of the two of you. I too was brought up on delicious soup. This week, I made a lentil soup, a bit different then yours but SO delicious. It was a super hit.
2-3 T olive or sunflower oil
l large onion finely chopped
2-3 large garlic cloves chopped
1 fresh red chili-seeded and chopped-I did not have this so substituted 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
1-2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp. coriendar seeds ( i used powder did not have the seeds)
1 carrot finely chopped
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbls tomato paste
1 cup split red lentils
7 1/2 cups (3 pints) chicken stock
salt and ground pepper
TO SERVE: 1 small red onion finely chopped, 1 bunch flat leaf parsley 4-6 Lemon wedges. Did not do this step-I forgot
1) heat oil and stir in onion,garlic,chili cumin and coriander seeds. When onion has color add the carrot and cook 2-3 min. Add the fenugreek,sugar and tomato paste and stir in the washed lentils
2) Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and partially cover the pan and simmer for 30-40 min until the lentils are broken up.
3) If the soup is too thick (mine was not) thin it with a bit more water. Season with salt and pepper
4) You can serve straight from the pot or whizz it with a blender then reheat if necessary
5) Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle liberally with the chopped onion and parsley. Serve with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over the top.
I did not do step #5, I forgot and it was still SO good. Everyone had seconds.
Enjoy and please share with Anita.
July 18, 2011 at 7:34 PM
I must admit that all the wonderful recipes seem yummy and oh so delicious. I am so glad to know that you are keeping yummy n todoys’ vocabulary!!!!!
July 18, 2011 at 8:06 PM
May 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn each of cinnamon, vanilla extract and almond extract.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour with sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract, oil, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts and form into logs on a cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and cook for five minutes. Slice and return to oven. Either cook at 200 degrees for several more hours till dry or turn gas oven off and leave in overnight.
May 14, 2010 at 4:34 PM
Ramah-style Shavuot Chocolate Chip Muffins http://www.ramah.org
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, water, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
May 4, 2010 at 7:48 PM
Here’s a wonderful Thanksgiving or anytime recipe – for those who think they hate turnip!
6 cups cooked rutabaga, peeled, diced
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Boil rutabaga in salted water to cover, until fork-tender. Drain, mash with potato masher.
Add butter and eggs, whisk to blend.
Stir in dry ingredients. Turn into a buttered large over-proof casserole dish.
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Sprinkle buttered crumbs on top of the rutabaga. Bake at 325 for 30-45 minutes, until puffed and brown.
April 22, 2010 at 2:07 PM
The latest recipes sound so good. I wish I had the patience and energy to cook every day. I feel very guilty that I do not cook more often. Not a very good balboostah in the kitchen. So keep the recipes and the wonderful stories coming. I really enjoy reading about the family you grew up with.
April 18, 2010 at 9:04 AM
THAI CURRY COLESLAW (A Living Food Recipe)
For your excellent health and the best flavor use ORGANIC and the
freshest possible ingredients….turn on some great music and be in
a good mood while you prepare this delicious salad!
De-stem one good-size bunch each cilantro, mint and basil.
Salad-spinner-wash-and-rinse. Throw them all in a food processor
with an S-blade. Coarsely chopped herbs, empty into LARGE mixing bowl.
Do not wash out processor….just switch to Shredding disc.
Shred 1 Large green/white cabbage (empty into the large bowl)
6-7 good size fresh organic carrots (well-washed, just cut off
the ends, don’t bother to peel. Have shredded carrots make friends
with the cabbage and the green herbs in the large mixing bowl!
1 1/2 C Whole raw Spanish peanuts** or raw cashews if someone is allergic to legumes.
Or save and serve separately from salad so people can choose to add or not.
DRESSING (switch back to S-Blade, don’t bother washing it out!)
3/4 C of Olive Oil (recommend Bariani Calif Extra Virgin*)
1/2 C Raw Apple Cider Vinegar*
1/2 C fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice (or just throw in one
peeled lemon….don’t worry about the seeds)
4-5 cloves of peeled and pressed garlic
1″ peeled and pressed fresh ginger
1/2 C Nama Shoyu* (raw soy sauce)
1/2 C raw organic agave nectar*
1 tsp chili powder
2 heaping Tablespoons curry powder
Thoroughly blend above ingredients until emulsified (put that
little stopper thing in, otherwise it’s going to splash out!),
mix well into salad. Garnish with basil or mint leaves. Should
sit in the fridge for at least 1/2 hour for flavors to blend.
Okay, now you can wash out the food processor!
Makes two good-size serving bowls: one to take to a pot-luck dinner,
one to keep at home to enjoy for the rest of the week…gets better
as the week goes on! Could easily be made a day or two ahead of time as well.
ENJOY THE COMPLIMENTS YOU GET!
*All these ingredients are available at Whole Foods or
at the Co-Opportunity on 16th & Broadway in Santa Monica
**oh, except the Raw Spanish nuts…these are at the Co-Op only.
April 15, 2010 at 10:00 PM
It is many a year since I have made this tablet – mainly because I like it so much and it is so sweet and laden with calories I don’t really need! You need a sweet tooth to get the maximum pleasure from it……….
Scottish Tablet – a sweet delicacy (Candy?)
1 cup milk
1 large tin condensed milk
1 Melt sugar and butter together over a low heat.
2 Add milks and stir.
3 Turn heat up and keep stirring till it reaches boiling point. Turn heat down and stir for 45 minutes – chair and book optional at this point!
4 Remove from heat and beat 60 times – not 59 or 61! – with a wooden spoon. Put a ‘wee’ bit on a plate and if it sets, then it is ready to go into shallow trays.
5 Mark the surface into smallish squares and allow to set and get cold.
February 17, 2013 at 5:56 PM
I love tablet. I’m just scared to make it now it’s only my husband at me at home! But as four girls growing up in Zimbabwe we made a similar fudge, stirred anxiously waiting for my mother to come home and put in the vanilla in case it “spat”. I loved the scrapings in the pot the best.
February 18, 2013 at 7:56 AM
This is from a good friend who lives in Glasgow but I still have not tried it!! Now that you have reminded me about it, I will make an effort.