Archive for the 'Humor' Category

LIFE Presents: Turkey Brides and Manischewitz

LIFE Magazine has teamed up with Google to bring their incomparable treasure trove of archived photographs to the public (a totally brilliant venture).  The collection includes iconic historical snapshots, as well as lost moments in American history, like the ones below….


This first photo from 1948 features a model wearing “shoulder wings made out of turkey feathers” made by “bride Barbara O. Ehrhart” – that’s right, a turkey bride.  Having just gotten married a few weeks ago, and having just traveled to Alaska on my honeymoon (where animal skins, feathers, and fur are the primary clothing material), this photo holds particular relevance for me.

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t turn up much on who Barbara O. Ehrhart was – but Life does have another great shot of the turkey bride herself:

Yes, We Peanut Butter!


I always describe Bamba as “Israel’s Cheetos, with peanut butter instead of cheese.”  I can’t translate the line at the top of this Bamba package–help?–but it does refer to the States and the election.  An aleph and vav have been added to the name of the product, turning it from Bamba into Obamba.  Just thought I’d share.

(Can someone in Israel tell me if this is for real, and if they’re available in multiple flavors?)shabbat shalom

Shakshukah? Booyakasha!


The folks over at Jewlicious have posted an awesome Israeli rap video that shows how Jewish rap differs culturally from its LA or NYC-based counterparts. Instead of bouncing low-riders or tons of bling, the video revolves around food – namely the preparation of the classic sephardic tomato and egg dish, shakshouka. The song does have some MTV-esque elements (bikini-clad dancers and an occasional English expletive) that might make this video slightly NSFW, but the skills on display (both musical and culinary) by the artist BooSkills definitely make this single worth a look.

New Jewish Foodie Blog

Ruti Abusch-Magder, a scholar-in-residence at the University of Chicago Hillel is doing outreach based around food and gender (sometimes together, sometimes not) and has set up a blog to promote and record what she’s up to.  The blog is pretty new so there isn’t much there, but she does have a post and a poll about the annual Latke/Hamentaschen debate which was started at UofC, and some interesting things to say about the origins of Israeli breakfast.  Head over to Challah Maven, vote for your favorite (latkes or hamentaschen) and stay tuned for more interesting discussions.


Ask the Shmethicist: Can a Nice Jewish Girl Enjoy a Naughty Nosh?


Oh readers! What an exciting time for a Yenta! My first Shmethicist column got a shout out in The Forward. And readers’ questions are pouring in.

So I thought I’d start with the spiciest query . . . and I don’t mean the one about habaneros versus jalapenos.

If Debbie Friedman Was A Dessert, What Would She Be?

(Cross posted at Mixed Multitudes)

Came across this awesome article about a Swiss choclatier named Blaise Poyet who has created a new chocolate inspired by John Calvin to honor Calvin’s 500th birthday:

He acknowledges the difficulty of representing theological ideas in taste, “But the key thing for Calvin is the glory of God, his excellence, his perfection. So we chose a chocolate that we chocolatiers find rare and flawless…” The Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches actually approached Poyet: one must hope they are satisfied:

“The first layer is based on a classic smooth and runny praline mix but we have “reformed” it by using crunchy caramelised hazelnuts, and salt from the Swiss Alps to make the praline slightly savoury.
The second layer uses a “chocolate Grand Cru from Bolivia”, made from 68 percent cocoa paste, to represent Calvin’s theology of the glory and perfection of God….”

Calvin’s hellfire beliefs are not, alas, represented by burnt bits, but “we have used a caramel made from Swiss cream that that slightly softens the chocolate to represent in a discreet way this love for one’s neighbour” Finally, a taste of lemon verbena, a perennial, represents Calvin’s ability to sow, to plant and to make things grow.

How completely awesome. It got us thinking at the MJL offices about how we’d represent various Jewish leaders in dessert format. Here’s what we’ve got so far:
Theodore HerzlLemon Meringue Pie
Because meringue seems to defy logic and gravity to become a sweet and wonderful thing. Also, you have to labor long and hard over it.

Banana Republic?


My 4-year-old son’s pre-school class held a mock election today: After each student tasted one bite each of banana, apple, & pear (the equivalent of one presidential debate?), they “voted” by placing a paper cutout of their favorite fruit into a cardboard box. The results? Banana won in a landslide.

If this informal poll is to be believed, things aren’t looking so good for the Macoun/Pear ticket,  but B. Anana shouldn’t get too overconfident, either. After all, no one knows how the Blueberry effect will come into play on election day.

The Gingerbread Sukkah


There’s a joke that all fun secular holidays have “Jewish” equivalents.  Halloween has Purim, Christmas has Chanukah, etc.  But Chanukah, in all its fried deliciousness, does not offer an opportunity to bake the mother of architectural sweets: The Gingerbread House.  Now, the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot has stepped in to fill this wide gap in the Jewish culinary calendar with The Gingerbread Sukkah.

Boston resident Julia Greenstein (daughter of renowned baker, George Greenstein)  makes gingerbread sukkahs every year with her family.  These miniature “dwelling structures” are as temporary as their real-sized cousins – if only because they are irresistible to eat!  Find out how she does it, and how you can build your own cookie sukkah below.

Orange on the Rosh Hashanah Seder Plate

You’ve heard about an orange on the seder plate, but what about a floating orange God head that teaches you about Rosh Hashanah? My Jewish Learning has taken the custom of “eating a new fruit on Rosh Hashanah” to the next level, with this wacky video. Enjoy!

CSAs say: “Cheese Please”


In the beginning, there were vegetables. Then came fruit, and it was good. Now, Community-Supported Agriculture programs across the country are partnering with local farmers to include everything from milk and cheese, eggs, flowers, meat, and even locally-grown wheat berries in their members’ shares. This broad expansion indicates that people across the country are clamoring for more opportunities to eat local food, and that the CSA model provides the structural support to make it happen.

Hazon’s Tuv Ha’Aretz Jewish CSA program is no exception. This year, the Long Island Tuv Ha’Aretz program, which is run out of the Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore, partnered with 5 Spoke Creamery to bring their kosher, raw-milk, artisanal cheeses to members’ tables. The cheese share was a first for the Tuv Ha’Aretz community and the company, which had never distributed their products via CSA before.

We interviewed Tuv Ha’Aretz coordinator and The Jew & The Carrot contributor, Eric Schulmiller, as well as 5 Spoke Creamery owner, Alan Glustoff to find out how the partnership panned out. If you’ve ever read The Onion’s Point/Counterpoint segment, the dual-interview below is kind of like that – except replace the biting sarcasm with earnestness and a passion for all things cheese.

Waffle Bike


Bikes. Waffles. Calls to worship. What could be more tailor-made for Hazon than that? Did I mention the factory farm chickens attached to the back of this baffling, waffling vehicle? The shotgun and machete attachments?

I just came across this strange short film today, and while I’m not sure what to make of its deadpan, tongue-in-cheek commentary on the state of the world’s food systems, violent religious conflicts and our over-reliance on technology, all I know is that it made me laugh, and it made me want waffles.

And that’s good enough for me.

Has “Locavore” Jumped the (Sustainably-Raised, Organic Chum-Fed) Shark?


In 2007, “locavore” was named word of the year by the Oxford New American Dictionary. The concept was heartily endorsed by literary giants such as Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver. As Leah previously posted, even Walmart has gotten on board!

But now, for the second time this week, the NYTimes has “discovered” the local food movement, but now with a new twist: According to today’s article, there is a company out in San Francisco (aka Alice Watersworld) that will plant, tend and harvest an organic garden in your own backyard. Not figuratively. Your. Yard.

The Secret to Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies? Shabbat!


I’m sure many of my fellow foodies and followers of R. Cookie Monster (aka the “Om-nom-nom Rebbe”) eagerly devoured David Leite’s recent article in the NYTimes about his quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

According to the insider tips he got from such experts as fellow M.O.T. Maury Rubin (owner of City Bakery, where you can get the best hot chocolate this side of Babette’s Feast), the key to really great chocolate chip cookies isn’t the chocolate (although that’s crucial, of course), or the dough, but allowing the dough to rest for at least 24 hours. That’s right, the key to great chocolate chip cookies is right there in Genesis 2:2!

Kosher Ham

No, not for real, but some food-based humor from t-shirt jokesters, which is (yet another) clever culture jokes apparel site. But as a testament to our people’s connection to food, here are my favorite food jokes/designs:

21 One fish Jew fish shirt