Bubbie Stories

My Great Aunt Rose

The first year my great Aunt Rose moved to florida and we had to do Pesach for the entire family without her, she gave us the recipe for the chopped liver knishes but left out a key ingredient – if you don’t add matzah meal to the potatoes they’re sticky, and won’t form knishes. So, we spent hours pealing potatoes off each other’s hands trying to make the knishes. when we called aunt rose to tell her it didn’t work she said: “of course! you didn’t use enough matzoh meal!” my mom said: “enough?! we didn’t use any!”

This post was submitted by Rebecca Wind.

“An Angel With Golden Hands”

My mother in law Lily Stein was an angel with golden hands. She cooked and baked everything from scratch. Her salmon, croquettes, rugelach, stuffed chiken. I cooked her recipes for every holiday — it brings tears to everyone’s eyes.

This post was submitted by Somoly Stein.

Bubbie Sonia from Poland

Bubbie Sonia escaped Poland. She was a fantastic cook!! She made Chocolate chip cookies with three chips! We miss her.

This post was submitted by Helene Rookasin.

Novice Bubbie Reflections

I am the worst cook in the world – but willing to learn

This post was submitted by JanetMendelsohn.

The Jewish Rebellion: Frozen Dinner

My mother rebelled against her food – obsessed mother and refused to cook. I enjoyed in lifetime of airline and other frozen food meals and now enjoy cooking as an act of benevolent rebellion.

This post was submitted by AyeletLebovicz.

“I am Still Bubbie”

When my first grandchild was ready to be born, I was trying to decide what I wanted him to call ME. My grandmother was czech and called Babicka. My daughter said that would be too hard to say, so maybe I could shorten it. I called my good friend muffy and asked her “can I be called Bubbie?” She said, well, you’d be the first gentile Bubbie I know, but go for it.” Seven grandchildren later, I’m still Bubbie.

This post was submitted by SusanMcGuire.

Gratitude and Appreciation

I wish I knew a recipe from my mom. She was an Auschwitz survivor; she was not much of a cook. She was happy enough just to have something to eat.


This post was submitted by SteveKolodny.

My Mom’s Honey Cake

My mom always makes honey cake on Rosh Hashana! Made the best for the holiday.

This post was submitted by LilianaLipkowicz.

Her Life in Meals – My Stepmother’s Culinary History

About a month ago, I located a treasure trove in my stepmother’s house, a cache of leather-bound books with gilded sides and moiré endsheets, some of these journals embossed “Hostess Book,” and some with my stepmother’s initials, on the front cover. For the last four decades my stepmother — actually my ex-stepmother, but once a family reaches that title, I feel you can freely style your preferred designation — has kept a log of nearly every dinner party she has given. Until I found them, she never thought this news enough to share with anyone. There are 10 books, and they tell the story of one woman’s life in meals.

And they are fabulous meals, almost all of them, because my stepmother, an event planner with Cordon Bleu abilities in the kitchen and a real interest in style and novelty on the plate, has nearly always specialized in those — the dinner parties you leave, thinking, “wow, life can be that beautiful?”

That being said, her first dinner party, given when she was a teenager, in her rooms at Newnham College, Cambridge, features freeze-dried curry from a package. But the very fact that this young English girl, studying mathematics, thought this meal inaugural enough to require the purchase of a leather-bound hostess diary from Harrods, shows that from the first, there was aspiration in the endeavour.

In a way, aspiration is more or less the point of the dinner party. The dinner party has generous amounts of domestic show-offery embedded within its form. But there is also the possibility of art, true art: the banal corners of the home — the kitchen, the eating table — transformed into a stage, for one night only.

Originally published in The National Post.

This post was submitted by MireilleSilcoff.

She’d Shamelessly Indulge Me… and It Was Heavenly.

My favorite memories from childhood involve sitting at my grandmother’s table late at night eating cherry vanilla from Carvel.

She was a Holocaust survivor and just the most loving, generous, gorgeous Bubby in the world. Going to her house for a sleepover was the most wonderful experience. In the grand tradition of Bubbies she’d shamelessly indulge me for a couple of days, and it was heavenly.

Want homemade potato knishes for breakfast? Done. A little snack of pickled herring and rye bread at 10 a.m.? Why not? But it was the late nights that I dream about sometimes.

We keep kosher, so if we wanted ice cream for dessert we’d have to wait the requisite 6 hours after finishing our lamb or veal chops to be able to eat dairy. So we’d watch movies and pore over the latest Vogue and just talk and talk until it was time. Then we’d crack open that plastic tub and eat way, way more than was good for me.

I’d certainly love to be able to eat that much ice cream again without feeling guilty, but I would give anything in the world to just sit at that table one more time.

Originally published in the New York Times on July 2nd 


This post was submitted by DinaHeiss.

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