Lifestyle & Belief

A spicy sauce, an Israeli chef and one embarrassing dad? Happy Thanksgivukkah

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Credit: Alex Gallafent
Fresh s'chug is a course blend of cilantro, dried red chiles, jalapenos, garlic, salt, cumin, cardamom seeds and canola oil.

If the eyes are windows on the soul, then the belly is surely the front door.

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Food animates our lives, at least for those fortunate enough to have secure, safe access to it. And in the world's largest cities, food arrives in almost any conceivable shape or form. 

People shape food; in turn, food helps shape who we are as people.

Starting today, we'll be sampling some of the countless global food stories swirling around New York City and other places. There'll be morsels from immigrant chefs, food truck owners, writers, and others. It's going to sound delicious, trust me.

First up: Israeli chef Einat Admony. She's behind a Soho restaurant, Balaboosta, and a new cookbook of the same name.

"Balaboosta means a perfect housewife in Yiddish," said Admony, "Somebody that can get all the family around, can cook, clean."

The meaning of the term balaboosta is different today than it used to be, according to Admony.

"Today, women are actually going out to work, they want a career, they want to achieve more." she said. So, to be a balaboosta today is to juggle between career, family, relationships.

Admony learned how to cook from her mother and her aunt Chana, who lives in Israel.

Growing up, her mother cooked Iraqi and Yemenite food. One dish that her mother made, which actually reminds Admony of her father, is a Yemenite sauce that he loves called s'chug. S'chug is a blend of cilantro, dried red chiles, jalapenos, garlic, salt, cumin, cardamom seeds and canola oil.

Admony remembers her father bringing jars of her mother's s'chug everywhere they went — even out to dinner at a Chinese restaurant. This week, though, Admony has been focused on something besides her signature s'chug. She's preparing recipes for Thanksgivukkah.

This week will be the first time in more than a century that Hannukkah and Thanksgiving will coincide, something that won't happen again for more than 70,000 years. It's led to something of a food revolution, with people talking about cranberry sauce on latkes and even challah stuffing.

What recipes will you be putting on your Thanksgivukkah — or Thanksgiving — table? Leave them in the comments below so we can all drool right along with you.

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    Credit: Alex Gallafent
    Einat Admony's Aunt Chana is a true balaboosta. Her photo has pride of place in Admony's New York restaurant
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    Credit: Alex Gallafent
    Balaboosta is Einat Admony's restaurant in New York City
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    Credit: Quentin Bacon
    Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013.
  • BOOK JACKET final. Balaboosta.jpg

    Credit: Quentin Bacon
    Excerpted from Balaboosta by Einat Admony (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013.

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