Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Designing Menus

It was so nice to be asked to do a "Jewish" menu again for next fall for Oak Cafe at American River College.  After blogging through Marlena Spieler's Jewish Cooking a few years ago (with lots of help from my *co-bloggers), I was asked to do a menu for them.  What a blast.

If you've never been to the Oak Cafe you MUST go.  All of their menus are excellent.  

The food is carefully and expertly prepared by the culinary students under the guidance of Chef Teresa Urkofsky.  She is a peach of a woman.  A real mensch.  The ingredients are top notch.  The cost for a 3 course meal with beverage?  $15.00 bucks.  Make reservations though!

I decided to honor my grandmother and use several of her recipes that we grew up eating.  Of course, we didn't know it was traditional "Jewish" it was quite the secret that her folks were Jews. My grandmother came from Romania at age two..through Canada and then down to the Dakotas. Her folks (my great-grandparents) came from Poland, through Western Russia and then onto a slow boat from Romania. 

We had the holishkes, the fish fritters, the matzoh ball soup...sometimes with noodles.  We had the brisket, the cholent, the challah, chopped liver, and lot's of fermented stuff.  Did I mention the rugelach?

So..coming up with a menu is fun and a challenge too.  I have to come up with the instructor and students can choose what they want to make.  No dairy with meat?  I admit, I don't know all the rules as we surely were not Kosher.  I learn.  I learn.  What else am I gonna do?  I hope I don't plotz over it.

*Eileen Makishima Thornton

*Shankari Ascot


Marcia Lowry said...

What an honor! I certainly did not know of your Jewish heritage growing up. Don't know what most of those foods are but they sound delicious. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

Yay for you! How fun! Keep us posted on your progress, Mel.
Linda Nygaard

Melody Elliott-Koontz said...

I was in my teens when my mom told me that her mom came from Romania and her folks were Jewish. Of course, they were escaping persecution so they became North Dakota Germans I guess.

It isn't well known and was not talked about when I was growing up. The Rosenberg trials, etc. My grandmother's last name was Rosenberg. Holishke's are stuffed cabbage rolls.

Tara Crowley said...

oh how cool! what fun! my mouth is watering just reading this.

Brooke said...

Melody, please, please contact me! I just started on at ARC's student-run newspaper, The Current, and I wrote an online article about how Judaism is disappearing from our area of Sacramento. I am so happy to hear of the Jewish food menu! I would really love to write a review of it! I am also trying to get in touch with other Jews on campus for follow-up piece I'm doing...and just to find people to celebrate the holidays with!

PS: Similar history. Grandma came across China from Latvia/Russia/Prussia area and met grandpa who had come through Canada from Poland. Settled in Toledo, Ohio!

Any other ARC Jews are welcome to contact me, too! I know there are more of us out there :)