Happy Hanukkah and Kasha Varnishkes
Roasted Whole Grain Buckwheat, Bow Tie Pasta,
Caramelized Onion, Sautéed Mushrooms, Walnuts, Parsley
This dish never fails to bring back sweet memories of my Nana and Auntie Edythe. This year my version of Kasha Varnishkes (also called Kasha & Bows) includes mushrooms and walnuts. I remember that Auntie Edythe would prepare hers with lots of kasha in proportion to the bows and no doubt used plenty of schmaltz. My recipe has more pasta and vegetables in relation to the buckwheat.
I was looking through boxes of my mom’s photographs and came across the one below. It is so wonderfully perfect for sharing my Kasha Varniskes recipe and celebrating Hanukkah. Sadly, everyone in the photo except my cousin Robert has passed away. We bless them and they bless us each time we think of them. Our memories keep the people who have passed on close to us. May their memory be for a blessing. Always and forever.
My Nana (paternal grandmother) was born in Kiev, Russia 1894. The family fled to Canada to escape the pogroms when she was a young girl. Her birth name was Vitte but she took her sister’s name, Fanny, after Fanny was killed in a machine accident.
She met my Papa (paternal grandfather) when they were teenagers and their families were living in the same apartment complex in Montreal. His name was Yitzcok when he was born in Romania 1891 but changed it to Isadore upon arrival in Canada when he was 13 years old. They say he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah on the boat.
Fanny and Isadore married then made their way to America and settled in Chicago where Papa took the name Irving, and they raised their children, (my aunt) Edythe and (my dad) Leonard.
Our extended family always called Papa by the name Izzy (from Isadore) and Izzy is now my nephew Jett’s middle name. And Jett’s older brother Stone has Leonard as his middle name. By keeping their names alive, we bless them.
Wishing a very Happy Hanukkah to my big dear family, near and far…past and present.