Several people have requested the recipes for the holiday cookies. Although not the prettiest cookies I have ever seen, I think these would be perfect not only for Rosh Hashanah but also for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur as they are not terribly sweet. And they also would be good for any Mah Jongg table!
According to The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews by Edda Servi Machlin, “There was a time when the law that prevailed was the ‘law of the stick.’ When landlords could not collect from poor tenants, they would evict them with the persuasive aid of a stick. The same treatment was applied to the Jews when they were no longer wanted in a community.”
“The Jewish fascination with depressing desserts in general, can be interpreted either as an attempt to dust a little sugar over bad memories–or to immortalize the centuries of oppression and scorn as if to say, ‘Even in the good times, we must remember the bad.’ Consuming a dessert that represents a negative experience inherently implies that the Jewish people have not only survived through the era of hardships, but thrived enough to have a little dessert. In other words, sfratti–like hamantaschen or haroset–are a tasty embodiment of the celebratory phrase: ‘They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!'”
Recipes follow… Continue reading