Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Ronnie Fein


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  • German star cookies for the Yom Kippur break-fast

    Ronnie Fein|Sep 22, 2023

    This story originally appeared in The Nosher. When people deny themselves food for an extended period of time, they’re usually ravenously hungry and find themselves thinking about consuming huge amounts of food. But it’s not a good idea to pack it in too quickly. It’s too hard on your digestive system. So when Yom Kippur comes to a close, I make it easier for my family and friends and follow the age-old wisdom of transitioning from the fast to the main meal by offering my guests a light nibbl...

  • Zimtsterne: German star cookies for the Yom Kippur break-fast

    Ronnie Fein|Sep 30, 2022

    When people deny themselves food for an extended period of time they're usually ravenously hungry and find themselves thinking about consuming huge amounts of food. But it's not a good idea to pack it in too quickly. It's too hard on your digestive system. So when Yom Kippur comes to a close, I make it easier for my family and friends and follow the ages-old wisdom of transitioning from the fast to the main meal by offering my guests a light nibble as they come into my home after synagogue. I...

  • This sweet treat is like baklava

    Ronnie Fein|Oct 1, 2021

    (JTA) — During the High Holidays, I always make my family’s recipe for a dessert called turte, which is similar to Greek baklava. Rather than walnuts, however, it’s made with almonds and drenched with a thick sugar syrup instead of honey. Turte is a specialty from the eastern part of Romania called Moldavia, where my grandparents were born, and is sometimes made with thin pancakes. My grandma made it with strudel dough. I recall watching her make her own dough for this dish, as well as her fabulous potato strudel, laying the paper-thin dough...

  • Fish and chips' surprising Jewish history

    Ronnie Fein|Nov 22, 2019

    You may be surprised to learn that fish and chips, though wildly popular in England for what seems like an eternity, actually was a specialty of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews who fled the Inquisition in the 16th century and found refuge in the British Isles. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver referred to this recently in an article in The New York Times, adding that “Dishes evolve, impacted by trade, war, famine and a hundred other forces.” Among those “other forces” are dishes born of religious ritual. For observant Jews, fish is pareve, a neutral...

  • Apple Pie Kugel Recipe

    Ronnie Fein|Sep 29, 2017

    (The Nosher via JTA)-One day many years ago, during the High Holidays yet, I called my mother early in the morning to yell at her about kugel. Really. In my family kugel meant skinny noodles mixed with eggs, schmaltz, salt and fried onions. I'd heard of the sweet kind from friends who rhapsodized about the ones their grandmas made. But I'd never tasted any of those because my mother told me they were horrible. Years later, when I finally did, it was a watershed culinary moment for me. I was at...

  • How to make cold borscht

    Ronnie Fein|May 19, 2017

    (The Nosher via JTA)-I can't eat borscht that comes from a jar that's been sitting on a supermarket shelf for who knows how long. So sue me. Tell me I'm a snob. I just can't. It's the wrong color, it's too thin and has these shimmering chopped-looking things on the bottom that I suppose are beets but remind me of pocket lint. But I do love borscht, all kinds. Years ago I was surprised when a friend served me a version that wasn't at all like the simple beet soup so familiar to Ashkenazi Jewish...

  • Roasted chicken with fresh pineapple

    Ronnie Fein|Jul 1, 2016

    (The Nosher via JTA)-I make chicken so often that my kids once told me we were all going to grow feathers and start clucking. But they never complained that it was the same old chicken because it never was. There are few foods as versatile as this worthy bird, so it was always easy for me to prepare it in a multitude of ways. Over the years I learned that chicken dinner never has to be boring. Chicken meat is so mild-certainly not as distinctive as, say, lamb or duck-that you can pair it with...

  • How to Make Perfect Cheesecake 5 Ways

    Ronnie Fein|Jun 3, 2016

    You know Shavuot is coming when you begin to see cheesecakes everywhere. Countless variations in the bakeries and supermarkets. Endless numbers of recipes in the media. Cheesecake is the iconic Shavuot dessert, as sacrosanct as a Hanukkah latke or Passover matzah ball. Unfortunately, cheesecake is one of those deceptively simple recipes, the kind that requires some tips and techniques to get right. Also, not everyone agrees on what makes a cheesecake perfect. Some like it dense; others,...

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