"My greatest desire is to teach others that through the
care and love that a woman puts into her meals, her table
becomes the heart of the home, from which all those around
it derive warmth and pleasure. I gain great satisfaction
from teaching the energetic generation, who are just
starting families, that cooking and serving can bring close
ties among all family members." (Excerpt from "For the Love
Most of us have our favorite recipes and we make them over
and over again. That's because our families like them.
That's probably also because they are not lots of work to
prepare (well, usually...). No, we aren't looking for long,
confusing ideas; we get tired just reading the ingredients
and would not dream of `whipping up' such dishes. When we
think of Sephardic cooking, we really get apprehensive.
Somehow, we don't connect `exotic' with `easy'.
Then along comes Rae Dayan and breaks all the rules. She's
been cooking and loving it for over 50 years. Everyone who
has ever merited eating in her home can attest to how
delicious the meals are. But the best part is that the young
brides in her cooking class can tell you how they love the
simplicity of the recipes (and hearing how their husbands
enjoy their wife's new skills). She takes pride in the fact
that a woman does not have to spend hours upon hours in her
kitchen in order to serve a flavorful and beautiful meal.
After many, many years of cooking and teaching, she finally
decided to answer the request of many: "Why don't you write
your own cookbook already?" Now we are also the fortunate
ones who can benefit.
"The Love of Cooking" published by Targum Press can now give
you the chance to expand your cooking options. Many have the
misconception that Sephardic cooking is spicy. These recipes
are not spicy but very full of flavor. Take a fragrant
stroll through this easy-to-follow book. Start with some
interesting appetizers that are sure to beautify your table,
especially in honor of Shabbos. And save you money, as
Try pickling peppers and carrots and other bet-you-never-
thought-of vegetables. The process took me about 15 minutes
preparation time and after two days, we had a nice variety
of pickles to choose from. Dive into her soup section and
learn a new twist on chicken soup. Rice is nice, but with
Rae Dayan, it's more than that. You can add nuts, peas or
chickpeas to liven up this otherwise basic bland dish. The
real Sephardic flavor peeks through when we start stuffing
vegetables. That's a Shabbos specialty that my children wait
So after you treat yourself to this wonderful delight of
culinary ideas, treat yourself to compliments galore. Then
you can sneak into the kitchen, giggle humbly and say to
yourself, "Rae Dayan, thanks!"
PICKLED GREEN PEPPERS AND CARROTS
6 cups water
2 cups vinegar
4 tbsps. coarse salt
4 green peppers
4 stalks celery
6 cloves garlic
2 lbs. carrots
Method -- GREEN PEPPERS
In a bowl, mix water, vinegar and salt.
Cut green peppers in slices, lengthwise.
Chop 2 stalks celery in 1 inch pieces and halve 3 cloves of
Place green pepper, celery and garlic into a 2 quart jar and
add half of the vinegar mixture. Seal tightly and
Leave in refrigerator for 2 days before serving. Keeps
indefinitely in frig.
Peel and slice carrots into 1/2 inch diagonals.
Chop 2 remaining stalks of celery into 1 inch pieces and
halve remaining 3 garlic cloves.
Place carrots, celery and garlic in a 2 quart jar and add
remaining half of the vinegar mixture. Seal jar tightly and
refrigerate for 2 days.