The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.




            I rarely go grocery shopping without buying chicken – kosher chicken, which is about three times the cost of chicken that isn’t kosher, but that’s another story. One family for whom I cater wants only dark meat, another wants all chicken skinned.  One sneers at fried chicken, another doesn’t want it spicy. But they all want chicken – once or twice a week!   It’s always been a favorite in the South but Colonel Sanders turned fried chicken into a national icon. I began to wonder if our appetite for chicken was peculiar to theU.S. or was it common in other countries and cultures so I did a little digging.


Just a few facts before you cry FOWL.  In 1965 the annualU.S.per capita consumption of chicken was 35.7 pounds.  By 2011 it had risen to 84.4 pounds. At  two pounds  per chicken that equates to one person eating 42 chickens annually. If you eat ¼ of a chicken at a meal, you have had 168 chicken dinners in a year.  The Japanese consume 1 kilo per month per household (about 27 pounds) and China is fast approaching that. Consequently, we’re all eating less red meat – a good idea in view of dire warnings about the health hazards of too much red meat.


Here are a few chicken recipes which are favorites in other countries and at my table whether entertaining or not. The World’s Fair Chicken is particularly colorful and a platter of it can serve as a centerpiece. The Moroccan Chicken is exceptionally healthy.



  1. Rinse and dry 2 chickens cut in pieces
  2. Combine the following, add chicken and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.  Juice of 3 lemons; 5 smashed garlic cloves; 2 diced onions; 1 finely minced green pepper; ½  t. thyme and curry

3.   Drain chicken, scrape off veggies, dry; strain marinade; reserve veggies and liquid separately

4.  Heat ½ C. oil until very hot; stir in 2 T sugar and cook until it turns brown.

5.   Add chicken and brown on all sides – about 10 minutes

6.   Stir in reserved veggies and cook for 3 minutes.

7.   Add marinade and 1 large diced tomato

8.   Cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour.


  1. Saute 1 lb of chicken pieces until brown; remove from pan.
  2.  Add 2 C chopped onion, 1 t. salt, 1 t. ground coriander, ½ t each cumin and cinnamon; ¼ t. red pepper or a little chili powder; 2 cloves minced garlic.  Saute all this about 3 minutes.
  3. Add 2 T tomato paste and cook one minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in chicken, 2 C lentils (rinsed and drained) 2 C chicken or vegetable broth, 1 C water, 4 t golden raisins.  Reduce heat and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  1. Add 2 C hot cooked basmati rice and heat through. Serve with slivered, toasted almonds on top.

WORLD’S FAIR CHICKEN (about 8 servings)

  1. Bake 2 chickens cut in pieces for 30 minutes at 425 degrees
  2. Combine:  2 1/3 C orange juice; 1 C currants; ½ C chutney;1 C. almonds; 1 t. each cinnamon and curry; dash of thyme
  1. Simmer sauce 10 minutes;  pour over chicken; bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees
  2. Garnish chicken with sliced bananas, mandarin oranges, parsley
  3. Optional: can serve with almonds, green onion tops, coconut chips, chutney
  4. Serve with rice.


  1. Cook 1 C rice and set aside.
  2. Stir together 3 T soy sauce, 2 T creamy peanut butter, 2 t. white wine vinegar and ¼ t. cayenne pepper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 3 T olive oil over high heat. Add 4 boneless chicken breast halves cut into thin strips, 3 T chopped garlic and 1 ½ T. chopped ginger root and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is golden – about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add ¾ C chopped green onions, 2 C broccoli florets and the  peanut butter mixture.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.  Serve over rice.


Spicy but not hot.

  1. Brown 3 pounds of chicken pieces (can also use lamb). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the following: A couple of shredded carrots; 2 finely sliced red onions; A few finely diced garlic cloves; 2 bay leaves; 1 t. smoked paprika; A little coriander; 2/3 of a palmful of cumin

4.   Stir and simmer a few minutes

5.   Add dried fruits – apricots, raisins, currants – anything.  Cover with chicken broth and stir in zest of 2 lemons.

6.  Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve over couscous or rice.

Bon Appetite

Julie Rose


Leave a comment »



            I’ve come to the conclusion  it’s time to lighten up.  Every blog does not have to be of the deep thinking variety.  Accordingly, this week I’ll leave off from rattling on about the world’s problems or the nature of mankind and succumb to my love of cooking.

You won’t find  this recipe in any cookbook – I dreamed it up. I own a patent on it!  But I’m willing to share it with you.


Not the stuff  you throw into the dumpster, the waste basket – this garbage you eat.  If you’re anything at all like my family you eat gobs of it every chance you get.  On a 1 – 10 rating scale it registers:

Easy     10

Tasty    8-10 depending on what you put into it – spice it up to your taste

Time     5-10 depending on whether you buy veggies already cut up from a salad bar or cut your own

Cost     10 – cheap

Appearance – 5-10 depends on  color of veggies

Nutrition – 7-9 – depends on veggies, amount of salt, butter or margarine

You will need:

1 stick butter or margarine        1 package of fine noodles

about 1 C of prepared rice        about 2 C of beef stock

about 3-4 C of finely diced assorted vegetables, including green onions with tops (do not make mush  of them in a food processor)

salt and pepper

Melt the margarine/butter and saute the veggies about 5 minute. Remove from pan.

Dump in the noodles, stir often until noodles have browned slightly.

Add the rice and the veggies

Pour the beef stock over the whole mess –  just enough to cover – season with salt and pepper, stir,  cover and simmer about 10 minutes.

An excellent side dish to any chicken, beef, pork, veal entrée.

Try it – you’ll like it.

Julie Rose


Leave a comment »



           I love to cook but I’m neither the PB&J nor the meat and potatoes type.  If I’m going to spend hours in the kitchen I want them to be spent somewhat creatively.  I’ve recently begun to host out-of-the ordinary themed dinner parties. There is no way I’d do one based, for example,  on the Fourth of July, with teeny-tiny flags all over the table and a cake frosted in  red, white and blue. It is a culinary challenge to dream up such a theme and an appropriate menu.  Makes me feel like a contestant on The Food  Channel,  competing with Bobby Flay,  only I don’t  have a mystery ingredient – I have a mystery theme.  In the hope of stimulating your kitchen creativity, here are the menus for the last two

          The Feast of the Seven Fishes – an Italian tradition on Christmas Eve commemorating the wait, the Vigilia di Natale , for the midnight birth of  Jesus. (I’d like to know how it  is possible to determine he was born at midnight.)  I admit this was an odd choice since my guests were neither Italian nor Catholic but I couldn’t resist the challenge it posed.

Appetizer:         Smoked salmon spread on crustini; marinated asparagus spears.

Salad:               Greens tossed with shrimp and crab, Asian vinaigrette dressing –                        melon slices

Entree #1         Japanese pan-fried trout filets; roasted tomatoes and peppers

Entrée #2         Broiled salmon steaks, lemon yogurt sauce,  mushroom risotto

Intermezzo;       Codfish Balls with lime sherbet

Entrée #3         Deep fried ocean perch nuggets on a bed of ricotta stuffed   manicotti

Entrée #4         Whole sweet & sour red snapper, sweet rice pilaf,

Green beans, slivered carrots & toasted almonds

Desert              English Trifle

Drinks:           Irish Coffee

Italian Souave

It was no easy tri ck to come up with seven fish dishes.  That was a lot of kitchening but I was well rewarded by rave reviews.  A couple of months later I decided to do it again, this time featuring international foods.  Here’s that menu:

International Menu

Appetizers:       Egg Rolls (Chinese) and dipping sauces

Spanakopita (Greek)

Salad:               Israeli Salad

Entrée Buffet:    Paella (Spanish)

Pad Thai (Thai)

Gorgonzola Pasta (Italian)

Mongolian Beef with Pea Pods

Cuban chicken

Sweet & Sour Pan Fried ocean perch filets (Japanese)

Persian rice with raisins and almonds

Deserts:            Apple Crumble (Irish)

Krumcake  (Norwegian)

Drinks:           German Beer

Italian Red and White Wines

Along the way I found the following dipping sauce recipe and it now occurs to me that maybe the next such dinner will consist of various such sauces and the ingredients to be dipped in them.

Now let me think – avocado dip, humus, smoked whitefish, blue cheese, something lemony, something minty, something hot/spicy, key lime salsa, spiked apricot marmalade – and  chocolate and caramel, of course.  Won’t that be fun?


Blend:   1 ½ C peanut butter, 1/2 C coconut milk

3 T each: water, lime juice, soy sauce

1 T each: fish sauce, hot sauce, minced ginger

3 crushed garlic cloves

1/3 C chopped cilantro

Bon Appetite

Julie Rose


Leave a comment »




She had a wooden chopping bowl the size of a washtub.

I hadn’t the faintest idea what gefilte fish was.

She said ”I’ll teach you”.

I learned by chopping  – endlessly.

I’ve  now chopped enough fish to stock Lake Erie.


At Passover we chopped nuts and apples by the buckets.

In my kitchen I toyed with  the recipe

Mixed a little nutmeg into the cinnamon,

Added some raisins or apricots;

Occasionally won a round of applause.

Tried Persian Charoset – adored by some guests

Too spicy for others.


We left off chopping and began to knead

Kitty insisted 100 kneads were essential

I divided the challah dough in thirds to be braided

She cut each piece in half and s said

“We braid six, Prettier.”

She never let me forget I failed the proofing yeast test


I  learned brisket doesn’t have to taste like shoe leather

Meatballs demand sweet jam and chili sauce,

Those cubes of beef the butcher calls beef stew

Are delectable braised in red wine and onions

After they’ve marinated for two or three days.


I learned to make chicken soup without a whole hen,

Used only a bag of bones, a few wings

And never forgot the thyme

I learned guests expect matzo balls in their soup.

After some practice mine were light as a cotton ball.


“Forget the matzo balls next shabbas,” he said.

“Make some knishes instead.”

Knishes?  Quick – call Aunt Kitty.

He once asked for borsch.

Bought beets, dug out a grater:

My knuckles bled for three hours.

Alas, he wanted cabbage borsch.


Mandelbrot, Sponge and Honey Cake?

Boring I concluded – leave those to the bakery.

Bourbon  Pound Cake and Cinnamon Tea Rolls

French Apple Tart and Lemon Bars are better.

Forget chopped liver.

The odor of broiled liver nauseated me.

That’s what delis are for.


Aunt Kitty’s wooden chopping bowl

Is now a cherished part of my kitchen.

It’s an octogenarian,

A stranger to planned obsolescence.

It holds fond memories of a motherly woman

Who knew her way through the maze of Jewish soul food.


Horrors – I’ve lost the chopper!




Post a comment


Julie Rose


Leave a comment »




            Surely I’m not the only mother whose kids gorged on cookies and pancakes swimming in syrup when they were little and, when they became picky teenagers, was forced to become both a nutritionist and a dietician.  Concious of being a few – I repeat – FEW – pounds overweight, my daughter turned up her nose at sweets of any kind, lived on salads with lemon juice only as dressing and insisted on skim milk


One son took pity on the animal world and became a vegetarian.  That required a whole new box of recipes and a search for suitable protein recipes. How did that happen?  He once attended a Jewish summer camp where one activity was to observe the kosher method of slaughtering a cow.  At the end of that summer about a dozen kids returned home as vegetarians.  Needless to say, that insensitive activity was never repeated.


From the time he was a toddler his older brother fed anything green on his plate to the dog. His father once told him if he didn’t eat the peas on his plate at dinner, he’d have them for breakfast and if he didn’t eat them for breakfast, he’d have them for lunch. After two days of uneaten peas, Daddy cried “UNCLE.”   In vain, I lived in hope he’d outgrow that. but it t wasn’t until he was close to forty that he stuck his fork into a salad. He is still a meat and potatoes guy. (Yuk)


They’re all adults now and all but the vegetarian have left behind those food quirks.  However, they are stick-in-the muds with reference to trying anything  new. They’d be reluctant to taste even one bite of something like paella or spanokapita.  I have no words to describe how much their attitudes toward  food  frustrates me – ME -the food experimentalist.  What I need to do is find a group of food junkies who are game for anything short of worms and crickets.


While none of my children have a sweet tooth, they have come to appreciate, and frequently ask for, two cakes I often make.  Both are quick and easy.  Herewith: Bourbon  Pound Cake and Bon Appetite Apple Cake. Either can successfully be made pareve (neither meat nor dairy).


BOURBON POUND CAKE (one large cake)

1 pound butter or margarine                              3 C sugar

8 eggs, separated                                              3 C sifted flour

2 t. each vanilla and almond extract                   1/3 C bourbon

½ cup chopped pecans


  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, gradually adding 1 C of sugar. Transfer to another bowl.
  2. In the mixing bowl – no need to wash it – cream butter/margarine and 2 C sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating thoroughly after each
  4. Add the flour and the liquid ingredients alternately in thirds.
  5. Fold egg yolk mixture into meringue.
  6. Sprinkle nuts in bottom of a well greased 10” tube pan and  pour in batter.
  7. .Bake at 350 degrees for 1 ½ hours.


BON APPETIT APPPLE CAKE – This cake stays moist for days.

Preheat oven to 325.

Mix:     3 ½ C Granny Smith apples chopped

1 ½ C  oil

1 ½ C sugar

½ C brown sugar

3 eggs


Add:     3 C flour                                   2 t. cinnamon

1 t. baking soda                        ½ t. nutmeg

1 C chopped walnuts                2 t. vanilla


Bake 1 ¾ hours in a greased tube pan.


I think credit for this one belongs to Bon Appetite magazine.


Post a comment.


Julie Rose




Leave a comment »




There are those who shy away from the stove and depend on frozen TV dinners. I’ve no doubt General Mills and Sara Lee applaud them. They can’t, however, count me among them. Nor can the makers of Ketchup and mustard – camouflages for poorly prepared food or lousy ingredients.  I like to cook and I’m quite good at it. I abhor fast food and most carry-out stuff and happily wander between sink, stove and refrigerator. There are times I am convinced I was born in a kitchen, not in a hospital. (See poem following.) .  Why, you might ask, do you like to cook?


The answer is I find cooking to be a creative exercise.   How many twists can I put on mashed potatoes? What’s another way of making chocolate cream pie? What can I do to perk up this dull salad?  Can I safely substitute V-8 juice for catsup? I avoid having dinner parties with themes based on the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving. Where is the creative challenge to be found in celebrating those holidays?  I have no wish to spread an American flag on my table nor have little plastic turkeys scattered around between the wine glasses.   I much prefer to plan dinner parties for about twelve to fourteen based on themes other than Halloween or Mother’s Day.. Here are a couple I’ve done that tickled my imagination and offered a challenge. Recipes are available by request to my email address below.


I once read about “The Feast of the Seven Fishes,” an Italian, Catholic, tradition on Christmas Eve, supposedly commemorating the three day wait for Jesus’ resurrection.  I can’t imagine why an event that occurred at Easter should be celebrated at Christmas but, nonetheless, that’s what it is. Although I am neither Italian nor Catholic that “Feast” struck me as a culinary challenge.  Preparing seven fish entrees and accompanying side dishes for a dozen people is no small trick.  After tweaking a menu about 35 times guests were first served a smoked salmon spread on crosini, followed by codfish balls, then five different fish entrees. All fish dishes were accompanied by a starch of some kind and a vegetable. The Chinese whole sweet and sour red snapper and the pan fried Asian trout filets stole the show.


A few months later the dinner-theme bug bit me again.  This time it was to be a casual affair, with pillows on the floor, using paper plates and plastic utensils. Guests were invited to partake of an International menu. which consisted of: Israeli salad, Egg Rolls (Japanese), Spanopikita (Greek), Paella (Spanish), Pad Thai, Gorgonzola Pasta (Italian), Mongolian Beef, Persian Rice (Iranian), Asian Sweet & Sour Fish with Danish Apple Crumble and Norwegian Krumkaka for desert – all to be washed down with French wine and German beer.


It seems appropriate at this time of year to celebrate summer but I’ve yet to decide on a summer menu.  Briefly – very briefly – I thought about a “Kiddie Food” theme but macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and PB&J sandwiches is not my idea of a culinary challenge. Summer?  Summer?  What would be on my summer menu? Maybe cold vichyssoise or gazpacho, apple cole slaw,  potato/onion gratin, Drunken Drumsticks, thin slices of rare roast beef atop a bed of sautéed spinach and, for desert, fresh strawberry or blueberry pie with Kailua flavored crème frache.  Gotta tune that up a little.


The Kitchen follows.


Post a comment – share a recipe.


Julie Rose



THE KITCHEN (abbreviated)


I’m convinced I was born in a kitchen, not in a hospital.

The oven was my womb; my umbilical cord led to the sink.

I came out smelling like garlic, whining like an old mixer. . . .


My kitchen is my inner self . . .

The oven affords me time for reflection

The blender scrambles my thoughts into new ideas. . .

It is my internal clock

Wakes me to the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. . .

Lulls me to sleep at night with warm herbal tea


The kitchen is my smile.

I grin at a plate of chocolate brownies

Beam at a tasty pasta creation

Clap for a stack of crispy potato pancakes.

Glow when others applaud some dish

It’s also my frown.

Aerated foam is not whipped cream

Burnt bottoms on muffins are cause for divorce

And sticky rice is not nice. . . .


My kitchen demands balance and imagination,

Judgment, prudence and patience

There my visa is stamped, a passport to adventure.

An introduction to food from other cultures

. . .

Bury me, please, not with a headstone,

But with a sprig of thyme under my nose

And a cherry tree at my feet.