It may just be the holidays approaching, but more likely the cooler weather, which reminds me of smells and tastes of my family’s kitchen. So below, I’ll share a family favorite that any age kid can bake AND any age kid will be happy to slurp down.
But first, a quick story of the book whose title I borrowed for this blog:
The story of the book begins with the Jewish women imprisoned in the concentration camp, Terezin. Their living conditions were desperate, hundreds perishing from hunger and disease, if not finally through extermination. One wonders how their spirits survived. It seems that to soothe their souls, as the High Holidays approached, they began to tell one another the stories of the foods, the preparations, the customs, the prayers of their homes. One woman there managed to hoard scraps of paper to write down their recollections, recording the most precious, the most beloved memories.
In a series of events beyond belief, let’s say ALMOST beyond belief, knowing she was to be killed, the woman begged a guard to carry the tiny packet of memories and if possible, after the war, convey them to her child. Almost a half a century later, in an American city, a doorbell rang. “Are you the child of….,” a stranger asked. The book above, In Memory’s Kitchen: A Legacy From the Women of Terezin,” shares with us traditions, memories, families long forgotten . . . except that a woman brought them forward.
And, so I share my father’s recipe for Casserole Dilly Bread
Casserole Dilly Bread by John Murray
1 pkg yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water. Heat 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 Tbsp of butter until warm but not hot (butter just melts). Add 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp dill seed, 1 tsp dill weed, 1 Tbsp dried minced onion, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 egg. Add yeast mixture. Mix this well. Add 2 14/ to 2 1/2 cups flour.
Allow to rise 1 1/4 hour. Pour dough onto floured surface, work it down (knead). Place in 8″ casserole, greased with shortening (not oil). Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool some before slicing.
This week, this season, I encourage you to recall a memory from your family’s kitchen. Perhaps you’ll want to make it or share the fun with your kids. But don’t forget to also share the memories, the values, the rich legacy of loved ones. Feed your bodies and your souls from Memory’s Kitchen.