It's funny that my very favourite Jewish food is actually, according to Wikipedia, "various sausages of Eastern European origin made by stuffing intestine (derma) with meat, blood (often) and a grain."

Except that the version I grew up with is vegetarian, and until last night, I thought it was the real thing. My Bubbi has been making kishka (well, mock kishka) since I was a wee one and it's still my favourite Jewish comfort food. As I was copying down the recipe from her last night, I noticed the "mock" in the title and made a mental note to look up what the original dish was.

Blood sausage.

My Bubbi's version is way tastier, I promise.*

I've noticed a lot of vegetarian dishes in Jewish cooking, which I guess is party due to dietary laws, and also partly due to knowing how to make your food budget stretch. Either way, I'm thankful!

While I was ogling the kishka recipe, I copied down a recipe for sweet potato kugel and learned that kugel dishes don't always need to contain noodles. News to me! Jewish foods seem to be perfect for Canadian winters, because they use up a lot of winter veggies, so I'm collecting some favourites for the vault. According to my Bubbi, you can also make latkes with just about any vegetable, including carrots and broccoli. Another must try.

I suppose it helps that my BH adores Jewish food more than anyone I've ever met, so the more recipes the better around here...

*In fact, because everyone should enjoy this tasty dish, I'll share it with you.

Etta's Mock Kishka

1/4 cup melted margarine
12 oz. package of Ritz cracker crumbs - approximately 3 1/2 cups (Bubbi says no other crackers will do)
2 medium onions
2 carrots, peeled
1 stalk celery
salt and pepper to taste

Crush crackers in the food processor; remove and set aside.
Process veggies until minced.
Add crumbs and margarine to veggie mixture; process.
Form mixture into three rolls and wrap tightly in foil (you're basically making logs)
Bake foil logs on a cookie sheet at 350 F for 45 to 50 minutes.



It seems that someone loved kishka so much that they wrote a song about it. From Wiki:

"Who Stole the Kishka?" (originally spelled "Who Stole the Keeshka?") is a traditional polka tune, composed in the 1950s by Walter Solek and recorded and played by various bands. One popular version was familiar to American radio audiences from a 1963 recording by Grammy award-winning polka artist Frankie Yankovic. A portion of the song includes three of various lyrics having to do with Polish foods, depending on who performs the song:

You can have my shinka
Take my sweet koscheeke
Take my plump perogi
You can even have my chernika
Take my long kielbasa

The verse ends with the pleading refrain "but please bring back my kishka."