Sunday, 19 September 2010

Like Putting on a Sweater Made of Hugs...

That is what this food feels like for me.  It's cozy and warm and reminds me of home during my favorite time of year when apples and butternut squash are at their best, and you can justify sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg on anything.... This Sweet Vegetable Casserole I made this morning is what my mother originally started making during Passover- a holiday filled with strong memories of my Grandpa.  Memories which I am putting on like a sweater to keep me warm....

Passover is probably the most important Jewish holiday after Shabbat.  It is the holiday that tells the story of the Jews exodus from Egypt and slavery (and into that whole wandering for 40 years- but conveniently the holiday doesn't focus on our directional ineptness...) and celebrates the coming of spring.  Passover sedar is the dinner during which the story is retold from the haggadah with ritualistic eating and drinking.  If you're Orthodox the sedar can take FOREVER and is mostly in Hebrew.  Lucky for me I grew up in a reform temple, so my mother and I felt at liberty to edit our own version of the story to include women (consistently left out of many of the well known biblical stories and prayers), English, and modern day relevance (Intollerance and poverty is something I can wrap my head around a lot more than locust or frogs). 

During our Passover sedars Grandpa often led, Mom and Grandma cooked, Dad and Roger took turns downing a glass of wine to represent 'Elijah', Debbie made her marinated mushrooms, and Ellen and I sang the four questions and hunted for the afikoman (for which we were rewarded with money or the promise of pierced ears by Grandpa).  But most importantly, we all ate (a lot) relaxed, and enjoyed each others company.

This recipe makes a fabulous sweet side dish, could work well for breakfast or dessert or for absolutely no other reason than the desire for the taste of the season and of home.  Make it and you'll find that sweet memories are baked right in.

Bebe's Sweet Vegetable Casserole

1 cup grated raw sweet potato or butternut squash*
1 cup grated raw carrot
1 cut grated raw tart apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour or matzoh meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda

*If you're using butternut squash you can roast off all that you don't use (which is most of the squash) in the oven like I did in the photo above*

Feel free to use a bit more grated veg or spices if you have it...


Grate all fruit/veg and mix together.  Add your spices, soda and flour and mix well. 

Grease a 9" or 10" baking pan.  Pour your mixture in, smooth the surface and bake in a 325/165 oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden and starting to pull away from the sides.

Cool.  Cut.  Try not to eat it all in one sitting.


  1. Funny to talk about Passover during Yom Kippur! But what the heck. The recipe looks fabulous. Thanks.

  2. My dearest, Adrienne, I am currently reading a book titled, " The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight" by Gina Ochsner and there is a sentence that I reread twice because it brought you to mind immediately: "But, as any well-seasoned cook knows, the best recipes cannot suffer being placed on permanent record. These recipes, many of them containing guarded family hokes, curses, blessings, and secrets, were never meant to be written, and certainly never meant to be read. This was why, Olga deduced, in the steppe culture of displaced Jews, the ultimate insult was to compliment a woman's cooking by asking for a recipe."

    Of course I love that you write and share your recipes, but for some reason this series of sentences made me think of you. :)