Cooking with Love

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


My Safta Tova (Safta = grandmother) was a bakers daughter in a small village in Poland. Her family (and those of my grandfathers', may he rest in peace) were all murdered in the holocaust. They came to Israel in the 30's - and were saved.
The day they realized all their loved and dear ones were gone - my grandmother turned old. And sad.
I don't remember much laughing in the house. They both worked hard and raised their 3 children lovingly.
When I think of safta Tova - I see her in the kitchen. Never was there a time - in sickness or health that she wasn't baking or cooking. As children any pain would be gone in her eyes if we ate another cookie, gobbled a piece of cake or grabbed another matzo ball...:-)
When I was sick with the flu as a child I would beg my mother to take me to Safta so that she would watch over me....And I am positive that her cooking alone brought me back to health. This is a woman who made her own noodles for chicken soup way before the pasta machine was invented!
I could live on her rugelach alone. And if I was lucky (and my additional baby fat pounds prove how lucky I was) I would find the box of apricot cookies. Cookies made with homemade jam....ooooh my mouth waters just at the thought.
I am sorry that I never wrote down all her recipes while she was still in a clear mind. So I am always happy when I stumble across a recipe that at first bite sends me back to her kitchen.
\This is such a recipe and I am grateful to my friend Irit for the recipe. I even baked it in my Safta's loaf pan that muxt be at least 50 years old.

Cherry Cake
1 jar pitted sour cherries, drained
1/4 cup of the cherry syrup
2 small apples, peeled, cored and cut small
2 cups self rising flour
3/4 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup)
1 cup sugar
3 egss
almond extract (I omitted)
2 Tbsp brown sugar + blanched almonds (I used granola)

Mix together all the ingredients except the apples and cherries until well combined.
Stir in the apples and cherries.
Grease and flour loaf pan and pour in batter. Sprinkle with topping.
Bake at medium heat till toothpick comes out clean.


giz said...

Your safta reminds me of my own mother who also came from a small village in Poland, lived through the holocaust, saw nearly all her family go and came to Canada. For them both - food is love - a precious commodity that they had such precious little of during the war.

prettybaker said...

I think that in all cultures - no matter what - food is the family glue