who's in the kitchen

After 8 years, it’s another delightful Sukkot


This is the eighth year that I’m writing a Sukkot column for The Jewish Star and, frankly, I’m not sure what I can say that I haven’t already said.

I’ve spoken about the tribulations of Jerry putting up the sukkah on his own (canvas upside down, etc.), I’ve spoken about taking down the sukkah, usually right before Pesach (when I decide I’ve had enough of seeing it in a pile in the corner of the backyard and I drag it to the garage on my own, only to be admonished by my husband for not asking him to do it), I’ve spoken about the good old days when sukkahs actually looked like they were small simple huts with homemade decorations.

One year I compared sukkahs from when I was a child to what goes on today. People can pay $5,000 and have a custom sukkah put up that literally looks like you’re walking into a dining room in a home. Of course for that $5,000 they’ll take it down as well. I’ve spoken about how some people hire florists to turn their sukkah into a floral wonderland.

This year all my children will be with us, including my adorable granddaughter, Arielle, and dogs Murphy and Penny. Also joining us will be my brother Jerry and his wife Shirley. Needless to say I’m thrilled and excited.

I’m trying very hard to be organized so that when everyone gets here I will have nothing to do but enjoy them, but if you all know that no matter how hard you try that is difficult to do. Nevertheless, this year that is my goal.

I’ve already baked all the challahs, sweet and regular, chocolate Babka, cheese babka, cheese cake, lemon curd cake, chocolate mousse and lotus whipped cream and my friend Janet Grosser’s famous biscotti recipe. The apple cookie crumb pie and the Key lime pie will have to wait until Sunday morning.

The brick roast, brisket, corned beef, lamb chops, and pargiot (also known as baby chicken or boneless and skinless thighs) are in the freezer and will be cooked Saturday night and Sunday. And then there are the assorted roasted and grilled veggies, mini pumpkins stuffed with red quinoa, and honey squash filled with carrot soufflé and sautéed Delicata squash.

As for my dairy meals, there’ll be cheese blintzes, French onion soup with homemade croutons and cheese-potato onion blintzes, mushroom onion crepes, lasagnia, spinach mushroom and crunchy cheesey soufflé, salmon, fried flounder and Chilean sea bass, bagels and lox — and lots of salads.

Now that I’ve got Sukkot out of the way can we please talk about the MLB playoffs for a moment. For those of you not following, at the time that I am writing this article (on Monday about 10 minutes before the deadline), the Yankees, Jerry’s beloved team, is 2–0, and my beloved Atlanta Braves are 2–1 ahead of the Saint Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series. Not that any of you are likely to care, except maybe Arnie and Mel Finkelstein, who live in Woodmere but we’re born and raised in Saint Louis.

Good thing there are no hidden cameras in my house, otherwise it would see me shouting at the TV, doing the tomahawk chop with bated breath when the bases are loaded, and dancing around the room as we go ahead, in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, which we did the other night.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Sukkot together with family and friends! Good luck to all of you Yankee fans out there including my hubby Jerry. May we meet at the World Series!

Yes, yes, yes I know it’s a long shot that the Braves will beat the Dodgers, but as the Mets would say, “You gotta believe!”

Oh and I’d like to give a shoutout to my favorite 11-year-old cousin Rylee Gluck, who has never missed reading my column. I’m honored. And a shoutout to my favorite editor and publisher, Ed Weintrob. Reilly happens to be an amazing writer, I should put the two of you in touch!

This is the recipe for the sautéed Delicata squash I listed above. Delicata squash is seasonal, and can be found at Trader Joe’s. It can be bought up to eight days in advance and doesn’t have to be refrigerated.

Brown Sugar Delicata Squash Recipe

From Sara Walsh, Dinner at the Zoo website


2 to 3 lbs. delicata squash (about 2 average sized squash)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon or more to taste

cooking spray


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve the delicata squash lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the halves into 3/4 inch thick slices.

Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the olive oil mixture over the squash and toss to coat. Bake for 20 tov30 minutes or until squash is tender and starting to brown. Serve immediately.