Hello from Los Angeles, a city where it rains every day! For real—it’s rained almost daily for the past week, and I couldn’t be happier. We need this moisture so badly, so desperately that it would take a few months of regular rain to even begin thinking about saying things like, “This rain is great for the drought,” and “Let’s take a long hot bath (not together, tho)”. I’m loving every minute of it, despite the fact that I’m also running around like a maniac finishing up holiday gifts—most of which are actually very belated thank yous to the crew that helped test recipes for the Kale & Caramel cookbook. I’m also getting over a cold and generally feeling so, so exhausted. All I want to do is cuddle up with a bowl of soup and a blanket and have the people I love tell me stories and rub my back*. Is that so much to ask? (*ALSO WORLD PEACE.)
To fulfill at least one small part of that fantasy, I made this earthy, delicious cream of shiitake mushroom and caramelized leek soup from Jennifer Farley’s new book The Gourmet Kitchen. The book feels like one you can truly rely on—that book you can pick up when you’re looking to make just about anything, and it’ll have your answer. I came in search of a wintery soup, and a wintery soup I found.
Read more and get the recipe (and the giving guide) here!
Every night we light a candle for something to remember. The first night, for peace. The next, for love. The next, for forgiveness. The next, for joy. We keep naming the things we want to hold most dearly until, on the eighth night, we recite them all, a litany of yeses that feels good and pure and true. This was my Hanukkah, growing up. A sweet ritual of remembrance we practiced, tenderly, holding hands, probably after om'ing, probably looking out on a gorgeous Maui sunset.
We weren’t religious Jews, per se, but there was always something of the spirit with us.
And it certainly didn’t stop me from adoring latkes.
So I offered my online friend Aviva the recipe I use for doughnuts for Hanukkah. I thought I’d post it here so others can use it too. I got it off allrecipes.com from user rachel d (always cite your sources kids!). I’ve had great luck with these but I will say that they go stale overnight, so make sure you have enough people to eat them in one sitting. (They’re still edible the next day, just not as good.)
Bread Maker Doughnuts
½ cup warm milk ½ beaten egg ¼ cup butter 2 cups flour ¼ cup white sugar 1 tsp salt 1 tsp active dry yeast (I use the quick rise or breadmaker yeast) 8 cups vegetable oil for frying (I don’t bother measuring - I just fill up my pot)
1. Place the milk and egg into the pan of your breadmaker, and add the butter flour, sugar, salt and yeast (making sure not to get the yeast wet). Choose the dough setting and start it.
2. When the dough cycle is finished, remove the dough to a floured surface, and knead it a few times to collapse al lthe air bubbles (there aren’t usually that many). Cut the dough into 16 pieces, cover them with a damp cloth, and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
3. Stretch each ball out into a disk about ¼ inch thick, and poke a hole through the dough with your finger. Pull apart gently to widen it a bit. Let the doughnuts rise on the floured surface until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
4. Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 350F (175C).
5. Gently place a few doughnuts at a time (I usually do four) into the hot oil, and fry until they float to the top and turn golden brown, about three minutes. Flip the doughnuts over, and fry on the other side. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.
I usually put ½ cup brown sugar and a tbsp cinnamon in a large ziploc and put a few doughnuts in at a time and shake it up to cover htem. You can also do a glaze but I’ve never done that myself. They’re really good plain too.
Hanukkah sameach to all of you celebrating on Sunday!