We were set to have our last WORDS session this month with a special in-person appearance by our featured author, Jenna Blum. Plans have changed.
While the coronavirus crisis means we can't gather in person right now, we're making the best of it and taking the party online! Whether you were able to participate in WORDS before or not, ALL ARE WELCOME to our virtual author event on Monday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
If you didn’t participate in the first two book club sessions, we encourage you to read at least one of Jenna’s books to ask her questions and be fully engaged in the conversation. You can purchase The Lost Family — in print, Kindle, or audiobook form — on Amazon.
It couldn’t be easier to join the online event. Simply click this Zoom link.
We’ll begin with cocktails and appetizers* (bring your own, of course!) and have a virtual toast to celebrate the opportunity to get together in these uncertain times. Some suggested recipes are listed below.
After the toast, Jenna will tell us a little about her fascinating background and share some insights about her writing. She's also offered to give us a tour of her writing studio! Then, she’ll host an open Q&A session; Jenna has said she will answer anything and everything.
We're opening up this event to the broader community, so feel free to pass along this page to your friends and family — the more the merrier!
While we're excited for this one-of-a-kind event, we are keeping our community in mind during this time. For Coronavirus Community Resources, please visit JewishBoston.com. For more information, please email Dani.
*Here are some recipes from Jenna herself, along with a fun mocktail we found online, that you can make to accompany this wonderful event:
Virgin Cucumber Gimlet
1.5 oz club soda
4-5 slices of muddled cucumber
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
To make simple syrup, boiled 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved and remove from heat
Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a rolled cucumber slice
By Jenna Blum
3 oz vodka
1 oz orange/ grapefruit juice
dash of gran marnier
airborne gummy garnish
The Lost Family Cocktail
By Jenna Blum
2 oz Crowne Royale Rye
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
1/4 oz Simple Syrup
Twist of orange peel
Peter Rashkin’s Latkes with Beet Dip & Horseradish Créme Fraîche
Compliments of Masha’s–bon appétit!
2 cups peeled & grated potatoes
1 T grated onion
3 eggs, beaten
2 T all-purpose flour
2 t salt
½ c oil for frying (we prefer canola or peanut)
1 bunch red beets, roasted
1 clove garlic
1 c fat-free Greek yoghurt (we prefer Fage)
¼ c olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional: 1 T tahini paste
Horseradish Créme Fraîche:
1 c crème fraiche (can also use fat-free yoghurt though texture will not be as silky)
1 T prepared horseradish
1 t kosher salt
½ t ground black pepper
2 sprigs chopped parsley for garnish
Roasted beets for dip (can be prepared 1 week ahead of time and stored in airtight container in refrigerator): Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrub beets. Wrap loosely in foil; place on rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 50 – 60 minutes, checking and turning every 20 minutes, until beets can easily be pierced with fork. If beets are cooking too quickly, spray with olive oil & add one T water.
Latkes (can be prepared 1 week ahead of time & stored wrapped in paper towels in airtight container; reheat before serving at 350 degrees for 10 minutes):
Place grated potatoes in cheesecloth & wring out as much moisture as possible.
Stir potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, & salt together.
In large heavy-bottomed skillet (we use Le Creuset), heat oil over medium-high heat until hot (but not smoking). Place 1 T spoonfuls of potato into hot oil, pressing to form patties. Brown on one side; turn & brown on other. Drain on paper towels.
While latkes are cooling, make Beet Dip & Horseradish Créme Fraîche
Slice roasted beets & add to food processor with all ingredients except salt & pepper (if you are including tahini, add at this step). Puree until smooth.
Add salt & pepper to taste.
Horseradish crème fraiche:
Combine all ingredients & whisk until smooth.
When latkes have cooled, assemble on serving tray or large dish. Top with 1 T beet dip; then top with dollop of crème fraîche. (It helps if you can refrigerate latkes between beet dip & crème fraîche step, though not necessary.) Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.
If your latkes have held together well & are dense, cut into finger-sized rectangles. Serve beet dip in bowl topped with crème fraîche, using latkes as dipping sticks.
Peter Raskin's Spring Pea Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock
Two fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
Two 10-ounce boxes frozen baby peas
4 stems flat-leaf parsley
1 cup creme fraiche
1 garlic clove, puréed
In a non-reactive soup pot, heat olive oil & add celery, shallots, leek & dash balsamic.
Cook over low heat until translucent, about 6 minutes.
Add chicken stock, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.
Discard the rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender or food processor.
Bring separate saucepan of salted water to boil. Cook sugar snap peas 3 minutes. Add frozen peas and 3 stems parsley (reserve one stem for garnish). Cook 1 minute. Drain.
Add peas to vegetables in blender; add ¼ c broth & purée until smooth.
Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool. Chill in refrigerator one hour.
Blend puréed garlic & creme fraiche in medium mixing bowl, by hand with whisk. Strip remaining rosemary off its stem and chop very fine along with one reserved stem of parsley.
Ladle chilled soup into bowls & top with garlic creme fraiche. Top with sprinkling of rosemary and parsley. If desired, add reserved 2 strips of bacon, crumbled very fine.
(Soup and garlic creme fraiche can be made—separately—a day in advance and kept in refrigerator.)