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Yesterday's Mavens, Today's Foodies: The Perfect Hanukkah Gift

yesterdays-mavens-todays-foodiesOne of our fabulous Foodies on Food folks, Cindy Masin, is editor of an amazing volume of community-gathered recipes called Yesterday's Mavens, Today's Foodies: Traditions in Northwest Jewish Kitchens. We reached out to her to ask about the cookbook project and about her family's Hanukkah traditions.

Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies, which was created as a fundraising effort to benefit the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, contains over 250 heirloom recipes and personal stories gathered from area families that collectively communicate shared and ancient Jewish traditions, culture, and history, within the unique context of generations of acculturation for Ashkenazic and Sephardic settlers and communities in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for a great Hanukkah gift for a foodie friend or family member, consider purchasing Yesterday's Mavens, Today's Foodies — the hardcover edition is priced at $36 and is available through the WSJHS website.

For Masin, Hanukkah has always been about family, preparing the traditional meals (in her family's case, that means brisket, potato latkes, and homemade applesauce) and sharing the story of the miracle around Hanukkah. She provided for us her simple and delicious applesauce recipe.

Cindy Masin's Applesauce for Latkes


  • 8 apples
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Cinnamon for garnish

Cut apples into quarters and place them in a large pot; cover the apples with water. Add cinnamon sticks and bring the water to a boil. Lower heat and simmer the apples until they are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon sticks. Transfer the cooked apples from the cooking liquid with a slotted spoon in batches to a Foley food mill. Process the apples by manually turning the handle  over a large bowl.  This process will leave the skins and any seeds behind and render the applesauce into the bowl. Repeat until all the apples are processed.

In another bowl add about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and one cup of the hot applesauce.  Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture back into the bowl. Sweeten with more sugar if desired.

Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot or cold.

We also scrounged up a bevy of delicious latke recipes (yes, we're latke-obsessed) you might try if you don't have a family recipe of your own:latke

Happy Hanukkah!

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