My mother-in-law, Gita, was a Holocaust survivor who came to the United States after the war. By the time I got to know her, she and my father-in-law had retired to Israel. During our visits as newlyweds, my husband Charles and I, and then later with our children, enjoyed the Eastern European foods Gita had grown up with. She never cooked with a recipe, always by taste. And while her menus rarely varied, the food was flavorful and filling. Her specialties were very traditional Jewish foods.One of her dishes that we all loved was called Pflaumen Tzimmis. “Pflaumen” is German for prunes and “tzimmis” is Yiddish for a sweet stew traditionally made with carrots. All the sweet flavors of the dish come from the melding of the ingredients. —Monita
large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 inch pieces
small onion, peeled but uncut
Salt to taste
In This Recipe
Place potatoes, prunes and whole onion in a pot half filled with water and cook until potatoes and prunes are very soft (“mushy”), about 25 minutes. Stir periodically.
Former recipe tester for Martha Stewart Living Magazine and Martha Stewart Omnimedia books, Monita began testing recipes for Food52 in 2012 as well as responding to Hotline questions. She also tests recipes for media companies, like The Food Network, assists food stylists, does food writing, including her own blog, www.nyculinaryfinds.com A culinary professional for a decade, Monita began her professional life in the public relations field. Monita is committed to preventing hunger and volunteers with Met Council, an organization that helps New Yorkers fight poverty. One of her favorite projects with them is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 60 residents at their low income housing.