18 / 11 / 20
Food is woven through the narrative of every religious festival across the world. As encountering faith & belief is an integral part of what we do here at F&BF, Scriptural Seasoning is an opportunity to discover each others’ traditions, through a food lover’s eyes. This recipe has been shared by F&BF’s Parliamentors Officer, Ben Shapiro
Throughout their history, Jewish people have moved from place to place. Sometimes this was by choice, but more often than not it was forced by external reasons, such as an escape from persecution.
This caused great suffering, which was not always formally recognised. Most Jews that arrived in the UK came via chain migration. Only a small percentage came as officially recognised refugees through systems such as Kindertransport – as my grandfather did.
Fortunately today, there are very few Jews still needing to seek refuge. That means the advocacy done by Jewish people is mainly supporting people of other faiths and beliefs.
Thinking about who you are, where you come from and what matters to you – then imbuing all you do with those answers – is very Jewish.
Something that matters to me is my deep unabiding love of ice cream, probably accounting for 30% of my calories in the last month alone!
I would welcome divine justification for my ice cream obsession, but I don’t think there is anything particularly Jewish about it. On the other hand, elevating the daily or mundane tasks to the divine is a core Jewish activity. There is a blessing for everything… even a rabbinic ruling on which shoelace to tie first! With a lack of social plans during lockdown, I decided to turn my hand to the kitchen and make my grandmothers ice cream recipe for the first time.
Although ice cream doesn’t seem distinctly Jewish, there are notable examples of ice cream empires founded by Jews – such as Häagen-Daz and Ben & Jerry’s.
Häagen-Daz was named by a Jewish immigrant to America, who chose a “Danish sounding name” as a mark of respect to Denmark – was one of the only countries that saved Jews during the Holocaust. Ben & Jerry’s core charity work involves supporting refugees fleeing conflict, climate change, poverty and violence – again in recognition of the experiences of the journeys of their founders’ families fleeing violence.
Sir Alf Dubs, well-known for his leadership in supporting refugees, arrived on the Kindertransport along with my grandfather. I also have it on good authority that he is also partial to ice cream…
On this note, here is a very simple recipe for ice cream that my grandmother used to make for my mum:
2 cups strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
1. Crush strawberries with a fork, add sugar, mix, place in fridge for 3 hours
2. Whip cream, carefully fold into fruit mix
3. Place in container and freeze until firm enough to eat