A Glazov Family Tradition For The New School Year = “Learning Is Sweet!”

A New School Year

It’s that time of year again! A new school year. However, this year will continue to have its challenges because of the Coronavirus variant, the debate of wearing masks, and hybrid, online, or in school attendance.

Sweet Memories

The beginning of the school year always evokes copious sweet memories from my childhood, my teaching career, and our sons’ experiences from nursery school (that is what it was called in the 1970’s before the description was changed to preschool and/or early learning childhood center) through college and law school.

Glazov Family Tradition

When our sons were little boys I began my Blue Mother Brain “First Day of School Glazov Family Tradition” by making honey cake for their first day of school. I would slice a piece of honey cake and then cut it into the letter Chai, the Hebrew letter that represents life. I wanted our sons to have a sweet life experience in school! I have continued that tradition with our 3 grandchildren. However, sadly, the last few years have changed our tradition.

When I baked the honey cake, I was following a Jewish tradition I read about in Leo Rosten’s book, The Joys of Yiddish. “…the boy’s mother would give him honey cakes, shaped in the letters of the alphabet, before he went off to Chedar (Hebrew school) on his first day or when he returned, to encourage him to know and remember that learning is sweet.”

Honey Cake Recipe

The following is the honey cake recipe from A Treasure for My Daughter cook book, which was a bridal shower gift from my mother in March 1967.

1/2 C. oil
1 C. sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 C. honey
2 1/2 C. sifted flour (I used unsifted gluten free flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. allspice
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 – 1 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. orange juice
1 orange rind grated
1 C. chocolate chips (our grandchildren’s preference), chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans or 1/2 C. raisins

Cream together oil and sugar at medium speed in electric mixer, beat in eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Add honey gradually with mixer in motion. Sift together flour and other dry ingredients, holding out 1/4 cup. Add flour to mixing bowl alternately with orange juice, continuing to beat a medium speed until very smooth and creamy. Toss chocolate chips, nuts and chopped nuts, or  raisins with reserved flower, add to cake batter, stirring to distribute evenly. Pour into two  9 x 4 x 3 inch greased loaf pan bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for  45- minutes or 1 hour or until top springs back when pressed lightly.

Final Thought

I hope you will enjoy and share our Glazov Family Tradition with your loved ones to wish them a sweet life experience in school this year! 


My family business memoir No Bunk, Just BS (Business Sense) is available on Amazon.com.

10% of royalties from the sale of all my books is allocated JDRF-Illinois Outreach and Education to help children, adults, and families living with Type One Diabetes (T1D).


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