It’s that time of year again! A new school year. Hopefully, this year will not have the challenges of the past two years, and all the students and teachers will be Healthy and Safe!
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.
I hope you will enjoy and share our Glazov Family Tradition with your loved ones to wish them a sweet, joyful, and safe experience in school this year!
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