As a young child, I came to fear Sunday afternoons. This was a special time, reserved for teas with my elderly aunts and uncles.

Why so scary? Imagine being greeted by an Aunty Betty or Uncle Harry, all leather-worn-faced and balding head (and I’m talking the Aunt here) with an out-streched hand that would squeeze the life out your cheeks as if they were lemons, accompanied by a shriek of “bubelah” spat through clenched (and most likely, false) teeth. It’s scary… really.

So when my mother would give me this soft, roundish thing to eat and tell me it was a bubelah, I was naturally dis-inclined to eat it. It reminded me of my Monday-morning swollen face. And furthermore, I assumed I was being fed cow cheeks or some such.

Later I learned that bubelah means darling in Yiddish and is said as a term of endearment… one I use frequently with my children today (as I squeeze their cheeks).

I love the way my mother (and doubtless her mother and hers before her) used the very last crumbs of what was left of the batter preparation for her shnitzels.


  • Whatever is left of the seasoned flour, egg and matzah meal you had been using for the batter for something else, probably shnitzel


  • The frying pan that had fried whatever you had been frying (probably the afore-mentioned shnitzel)


  1. Mix the flour, egg and matzah meal into a small ball and flatten just a little.
  2. Fry in a little butter or oil, soaking up whatever bits were left in the pan, until both sides are a golden brown.
  3. Feed them as a snack before dinner to the children and watch them skip like lambs around the kitchen (probably as they run from your outstretched, cheek-searching finger-tips).
Re: Bubelahs