Slice of Life Day 12: Food Traditions, Part 2: Jello and Noodle Kugel

My post about food traditions prompted other memories that need more attention.  My Grandma Janet was famous for a few dishes, but in my family, mostly two: jello molds and noodle kugel.

No family gathering was complete without either. And even after she passed away (5 years ago), our family gatherings still include jello molds and noodle kugel (always with a nod to Gram.)

We were once in a bookstore and found a book about the history of Jello.  We bought if for Grandma and gave it to her for some occasion. It seemed to be written for her alone! Who else stockpiled apricot, lemon and raspberry jello in the cupboard? Who else could be counted on to de-mold the jello with perfection?  My mom now has become the resident jello mold maker. She does a good  job and makes sure that every festive meal is accompanied by a jello, but even she will tell you, she thinks that Grandma made them better.

The noodle kugel was also a favorite.  Our family likes the noodle kugel with broad egg noodles and plain. Other families like it sweet or with apples and cinnamon, but we like it plain.  The noodle kugel was often the main part of the meal for us kids (usually my meal as a kid was noodle kugel and jello!). Grandma always cooked it to perfection, just golden brown on top. She made it for holidays or just because we liked it. Immediately after she died, as we planned the shiva for her, the grandchildren decided that we must have noodle kugel and the shiva. So…I set out to buy the ingredients for 5 noodle kugels and along with my cousin, we made them for the shiva.  As we ate them during the shiva, they helped to soothe our hurting hearts and nourish our souls.

Jello and noodle kugel, my family’s version of comfort food.



  1. caroline524 said,

    March 14, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I really enjoyed the part where you said that the food helped to soothe your hurting hearts and nourish your souls. You summarized grandmas and their cooking.

  2. Zac said,

    March 18, 2011 at 3:15 am

    The first things mom made for me when I came home were grandma’s kugel and meatballs! (You know, the nuclear orange ones.)

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