This is Chocolate Week - and possibly the most delicious aspect of it is that we no longer need to regard a bar of the dark stuff as a guilty pleasure.
For as the Mayans who discovered the fruits of the cocoa plant discovered, it is, when properly made, choc-full of healthful ingredients. Recent scientific studies have shown dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve brain function and contribute to heart health.
The kitchen is said to be the heart of the Jewish home, but there comes a time when even old favourites have to be updated or renovated. This was certainly the case with my kitchen that had served me well for almost 15 years but that was showing definite signs of ageing and over-use. However, changing kitchens is an enormous project and can take a considerable time to plan and to implement.
It is that special time of the year in the Joseph household when my husband Mervyn harvests his garden produce. Carrying my largest mixing bowl, he will return with vast piles of crisp, green runner beans, golden and green striped courgettes, marrows and an assortment of tomatoes. There will also be chillies and, this year, tiny aubergines, plus sacks of muddy potatoes.
On another journey with our granddaughters, the sweetest blackberries were picked with crisp Concord pears and a handful of Bramley apples.
Imagine this for a day trip. Israelis, stereotypically unable even to stand in a queue, will call up months in advance to book. Then, one by one as their turn arrives, they will head for the Carmel Mountains and transform themselves into wine connoisseurs.
Sketching out his plan, Adam Montefiore, development director of the Carmel Winery, admits that it does not sound likely. But he points out that two decades ago it seemed equally inconceivable that Carmel, then synonymous with super-sweet wines, would soon win accolades from wine critics.
'Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks." Song of Solomon 4:3.
As we enter a new year, many of us will buy a pomegranate as part of our Yomtov purchases.
And certainly the pomegranate, with its polished red exterior and delicious, rich red and pink jewel-like seeds or arils looks attractive on the table. But it is fascinating to discover the Jewish symbolism lying within its ruby casing.
By Tracey Fine and Georgie Tarn, September 7, 2010
Tradition dictates, when celebrating the New Year, that one should indulge in sweet foods - and many of the dishes we love to eat during Rosh Hashanah rely on that staple ingredient, sugar. However, as we become more aware of the negative health effects that sugar can have on our bodies, supermarkets and health food stores are finding exciting alternatives.
Honey is nature's perfect alternative to sugar. Dipping apple into honey at Rosh Hashanah is one of those marvellous foodie traditions that gets everyone involved and in the mood.
Many of us will have just returned from summer holidays having enjoyed sampling new foods (and, of course, not having to make them oneself).
For me, holidays are one big adventure - tasting new dishes, visiting the food markets and buying unfamiliar ingredients, so that when I return home, I can create my own versions of food I have enjoying while abroad. It is amazing how memories of those special meals are instantly recalled when these new recipes are recreated back in the UK.
What could be more glorious than sinking your teeth into a sun-ripened peach? As you relish the glorious juice, you can admire its beautiful pink- and gold-streaked skin and revel in its glorious scent.
What is more amazing is that this wonderful fruit also carries with it new hope for cancer sufferers. Medical News Today reports that scientists have discovered that cancer cells died after treatment with peach and plum extracts in laboratory tests at the Texas Agri-life Research Institute.
Having just returned from one of the country's biggest pick your own (PYO) farms, my back was killing me as I struggled to lift boxes overflowing with blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries from the boot of my car, which became suffused with the heady aroma of semi-stewed fruit.
Farmers all over the world are currently opening their gates to pickers who are turning up for a day in the country and a chance to return home with bucket loads of fresh produce.