The Tabernacle In Branson

The Tabernacle In Branson



By Brenda Storch, Messianic Rebbetzin of The Tabernacle

This is one of my go-to comfort foods for cold, dreary fall days. Rabbi’s mom, Daisy, made the best and this is pretty close to her recipe (She didn’t bother with carrots). For all of us in the Midwest, it can hold its own with homemade mac-n-cheese!!! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Brenda Kasha varnishkes is commonly thought of as a holiday dish today, but it comes from very humble beginnings: a poor man's fare from our Eastern European heritage, made from simple, hearty grain and noodles. The word "kasha" is Russian for porridge, though it refers primarily to buckwheat porridge, the most common and inexpensive grain available. The origin of the word "varnishkes" is a bit more puzzling: it apparently comes from a Ukrainian word meaning "stuffed," and refers to the fact that the original Ukrainian dish was made by stuffing kasha into a shell, more like a knish or a pierogi. The Jewish version is made by tossing the kasha (buckwheat groats) with bow tie shaped egg noodles.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 cups thinly sliced trimmed cremini mushrooms (stems removed before slicing)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kasha (buckwheat groats) - (whole or coarse)
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups beef stock, chicken stock, vegetable stock, or liquid from simmering 1/2 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms in 2 1/2 cups water, or, if all else is unavailable, water
  • 1/2-pound bowtie noodles, cooked according to package instructions

  • Heat oil, then sauté onions until soft. Add carrots and sauté until the onions take on some color. Add mushrooms, then garlic. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Meanwhile, mix kasha with eggs and seasonings. Add the kasha egg mixture to the sauté pan with the vegetables and cook over medium heat until dry looking and kernels separate. Add stock and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed and kasha is tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in bowties. Serve with a good beef or chicken gravy.