The essay explores the connection between a family's history and a traditional holiday recipe. Kieflies, or kifli, are Hungarian walnut crescents baked by the author's family at Christmas. The tradition of baking kiflis, like the family itself, has no clear, authentic origin myth; rather, the passage of the ritual from one generation to the next is marked by distortion and reinvention: the mystery of the family's Hungarian Jewish origins; the development of a non-consanguineous lineage, from Irish daughters-in-law to Korean adoptees; and the strategies of evasion, survival, storytelling, adaption, and imagination that both obscure and enrich the ritual. The author has assumed the role of kieflie-baker to her adoptive family, applying her own innovations and interpretations to the tradition, as her mother, aunt, grandmother, and great-aunts did before her.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.