Posts Tagged “jewish”
Chanukah, a fairly minor holiday in Israel and most other Jewish communities around the world, got amped up in America in the late 19th Century when some Reform rabbis decided Jewish Americans need a little more Christmas. And since then Chanukah has gone totally steroid with marketing, gifts, decorations and parties.
There are as many ways of making matzo brei as there are Jews in the kitchen. Some matzo gets soaked to a soggy mess in water; some goes quickly through running water in the faucet. Sometimes all that water gets squeezed out; sometimes it doesn’t. Then it gets mixed with eggs and maybe milk, and cooked in a pan, either omlette style or scrambled egg style and served, topped with salt, jelly, honey, powdered sugar, cheese, salsa, syrup, nuts, bananas, berries, lemon ricotta or whatever you can think of.
How do you make this matzo stuff taste good? We think we found a way. Mr. FB has become known for “his” matzo. It’s actually a New York Times recipe that includes olive oil for better flavor and leaves out the Rabbinic supervision for ease of making.
My Grandma Tillie (the same grandmother who used to feed me white raisins as a special treat when I was very little) used to prepare this dish and carry it across town on a bus to her three daughters and her grandchildren in an covered aluminum baking dish. I remind you, Fellow FoodBeest, that these were the days before Tupperware.
You know bagels. They’re round. They have a hole in the middle. They’re not doughnuts or pretzels. They’re chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Bagels achieve their unique qualities because they are boiled and then baked.
The Italian-Americans I know rave nostalgically about the real deal: the “noodles and gravy” their mothers or grandmothers made; the stuff that Carmella served to Tony on the Sopranos. Often made for Sunday dinner, garnished with meatballs the size of your fist or used as a topping for a nice braciola, real gravy was what set our Italian neighbors’ kitchens apart from our own.
I discovered a recipe for something called “Baked Noodles Mama Mia!” in Keys to Our Kitchens, my former mother-in-law’s Dayton Women’s Club cookbook from the 1960s. It was masquerading as luncheon dish for ladies, but but truth be told, it was just a novel and savory kugel. I have adapted it to make it a bit healthier. This year it was requested for the meal to break the Yom Kippur fast.
I have never done a brisket in a crock-pot before. I came across a brisket recipe from that famous old Jewish kucher, Emeril Lagasse, I decided to try it. Crock-pot style.
Telling the story of Passover (or any holiday) takes on the flavor of whatever seems most appropriate to us, including the age and interests of the participants at the table — but maybe mostly how much time we want to spend before we get down to the serious business of eating and knowing that we are a part of something.