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Pam R

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Pam R

  1. Aww. Thanks for your comments, Kim. When I came home from university (I went to the U of Minnesota) I got a job working in a restaurant. After working eight 12-14 hour closing shifts in a row without a break (instead of the 4 I was told would be the max) I decided that if I was going to work my guts out, I should be doing it for the family business. It can be tough -- we're all bull-headed, but I've never regretted the decision.
  2. Thanks, Linda. I'm glad it looks easy, but I fell asleep for an hour after dinner. And I didn't even realize there was alliteration in last night's dinner. I think that may be how I plan meals from now on!
  3. Oy, we've already started talking about how we have to put the store back together when we re-open on Wednesday. All that non-Passover stuff that was packed away has to be re-organized and I have to start getting orders in! Thanks for reading.
  4. Thanks, Heidi. It was nice having a 'lighter' dessert. Things made with matzo have a reputation for being heavy -- this was a great option. And the crust was very nice, though it's so easy to make macaroons making a crust from scratch wouldn't have taken long.
  5. Thankfully, these were not pulpy. If I was doing something other than breading and frying I would have salted them -- but they were good as is. Phew!
  6. After brunch I did go looking for kitchen stools and I found some! Ordered, but I forgot to take pictures. By the time I got home it was lose to 6 PM and I didn't have the time (well, ok, the patience) for salting and waiting on the eggplant, so I just dived right in. Sliced the eggplant then dipped into cake meal seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. The into an egg wash seasoned with salt, pepper and a little grated garlic. Back into the cake meal. Fried until golden brown and drained one paper towel. Simple sauce: crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh garlic and lots of fresh basil. Layered: eggplant, sauce, Parmesan, mozzarella, repeat. Into the oven until cooked through, melted and golden brown. Ate with a simple salad with a red wine vinaigrette. Oh, I only used the small globe eggplants -- they were great! In fact, less seeds than the larger ones, firm flesh and not at all bitter.
  7. I'm off in search of kitchen stools. I'll take pictures if I see anything promising.
  8. Has anybody used these eggplants? (Strawberries are there to give you a sense of the size. Though maybe the fact that they're all sitting in a large soup bowl with the strawberries shows that.) I wanted to make something with eggplant, maybe eggplant parmesan, but these are the only eggplants I could find (a customer reported that she checked all three of the large grocery stores in our neighbourhood on Thursday and none of them had large globe eggplants). They aren't bitter are they?
  9. Brunch! Frittata full of vegetables (potato, red onion, zucchini, mushrooms, grape tomatoes), a little feta cheese and a couple of pinches of chopped fresh oregano.
  10. So all the old delicatessens are gone, Myer's, Phil's? Surely there were more. Do you find a growth or decline in how many people in the area are keeping kosher or how strictly they are keeping it? Myers is still around as are some others, but none of them are kosher. Overall there's been a decline over the years -- if not, there'd be more kosher business here. The Jewish population here declined in the 80s and 90s -- a lot of people moved to Toronto, Vancouver, the USA, etc. But in the last few years we've seen people starting to return (Winnipeg got through the financial downturn in much better shape than most places). There is also a growing community from Argentina and another from Israel. And it's interesting to see that some younger people who grew up in non-kosher homes have decided to keep kosher. When that happens the parents often start keeping kosher (or at least trying) so that their children and grandchildren feel comfortable eating in their homes. We're constantly seeing new people in the store, which always surprises me. But some of them are new to the city, new to kosher or they don't keep kosher but come in for specific things. A lot of our Russian/Israeli customers don't keep kosher but want all of the Israeli foods we bring in. It's interesting -- on any given day in different corners of the store you can here English, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Russian and Yiddish.
  11. This is what happens. 3-4 weeks before Passover starts, we get a train container delivered to our parking lot. We never really know when the first orders will be delivered, but we ask the distributors to aim for 3 weeks before. They'll continue coming for 2 weeks. This year, the first shipment came 4 weeks before and just like that, 13,000 lbs. of Passover products were delivered -- a lot of matzo in this truck. When we finished unloading this truck, out container looked like this -- filled right to the back: And our kitchen (where the receiving door is) and store aisles looked like this: At this point I start panicking and we work like crazy to pack everything up in the store that's not kosher for Passover and get the racks set up for Passover. First thing out is the matzo -- I'm going to guess that we get close to 3,000 lbs of matzo in. You can't see the cases stacked across from this shelf, the stacks in the storage room and the stacks in the train container. This morning, here's the matzo shelf (and everything we had was here): (there's less than 50 lbs. there!) What didn't I do so well with this year? Anybody need some potato chips?
  12. Good Lord. How large a staff turns that out? And are all the quantities similar to that of the chopped liver? Not everything is made in huge quantities, but we send a lot of food out for the week. For instance, we only had to roast 12 turkeys on Saturday night/Sunday morning. My parents and I divide our time between the kitchen and the store and we have 2 full-time employees in the kitchen, 1 full-time store person, we add another person in the store for the 3 weeks running up to Passover and had some family helping out a lot. (My sister was in almost daily and a cousin came in a few days.)
  13. If dairy isn't an issue, I use butter. For a meat meal, I use margarine. I try to use it as little as possible during Passover (during the rest of the year there are some pretty good margarine options, like Earth Balance), but some things need it. When possible I use oil over margarine, especially if I can use olive or grapeseed (Passover margarines are made from cottonseed oil).
  14. Right . . they are okay for Passover, but there are people who won't eat them. There is somethings called gebrochts, and people who are non-gebrochts, meaning they won't eat any matzo that has become wet or anything made with matzo products -- no matzo balls, nothing made with matzo meal or cake meal or farfel. The roll dough is basically a choux, so the . . .'poof; comes from eggs and steam. To me it's the same thing as a chiffon cake that gets it's height from whipped egg whites. The rolls are made from matzo meal, which is already cooked flour. So there's no chance of any yeast activation here (and no fermentation).
  15. So, we had a new product in this year. It was a pre-made macaroon pie crust. Normally I'd make a crust but people were asking me how this crust was so I wanted to try it. What could I do with this crust? Coconut and lemon are good together - how about a lemon meringue? I made some curd. Put it into the fridge to chill and on to the meringue. And into the oven to finish. A hit! The crust was pretty good.
  16. I couldn't figure out what to make with the roast but there was a request for potato latkes. Okay. Finished dinner with some roasted Portobello mushrooms and zucchini, made by mom. The lamb was juicy, tender and flavourful. On to dessert!
  17. Shabbat shalom! Tonight a family friend joined my family for dinner, so we started with matzo ball soup (it's Passover and Shabbat . . and cold and rainy. Perfect way to start dinner). First thing I did when I got home was get the lamb shoulder into the oven. Slits cut into the roast got slivers of garlic, some fresh herbs tucked into the netting, lots of salt and pepper on all sides and a little chicken stock poured in. I like mint with lamb, so I made a quick sauce. Lots of fresh mint, sugar, salt, white wine vinegar, honey and some boiling water. Mixed together and into the fridge until dinner. Cooked long and slow - it gave off lots and lots of fat.
  18. Here's the menu of prepared foods we offered this year: chicken soup matzo balls chopped liver gefilte fish turkey garlic brisket sweet and sour meatballs short ribs apricot honey chicken chicken fingers chicken schnitzel (and turkey and veal) lemon potatoes potato blintzes vegetable cutlets mushroom and onion farfel kugel sweet kugel (matzo meal kugel with dried fruit) rolls cole slaw mixed vegetables salad dressings chocolate chip meringues assorted mandelbroit brownies pecan flan frangipane tart chocolate tart
  19. I meant to post these earlier but they got away from me. I haven't done any baking at home yet, but I did plenty of it at work. An assortment of Komish/Mandelbroit/Jewish Biscotti Chocolate filling for tart. Chocolate tarts Filling pecan flans Pecan tarts baking 700 rolls: Chiffon cakes: I bake, my mom finishes:
  20. I feel like I hit a wall today. I was great throughout the busiest time at work and now that I've had a day off . . oof. But I must keep cooking! A few more hours at work, helping customers and making notes for next year. Yep, my computer has a folder titled "Passover 2012", started today. Stores are closed up here for Good Friday, so I made a quick stop yesterday to get some produce and now to figure out exactly what to do tonight. Lamb roast and . . ?
  21. I do use more than I do in a potato kugel, but it's also a softer kugel -- more like a pudding? To 1 large head of cauliflower, 1 lb. of leeks, 1 lb of zucchini I add 6 oz (1 1/2 cups) matzo meal and 4 eggs. For a potato (& onion) kugel I'd add 4 oz (1 cup) matzo meal and 6 eggs to 2 lbs. onion and 4 lbs. potato.
  22. I'm scared of the bandsaw! When my parents first started the business my father would bring in beef and veal fronts and break them down. He held on to the saw when he stopped doing that and now we use it mostly for splitting birds and slicing rib-eyes. We get large rib-eyes and slice them into steaks for customers. Danube Swabian (Donau Schwabish) - a German dialect that is more 1700's than modern There's is a lot of German in Yiddish. It's a mix of Hebrew, German and whatever language was spoken where Yiddish speakers live. So my father's family spoke Yiddish at home and it had a lot of Polish in it; my mother's family had more Russian in theirs. And I bet the blettle might come from German.
  23. First, I use red potatoes or other 'moist' potatoes. Then I add some olive oil and seasoning - salt and pepper last night. Really simple. But I discovered that some of the juice from the cornish ladled on was delicious, so it got some of that too. At work we always use potato starch (which isn't the same thing as potato flour -- you know how when you grate a bunch of potatoes and then drain them? At the bottom of the bowl you have the really thick, pure white starch? That's basically potato starch before it's dried. Potato flour, I believe, is more like ground, dehydrated potatoes). And I don't make them often at home, but I really like the potato starch version. It's light and let's you focus on the fillings. How long can you keep them? If you freeze them you can keep them for weeks. Just make sure they're really well wrapped. In the fridge, I'd say a couple of days, wrapped. It's all frozen and we bring most of into Winnipeg. A couple of grocery stores have a small frozen kosher sections but we're the only independent kosher food store between Toronto and Vancouver (we do have a couple of bakeries and the Jewish Community Campus has a restaurant). There was a kosher chicken plant but it closed down years ago (probably 15 or more). There was a kosher butcher up until a few years ago, but even he had to ship meat in from Toronto. My father (and family) moved to Winnipeg in 1950 and tells me there were 12 kosher butchers here. At that point, until 4 or 5 years ago, they were slaughtering locally. Now the only places in the country where they have kosher slaughter are in the Toronto area and maybe a little in Montreal. For a while we were able to get fresh lamb from the US but it's become exorbitant to do so. So we truck it in from Montreal and Toronto. We've had problems with trucks coming through the city in the middle of the night and not stopping, so our orders can make it all the way to Calgary and have to come back -- so everything comes in frozen.
  24. Planning on doing a lamb shoulder for dinner tomorrow night. Not sure what to do for sides. Kugel, potatoes again, maybe farfel . . hmm. While most business are closed up here for Good Friday, mine is not. Goodnight -- see you in the morning! And please, let me know if there are any dishes you would like to see. Cannot make promises but I will do what I can!
  25. It was a looooong day, so dinner was simple. This morning I grabbed a couple of cornish hens from the freezer and asked my father to split them on the band-saw. When I got home, I had to clean them. Have you ever cleaned kosher chicken? When they pluck kosher chickens, they have to use cold water and for some reason that makes it harder for the feathers to come out. So I spent 20 minutes plucking stray feathers and . . hairs? Made a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, lots of fresh herbs, garlic and salt (kosher, for Mitch) and black pepper. Rubbed it all over the hens, making sure a lot of it went under the skin. Into the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes. While that was cooking I put some potatoes on to boil for mashed and I had dressing and washed lettuce leftover from dinner the other night, so I threw together a salad. Simple and delicious, but glass plates are not the best choice for photos.
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