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Rebecca263

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Posts posted by Rebecca263


  1. Pam, I find Ashkenazi food so exotic- and I never can wrap my mind around the idea that our Syrian food might be considered exotic by anyone-it's just plain food.

    For Passover this year we hosted a second seder for one of my daughter's friends- I made a typical Syrian seder but I added a gefilte fish course and instead of a minty soup I made a cumin spiced chicken soup. In deference to our guest I didn't serve any rice, or peas- which are usual accompaniments to a seder here.

    Our meal consisted of these courses:

    Chicken soup, made with thighs, garlic, carrots, celery and cumin.

    Gefilte fish with horseradish-(Yehuda brand gefilte fish- far too salty for my taste)

    Avocado halves filled with Balsamic vinegar(Bartenura) accompanied by a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, mint, parsley and Bermuda onions.

    Braised lamb shanks(our traditional seder meat course) made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, celery, carrots, cumin and chicken broth.

    Zucchini and tomatoes, stewed with LOTS of onions.

    Olive oil roasted small white potatoes- these are put into a souffle dish, covered halfway with olive oil, then liberally salted and lightly sprinkled with whole cumin and cracked peppercorns, then roasted near the lamb shanks. Too delicious for words!

    For dessert I made small bowls of frozen fruits pureed with almond milk- blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and bananas- which I served with sticks of sugarcane and dark chocolate covered matzoh shards that I had dipped earlier.

    I normally make pistachio ka'ak and almond cookies, lachm la'lou(a sweet stew),chicken with prunes and keftes b'hamoud-lamb meatballs in a lemon mint broth, but there were only 2 young people to eat all of my cooking- and I was avoiding kitniyot-I had to limit myself!


  2. Pam, I can't imagine how you manage everything in your normal workweeks, never mind adding a blog to a busy holiday like Passover! But, we are all fortunate you are making the effort for us!

    So, you have about 100 pounds of matzoh left so far- how are other Passover items faring?

    I ADORE Ashkenazi food- especially gefilte fish and matzoh balls!

    We're hosting the second seder here at the Coop and tonight I finally taught my daughter how to make the Ashkenazi charoset that I love- with apples, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts and wine!

    What kinds of charoset do you sell?


  3. We finally visited the diner in the back of Cowtown this week(open on Tuesdays and Saturdays exclusively).

    Kind of cute- in a backwoods way. VERY disappointing food. Kiddle had a bowl of beef stew- bits of beef, carrot and potato drowned in a thick soup of tinned gravy. We ordered french fries- horrible crinkle cut frozen things- and the fryer is definitely using the oil too long- you can taste staleness, onion rings and fish on the french fries.

    A friend told us that the peanut butter cookies are excellent, but we won't be returning to find out.


  4. I have to say that our experience with eggs is far different than most folks' here. Years ago when we lived in Miami we only ate eggs from a neighbor's coop- and they were what I thought at the time were just eggs. We then moved to NJ and began buying eggs at the supermarket- cage free, MUCH more expensive- and still, eggs were eggs.

    Last year we moved to a small town in South NJ. We have a number of neighbors who raise chickens and sell eggs- my daughter and I bought some eggs from a neighbor one day for the adventure of it. I cooked a couple the next day- sunny side up and served atop hunks of toasted day old challah- the difference between what we had been eating recently and these eggs was startling! My daughter kept saying "These are so "EGGY", are you sure they're not flavored?". Well, we've since bought eggs from a couple of different coops- and there IS a difference in flavor. Although they all have the highly colored yolks of a "homegrown" egg, the flavors DO vary- in fact, my daughter has forbade me to buy eggs from one place- she just doesn't think that they taste as "eggy". And, you know what? She's right- I can't properly explain it, the eggs just taste more intensely of egg, almost chicken flavored. I'm not sure how to describe it, but if you've ever eaten a really "eggy" egg, you will notice immediately. I wouldn't be surprised if these eggs had extra MSG in them, the flavor is so much more intense.

    Last month I was ill and in hospital so on my way home late one night I bought the expensive, cage free and organic eggs at the supermarket. Kiddle came home the next evening and I made us each a lovely fried egg, served over a grilled potato. She knew immediately that it wasn't from our usual suppliers- she asked me "Who did these come from? This egg doesn't taste "eggy" Mom!". She thought that the egg was from "the bad coop" and wasn't surprised when I told her that it was a supermarket egg. She said that as we are lucky enough to be near "the good stuff", we should only buy those coop eggs while we live here. Now, we're not gourmets, or even connoisseurs in any way- but I have to say, eggs DO taste different from different sources. I'm not a even a fancy eater, and I've noticed the differences, and if my Kiddle has, well, there has to be some truth to the taste buds in this house, humble as we are.


  5. Yesterday I found out that it was my neighbor's daughter's birthday and the lass was visiting from out of town. I made a quick batch of almond butter brittle and brought it over with a homemade card.

    Here's my dumb bunny friendly recipe for emergency brittle:

    1 cup raw sugar

    2 tablespoons salted butter

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1 teaspoon vanilla or

    1 teaspoon Indian rum(it's molasses based- Old Monk)

    3/4 cup water

    some almonds- I used about a cup and a quarter- it was all I had, but you can use more.

    Put everything but the almonds in a pot, stir it over high until it boils. Stir it while it while it boils for one minute or so. Add the almonds and keep stirring the mass for about 10-14 minutes, depending on the humidity in the room. Eventually the foamy coating looks to stiffen, then it's done.

    Pour it all out on a buttered & foiled pan, spread it out as far as you're able and let it cool.

    Break it up into bits and you're done! It can take more butter and less water, but this is the foolproof way to get a smooth brittle without having to check the temperature.

    this was INCREDIBLY delicious, a big hit! The butter and rum add just enough oomph. and, the brittle is golden, clear and lovely as well.


  6. Sorry to have lost this thread- to stuff a lamb pocket with fava beans I soak and cook the beans, then toss them with cumin, olive oil, salt and garlic. I chop a lot of parsley and add that to the beans, then stuff the lamb with them before roasting it. I make hashu on the side, that's a "stuffing" made with ground lamb and rice with toasted pine nuts and sauteed onions. I usually bake a lot of halved Spanish onions alongside the lamb pocket, and I serve steamed carrots and string beans at the table, as my daughter likes that combination of flavors. We also usually have a lemon, cumin and garlic seasoned salad made with parsley, mixed greens and tomatoes with this meal. I rarely have meat in the house any longer, but this is a favorite of my daughter for Shabbat dinner- it's well worth the effort involved in having meat shipped to the house every so often. Heck, the pine nuts cost more per pound than the lamb does these days!


  7. Last year we had just moved into the Coop and were more than flat broke- truly our funds were depressed! I walked to the local drug store and bought 2 bags of mixed hard candies. We had NO Trick or Treaters, but I attributed this our having bought a house that had been vacant for 5 years. This year we bought a bag of DumDum lollies and a bag of Charms Sweet lollies and had NO Trick or Treaters. I've been tossing the lollies into my international shipments. I found out this year that I do not care for Charms Sweet flavors- just the Sweet & Sours- which, thank goodies- We didn't buy!


  8. Well, the pies will be devoured by guests and Kiddle's mysterious fork of "just a bite".

    The rice dressing is a favorite on it's own. I use wild rice, lots of cumin and toasted pine nuts- everyone looks for this on the Thanksgiving table! Some of it will be piled into two of the last of this years' local Jersey tomatoes then I'll shake some nutritional yeast on them and they will be baked and broiled as a delicious lunch. The last cup will go into our turkey soup- which is the reason for turkey carcass, after all!

    The myriad roasted veggies and butternut squash discs will be a last minute add to the soup as well.

    I make veggie balls out of various beans and chick pea flour, they are delicious in turkey soup- they'll go in.

    The breasts of the turkey will become turkey pot pie- not the South Jersey style "pot pie", which is actually turkey and dumplings(but who am I to quibble? My family hasn't lived in this colonial era town for 200 years yet, I'm still a foreigner!), but a pie of flaky dough filled with turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, pole beans and onions- all touched by cumin. I rarely make it because I am BOTH pastry challenged AND uncomfortable with shortening, but this year I am determined to find a recipe for making a flaky NON-shortening based pastry crust.

    The remaining leg will be eaten by Kiddle, of course- she likes dark meat the best- and the wings will be frozen for some future nefarious use.

    The broccoli salad has been frozen- it will become yet another pot of soup sometime, when I am in too much pain to stand in the kitchen chopping or directing others to chop.

    I cook for my loved ones, and Kiddle doesn't like cranberry relish, so I didn't make any this year. As soon as cranberries are a special, I will buy a few bags for my freezer, though. I like to thaw them and eat them with a bit of stevia for a snack. I have some stevia saved in the pantry since last winter, just for this treat.


  9. I'm in south New Jersey- Salem to be exact, these days- not too much of real interest in the restaurant department- but my kitchen is always open if you're in the neighborhood!

    DSCF6588.jpg The sign I've posted here is from Marty's Crabs- it's an outdoor place on Highway 49 that is open seasonally- I'm not a crab person but they make other stuff, too- very good crabs is the buzz- nice people! They closed a few weeks ago- the season is April to October, it seems. There is a local diner-Salem Oak Diner- whose cook makes excellent chicken croquettes. Right now it is the "spaghetti dinner" fundraiser season- in June it was "strawberry shortcake" season- there are also summer BBQ fundraisers- one local Catholic church does chickens that are WONDERFUL.Those church, fire department and school fundraisers are the most fun we have around here. I donate baked goods to any of them that ask.

    There's a flea market called Cowtown nearby- Cowtown is a weekly rodeo- I go there to window shop- just yesterday I heard that there is a "diner" of a sort in the back with excellent sandwiches and pie- we'll check it out next week.

    I'm looking for REAL Greek food down here- haven't found it yet!


  10. Soup! Soup is also my favorite food. I believe that everyone at least should be trained to make refrigerator soup. How else to empty the crisper of, and rescue from a fate of composting, all of the vegetables you forgot about last week?


  11. Wow. I'm sitting here eating a plate of fresh noodles with white sauce(my version is my mother's- it has nutmeg and white pepper)- my first white sauce in months, and happened to sign on to eGullet and found this post! Awesome! I learned my version of white sauce from my mother- she made the best macaroni and cheese with it, and also a mushroom sauce for egg noodles- and it formed the base of a lemon kissed sauce that she would sometimes make for broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and fish.There was a rice dish that incorporated it as well, but the memory of that is so faint, just a hint in my mind. I rarely make white sauce these days- we eat very light fare mostly, and only once in a great while do I whisk up a small batch for a treat. Comfort food, you know.

    How often does everyone else make this, these days?


  12. I've never had gluey brown rice in my life, what am I doing wrong? LOL

    Now, on a serious note, I think that a mistake many people make in stove top preparation of brown rice is to treat it as white rice- it isn't! Brown rice NEEDS to be bathed in water- more water makes for heavenly plump grains, less tends to force the grains together.


  13. We have nowhere to eat in the Coop right now, we just brought my partner's estate into the house and every room is stuffed! This Shabbat we will be having string beans and rice in tomato sauce, seasoned with allspice and onions, and we will eat our Shabbat meal on chairs in the kitchen. We are very happy because I am about to get some more radiation and chemotherapy, after being on palliative care for almost 7 months- and that means lots more time for Shabbat meals! How about everyone else?

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