Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Foodblog: Pam R - I dare you to PASSOVER this one


Pam R
 Share

Recommended Posts

Good Morning everybody. It's just before 6 am here and I thought I'd start this off before I get ready for work.

As I’m still relatively new around here, let me start off with a little intro. My name is Pam and I’m single and living in Winnipeg, Canada. When I was young my parents started a catering company called Desserts Plus. I grew up in the business – as most children of small business owners do. Our building was close to my school – so I would often walk over after classes and peel potatoes or wash dishes or do whatever else needed doing.

I went off to university in the big-ole US of A. Got my degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management and returned home. After a BRIEF stint with a large-chain restaurant, I thought “this sucks” and quit to go back to the family business.

Over the years the business has been different things. It started with the baking of high-end tortes … then it became a full-line kosher catering company… occasionally we’ve had a restaurant and run the food services in other locations (one summer at a golf course, one year at the Asper Jewish Community Campus and one school year at St. Boniface Collage – a French language University in Winnipeg). The largest part of our company now is actually retail sales. We bring in kosher products from other cities and wholesale/retail them.

Somewhere along the way, I discovered the thing I enjoyed the most was creating new recipes. After a good time procrastinating, I put knife to cutting board and pen to paper and wrote my first cookbook. Since it was published, I’ve started writing a bi-weekly food/recipe column for the local Jewish newspaper (Jewish Post and News) and have been working on getting things into other publications (which finally happened last week/this week with some of my stuff appearing in a paper in LA, Vancouver and the Jerusalem Post). Yay!

A typical week for me usually has me testing recipes. I luck out and often only have to try something a couple of times. There have been other occasions when I’ve had to try something at least 15 times before it worked the way I wanted it to.

This is not a typical week.

This week my mother, father, one other staff person and I will be preparing food for about 150 families. We’ll be feeding more than 1000 people over two days. The kicker is that EVERYTHING has to be prepared for pickup this Friday afternoon.

So, I’m going to show you what I eat this week (don’t be expecting too much) and I’m going to show you what it’s like to prepare this food. I’ll go into what “kosher” is – and I will explain what I can along the way. I’m not sure how detailed this should be. I don’t want to bore you! If I’m going on too much, somebody nudge me and let me know. If I’m not explaining enough for you, PLEASE PLEASE ask. I’m happy to answer what I can. I know that there are some very knowledgeable people on eGullet who I would be happy to have helping out answering any questions.

This blog is starting in one of the busiest weeks of the year for us… so I will try to post whenever I force myself to take a break. Towards the end of my week I’ll actually be enjoying a couple of days off – so if I miss anything I promise to try to catch up then.

**Disclaimer #1 - I am not at all orthodox (religious). I’m hoping to get some photos at my family Seders this week and will be posting on the Sabbath. **

Whew! Let’s get started.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning Pam R! Am looking forward to your blog very much. I lived four years in Winnipeg, and worked at the Collège...that must have been a challenging period of your business. I think you're very brave to blog during this wildly busy week! Hang in there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someday every Jewish holiday will get it's own foodblog!

This will be a very educational foodblog, I think. Some of us will know these foods, some will not. But even those who do may see a slightly different perspective with this kind of full scale catering operation going on.

It's also oddly fascinating to me the way that people in the midst of something like this sometimes have to basically force themselves to eat during it. :smile: So yes, we won't be suprised if half a buttered bagel is sometimes a meal.

I’ll go into what “kosher” is – and I will explain what I can along the way. I’m not sure how detailed this should be. I don’t want to bore you!

Let people's questions drive this determination and you can't go wrong.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I prepared my iced coffee for today:

gallery_28660_3_100267.jpg

I use potato milk and a little caramel in it (everything is better with caramel). Into the fridge and in the morning I just add ice and have it for the car in the morning. I actually make a couple of bottles so that I can have it throughout the day if I wish. Otherwise I tend to stick to ice-water.

Along with the coffee is strawberries and nuts.

gallery_28660_3_72564.jpg (I'm taking all of the berries with me - but only a handfull of nuts)

PS: there will be no cute pet pictures (at least not of my pet – as he as he is no longer with us). If I can I may sneak in a couple of cute kid pics – not my kids, but they’re related to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very much looking forward to this blog! I have never kept kosher, so I will have many questions.

Questions like: What are the foods served for the seder, and what are their significance? How does the ritual go when serving the seder? Do you have those neat plates with markings where all the food is supposed to go?

How long do you have to wait to keep from having meat and milk at the same "meal?" Can you have a steak, wait two hours, and then go out for ice cream?

I'll have lots more questions, but that's just a starter. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I’m at work today, if you’d like to learn a little more about Passover, you can check out this link.

Passover Kashrut FAQ

What is Kosher you ask? You can look at this link to learn a little more about Kashrut in general. OU

If you want to wait, later I will post a simplified explanation of kosher/Kashrut.

See ya later, off to work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very much looking forward to this blog! I have never kept kosher, so I will have many questions.

How long do you have to wait to keep from having meat and milk at the same "meal?" Can you have a steak, wait two hours, and then go out for ice cream?

I'll have lots more questions, but that's just a starter. Thanks.

If you eat beef, kashrut dictates that you wait six (!) hours before consuming dairy.

However, if you eat dairy first, you must wait 30 minutes before consuming beef.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very much looking forward to this blog! I have never kept kosher, so I will have many questions.

How long do you have to wait to keep from having meat and milk at the same "meal?" Can you have a steak, wait two hours, and then go out for ice cream?

I'll have lots more questions, but that's just a starter. Thanks.

If you eat beef, kashrut dictates that you wait six (!) hours before consuming dairy.

However, if you eat dairy first, you must wait 30 minutes before consuming beef.

Always, always keep this old saying at the forefront of your mind: "two Jews, three opinions."

And on that note: many rules of kashrut will differ from community to community. For example, Dutch Jews wait only one hour between consuming meat and then having milk products. Why? Good question. I don't know the answer. That seems to be the way the tradition was handed down in that community, but I don't know how it got started.

The six-hour wait is standard for most Orthodox Jews. Many Jews have started a "compromise" between the six-hour wait and the one-hour wait. They wait three hours. Again, I don't know how this started, but it is certainly picking up a lot of steam.

Are things clearer now? :laugh: Welcome to halachic Judaism!!

Pam -- I'm very much looking forward to reading this blog. Thanks for doing it during what is probably your busiest time of year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be very interested in this thread....having made 2 very good Jewish e-friends 2 years ago and met another 2 on this board recently. Don't get to see any Jews in my part of the world, you know....

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This will be fascinating! But the timing yikes! You have a full week without all of us around asking a gazillion questions. Just think of us as your cheering section Goooooo PAM!

Mmmm carmel and coffee.....Drool.

Must try

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pam, I can't believe you're blogging this week. You're nuts.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow, you're preparing for a frantic week, I'm very much looking forward to this blog!

Actually, you had me on board the minute you posted iced coffee :wub:

Spam in my pantry at home.

Think of expiration, better read the label now.

Spam breakfast, dinner or lunch.

Think about how it's been pre-cooked, wonder if I'll just eat it cold.

wierd al ~ spam

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning Pam R!  Am looking forward to your blog very much.  I lived four years in Winnipeg, and worked at the Collège...that must have been a challenging period of your business.  I think you're very brave to blog during this wildly busy week!  Hang in there!

Je ne parle pas francais - so yep, it was quite challenging. It was also very different food than what I'm used to doing - but on the up side, once lunch was served, it was pretty much dead for the rest of the day, so I actually started testing recipes for my cookbook there.

I'll have lots more questions, but that's just a starter. Thanks.

A lot of your questions have been answered by others (thanks) - some of your questions are better answered towards the end of my week - once the holiday begins. If I miss something later on, please remind me.

Edited by Pam R (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement everybody.

Now, on to lesson #1…

Kosher – What is it?

This is going to by HIGHLY simplified. Kosher food is NOT food that has been blessed by a Rabbi. It IS food that is prepared following a specific set of dietary laws given to the Jewish people thousands of years ago.

The Top Two, as I like to call them, of the kosher world:

1. Thou shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk. Eh? We aren’t allowed to mix milk and meat. No pepperoni pizza – no cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

2. Only certain animals may be eaten. Hmmm? To be technical here, an animal has to have split hooves and be ruminant (chew its cud). Whatzat?? Cows. Deer, sheep, bison.. all ok. (Giraffes are ok too…. but I’ve never heard of anybody eating one… can you imagine putting that neck on your Seder plate??) Pigs and umm… kangaroo aren’t. (I’m trying to think of another common meat other than pork that’s not allowed and am coming up blank).

Birds are a little tricky. No predatory birds are allowed and there should be a tradition of eating them in order to consider them kosher. Chickens and ducks aren’t a problem though some people won’t eat turkey. Why you ask? Because turkey is a bird of the new world – so how can there be a tradition of eating them? All I know is… well there’s a tradition of eating them in my family!

Fish – must have scales and fins. So…. That means no shellfish. Salmon, tuna, most whitefishes are all allowed.

Now, in addition to being limited to specific animals, they also have to be slaughtered and processed following a specific set of laws. A shoichet is a person who does the slaughtering. He will use an extremely sharp knife to slit the jugular vein in the neck. Then the meat goes through a process of salting and rinsing to draw out as much blood as possible.

Did I mention that only various cuts of meat are kosher? In most places in the world, it is rare to find somebody who can produce kosher cuts out of the rear end of animals. There are some tricky veins in there that are hard to remove and outside of the major Jewish centers, nobody’s doing it.

Most typical cuts of meat available (whether from a cow, sheep, etc.): ribeye, shoulder, chuck, ribs (flanken), tongue, liver and the king of all Jewish cuts of meat - BRISKET!

One last note on ‘kosher’ for now, is Parve (pareve). If you frequent the baking forums you may have read posts requesting ideas for parve baking. (somebody please correct me if I’m wrong but), Parve means neutral. This means that if a food is parve then it is neither milk nor meat and can then be eaten with either! Parve foods include: water, fruits, vegetables, grains, fish…and.. ummm… air.

If you are making a Garlic Roast Brisket for dinner, that means that EVERYTHING else you serve at that meal must be parve (or other meats). So you can’t use butter in the mashed potatoes or on the vegetables. You can’t bake a cake that has milk or butter in it. That’s why while most people shun dairy substitutes, those of us who are kosher cooks (and especially those in the kosher cooking business) often embrace them. We’d have very limited option if there was no margarine of non-dairy creamers and whipped toppings…. Later in the week you’ll see some of my parve creations.

I feel like I’m spewing too much… am I?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]

2.  Only certain animals may be eaten.  Hmmm?  To be technical here, an animal has to have split hooves and be ruminant (chew its cud).  Whatzat??  Cows. Deer, sheep, bison.. all ok.  (Giraffes are ok too…. but I’ve never heard of anybody eating one… can you imagine putting that neck on your Seder plate??)  Pigs and umm… kangaroo aren’t.  (I’m trying to think of another common meat other than pork that’s not allowed and am coming up blank).[..]

Well, in some places it's not rare to eat horse meat or/and camel meat. Horses are treif (not kosher) because they split their hoofs internally, not with separate toes in the manner of goats, sheep, cows, etc. Are camels the same way? I know they aren't kosher, but they are definitely halal for Muslims. Rabbits and other rodents are treif because although they have separate toes, they don't chew cud.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up until now, I have been in complete shock that anyone would attempt such a Herculean task as blogging+kashrut explanations+observing Passover in the same time frame! :shock:

I can do one maybe, but not all three, without feeling like the guy in the circus who keeps 25 plates spinning at the same time :wacko: ... none too simple ...

May you go from strength to strength as you tackle your blog, Pam! :biggrin:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[...]

2.  Only certain animals may be eaten.  Hmmm?  To be technical here, an animal has to have split hooves and be ruminant (chew its cud).  Whatzat??  Cows. Deer, sheep, bison.. all ok.  (Giraffes are ok too…. but I’ve never heard of anybody eating one… can you imagine putting that neck on your Seder plate??)  Pigs and umm… kangaroo aren’t.  (I’m trying to think of another common meat other than pork that’s not allowed and am coming up blank).[..]

Well, in some places it's not rare to eat horse meat or/and camel meat. Horses are treif (not kosher) because they split their hoofs internally, not with separate toes in the manner of goats, sheep, cows, etc. Are camels the same way? I know they aren't kosher, but they are definitely halal for Muslims. Rabbits and other rodents are treif because although they have separate toes, they don't chew cud.

Camels are treyf (as is camel milk).

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By Duvel
      The first week of November are „autumn holidays“ in the area where I live. We wanted to use that time to go to Paris, but when my parents-in-law somewhat surprisingly announced they‘d be coming over from Spain for the whole of November, we scrapped that idea and looked for something more German …
       
      So … Berlin. Not the best time to travel (cold & rainy), but with a couple of museums for the little one and the slightly older ones to enjoy together, plus some food options I was looking forward it was a destination we could all agree on. The Covid19 warnings in the Berlin subway support that notion …
       

       
    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and led us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By FoodMuse
      Hello everyone,
      eGullet was nice enough to invite me to write a food blog chronicling what I've made or eaten out for one week. I'm so excited about it! Thanks guys.
      About me:
      I dream about food, I wake thinking what's for dinner and I'm so excited to share it with you. I'm part of the food world in New York. By that, I just mean that I'm so fortunate enough to be invited to great events where I get to eat great food. I'm also a nerd and a part of the technology world. I produce, edit and sometimes host food related web videos and I'm also a part of the tech world.
      I'm launching a website called Please, Pass the Gravy. www.pleasepassthegravy.com We let you create a menu, invite friends and then collaborate on that menu. Never host another potluck with 8 pasta salads. You could use it now, but we're alpha launch, it works but it's ugly. It's my ugly baby. So, if you use it be kind and message me if you have improvement ideas. I thought it would be ok to write about it here because it is food related.
      I live in Brooklyn with a lovely guy who likes to eat and a small corgi mix dog. I cook pretty much every night and do a nice brunch on the weekend. I am not a crazy dog lady, but I do admit to cooking food for the dog. I have an excuse, beyond doting, he had seizures that have stopped since not feeding him dog food.
      Foods I cook:
      Spicy foods! If you look at my blog I have a simple papaya ketchup with habanero that is pretty darn good.
      I love great cheese. This may be the week for Beer Cheese Soup.
      I try to limit carbs, though I do cheat.
      In any given week C. and I probably eat cauliflower, broccoli and green beans as a side.
      Tonight's dinner will be Vietnamese inspired. We'll see how it goes. I'll post about it as soon as I can.
      Any requests? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.
      -Grace
    • By Duvel
      In these challenging times, a full summer vacation is not an easy task. For the last 1.5 years we have been mostly at home with the clear plan to visit Catalonia (or more precise my wife’s family) latest this summer. And it looked good for a while. Unfortunately, the recent rise in case numbers in Spain have resulted in …
       
      OK, let’s skip this part. Long story short - my wife and me are fully vaccinated, as are >90% of the people we care about in Catalonia. After some discussion (after all, Germans tend to prefer to be on the safe side of things) we simply fueled up the car, got each a test (for the transit through France) and started to drive …
       
      After a leisurely 11h drive we arrived at a small fishing town somewhat north of Barcelona around 3.00am. We unloaded the car and my wife an the little one went straight to bed. 
       

       


      I found an expired beer in the elsewise pretty empty fridge and enjoyed the cool breeze on the terrace. Holidays, here we come …
       

    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...