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Pam R

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

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Pam, what a great blog!  Thanks for all the information.  The kosher discussion had me laughing as I remembered my first encounter with a Jew who was supposed to keep kosher.  I was about 7 or 8 and shared my ham sandwich with a young friend.  I couldn't understand how it was that she'd never had a ham sandwich before.  I learned a lot the next day when the child's mother screamed at me in the schoolyard and later telephoned my mother!  :shock:  She wasn't allowed to play with me after that.  Nice parents, huh?

Now, that raises a new question. What happens if you're an observing Jew and break kosher, even by accident? Is there some kind of penance you can do to erase the sin, or is that black mark with you forever? Or is it neither, just a slip you have to promise never to do again?

No black marks damning you. And no strikes of lightening either. You just acknowledge to yourself that you made a mistake and move on. As part of the liturgy for Yom Kippur you ask forgiveness for many things and although eating treyf food isn't specified it falls under one of the categories.

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I had an orthodox education and come from an orthodox family even if I'm not a believer, and I'm not an expert, so this may be mis-remembered and greatly simplified.

The concept of sin in Judaism is a little more complex. The recording angel records one's good deeds and bad deeds, and when one's supposed soul goes to heaven (there is no hell in the theology) the balance determines how close to the Almighty one is placed. I always found the concept of Jewish Heaven rather like a celestial sun parlour, or the chairs around a pool, or seats in a theatre; the better person you were, the better chair you got, and the really bad were banished to the outer darkness. Thus good deeds counteract bad deeds

"Prayer, penitence and charity can avert the severe decree" as the Yom Kippur prayer has it. Also the action of one's children can affect your place, for example if they say the mourner's prayer (kidush) the relative is advanced one place in heaven.

There is no concept of food or drink in this version of heaven, since the Almighty radiance suffices for all pleasure and sustanance.

Don't get me started on Jewish Heaven jokes...

Back to this wonderful blog...


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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(However, I don't think Da Vinci knew a whole lot about Pesach, because it looks like at least a few food items in the painting are puffy little bread rolls! :shock:  :biggrin: )

Maybe they were matzoh meal rolls! :wink:

Did they look anything like mine?

gallery_28660_3_53305.jpg

Wow! Yeah! The Da Vinci rolls looked almost exactly like that!

Erm, I should add I had to refresh my memory of the Last Supper painting by looking at images via Google. Between the low-res tiny images, and the five centuries of shmutz that had accumulated on that painting, it's admittedly hard to tell which of the little round food objects are rolls as opposed to pieces of fruit or some such.

One of the things I was not aware of until recently was that the observance of the Seder during Passover did not occur until AFTER the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD by the Romans. Jesus died in 33AD. Prior to 70AD the Passover rites and sacrifices occured in the Great Temple in Jerusalem -- it was the ONLY place Jews could worship their God. The introduction of modern Judaism and its holidays and practices -- which included Synagogues (which were replacements for the Great Temple after many Jews left Jerusalem) and Rabbis -- layman teachers that were not of the Priestly order (Cohain) -- did not really come into being until quite a bit later, such as after the first and second century AD.

Hmmm. Remember the "two Jews, three opinions" thing? :smile: While it's true that rabbinic Judaism as we now know it didn't officially get started until after the fall of the Second Temple, many scholars say that the roots of rabbinic Judaism and its observances, including Pesach, were already set and growing well before the Temple's final loss.

In Arthur Waskow's Seasons of Our Joy, for instance, he traces the roots of Passover all the way back to spring agrarian festivals of ancient herding and farming tribes prior to their gathering as the Children of Israel; and its transformation into a festival of religious/tribal freedom in the wake of the Israelites' captivity in and escape from Egypt. He then describes the observance of Pesach in the time of the Temples as a huge influx of Jews into Jerusalem where they presented their lambs for sacrifice at the Temple--after which they roasted and dined on the lambs and on unleavened bread, in a meal that became more and more ritualized over time, such that when the ritual was eventually set down in the Mishnah the early rabbis were mainly codifying (and commentating, of course!) many already existing and evolving practices. The meal, of course, necessarily shifted to the home once there was no more temple to go to, but a ritual meal--and a week of eating unleavened bread--was happening well before that. (At least according to Waskow, and other authors I've read but whose books I don't have handy at the moment...)

This whole hunk of history-of-religion is something I find incredibly fascinating--it was a major focus for me when I was in seminary, busily incorporating my religious roots into the (fortunately quite flexible) Unitarian Universalist theology/philosophy/thingum. (That last will probably only be funny to people familiar with UUism, but whatever. :biggrin: ) I hesitate to rock out on this sub-thread any further in Pam's blog as it would probably go way the heck off topic from Passover, let alone Pam's recording of her heroic culinary efforts. But I highly recommend Waskow's bookfor a great survey of the Jewish holidays combining historical scholarship and religious respect ... and I'll make a point of checking out the PBS series to check out its take on things.


Edited by mizducky (log)

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I think it's important to distinguish between the observance of Passover, and the observance of the Seder of Passover (e.g., following the haggadah), which is what we do now, and was put together well after the destruction of the second temple (I think during medieval times). But it's worthwhile to remember that the Haggadah, as much as it stresses the importance of order, is not merely a "set piece." It's meant to be added to and expanded upon.

The major difference between the days with and without the temple, of course, would be the sacrifice, which simply couldn't happen without the temple. Before the destruction, the Pesach sacrifice was really the whole thing, and was the reason everyone went to Jerusalem in the first place. It was the sacrifice that constituted the main part of the Passover meal. Without the temple, some sort of ritual had to be developed to take the place of the Passover sacrifice. It makes sense that some sort of ritual already existed, even in the days of the temple, because there would have to be a routine to follow in order to make the whole thing do-able. But I would guess (and it's only a guess) that this was a minor part of the service while the temple still existed. It all revolved around the sacrifice.

One of the elements I've always loved is the idea of family being together. Even in the Bible's description of the Pesach sacrifice, it states that there should be one animal for each family (or unit), not one animal for each person. To this day it is common for extended families to get together for the Passover meal. I don't know if that is a direct carryover, of course, but part of me likes to think that it is. :smile:

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I moved recently - to the wrong side of the tracks. 

:biggrin:

So a block from home this morning I got stopped by a train.  Along the road where my car was stopped is a Tim Horton's, & if I can just squeeze my truck between the car in front of my and the ditch, I can go through the drive-thru and get back on the road before the train is done.

In that area, you could probably do some laundry, watch a little TV, have dinner and still get back on the road before the train is done :biggrin::shock:

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You are all amazing! My thanks go to everybody helping answer the religion-based questions. I'm trying to answer the questions that have not been answered - only because I'm short of time now. If I miss something that somebody else doesn't get to - please remind me. It also helps because they happen to be able to explain things in a far better manner than I can!

Pam, what a great blog!  Thanks for all the information.  The kosher discussion had me laughing as I remembered my first encounter with a Jew who was supposed to keep kosher.  I was about 7 or 8 and shared my ham sandwich with a young friend.  I couldn't understand how it was that she'd never had a ham sandwich before.  I learned a lot the next day when the child's mother screamed at me in the schoolyard and later telephoned my mother!  :shock:  She wasn't allowed to play with me after that.  Nice parents, huh?

Jake thanks. I like that you said with a Jew who was supposed to keep kosher... we all are! But many of us don't. My mother was raised in a completely non-kosher home. My father was raised in a very religious family and his parents kept a strictly kosher home their whole lives. When my parents married - things kind of merged. Our home was (is) kosher, but we always ate treif in restaurants.

I wish those parents hadn't done that! Just explaining the issue would have been much better. :angry:

What's a Shmoo Torte?

A Pecan Chiffon (what else?) with homemade caramel sauce and whipping cream / topping. A local favorite.

I moved recently - to the wrong side of the tracks. 

:biggrin:

So a block from home this morning I got stopped by a train.  Along the road where my car was stopped is a Tim Horton's, & if I can just squeeze my truck between the car in front of my and the ditch, I can go through the drive-thru and get back on the road before the train is done.

In that area, you could probably do some laundry, watch a little TV, have dinner and still get back on the road before the train is done :biggrin::shock:

Yep... it's true. I grew up in Garden City, so I always used to say "WHO lives in THAT area?! sheesh!" Now I'm one of them... The Jewish community in Winnipeg used to be almost entirely located in the North End... most of the Jewish business, schools and synagogues were there. Then it was divided between the North and South (Tuxedo, River Heights). Since the Asper Campus was built, much of the Jewish community has moved South and I guess some of us have made it to Lindenwoods, because there's no room left in the other areas :wink:

Isn't that funny though... mention a train track and a TH, and that's all it takes

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I'm off to grab some dinner - then back to work and I'll post more when I return.

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Soup

What's a holiday meal without soup?? (soup is very important to me - see sig.)

All last week:

Chicken soup, or Jewish Penicillan. This batch produced about 80 L of the golden liquid. (I enjoyed some chicken necks for lunch that day - but lost the picture)

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The next day was beef borscht:

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Which I thawed and heated for lunch today at around 3:30 -

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Then a day off from soup making and on Friday it was one of my favorites, Carrot Dill:

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Immersion blenders are fantastic:

gallery_28660_3_17699.jpg


Edited by Pam R (log)

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hmmm ... I wanted to edit the last post so that it was easier to see .... but it won't let me.

I'll try again when I get home.

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Pop Quiz!!

This is mostly for the Canadians out there…. But maybe some AMERICAN WOMAN will come up with the answer.

GUESS WHO is a co-owner of this chain of Manitoba restaurants?? (Salisbury House)

gallery_28660_3_16298.jpg

Where I had the Salisbury Steak for dinner.

gallery_28660_3_77388.jpg

(I'm afraid you're all going to think I eat like this all the time :blink: )


Edited by Pam R (log)

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Back to work.

I started working on komish last week, but still needed to bake another 3 batches today (one with almonds, one without and one doublt chocolate).

The ingredients:

gallery_28660_3_60955.jpg

Raw logs ready for the oven:

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Slicing into cookies:

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Ready to go back into the oven to dry:

gallery_28660_3_149620.jpg

And the bowl of scraps that we snack on and share with friends who tend to stop in to say hi and have some coffee:

gallery_28660_3_1995.jpg

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Pop Quiz!!

This is mostly for the Canadians out there…. But maybe some AMERICAN WOMAN will come up with the answer.

GUESS WHO  is a co-owner of this chain of Manitoba restaurants?? (Salisbury House)

gallery_28660_3_16298.jpg

Where I had the Salisbury Steak for dinner. 

gallery_28660_3_77388.jpg

(I'm afraid you're all going to think I eat like this all the time  :blink: )

*raising hand* I know, I know.

Its Burton Cummings!!!

What do I win?

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I'm not familiar with the word komish. They look like mandlebrodt to me. Is that the same thing?

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What is a shmoo?? This one is missing it's top pecan chiffon layer and whipped topping/ cream. It's always served with a bowl of extra caramel so people can add a nice layer to their slice.

gallery_28660_3_69520.jpg

This is one of my Chocolate Chip Chiffons:

gallery_28660_3_17851.jpg

I like to make 2 batches of 5 cakes (that's because my mixer can only handle 48 eggs) - and 1/2 get baked in my deck oven and 1/2 in my convection. The one above was baked in the convection and it gives the tops this weird crack thing...

gallery_28660_3_15066.jpg

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A few of the fragile babies cooling. Always cool them upside down.

gallery_28660_3_70063.jpg

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*raising hand*  I know, I know.

Its  Burton Cummings!!!

What do I win?

D'oh. That wasn't even a challenge!

How about the admiration of all your fellow eGulleters and the opportunity to answer all the Americans when they ask you who he is?? :biggrin:

I'm not familiar with the word komish.  They look like mandlebrodt to me.  Is that the same thing?

Yes. Almond bread.... Maybe it's because we make varieties that don't have almonds that we needed another word? I really have no idea where the word komish comes from but it's used here.

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I forgot one picture!

gallery_28660_3_126741.jpg

That's my mother cutting up some of my... let's call them 'not so perfect' chiffon cakes :sad:

And I might as well add this one in at the same time:

gallery_28660_3_82408.jpg

:raz: I dropped another 2 about 4 minutes later.

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*raising hand*  I know, I know.

Its  Burton Cummings!!!

What do I win?

D'oh. That wasn't even a challenge!

How about the admiration of all your fellow eGulleters and the opportunity to answer all the Americans when they ask you who he is?? :biggrin:

Aw shucks ... I had picked up your hint and gotten as far as going "Okay, it's got to be a member of the Guess Who, but which one?" So do I win the Classic Rock Trivia Geek Consolation Prize? :laugh:

I'm not familiar with the word komish.  They look like mandlebrodt to me.  Is that the same thing?

Yes. Almond bread.... Maybe it's because we make varieties that don't have almonds that we needed another word? I really have no idea where the word komish comes from but it's used here.

I'd never heard the word "komish" before either, but a quick Google turned up a bunch of recipes under that name, including at least one Kosher l'Pesach one, so I guess it's known to other folks too.

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Goodmorning!

I overslept this morning :angry: and should have left for work already. :biggrin:

Yesterday I finished almost all of the baking. Let me share a couple of pictures of my favorite recipe. It's not my favorite because I love this cookie above all else.... I just like the way the recipe is written.

Nothings/Keichal/Bowties

First, you have to beat the eggs for 13 minutes (how did they come up with 13 minutes? what happens if you beat them for 14 minutes??)

gallery_28660_3_48329.jpg

Then you add the oil and beat another 5 minutes. Then the sugar and another 3 minutes, then the potato starch and cake meal and it's another 5 minutes (it's written on the recipe card until it looks like snot :huh: )

Scoop and roll in sugar:

gallery_28660_3_57029.jpg

Then bake for 30 minutes at the line between 300 and 350. (You may think that this would be 325... but it's not. There's ANOTHER line around 337 that is the perfect temperature... the problem is I am about to lose this oven, so what do I do then??) Then turn the heat off and leave in the oven for 1/2 an hour. And you get:

gallery_28660_3_40364.jpg

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I also had a couple of chocolate bars that I had picked up a couple of days ago and I shared them with my parents yesterday:

gallery_28660_3_27978.jpg

I hadn't tried these before. The Coffee Crisp Latte was ok... nothing I would buy again. It's covered in white chocolate - but it seems to have more of a coffee flavour. The Caramel KitKat on the other hand, I'm all for. But I've already made it perfectly clear that I believe you can add caramel to almost anything.

I picked up a few of my favorite Passover Chocolate bars that I haven't opened yet and I'll take some pictures to share with you.

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OK - here's what we need to do today.

Roast Turkeys, chickens and brisket (my father is in charge of the brisket, but as soon as it comes out of the oven I'll be tasting it, as I do every year :wub: )

Bake plum kuchen

bake more kugels

make more mousse

Ice brownies and tortes

Count and make labels for most items

package all dry baking

fill cream puffs (after making strawbeerry filling)

carve turkeys

package meatballs

wrap blintzes, kugels, ets.

sell chicken

tell hundreds of people that no, they can't pick up their food today

I know I'm missing stuff :angry:

I'll try to get online throughout the day - because unlike yesterday I doubt I'll be home before 11 pm

(oh, I'm taking a gala apple, nuts and bottled water with me for breakfast)

By all means, talk amongst yourselves :wink:

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I already remembered about 5 more things we have to cook today... but I also forgot that I need to get my recipe column in to the paper today and it's not quite done... help!

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Wow. 80 liters of chicken soup?!!? It sounds like a recipe to save the world! :smile:

For the keichal (I've never heard them called "nothings" before, but that is really a perfect name since they are so light and airy and ... nothing-ish): can you give us a recipe with amounts? For a "regular" batch, that is. (I also love the way your recipe instructions are written.) Do you bake them after they're scooped onto the baking tray and they flatten out by themselves? Or do you shape them into the bowtie shapes?

Thanks again for doing this blog when you are obviously so busy with other things!

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...
I'm not familiar with the word komish.  They look like mandlebrodt to me.  Is that the same thing?

Yes. Almond bread.... Maybe it's because we make varieties that don't have almonds that we needed another word? I really have no idea where the word komish comes from but it's used here.

I'd never heard the word "komish" before either, but a quick Google turned up a bunch of recipes under that name, including at least one Kosher l'Pesach one, so I guess it's known to other folks too.

Komisch in German is an adjective meaning "funny", more as in "a little strange" rather than "ha, ha".

I googled "komish" and "yiddish" and saw a few sentences in Yiddish where it looks like it is being using in a similar way to the German meaning. Also saw it being used as a name for "biscotti" or 'mandelbrot' cookies as above. Perhaps the name may derive from the Yiddish 'komish' via German "komisch"...

Thanks for sharing your busy week; it's impressive to see all this baking and cooking on an industrial scale! Good luck with the rest of your busy day.


Edited by ludja (log)

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Thank you so much for doing this blog, Pam. I have been learning so much about kashrut from this thread, and I never imagined that you could make rolls that look like yours and have them still be allowable for Passover! Everything you're making is looking fabulous!

I'm getting cravings for chicken soup, matzo balls and horseradish. Speaking of which, I'm really looking forward to seeing your preparation of gefilte fish. I must admit that I've never, ever eaten it (I've been a bit scared to) but now I want to try it, and I'd like to try a "good" version, if there is such a thing. I'm hoping that you'll have tips so I can either make it myself, or get some good stuff from a respectable deli. Of course, in Atlanta, good delis are hard to come by.

Thanks again!

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