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Pam R

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

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Camels are treyf (as is camel milk).

Good because they never stand still in my shopping cart! :laugh:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm really looking forward to this. Talk about taking on a challenge: blogging and Passover. I love a holiday (the ceremony of it all) and I am fascinated by food laws and dietary restrictions (I like the challenge of it, hence my brief fling with vegan baking), so this will be awesome.

I had a conservative roomate, so I'm pretty familiar with kosher and other customs (her parents' house had multiple dishwashers, etc.). She used to forget to turn off her automatic alarm on sabbath so I'd get up Sat. morning and go into her room to turn it off (because she couldn't touch it), I always found this endearing somehow.

What are the special kitchen features you need in order maintain kosher?

What kind of oversight do you need in order to be certified kosher (I know there are dif. organizations, what's the difference)?

Do you do primarily baking or all kinds of recipes?

Best of luck!

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Hi Pam, thanks for doing this! I wonder if anyone has a potato kugel recipe they'd like to share. I've just been assigned one and haven't ever made it...actually not sure I've even eaten it. (My grandma only did noodle kugle, and that was sweet and with cheese, so it's not appropriate....)

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I wonder if anyone has a potato kugel recipe they'd like to share.

:laugh: Ahem ... take a look ...

5 large peeled potatoes

1 medium-sized onion (or even a large onion if I want a stronger flavor)

1/3 cup matza meal

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (or even white pepper)

2-3 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp oil (or schmaltz)

(optional: carrot and parsley can be chopped with the onion .. gives it some color)

Wash and shred (in a food processor) the potatoes and chop the onion. Mix dry ingredients with eggs, potatoes, and onion. Mix everything together, and pour into a *2 qt oiled baking dish. Dot the top with oil. Bake with 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, until top is crusty brown.

I work fast after shredding the potatoes lest they turn foul grey ... :unsure:

* now I line the baking dish with Reynolds Release foil for easy removal!! :wink:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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If you shred the onion along with the potatoes (or maybe get the potatoes and chopped onions combined quickly), the potato color should stay a bit whiter. (Something I learned from the Cook's Illustrated (Nov/Dec 1997.) There's something about the sulfur from the onions preventing the browning.

jayne

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

Hmmm... around here it's two Jews, four opinions :wink:

What are the special kitchen features you need in order maintain kosher?

Do you do primarily baking or all kinds of recipes?

Best of luck!

This is exactly where the 2 Jews, 3 opinions comes in. For almost every Jewish law there are different levels of observance. Some very observant Jews will have two seperate kitchens. Some will have different sections in their kitchens, with two of everything - one for meat and one for milk. Other people will use the same counters and sinks for both, but will have different pots, pans, dishes and utensils. Yet others will have differnt pots and pans and utensils but will have one set of dishes - if they are glass. Glass is non-porous, so it doesn't absorb any food particles and may be considered neutral - by some :smile: .

At work we have different sections in our kitchen where we process meat/milk. We have different ovens, utensils, pots, pans and sinks. I'll try to get some good kitchen pictures by the end of the week.

Though our company name is Desserts Plus, we do full-line catering. Our newspaper ads always used to be Desserts Plus What? Desserts Plus..... appetizers, Desserts Plus... Entrees.... ect. You'll see a bunch of stuff this week.

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Actually, I found that doing the egg and grated onion, carrot, parsley mixture first and then the matzo meal, salt, pepper dry mixture, allows me to shred at the very last minute and pop it into the oven ... :biggrin:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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If you shred the onion along with the potatoes (or maybe get the potatoes and chopped onions combined quickly), the potato color should stay a bit whiter. (Something I learned from the Cook's Illustrated (Nov/Dec 1997.) There's something about the sulfur from the onions preventing the browning.

jayne

That's what I always do to - for kugels and latkes.

GG _ your recipe sounds good. I'll try it next week.

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[...]I had a conservative roomate, so I'm pretty familiar with kosher and other customs (her parents' house had multiple dishwashers, etc.). She used to forget to turn off her automatic alarm on sabbath so I'd get up Sat. morning and go into her room to turn it off (because she couldn't touch it), I always found this endearing somehow.[...]

You were her Shabbos Goy. :biggrin:


Michael aka "Pan

 

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What kind of oversight do you need in order to be certified kosher (I know there are dif. organizations, what's the difference)?

**Disclaimer #2

To be able to say that you are a “kosher company”, you must have a hechsher or supervision from a supervisory entity which checks to make sure all of the ingredients used are in fact kosher and that all of the laws are being followed. **

We were supervised for over 20 years. Due to many many issues, mostly political and nothing I’m going into here, we have chosen to give up our supervision.

So, under Manitoba’s laws, I am not allowed to say that my business is Kosher. Nor am I allowed to say that we are ‘kosher-style’ (apparently this is illegal here).

What we do is use all kosher ingredients and follow all kosher laws when preparing food – then it’s up to the consumer to decide whether or not they want to eat our food. The first year we gave up supervision we weren’t sure how it would affect orders – but we had more Passover orders that year than any other… It’s interesting, some of the most orthodox people will eat our food, while some of the least religious won’t because we don’t have supervision.

The two big certifiers are O-U in the US and COR in Canada - several other large ones that are generally accepted by all are MK (Montreal), Star-K (Baltimore), Kaf-K. O-K, BCK. There are many many more. This means that most (though not all) people who observe kashrut will eat food certified by these organizations.

There are some groups who won't eat some of these - a lot of the reasons are political, but some reasons are that some certifiers allow things that those individuals do not consider to be kosher.

In large cities like New York or Toronto it's easier to observe the rules at the highest levels. When you get into smaller communities, it's harder to find kosher foods and some people will settle for what's available.

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

Hmmm... around here it's two Jews, four opinions :wink:

What are the special kitchen features you need in order maintain kosher?

Do you do primarily baking or all kinds of recipes?

Best of luck!

This is exactly where the 2 Jews, 3 opinions comes in. For almost every Jewish law there are different levels of observance. Some very observant Jews will have two seperate kitchens. Some will have different sections in their kitchens, with two of everything - one for meat and one for milk. Other people will use the same counters and sinks for both, but will have different pots, pans, dishes and utensils. Yet others will have differnt pots and pans and utensils but will have one set of dishes - if they are glass. Glass is non-porous, so it doesn't absorb any food particles and may be considered neutral - by some :smile: .

At work we have different sections in our kitchen where we process meat/milk. We have different ovens, utensils, pots, pans and sinks. I'll try to get some good kitchen pictures by the end of the week.

Though our company name is Desserts Plus, we do full-line catering. Our newspaper ads always used to be Desserts Plus What? Desserts Plus..... appetizers, Desserts Plus... Entrees.... ect. You'll see a bunch of stuff this week.

I've heard of the spoons with holes in them (to denote if used for milk or meat). I was wondering if that was the case with respect to your family's company? I guess we'll find out but I wanted a preview of sorts. Call me impatient, or something. :huh:

Soba

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I've heard of the spoons with holes in them (to denote if used for milk or meat).

I taught in a Jewish Day School and the kitchen was, of course, kosher to the highest standards. The woman who set up the kitchen decided of her own volition to mark the big utensils with paint to show which were "meat" and "milk" .. needless to say, the inspection people were horrified that we were poisoning the children with lead-based paint ... so those were thrown out and new utensils were purchased ...

more acceptable option ... :wink:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I've heard of the spoons with holes in them (to denote if used for milk or meat).  I was wondering if that was the case with respect to your family's company?  I guess we'll find out but I wanted a preview of sorts.  Call me impatient, or something.  :huh:

Soba

We've never done the hole in spoons thing. Though we work in many synagogue kitchens.. and not only do they have holes in utensils, but in bus tubs and bowls too!! :angry: That annoys me.

We have two ways of distinguishing between meat/milk/dairy. One is paint. If we have more of one thing for different uses, it gets red paint for meat, white paint for parve and blue for milk. The second way is to buy things that come in different colours or look differently for different uses - some bus tups are grey, some are orange,black or white.

The thing about Passover is that most of what we use during the year, we can't use during Passover because the rules at Passover are more strict. So most of our stuff is taken out of the kitchen and quite honestly, we buy a lot of cheap stuff to get us through the holiday. So you won't actually see many painted things. But I'll get into this more a little later.

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I've heard of the spoons with holes in them (to denote if used for milk or meat).

I taught in a Jewish Day School and the kitchen was, of course, kosher to the highest standards. The woman who set up the kitchen decided of her own volition to mark the big utensils with paint to show which were "meat" and "milk" .. needless to say, the inspection people were horrified that we were poisoning the children with lead-based paint ... so those were thrown out and new utensils were purchased ...

more acceptable option ... :wink:

grrrr .... I was uploading pictures :raz:

all of our paint is on the OUTSIDE of the pots and pans... and on the spoon and knife handles :wink:

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Pam, how large is the Jewish community in Winnepeg?


"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

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Pam, have you seen this website?

Canadian Kosher article

Melissa,

You amaze me with what you find online. I have not seen it before and jsut skimmed it - I am printing it out to look at more and will probably refer to it later in the blog :wink: Thanks!

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Melissa,

You amaze me with what you find online.  I have not seen it before and jsut skimmed it - I  am printing it out to look at more and will probably refer to it later in the blog  :wink: Thanks!

One of the myriad pleasures of retiring early .. more time to search and learn ... as my father often said of himself, "a veritable font of useless information" ... and he, sadly, didn't live long enough to experience the joys of Google ... :sad: but I am doing it on his behalf ... :laugh:


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Pam, how large is the Jewish community in Winnepeg?

Right now we're about 12-13,000. At it's prime, it was about 20,000.

Learn more about us here

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Passover recipe just in from Rabbi Ribeye who is smoking turkeys and ducks for the holiday:

Outstanding drizzled on smoked goose, duck, turkey, game, seared duck, tuna and other fish that are complemented by a fruity-piquant flavor.

FIG-SANGRIA SAUCE

10 small dried Calmyrna figs, halved

2 cups sweet port (I use Kedem ...GG)

juice of 2 navel oranges

juice of 1 lime

1-2 tablespoons sugar

fig balsamic and/or additional lime juice

Poach figs in port until figs are soft and port is reduced by 1/4. Add orange and lime juices and puree ingredients together in blender. Return to saucepan. Add tablespoon sugar. Reduce until "stick to back of spoon" consistency.

Taste and adjust, based on sweet/tartness of fruit: too piquant, add sugar; too sweet, add lime juice or splash of balsamic (a personal favorite); too thick, a little more port.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Now, what did I eat today? I'm afraid I have to say not much. I arrived at work at about 7:20 this morning and other than some komish crumbs (as I was slicing them) and a few potato chips, didn't eat anything after my strawberries and nuts this morning until dinner at about 6:30 :sad: I really try hard to have some lunch, but the phone didn't stop ringing, the customers didn't stop coming in and the baking had to be done! I did drink my coffee throughout the morning and some water.

But I made up for it at dinner.

** Disclaimer #3

I eat in non-kosher restaurants. This week won’t allow me to go to more interesting places to show you what my fair city has to offer, but I will be able to take you to a couple of local places. Not what you would call ‘fine dining’ but good food nonetheless. **

So after work, my mother and I grabbed dinner at a greek restaurant. My father was off doing deliveries and when I called his cell phone to tell him to meet us at the TUXEDO Village Inn, he thought I said the PEMBINA Village Inn and by the time I saw that he had left a message on my cell, mom and I had pretty much finished dinner. I have no idea what he ate, but we shared:

Avgolomeno Soup, pita and Greek Salad

gallery_28660_3_32196.jpg

Followed by a platter of Greek goodies that had too much!!

gallery_28660_3_66090.jpg

I hadn't been to this restaurant in a long time, but everything was great. I was so hungry that before dinner I was a little dizzy, so I really enjoyed. (had an Ice Tea too)


Edited by Pam R (log)

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, Passover has stricter dietary laws than the rest of the year. In addition to all of the things we’re not supposed to eat, during the holiday we’re not allowed any leavened bread, rice, legumes (including beans, lentils, peas, peanuts), soy, corn, grains, certain oils (like canola) …. and I’m sure more. (I’m rather tired and forgetting things I’d like to add here… sorry)

Not only can we not use these forbidden foods, but we have to use different pots, pans and utensils. Most people have different sets of everything that they bring up from the basement at Passover. It’s also important to clean all of these items out of the house. At work, it’s not possible to get rid of all of these foods, but they are all removed from the kitchen.

Any plastic or wood utensils are put away for the holiday. After the kitchen has been cleaned, we boil our soup pot (it holds about 80 L) and dunk all of our metal bowls and utensils and pots in the boiling water. This ‘kashers’ these items – cleans them well enough for us to use them. The metal counters get licked by the flames of a tiger-torch, burning off any food residue that may be forbidden. I was going to take pictures last week when this was going on but there was lots of swearing as people got burned and I thought it best to stay out of the way.

But I did snap a picture of one of our butcher-block tables getting wrapped in plastic. There is no way to kasher these, so vapor barrier is placed on top and taped underneath. It’s replaced a couple of times throughout the 2 weeks of prep.

gallery_28660_3_10575.jpg

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Ummm... I realize I'm posting a whole lot here - two reasons. Although this blog is only for one week, Passover actually started last week. To get a feel for what I do at work, I think it's a good idea to show you what went on last week too. I hope nobody minds my turning this into a 2-week thing (all within the one week of course). The other issue is that I actually made it home before 8 pm tonight - that's not likely to happen for the next couple of days, so I'm taking advantage of that opportunity.

So after the kitchen was ready to go last week, first thing to do was go to the wholesale. All of out meat and cheeses come from Toronto. So do most of our kosher for passover baking and cooking supplies. (There is a kosher food store across the street from us, and I go in there to grab whatever I didn't order in from Toronto). Because the bulk of things come from elsewhere, it's rare that I order from Sysco. So off I (or my mom or dad) go to the wholesale to shop for things like produce, eggs and some dairy. There are a few other things like sugar, nuts, some baking supplies and other things we get there as well.

Here's the Real Canadian Wholesale Club and our carts as we're loading the cars as it starts to rain:

gallery_28660_3_69535.jpggallery_28660_3_35533.jpg

ummm... the 7-up is for home... shhh..

and I don't know if you can see the 6 cases of eggs, but remember them.... they play an important roll in this holiday.

This was trip #1 of 3 to the wholesale last week.

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OK. I think this will be the last big entry for tonight. Did I mention that I have a non-Passover recipe column due on Thursday? I was testing Pasta recipes on Sunday, last night and tonight after I got home before I got online, I tested the final one. So I need to type that up before falling asleep.

While I was gone, Hazel (works with us) brought all of these angelfood cake pans up from the basement and washed them for me:

gallery_28660_3_28453.jpg

Once back at the shop, I began actually working on food prep!

All of these lemons were scrubbed, zested and juiced:gallery_28660_3_50918.jpg

7 L of juice and just under 2 L of zest:

gallery_28660_3_24575.jpg

Remember the eggs? Well I seperated a few:

gallery_28660_3_43985.jpggallery_28660_3_38990.jpg

That's 20 dozen eggs. Seperated one at a time in a dish so that I could check for blood spots and throw out any bad eggs. I've done this about 4 times since last Monday and only had to throw out about 12 eggs.

Then it was on to the first batch of lemon chiffon cakes:

gallery_28660_3_26950.jpggallery_28660_3_63730.jpg

gallery_28660_3_5140.jpggallery_28660_3_76113.jpg

This was the first cake I baked this year. I followed my recipe then we tasted it because the ingredients can vary from year to year - and decided it was a little dry and I cut back on cake meal and potato starch. After this, I baked several batched - 5 cakes per batch.

Did I mention that I didn't use any flour? Hmm... maybe one more entry before bed :wink:


Edited by Pam R (log)

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