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Pam R

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

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Your Pavlova (pavlovas? what's the plural?) are beautiful, Pam. After this is all over, i'd be interested in your (basic) recipe. I have to make it for 75 people two weeks from now....and i've never made it before :blink:


Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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wow, I'm tired just reading this! :blink::biggrin:

Thanks for all your answers to questions, I was talking to a fairly observant Jewish friend yesterday about her passover plans, and not only did I not stick my foot in my mouth, but I managed to seem somewhat knowledgeable about Jewish tradition - all thanks to this blog! :biggrin:


Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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OK, after seeing your chiffon cakes and meringues, I have to ask. Does your catering business ever do cakes for teeny tiny private parties? Something like a mocha or coffee chiffon cake with buttercream icing (made with real butter, of course!) or maybe a hazelnut dacquoise for 30 people? Or maybe both?!?!? I'm planning a surprise almost-70th birthday party for my mother this summer, and am searching for a decent cake. Is there none to be had in Winnipeg!? (see this thread if you're interested in what I've eliminated, and why.)

BTW, I long for A&W root beer and onion rings. I had some root beer (in frosted mugs!) while in Thailand, but they had no onion rings. That'll be one of my first stops while I'm back home this summer!

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Much of the food of this part of my heritage I don't get overly excited about. Gefilte fish leaves me cold, so to speak. But Brisket? Oh lord I love Brisket. Especially when it looks like those photos.

gallery_28660_3_13512.jpg

I wish I had something deep to say. I know I'm supposed to. But no.

BRISKET RULES.

There you go. Deep. Deep down into my belly, that is.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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Good morning.

Breakfast - a bowl of honeydew - which didn't look nearly as ripe as it was. I may have another bowl for lunch.

In a few minutes I'm going to make some vanilla tea that I have left from a trip to Murchies in Victoria. It'll probably use up the last of the tea leaves. And I'll eat a couple of almond meringues with that.

If I can get my lazy bones moving today - I should head over to the Kenaston Wine Market to pick up some wine to take to dinner tomorrow night.

I have no idea what lunch will be - maybe a scrambled egg or maybe I'll pick something up while I'm out. Though Passover doesn't start until sunset tonight, I'm supposed to be eating KFP food today... but since there's not much food in my house right now, I might see what I can find while I'm out.

Let me talk briefly about the Seders. Different members of the extended family take turns hosting the dinners each year. When it's my family's turn, we NEVER host the fist night - because we're all so exhausted. Last year, because we hadn't had a Seder in a couple of years, we had both my mother and my father's family. I think there were 34 of us.

This year we've been invited to two aunts and one cousins. So tonight we're off to a hotel, where my Aunt and Uncle will be hosting us - this is the first time the family has gone to a hotel, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Tomorrow we're going to my cousin's. This will be the first time that my cousin and his wife will be hosting a Seder as well... so again, I don't know what to expect! Though I do know that every time we've been to their place it has been wonderful - so it looks good.

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Your Pavlova (pavlovas? what's the plural?) are beautiful, Pam.  After this is all over, i'd be interested in your (basic) recipe.  I have to make it for 75 people two weeks from now....and i've never made it before  :blink:

I'll be happy to give you one.. I just can't find it right now :hmmm: If I don't post one later, please remind me... I'll try to remember but my memories shot today!

wow, I'm tired just reading this! :blink:  :biggrin:

Thanks for all your answers to questions, I was talking to a fairly observant Jewish friend yesterday about her passover plans, and not only did I not stick my foot in my mouth, but I managed to seem somewhat knowledgeable about Jewish tradition - all thanks to this blog! :biggrin:

Yay! Happy it helped.

OK, after seeing your chiffon cakes and meringues, I have to ask.  Does your catering business ever do cakes for teeny tiny private parties?  Something like a mocha or coffee chiffon cake with buttercream icing (made with real butter, of course!) or maybe a hazelnut dacquoise for 30 people?  Or maybe both?!?!?  I'm planning a surprise almost-70th birthday party for my mother this summer, and am searching for a decent cake.  Is there none to be had in Winnipeg!?  (see this thread if you're interested in what I've eliminated, and why.)

BTW, I long for A&W root beer and onion rings.  I had some root beer (in frosted mugs!) while in Thailand, but they had no onion rings.  That'll be one of my first stops while I'm back home this summer!

We often do cakes for teeny tiny private parties! Here's the issue. I have not yet mentioned that on Monday we learned that we have officially sold our building *yay!* - there are a couple of issues with the space we're hoping to move to, and we need to be in a new location by July 1. Umm... panic is setting in. When is your party? If we have a location, you should call :wink: . Hazelnut Dacqoise, btw, we definately make and our recipe was recently included in a national magazine. :biggrin:

The A&W that we drove-thru was one of the drive-ins where you pulled up and they brought the food to your car and there was a tray that sat on your window - for all of my childhood. About 10 years ago they tore it down and rebuilt with a drive-thru as we all know them now. I liked it the other way :angry:

BRISKET RULES.

That's what I'm saying.

:wink:

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Pam, let me add my appreciation to the chorus here. I've been majorly enjoying this glimpse into your family's catering biz, and am in awe of your herculean labors--and their gorgeous results. Have a terrific Passover--and wow, hope you don't nod off from exhaustion in the middle of the first Seder! :biggrin:

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Brisket definately rules, and I'd be interested in how that one is made, it looks sooo good.

I can't believe you're even up! You must be exhausted.


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Pam, let me add my appreciation to the chorus here. I've been majorly enjoying this glimpse into your family's catering biz, and am in awe of your herculean labors--and their gorgeous results. Have a terrific Passover--and wow, hope you don't nod off from exhaustion in the middle of the first Seder! :biggrin:

It's been known to happen... since I went to hebrew school, and my sister and I are the two that read hebrew well, it's often up to us to run the seder, so it's doesn't happen often. If you keep an eye on my dad though....

Brisket definately rules, and I'd be interested in how that one is made, it looks sooo good.

I can't believe you're even up!  You must be exhausted.

I am exhausted!

The brisket is easy, and while it doesn't sound gourmet it's one of the best ways I've ever had brisket. I have no quantities of course, but you take some oil, loads of fresh garlic and puree it with my fathers secret ingrediant that I'm not allowed to share but I'l let you know that it's a mix, and it's got a lot of onions in it. I know I know. But I tell you, it's really really good. The trick is the cooking method. Shmear the brisket with the paste and wrap the whole thing in a few layers of foil. On a baking sheet and slow oven for a few hours. Cooks at about 300 and I think the ones this week went in at about 6:15, 6:30 - done at about 10. They were each 20 pounds though, so you want to cook it until an inserted fork goes in and out with no resistance and though you can't slice it with a spoon, I did cut my slice with a spoon!

We may have to make one at home this week since he sold it all :angry: . We'll see if we get served any tonight.

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OK. If I was religious - well 1. I wouldn't be online right now and 2. My seder wouldn't start until Shabbat ended, about 10 pm here. Since I'm not religous, the Seder starts in about 45 minutes.

I ended up with 1/2 a slice of the rib roast, some KFP potato chips (they are SO good) and some honeydew for lunch.

I just returned from the Kenaston Wine Market with a bottle of red, white and some sweet stuff for the Charoset I'm supposed to bring tomorrow. I'm actually slightly allergic to wine, so I don't know much about it, but I wanted to try something different - can't remember the names now, but I'll try to get a shot of them tomorrow. They have a nice selection there.

Need to finish getting ready, then I'm off.

Chag Sameach!

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We often do cakes for teeny tiny private parties!  Here's the issue.  I have not yet mentioned that on Monday we learned that we have officially sold our building *yay!* - there are a couple of issues with the space we're hoping to move to, and we need to be in a new location by July 1.  Umm... panic is setting in.  When is your party?  If we have a location, you should call  :wink: .  Hazelnut Dacqoise, btw, we definately make and our recipe was recently included in a national magazine.  :biggrin:

The A&W that we drove-thru was one of the drive-ins where you pulled up and they brought the food to your car and there was a tray that sat on your window - for all of my childhood.  About 10 years ago they tore it down and rebuilt with a drive-thru as we all know them now.  I liked it the other way  :angry:

Great! The party isn't until the end of July, and I won't get home till the 11th, so there's plenty of time for you to get settled into your new place before you make our cake :biggrin: . Congratulations on the sale of your building, by the way! I sure hope your new space will be a little closer to the wrong side of the tracks--that's my area of town, too :smile: .

You know, I didn't realize your restaurant was still open last year. It was closed the couple of times we went (and once we even took a special trip out to that area just to eat there! Normally we'd just drop by when we were in the neighbourhood), so we never got to eat there! Darn! That brisket looked amazingly good, and if it weren't so expensive in Japan, I'd buy some just to try your recipe.

I loved those A&W drive-ins. I remember them fondly from my childhood--we used to pick up liters of root beer to go on our way back from church on Sundays. I especially loved the trays, and hoped that one day I'd be fortunate enough to work at one of them just so I could put those trays on people's car windows :rolleyes: . Sad story, but true!

BTW, may I ask which magazine the article/recipe was in? Congratulations on that, too!

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Pam, I'm with you on the KFP potato chips, they just taste better this time of year.

I was showing my mom your blog last night during the calm before the storm :wink:, she wants to know your recipe for the KFP blintz wrappers, please. Thanks!

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Hello.

Last night - I'll start by saying that while everything was good, it was not what my Baba would have made (or anybody else in my family).

Before the Sedar started, I got a shot of the wine table:

gallery_28660_3_12531.jpg

I didn't know that people still enjoyed the Maneshewitz, but apparently some members of my family still do!!

gallery_28660_3_7308.jpg

Just kidding... though those rosy cheeks on her shayna punim look like she was enjoying the wine... it was really grape juice. Chloe and I shared a bottle.

I was hoping to show you a picture of the Seder plate which holds all of the foods we're supposed to eat... but that didn't happen, so here's my empty one that I photoed this morning:

gallery_28660_3_18574.jpg

I'm supposed to take all of the seder plate stuff tonight, so I'll take pics later.

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If you have a chance when you have a little free time (?!?) I would love to hear more about your recipe for chopped liver.

It's one of my favorite things to eat and I've been saving up some chicken skins and fat in the freezer... It was amazing to see your walk in filled with contaners upon containers of it!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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So before we can eat dinner, we read through the Hagada. The hagadda tells the story of Passover and discusses various explanations.

As we go through the Hagadda, we eat various symbolic foods that we find on the Seder plate (charoset, maror (bitter herbs), shankbone, parsley, egg and shankbone). We also drink four cups of wine that symbolize the four stages of the exodus from egypt freedom, deliverance, redemption and release.

While reciting the 10 plagues that G-d placed on the Egyptians, we place a drop of wine on our plates - then we eat matzoh - with horsradish and charoset (a mixture of apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon in our family) - I'll discuss the symbolism of the foods more later.

gallery_28660_3_618.jpg

Then on to dinner.

Gefilte fish (that we made at work- my father ate mine):

gallery_28660_3_14028.jpg

Chicken soup with matzoh balls:

gallery_28660_3_212.jpg

Salad which I dont' seem to have a picture of, then brisket again:

gallery_28660_3_32570.jpg

The main was not what we would normally do. Usually holiday dinners are served family style and if you can believe it, there's usually more food! Not much traditional stuff here other than the brisket...

Then the hotel offered a plate of cookies and my aunt brought a chocolate chip chiffon and trays of baking:

gallery_28660_3_39244.jpg

gallery_28660_3_15783.jpg

This is what I chose:

gallery_28660_3_5550.jpg

Both of these were my aunt's - a delicious lace cookie that she promised a recipe for and a square thing that my grandmother used to make full of dates, nuts and lots of lemon.

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Since I have no pets or children, I'm borrowing my cousins for my blog:

Look at the cheeks on this kid!!

gallery_28660_3_25363.jpg

I know I told you that Chloe wasn't drinking real wine, but she still ended up under the table:

gallery_28660_3_30984.jpg

Thus far this morning I've consumed some more honeydew (I have a thing for fruit), ice water, 2 almond meringues and the last of my vanilla tea.

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Great!  The party isn't until the end of July, and I won't get home till the 11th, so there's plenty of time for you to get settled into your new place before you make our cake  :biggrin: .  Congratulations on the sale of your building, by the way!  I sure hope your new space will be a little closer to the wrong side of the tracks--that's my area of town, too   :smile: .

You know, I didn't realize your restaurant was still open last year.  It was closed the couple of times we went (and once we even took a special trip out to that area just to eat there!  Normally we'd just drop by when we were in the neighbourhood), so we never got to eat there!  Darn!  That brisket looked amazingly good, and if it weren't so expensive in Japan, I'd buy some just to try your recipe.

BTW, may I ask which magazine the article/recipe was in?  Congratulations on that, too!

Our new location will definately be closer - River Heights - we're just not sure exactly where... I think moving a business in under 2 months might be a good thread.....

Ah... our restaurant hours. When we were under supervision we couldn't be open on Saturdays or on religious holiday - even the ones that the Jews don't even know about! We actually reopened in Oct. of 2003 and were open for one year. No longer under supervision we were open on Saturdays. We had 3 great write-ups in the Free Press in that year and things were busy, but they were busy in other areas too. I was doing all the restaurant prep, then my book came out and I was busy doing publicity and I've started writing these recipe columns, and our catering got busy and we decided to sell the building - so it's closed for good now. On top of it, our location wasn't really suitable for what we do. On Friday about 90% of the orders were picked up by people from RH and Tuxedo, so it just makes sense for us to be in that area. We're lesst he Green Briar crowd, more the...well... South crowd :wink:

As for the recipe, it was in Canadian Living for Rosh Hashana in September. For some reason they've been good to us. Recipes in September and March and in December they put my cookbook on their list of recommended gift cookbooks.

You sold 100 doz. stuffed blintzes????  :shock:

Yep :biggrin:

Pam, I'm with you on the KFP potato chips, they just taste better this time of year. I was showing my mom your blog last night during the calm before the storm :wink:, she wants to know your recipe for the KFP blintz wrappers, please. Thanks!

Rachel, I think it's gotta be the oil. Cottonseed make great chips!

I don't have quantities for the bletlach (they are at work and I'll try to remember to get them when I'm there) but I can tell you that they simply contain potato starch, eggs, water and salt. When I made them at home for the soup noodles, I just mixed stuff in until it looked right - it should be fairly loose - so that you get thin thin pancakes. Nudge me later if I forget to post the quantities.

If you have a chance when you have a little free time (?!?) I would love to hear more about your recipe for chopped liver. 

It's one of my favorite things to eat and I've been saving up some chicken skins and fat in the freezer...  It was amazing to see your walk in filled with contaners upon containers of it!

Again, I have no quantites. But for this one there are none. It's just done by eye, and taste. We used to use beef livers, then a combo of beef and chicken. We now use chicken only - it's a lighter liver and many customers have called it 'the best gehakte liver in town!". So we'll stick with the chicken livers.

Liver needs to be cooked over a hot flame of broiled. That's the only way to kasher livers. Then cool.

Saute the onions in shmaltz or oil - until very very brown. Do this over a low heat - I can't tell you how long, because I'm assuming you won't be doing 50 lbs. We always do 50 lbs at work. When onions are inexpensive we buy sacks of them, fry up and freeze in bags. The 50 lbs take a couple of hours.

Then we use a meat grinder. Livers, onions (and shmaltz) and boiled eggs are ground twice. We never use a food processor - but if you do, be cafreful not to puree too much. You don't want paste (or pate) you want chopped livers!

Season with salt. Some people like pepper, but we don't add any.

Enjoy! Best eaten with slices of red onion on caroway-light-rye or matzoh of course.


Edited by Pam R (log)

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Pam

I have enjoyed following your discussion for the last few days. It has brought back memories for me. Several years ago I was the chef/manager of a kosher restaurant in southeast Florida. The restaurant was affiliated with a kosher take out/catering business that was housed next door. During Passover we closed the restaurant, but the catering was at one of its busiest times.

This being a kosher establishment hekshered by Chabad, the preparation of the kitchen was a major event. Everything that wouldn’t be used during the holiday was taken and stored offsite. A crew then came in and cleaned and koshered like crazy. Kosher for Passover utensils and cookware were brought out of storage and the cooking started like gangbusters and didn’t stop. Steam jacketed 80 and 100-gallon kettles were boiling away with soup and matzo balls. Tilt skillets were going 24 hours a day. Cases of eggs need to be hard boiled and pealed. Not to mention ovens turning out kuggles as fast as they can. The last two days I had charge of the meat ovens. My duties included roasting about 150 turkeys. As soon as they were cooled enough to handle, I had an assembly line going to carve and platter or carve and put back on the frame. I hired two culinary school students just to make the Seder plates. My reward was schmoozing with customers as they eagerly came to pick up their orders. I have to admit that I just couldn’t stop beaming as I graciously accepted compliments on how nice everything turned out.

This year, I find myself in exile. I have not been able to find a single box of matzo for sale anywhere, not to mention matzo meal or anything else that’s kosher for Passover. I suppose I should have been prepared when I couldn’t locate kosher salt anywhere and had to mail order it. Lesson learned, and if I find myself back here next year I’ll be better prepared and perhaps make a trip up to Toronto or order online. For the rest of the holiday, I’m going to avoid anything hametz but I know its just not going to feel the same.

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day for me. As evening approached, I found myself really feeling alone and cut off. The one saving grace was being able to share the posts of my newfound eGullet family as you all prepared for the holiday. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog. Thanks also to my fellow eGulleters for sharing your holiday with me. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about everyone’s Seder.

Hag sameach :smile:

Elie


Eliahu Yeshua

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.

- Alice May Brock

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Thanks much for the chopped liver recipe Pam; I can't wait to try it.

(have never made it for myself and I get to eat it only when I go back East since I'm in a Jewish deli desert out here).

Thanks for your great blog too!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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This year, I find myself in exile. I have not been able to find a single box of matzo for sale anywhere, not to mention matzo meal or anything else that’s kosher for Passover. I suppose I should have been prepared when I couldn’t locate kosher salt anywhere and had to mail order it. Lesson learned, and if I find myself back here next year I’ll be better prepared and perhaps make a trip up to Toronto or order online. For the rest of the holiday, I’m going to avoid anything hametz but I know its just not going to feel the same.

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day for me. As evening approached, I found myself really feeling alone and cut off. The one saving grace was being able to share the posts of my newfound eGullet family as you all prepared for the holiday. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog. Thanks also to my fellow eGulleters for sharing your holiday with me. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing about everyone’s Seder.

Hag sameach  :smile:

Elie

Elie,

I'm glad you're enjoying my blog - I can't even imagine doing what you did at your company.. I'm assuming you had more people in the kitchen than the 4 we do :wink:

I can feel for you though. I attended university in Northern Minnesota and while I heard several times that there was another Jew in town, I never met him. You can only do what you can do - and all I could do was avoid chometz. It was just as bad when I walked into my apartment one day after classes and my apartment had turned into a Christmas wonderland while I was gone. I was missing home so much I was on the phone to my mother crying and begging her to mail some decorations to me. Luckily I had great friends and we had a latke party and exchanged gifts around the Christmas tree and Chanukia - but it's hard not having anybody who knows your holidays and traditions around to share them.

Chag sameach to you - my blogging ends tomorrow, but I'm happy to take up any discussions in other threads. It's been fun sharing and I'm happy to hear it's helping you as much as possible.

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Wow, I've throughly enjoyed reading your blog to date, thank-you. When I did my blog last week I asked for that time frame because it was a slow work week for me. I certainly can't imagine how hard this must have been for you. But I'm really grateful that you did do this during your holiday and busy time, I've learned soooo much.

Back around page 2 or 3 you showed your misen place for your chiffon cake..........and son of a gun.......I got a great return on my admission fee! I always run out of bowls while working and it NEVER EVER occured to me to use plastic cups to hold my measurements! Good god that's brilliant, I can't wait to start work next week and follow your example. My chef will be so pleased I'm not using his glass bowls anymore.

Questions, if you don't mind?

About that brisket..........(embarrassing questions I should know the answers to, but don't) can I buy a decent one at my local grocery store? If so is it marked "brisket" or named something else? I must make one, I recall having them when I was younger and I can remember the smell exactly as I see your photographs. Is there anything cut/size or color wise I should look for or ask for when I shop for this? Do I bake it fat side up? Do I trim the meat before cooking or anything like that?

So you can't tell us your secret spices, but for someone like me who's never cooked a brisket and wants it to taste great, can you give me some suggestions of what types of spices one might use, please? Alot or a little of them.........

I always thought that matzo balls that sunk were bad ones, so that's wrong? Do you believe in the thoughts about never peaking at your m.balls while they are cooking or they'll be ruined? Which do you prefer and what makes them sinkers?

Last, I really enjoyed seeing what you bake for holidays. I haven't seen much material yet alone photos of Jewish holiday baking published. You've covered more then any article I've ever seen.

Great blog!

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Wow, I've throughly enjoyed reading your blog to date, thank-you. When I did my blog last week I asked for that time frame because it was a slow work week for me. I certainly can't imagine how hard this must have been for you. But I'm really grateful that you did do this during your holiday and busy time, I've learned soooo much.

Good! I enjoyed your blog so much last week. You inspired me to try some different things in the baking department (non-Passover that is)... and I can't wait for the holiday and craziness to be over so that I can experiment. I'll also be visiting the baking forums much more.

Back around page 2 or 3 you showed your misen place for your chiffon cake..........and son of a gun.......I got a great return on my admission fee! I always run out of bowls while working and it NEVER EVER occured to me to use plastic cups to hold my measurements! Good god that's brilliant, I can't wait to start work next week and follow your example. My chef will be so pleased I'm not using his glass bowls anymore.

I know it's bad for the environment, but I find the plastic containers work well. Especially for things like the eggs. I seperated 40 dozen eggs in one go - using the deli-liter containers was great. I put their lids on and they were back in the fridge and ready to go for the next day. Plus you can stack them. The main reason for using them though, is that I jsut have much less equipment to work with during Passover. Because almost all my bowls are taken away, this is much better than buying all new stuff. It can be costly using the plastic stuff though... but as long as my dad isn't in the kitchen, I use them.... shhhhhh...

Questions, if you don't mind?

About that brisket..........(embarrassing questions I should know the answers to, but don't) can I buy a decent one at my local grocery store? If so is it marked "brisket" or named something else? I must make one, I recall having them when I was younger and I can remember the smell exactly as I see your photographs. Is there anything cut/size or color wise I should look for or ask for when I shop for this? Do I bake it fat side up? Do I trim the meat before cooking or anything like that?

ummm I assume you can. If you go into any kosher butcher, they will know the brisket - and I'm assuming that any other butcher will as well - but to be honest I've never bought a non-kosher one. Maybe somebody else can help here?

There are two parts to a brisket - the flat (first cut, thin part) and the point (fattier and cheaper). You can buy them either attached (with a layer of fat between them) or individually. Some people feel that you shouldn't buy them too large - no more than 5 or 6 pounds - but we obviously use larger ones. For home I would get a smaller one - both taste great. For this method of cooking, you should trim some of the fat (unless you're using the lean part only). Don't get rid of all of it, because fat is flavour. I've never really thought about it, but I think we always cook it fat cap side up - which makes sense because it'll baste while roasting.

So you can't tell us your secret spices, but for someone like me who's never cooked a brisket and wants it to taste great, can you give me some suggestions of what types of spices one might use, please? Alot or a little of them.........

OK. The secret ingredient that many Jewish cooks know... is onion soup. That's all. No other seasoning (other than tons of garlic).. it all comes in the soup mix. Like I said, it's not exactly 'gourmet' but it's so good! Try it and let me know what you think.

I always thought that matzo balls that sunk were bad ones, so that's wrong? Do you believe in the thoughts about never peaking at your m.balls while they are cooking or they'll be ruined? Which do you prefer and what makes them sinkers?

We just discussed this during dinner tonight - we had 2 who like sinkers, 3 who like floaters and the rest of us like them in between - as they were tonight. I peak all the time. I think they sink for a couple of reasons - when you add liquid to matzo meal it takes a while for the liquid to absorb. I think people don't give it a chance and add too much MM - thus making them very heavy. The trick is to mix it up and put it in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. Some people like to use seltzer, thinking the bubbles add airiness, others whip the egg whites and fold them in. Since I don't like them too fluffy, I've never tried either - but it's something I may have to experiment with.

Last, I really enjoyed seeing what you bake for holidays. I haven't seen much material yet alone photos of Jewish holiday baking published. You've covered more then any article I've ever seen.

Great blog!

Thanks! There are some baking books out there for the Jewish holidays, but I'm hoping there is a need for more (one day my Passover book will come out :wink: )

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So for lunch today I had a piece of roasted chicken and some roasted potatoes. No pictures -- it was all kind of.... monochromatic. :rolleyes:

I was asked to provide the seder-plate items, so after lunch I got to work.

The Seder plate contains:

Parsley - which we dip in salt water. The parsley symbolizes springtime and the salt water represents the tears shed by the Jewish slaves.

Egg - it also symbolizes springtime and the potential for new life.

Shank Bone - represents the sacrificial lamb. We try use a lamb shank - but I ran out of time this year. So, like many other people around the world, used a turkey neck to fill in.

Bitter Herbs - usually horseradish - symbolizes the bitter affliction of slavery.

Charoset - in our family it's a mixture of apples, wine, cinnamon and nut - pecans tonight. This represents the mortar used by the slaves to build Pharoh's cities.

Charoset Ingredients:

gallery_28660_3_9368.jpg

Final product:

gallery_28660_3_263.jpg

The beautiful glass Seder plate, for which my photo does not justice:

gallery_28660_3_17614.jpg


Edited by Pam R (log)

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On to dinner, which was fantastic. This was at my cousins - and his wife did a great job hosting her first seder. She did a modern take on a traditional menu - enjoyed by all.

Gefilte fish (ok, not so modern... and it came from us - but it IS passover!)

gallery_28660_3_5359.jpg

Then a celery and parsnip soup with dilled matzoh balls - this was fantastic.

gallery_28660_3_31493.jpg

The spread:

gallery_28660_3_33131.jpg

My dinner plate: (meatballs, turkey, potato kugel, sweet potato and carrot kugel, roasted vegetables - and I missed the asparagus but had so much food I didn't go back for any)

gallery_28660_3_22022.jpg

Desserts were provided by her mother-in-law, my aunt, and were much the same as last night.

Beautiful fruit bowl (behind Eliyahu's wine glass)

gallery_28660_3_11082.jpg

And here's my plate:

gallery_28660_3_28641.jpg

But this little sucker came over, was very sweet then stole my cookie:

gallery_28660_3_42898.jpg


Edited by Pam R (log)

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