September 19, 2012 |
A brisket the size of Kansas and laced with fat was always lying in a thick gravy. At my grandmother's house, that hefty brisket was synonymous with Rosh Hashanah, just like the weighty matzo balls that never quite floated in Gertrude Goldberg's chicken soup. My sister and I found ingenious ways to dispose of both the brisket and the matzo balls that involved sleight of hand - and napkins. Never mind the details. The gefilte fish was made from live carp kept in Grandmom's bathtub until the moment came for cooking.
August 3, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: It's good to be back home after my annual jaunt to northern Michigan, though I had a number of great meals along the route. Mid-Pennsylvania: Heading west, Brownstone Cafe in Middletown, outside Harrisburg, where Thursday is all-you-can-eat chicken pot pie day - the Pennsylvania Dutch variety, essentially chicken and dumplings. Very good country cooking in a rehabbed bank, but heavy. Returning east, the historic Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford, with an excellent selection of Pennsylvania beers and wine, and a tavern menu with local ingredients.
March 25, 2010
For a recipe that doesn't have a lot of ingredients, there are many variations when it comes to making matzo balls. Here are several to choose from, including one right from the Manischewitz Matzo Meal box. All are served in chicken soup, preferably homemade, so there's a recipe for that, too. Figure on two matzo balls per person served with soup as a first course. Let's begin with a traditional recipe from 1941's "Jewish Home Beautiful," by Betty D. Greenberg and Althea O. Silverman, published by the Women's League of the United Synagogue of America.
March 25, 2010 |
TURNS OUT, size really does matter. When it comes to matzo balls, that is. Many people have an imprinted memory from their childhood of what a matzo ball should look and taste like, and suggesting a different approach to this traditional Seder fare is akin to heresy. Even though not everybody likes matzo balls - they taste "like mildewed drywall," according to one critic - family memories are what they are, and you shouldn't mess with them. "I'm always in charge of the matzo balls," said Amy Soper, of Palmyra, N.J., who is the family expert on all things dumpling - though she's quick to add that her mom, Irene Goldbloom, taught her everything she knows.
September 17, 2009
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts 2 large onions, peeled and quartered 4 carrots, peeled and each cut into 3 or 4 pieces 1 celery root, peeled and quartered 2 parsnips, peeled and each cut into 3 pieces 5 to 6 celery ribs, each cut into 4 pieces 14 cups water (3 quarts plus 2 cups) 2 teaspoons salt Matzo Balls (recipe below) Place chicken, vegetables and salt in a large pot with 14 cups water. Bring to a boil, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours.
July 12, 2009 |
Have you ever devoured a bag of "freakies"? Some might call them the misfits, the cast-offs, and the un-round, the misshapen byproducts of a batter hopper at Brown's draining low. But I call them the marvelous mutants of the doughnut world, collectible curlicues of squiggle and crunch that have the fresh crispness I crave, but aren't quite plump enough for the company of a proper dozen. But who needs a proper dozen when a bulging paper bag of these lovable left-asides can be had for just $1 - provided you show up at exactly the right moment, which arrives only once or twice each morning when the bag is full?
September 30, 2008 |
My Grandmom Goldberg's Rosh Hashanah matzo balls were virtually inedible. Huge, dense and heavy, they sank into the chicken soup, challenging us to figure out ingenious ways of disposing of them. We grandchildren found our methods. Never mind what they were. As Gertrude Goldberg wore down, as she inevitably did after years of running a mom-and-pop fruit store with my sweet, silent grandfather Joseph, her daughter - my mother - took over the Jewish New Year/Rosh Hashanah holiday meal.
April 21, 2005 |
For many years I had my own four questions to ask at Passover: Why is the food so bad? Who needs a holiday with bad food? If we cooked with interesting spices and ingredients would the food taste better? Why don't we try it and see? I am Jewish, so I can say these things (although I would never say them to my mother). Passover is notorious for its bad cuisine. An important holiday on the Jewish calendar, Passover marks the exodus of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt (thanks to Moses)
March 20, 2002 |
When Jews share the seder meal during Passover, the eight-day holiday beginning next Wednesday that commemorates their ancestors' escape from slavery in Egypt, most will sit down to the celebration's classic dishes. That means gefilte fish and matzo ball soup, sweet kugel, roast chicken and macaroons for those of Ashkenazic (northern European) descent. In the homes of Sephardic (Mediterranean) Jews, roasted lamb might be the centerpiece, served with rice, chickpeas or lentils. Many modern cooks are looking for ways to lighten the meal's traditional high-fat menu.
December 11, 1998 |
Being Jewish on Christmas - that's the theme of several activities planned for Dec. 24-25 in Philadelphia. Christmas Eve will be a night of singles-oriented dance at two balls, and, the next day, the National Museum of American Jewish History will offer four hours of family activities. The Matzo Ball will be at 8 p.m. at The Eighth Floor, a club on Delaware Avenue. It is sponsored by the Society of Young Jewish Professionals, which has also scheduled balls in New York, Boston, Washington, Miami and Boca Raton, Fla. Founder Andrew Rudnick said he got the idea for the ball a dozen years ago as he was sitting at home on Christmas Eve, eating Chinese takeout and watching It's a Wonderful Life on TV for the zillionth time.