Passover

mollygoldberg.jpgThis is from Molly Goldberg’s cookbook.  This is her friend Dora’s gefilte fish recipe (not Dora Levy Mossanen’s recipe).  And what I discovered in publishing the Passover issue is that there are as many spellings of gefilte fish as there are of Al Quaeda.

From The Molly Goldberg Cookbook (which I bought from the amazing Rabelais Books in Maine for Laraine for Hanukah!)  But we’ve updated it slightly.  And in our opinion it uses a crazy amount of salt, which you might want to modify, as well.  (AE)

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matzohbrittleMatzo (or matzoh or matzah) is the perfect crunchy, flaky base for a thin coating of buttery caramel, melted chocolate and a sprinkling of chopped nuts salt. It’s an addictive treat that’s perfect for Passover.

Matzo is unleavened bread that first appeared on the “market” when the Israelites had to flee Egypt and did not have time to let their bread rise.

It has been eaten for centuries during the Jewish holiday of Passover as a reminder of that exodus by forgoing cakes, cookies, pasta and noodles — anything made to rise with yeast, baking soda, etc.

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sheetofmotzoh.jpg I hate matzoh. There, I've said it. I may be Jewish but matzoh sure feels like penance to me. It was bad enough my ancestors had to wander through the desert for forty years, but adding insult to injury, they had to eat crumbly crackers with all the flavor of cardboard. I know there are some people who claim to love eating matzoh, but frankly, I don't buy it.

Sure, slathered with butter and liberally sprinkled with kosher salt or cinnamon sugar improves the taste of matzoh, but that treatment would work on just about any kind of tasteless cracker or bread. Don't try to sell me on flavored matzoh. Flavored matzoh tastes artificial. Whole wheat matzoh has to be the worst. I've never heard anyone even claim to like it. It's what I imagine must be served in jails or orphanages.

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noodle_kugel.jpgIt has to be the unsexiest of all Jewish foods, the Noodle Kugel.  If you say kugel with a nasally tone, it’s even more unsexy than previously mentioned.  The word kugel itself reminds me of kegel, another less than sexy term.  Maybe that’s the problem.

However, if you were to challenge me, indicating gefeltifish in a jar is the unsexiest of all Jewish food, I might secretly agree with you.  But for the moment, I’m going with kugel.

Now, with all of that said, I would like to go on the record proclaiming this particular Noodle Kugel, in all of its high piled noodle glory, as having the sexiest TASTE ever.  If you take a peek at the list of ingredients, you’ll see there is no way it could taste bad, it’s like dessert.  There is something about the crispy-sugared edges of the baked noodles on top that send you to kugel nirvana.  It’s sublime.  And please don’t try to tell me there is no place called “kugel nirvana” because I’ve been there.

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bloomseder.jpg I tried to be religious at college and while I hit more frat parties then holidays at Hillel, I did my fair share to keep my faith. There were long services in make-shift synagogues on campus, and awkward dinners with friends of friends relatives in the greater Providence and Boston area where people actually came back to the table after the Seder meal (a foreign site to me as once my family hit the matzo, it was a fast feast all the way to the afikomen.)

There were valiant attempts at fasting for Yom Kippur and signing off bread for Passover observance; the yeast in Natty Lite beer didn’t count, right? But, nothing was quite like my senior year Seder spectacular.

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