03-11-2017 02:31 PM
@mustang66lady- I appreciate everything you just wrote. When it comes to religion, even my own, I know so little. My dear uncle was a holocaust survivor and a very religious Jew. I loved him with all my heart, and was so sad when he died about 5 years ago. He taught me a lot, not necessarily about food, but about life and how to survive.
Regarding food, he was Kosher, but yet he'd go out to a diner to eat with the rest of us, usually ordering eggs. If he were extremely religious, he probably wouldn't have gone out with us to eat off of plates that probably had bacon or porkchops sitting on them at one time or another. We all set our own limits. You seem to have lots of knowledge, more than many people do.
Thank you for allowing us to tell you of our experiences. I hope they can help you!
I watched my DM all my life and how she always worried about offending people. She was a very smart, gentle and kind woman but only went to school thru her freshman year of high school and she always felt below other people; she constantly worried something she did or didn't do would offend someone, even in her own home, because of her lack of formal education. She never got over it and I inherited some of it although I am a college grad and a retired nurse. By that Thanksgiving, I had made myself physically ill worried I had blown it for my daughter and her future inlaws for not being better informed. To my credit, they were kind of last minute invited as their plans for Thanksgiving fell thru so I didn't have much time to change anything to accommodate their beliefs.
Our daughter's mother in law supplied our daughter with her mother's wedding ring; her Jewish mother had escaped holocaust Germany with the ring pinned to her underclothing. It is a beautiful ring and fit our daughter perfectly so it didn't even have to be sized. We love our son in law very much and think they are soul mates. I no longer worry about offending the in laws but it sure was an uncomfortable position. I felt much better when they came for Christmas; a little more on my game for that one!
03-11-2017 04:18 PM
@mustang66lady, I echo Sunala's sentiments......but when it comes down to it, we are not much different than any other groups....Some keep kosher homes-others could care less. Some keep kosher homes and keep four sets of dishes ( one set for dairy, another set for meat and yet two more sets exclusively for Passover!!! Some even have two kitchens-one is only used for Passover)....some keep kosher at home like DH's aunt, but she goes to Maine once a year for lobster and can talk a mile a minute about who has the best clam chowder (complete with bacon).
We have secular Jews who consider themselves Jewish by nationality....and then we have very, very religious Jews...and then we have "somewhere in between". I am sure you know Christians who are just like us-you have some who are very observant......and others who could care less.
Back to the food front, we tend to eat according to where we live geographically. For example, in Eastern European food, their diet centered around basics-including beans which were easy to grow and cheap, but think about storage....They didn't have Lock and Lock! Many storage vessels were not air-tight, and things like dried beans and corn could get mouldy. They didn't throw them out, but sorting dried grains and beans was a common housewifely practice.....but the Rabbis had a problem on their hands where Passover is concerned. The fact that food could develop mold presented the possibility that food in storage was undergoing the process of fermentation....so, during Passover, rice, beans, and corn were banned. Wheat was kept because it's a commandment that we remember our freedom, and matzoh, or unleavened bread is a symbolic reminder that the children of Israel had to leave quickly. There was a practical reason as well: bread was a staple: work still had to continue and to do that, you needed the energy carbs provided. Root vegetables didn't necessarily provide that, and in places like Poland and Russia, the growing season was short-and fruit was precious. It was more of a dessert than being used for sustenance.
You may have heard,however, that there are Jews who eat beans and corn during Pesach. There are Sephardic Jews( think Spain, Morrocco, Africa and its states) who have different dietary considerations because of where they live. If they didn't have those foods during Pesach, they wouldn't have too much to eat!
I feel it's very important to say that one branch is not superior to the other. It's "just the way it is". Sephardic Jews have the same dietary restrictions, and we all read the same Torah and have the same Apocrapha (Holy books in addition to the Pentatuch or the first five books of the Bible).
Next topic? Latkes!
03-11-2017 04:19 PM
Hi @Poodlepet2. Seems like either just a few of us cook or we're just taking over this thread. You wanted a spread recipe, right? Mine is based on the Muffeletta(sp?) Sandwich Olive Spread:
Eggplant cubed, pan sautéed in oil until just done, not
Black olives unpitted
Green olives unpitted
Kalamata olives unpitted
(equal quantities of olives)
Fresh garlic to taste
Flat leaf parsley
Red bell pepper
Chopped onion to taste
Food Processor.....Put everything in and rough chop. That's it!
I usually keep a large jar of this in frig. at all times...Great as a spread on sandwiches, wraps, matzo, crackers or as a dip.
****DISCLAIMER: Most of my "Recipes" don't have amounts. I learned how to cook when I was quite young by watching my Nana and my Dad's sister, my favorite Aunt Bertye. They never used "amounts". It was "put in flour until it looks like this" or "if it looks done, taste it. Done? Take it off the fire." Unless I'm baking, which is more like science, I cook the same way they did. I may see 3 recipes for a dish that look great & take a few ingredients from each & make it my own.
03-11-2017 04:50 PM
Latkes are the same as potato pancakes-how you make them is a preference. Some use cold potatoes and put them through a ricer,add beaten egg and spices and fry them.
So many cultures have them: they are not exclusive to Jews by any means....as a matter of fact, I can't think of one food or recipe that is exclusive to us. If you could go to Jerusalem, you would find the food in the Arab Quarter is pretty much the same as the Israeli side.
During Passover,occasionally I make latkes: there is nothing better than latkes and pot roast!!! You can make it without matzoh or matzoh meal (matzoh that's ground into a flour-like consistency), but it's easier to make them with. During Passover, you don't have to fry them either: oven baking is fine. You add egg and form into patties. I would give you a recipe, but making them is something I do by feel.
You can also use sweet potatoes if you have to watch carbs and fat. You can make latkes from just about anything! This year I am lessening the carbs by diluting the potatoes with equal parts of cauliflower, turnips or parsnips-or all three if you want!
I found a recipe in one of my Kosher cookbooks for mock crab cakes-of all things! They are made from grated zucchini, egg and Old Bay or -Zataran's seafood boil. Dry or liquid versions both work. When we were living in Dayton-far from the sea and decent reasonably priced fragment, these little darlings quenched my hunger for crab cakes!
Great granny made potato latkes by hand grating potatoes on a box grater-and my DD makes them that way.....I have to say I detect a difference in texture and they are delicious, but I remember how thrilled I was to get my first food processor: I have used it ever since!
03-11-2017 05:10 PM
@Shanus, I am on it! This sounds divine! It would be great on a wrap instead of mayo! I know my kids would love it!
@mustang66lady, in the first paragraph of my latke post, I forgot to mention that the potatoes that go through the ricer are cold baked potatoes. I rarely eat my huge baked potato that I get as a side ( my potato loving DH scars his down). I bring my spud home and the following night I rice it, add cheese, onion and garlic powder and pop it in the Air Fryer as a side for DH.....
Latkes....there just not for Chanukah!
@Shanus, II'm a lone wolf this weekend: DH is away at a conference which is why I've been hanging out here all day.....
Next topic: we can't discuss Passover without discussing breakfast....if you think I'm talking about Matzoh Brie, you are correct!
03-11-2017 05:46 PM
@ms traditional, Nigella Lawson's Clementine Cake has the exact portions you gave for your cake. The difference is that she uses 3-4 clementines or you can use any citrus you want, but I love the small sweet little guys like tangerines.
You put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring them to a boil, put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down just below boiling and time it for two hours. Your kitchen smells like heaven!
Let them cool, and remove the seeds: the rest of the fruit-skin and pith-goes into a blender or you can chop by hand if you want-and add it to your batter. I make this recipe on almost a weekly basis in my $20 Ninja Prep that's at least 5-6 years old-even grinding the almonds.
I have nothing against eggs, but I have tested this recipe with Egg Beaters and it's fine. I use a monk fruit-erythrotol blend by Lakanto that is phenomenal: 3/4 cup is what I use. For those who use Splenda, you don't need the baking blend. Try with 1/2 cup first and taste: the cooked citrus is sweet! You may not need all that much. I would say the same goes for sugar: you may not need as much as the recipe calls for.
This is a fantastic "base" recipe. If you want chocolate, add 1/2 cup cocoa powder.....I have made it with chocolate and citrus before: if you like chocolate covered orange peel, you would love it!
If you have a diabetic in your life, the citrus would make an excellent marmalade. You might want to add a little more sweetener, but you don't have to mess with pectin or gelatin!
.....of course,I can imagine this topped with a little homemade whipped cream or spreadable cream cheese......
03-11-2017 06:08 PM
This thread is like a book I can't put down! Just facinating!
I appreciate your comments on how a lot of Jewish people eat; seems that we have assimilated to eating quite a bit the same yet especially during special days or holy days, there are some foods that are like a professor of mine said, "like eating a memory." Brings back memories of how you grew up or maybe of how your people struggled thru the ages; helps to keep your heritage alive and grateful of all you have.
I also appreciate that potato pancakes and latkes are about the same and I never even thought of baking them-duhhh on my part! Mom always fried them in a small amount of that bacon grease or lard that someone mentioned before and then later on Crisco, or possibly Wesson oil. Mom never used EVOO-that was not in her wheel house and wasn't in mine until a decade or so ago. I gave up Crisco ages ago and went back to eating "real" foods instead of chemicals as much as possible. Lard and bacon grease are by products of food-not healthy for everyday or in large quantities but in my book, better than chemicals.
Ok, so someone give me a typical Passover meal. Am anxious to see what I would be served if I attend such. Also, if I am invited, what would be an appropriate hostess gift?
03-11-2017 07:56 PM
We had hurricane force winds that tore through on Wed @Poodlepet2.
We just now got our power restored
@cherry- I'm so happy to hear you got your power back! We lost our power for about a week after Superstorm Sandy hit in 2013. At least it wasn't very cold then, although it was the end of October and it was pretty raw, especially during the nor'easter than came along with Sandy, bringing snow. What an experience that was!
Glad you're back to normal!
03-11-2017 07:59 PM
@sunalame too. Our neighbor went to stay with relatives, because the cold bothered her so bad.
We toughed it out ,until my husband wired our generator into the furnace. That helped a lot
03-11-2017 08:09 PM
I have a funny story to tell everyone, from years ago on the Qboard. Every Fri ,they had a candle lighting thread. I became friendly with one of the posters, and some how we began discussing bacon
She said that she and her brother always wanted to taste it. I asked her why they felt that way, because it puzzled me ,when she posted that. She said when they went out to breakfast with their mother, they always smelled it, and thought it would taste wonderful.
So she and her brother devised a plan. They pooled their money and bought a pound of bacon. Late one night when her parents were asleep they fried it . Her dad smelled it ,and came downstairs to see what was going on,
Here is the real clinker. Wait for it!....... Her dad was a kosher butcher. I don't know what happened but, I'll bet they didn't ever use that skillet again
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