March 15, 2010

Searching For The Perfect Kugel Recipe

I have a confession to make. I’m not Jewish. But I do love Jewish foods like bagels, cream cheese and matzo ball soup. I’d never attempt to make bagels at home, since we have some of the best one’s in the world right here in Chicago. Same goes for corned beef sandwiches and brisket. But I’ve yet to find the perfect kugel recipe. So this weekend I decided to give it a try with the help of my kids.

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April 4, 2007

Let My People Go… to Bed

It has been a long couple of days for me. With the changing over of the kitchen and the making gefilte fish from scratch, there’s nothing easy about preparing for Passover (wow, I sound like an 80-year-old Jewish grandmother….). And while I’ve learned dozens of new tricks (how to make ridiculously strong, beet-red horseradish and how to form the perfectly shaped gefilte fish piece), I was beginning to think that Passover was more work than it’s worth. I go through this mental process every year, and every year at the first seder I remember why it’s so important.

Passover is actually one of my favorite holidays because it is steeped in religious traditions. I love the rituals that my family has adopted, but I also love that every Jewish family has their own unique traditions that they look forward to every year at their seders. It’s a very special thing.

One of the greatest traditions my family has come up with is the “only soup for dinner” custom. Long ago, my very wise Bubbe decided that no one really wanted a full meal at 10:00 at night, and proceeded to serve bowl after bowl of her homemade, perfectly golden chicken soup with matzah balls and her famous meat borscht, expertly “sweet and soured” with a deep red hue. Call us simple, but this keeps my family more than happy. My dad can easily down two bowls of each in one sitting. Of course there is the requisite gefilte fish tray and a few basic veggies, but the centerpiece of the evening is at least two steaming bowls of soup.

To honor the memory of my Bubbe, I cannot disclose her secret recipes. (Actually, they’re rather cryptic and I’m not sure I’ve mastered the art of translating yet.) But instead I can direct you to Recipe4Living’s Passover guide for lots of other yummy recipes! Have a great holiday!

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