While this entire entry will most likely cause severe salvation in your mouth, I have to admit that Matzo Brei tops the list of my absolute hands down couldn’t live without it Jewish staple food. I think the funniest part about it is that I truthfully don’t fast for any religious reasons. Either it was my avid running during high school or my sheer lack of interest in skipping an entire day of eating that I never took part in the fasting. I also did not just eat solely Matzo during Passover but I did get rewarded like the more adherent Jews by being made Matzo Brei by my mom. The breakfast dish consists of matzo broken into pieces, eggs, milk, sugar, butter and cinnamon raisin in a frittata like dish. Insanely good. Insane.
Purim to me is one of the most enjoyable and yet unique Jewish holidays. It’s somewhat like a Halloween, but only for Jews, and less slutty attire? Hamantachens can be purchased in any local grocery store/ jewish deli year round. I will say, however, that when you make them homemade and they are covered in imperfections? The results can be far more rewarding. Typical flavors that cover the middle of cookie typically include anything from Apricot Jam to Chocolate.
LATKES — EXTRA BIG, EXTRA CRISPY
Truthfully, I think when I was about 5 years old and I began to appreciate things that tasted good? That was when I knew Hannukah was the most amazing holiday of them all. No, I am not a gift person nor do I like shopping for others gifts. It was the food associated with the holiday. I love Latkes more than all other Hannukah related foods. My mom has perfected these over the years. They are about the size of a tennis ball, flattened, and extremely crispy all along the edges. The goal is to eat them scorching hot with freezing applesauce. Nothing compares in life.
JEWISH STYLE BRISKET
I had this originally in my post, however, I was a bit apprehensive solely because not everyone by looking at the picture can understand just how good this staple is. The way it’s cooked in my home — it’s presented cooled after being left to cool down an hour in my kitchen, flaky and unbelievably juicy. This is one of the only proteins found at a Jewish dinner — thank you to my good friend/ex blogger who needs to get back into it (Corrin) for making me re-think this item and put it back onto my list.
I love this Passover side dish more than the main features of this specific holiday. I don’t dig Gefilte Fish nor do I LOVE the taste of Horsradish. But my grandmother has always provided me with enough satisfaction with her side dishes alone. Charoset, consisting mainly of cinnamon, apples, nuts and raisins is extremely decadent and wonderfully sweet all at the same time. I just slather pounds of this side onto pieces and pieces of Matzo. I am very content.
JEWISH APPLE CAKE
No I’m not referring to the apple cake found in the grocery store labeled, “Jewish Apple Cake” — I’m talking about real authentic cake. This unbelievably spongey, light and extremely moist cake strikes the balance between an indulgence and a “health” fix. Bear with me here — if your mom or dad is frugal on the apples you may disagree with me but when I take a slice of the cake, I am usually consuming at least half of a baked apple. In my eyes? I’m doing my body a favor. Let me just go with it guys.
If you don’t like Challah you can’t be Jewish — simply put. You may not like Maneschevitz wine (like myself for example) but if you cannot appreciate a beautifully constructed loaf of Challah fresh out of the oven then you really need to start re-assesing somethings. I think that Challah is so unique because it’s truthfully one of the only breads I’ve ever had (other than Hawaiian Sweet Bread) that you can enjoy sans any condiments or toppings.
MATZO BALL SOUP
I can’t really list off many things more comforting when you’re down or not feeling well then Matzo Ball soup. This was not something that my mom in fact used to make as a staple in our house, however, it was at my grandparents. Every Jewish holiday/occassion when family would come together she would always have her servers bring out the Matzo ball soup before all else was served at dinnertime. I think of it as a part of my upbringing and while my mom didn’t teach me any recipes to pass down, I will most definitely be grabbing this index card from my grandmom.
CINNAMON RAISIN NOODLE KUGEL
So, Noodle Kugel in Jewish communities is either a big hit or a big miss. I think if I grew up eating a kugel that consisted of various cheeses and spices/ herbs I too wouldn’t very much look forward to this staple. My mom, however, is no stranger to butter, sugar and all other add-ins that will make her childrent want to eat her food. With that in mind, our family’s noodle kugel was CRAVEABLE to say the least. It’s base component was the same as many other recipes, large ribbon noodles, however, it was full of various cinnamon and nutmeg spices, raisins and so much more.
CHALLAH FRENCH TOAST
Ok, so, I have yet to master the art of making this dish. I will try at some point in my adult more like parenting lifetime to make this but on my own it has not yet been accomplished. I never truly loved breakfast staples such as pancakes and waffles for breakfast. I’m more of an egg/toast and or cereal with fruit fan. My mom’s Challah French Toast with Bananas and extra syrup is no close comparison to a plate of scrambled eggs, to say the least.