Sunday, April 16, 2006

half finished

The Passover Holiday, Pesach, is more than half over. Here in Israel it's exactly a week long, seven days, and began last Wednesday night, so if I'm counting correctly we've passed the half-way mark. It's now Sunday morning.

I got up nice and early and cooked and packed some of my giant Matzah Breis. They use up a lot of matzah and egg. This year I made them without milk, since son #1 has finally admitted that maybe it's the milk that causes his "sensitive stomach." A friend who spent many years eating only macrobiotic, which is non-dairy, says that all sorts of chronic conditions cleared, like toe nail fungus, when she kept to the diet. I guess many of us would be a lot healthier if only we'd give up milk. That's rather "sacrilegious" to those of us of my generation, who were raised drinking milk all the time. Kosher parents were accused of child-abuse, since they wouldn't give their kids a tall glass of milk after meat meals. Now the experts are blaming milk for all sorts of chronic ills, like acne and digestive disturbances.

Back to the matzah...
We seem to be at least half way through the two giant boxes. Each box is 2.5 kilo, which is about 5.5 lbs. One box is regular "white flour," and the other is "shmura" (guarded) of "whole wheat flour." I cook with the regular and find the shmura irresistable for eating, eating with butter, jam, cheeses, whatever, just yummy. They are the machine-made, not the exotic round, hand-made which looks and tastes like charred cardboard.

Somehow we ended up with too much jam. I only buy the "natural," without food-coloring etc. Instead of just some apricot and strawberry, we also have black currant and cherry. We always aim to finish at least one jar, so that it can be washed out before the Holiday is over, and then that jar gets filled the following year with our "Let's see how tough you are--chrain," aka horseraddish.

Here's the horseradish recipe:

  1. take a root of the stuff
  3. peel (and save the peels for the garden if you have one)
  4. cut into pieces and put into a food processor or coffee grinder--during the year I use the food processor with the chopping blade; on Pesach we have a "coffee grinder" attachment for the Moulinex blender
  5. put in a jar and add some vinegar, so it won't dry out

I eat it all year long. It's really good on my morning omelets, also good on fish, meat and poultry. In some parts of the world, it's considered medicinal. The first Passover after the big Russian aliyah about 15 years ago, some new immigrant neighbors discovered that we had good chrain, and a few came over for a medicinal whiff. When it's really fresh, all you need is to open the jar and stand back!

The house emptied out for the day, and the weather is strange, but that's "spring" here in Israel.

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