Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"No recipe" for Matzo Brei, by Sharon E. Silver

One of the great pleasures of my teaching life is meeting a wide range of people. One of my longtime students is an Orthodox Jew. She is a fabulous writer, a lawyer and a committed and adventurous cook. She has a wry sense of humor,  has been published all over the place (link to one of her pieces here) and I love reading whatever she writes, even if it's just an email about making matzho brei. Her name is Sharon E. Silver and here is her latest email, which reads like a poem.

No recipe for matzho brei:

Use more eggs than you think you need, search for blood spots, throw out some yolks to appease your husband.

Check shmurah matza for burned spots and use the fraction that’s relatively unblackened. Crumble it in, add salt, mix. 

Fry in too much olive oil. Turn pieces while you apologize for not having done it earlier because your kid’s hungry. 

Dump into 7-inch foil pans because your dishpan is full and it’s disposables or bust. 

Savor the silence as they eat. 

1-2-3-4 Orange Zest Macaroons: Gluten-Free and perfect for Passover

We were traveling in New Hampshire during Passover and ended up staying at Little River Bed & Breakfast, an inn in Peterborough that is a stone's throw from MacDowell Colony. (The inn used to be the "mannex" for MacDowell, i.e. the place where the men stayed when MacDowell first started to admit men.) We were literally a stone's throw from MacDowell: You could see one of its stone walls from the sitting room where I wrote this. When we arrived at the inn late Tuesday night, we were greeted by the most magnificent smell. "My wife made some macaroons," the innkeeper said, and pointed at a pan in the kitchen. "Would you like one?" Would we ever!

I had not told the innkeeper we were Jewish but when he asked about dietary restrictions, I said that I was gluten-free. The macaroons were sublime---and the orange zest made them irresistible. It turns out the innkeeper's wife is not Jewish but she is a chemist and knows exactly what she is doing in the kitchen. A blow-your-mind gluten-free treat that is easy and perfect for Passover. 

Little Inn Bed & Breakfast

184 Union Street  -  PeterboroughNH 03458
Phone: 603-924-3280

1. 2. 3. 4. Coconut Orange Macaroons - LRBB


1 large egg
 ⅓ cup granulated sugar 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 Tablespoon orange zest, from one medium orange, freshly grated 
2 ½ cups sweetened shredded coconut*, coarsely chopped (if desired) 


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 

In a medium bowl, whisk egg until smooth and a little frothy. Whisk in sugar, salt, vanilla and orange zest. Continue whisking until light and fluffy. 

Fold in coconut with a rubber spatula. Let mixture sit for about 10 minutes so coconut can fully soak up the egg mixture.

 Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Cookies do not spread much, so they can be spaced fairly close to one another. If needed, squeeze or press each mound of coconut a little so it holds together nicely.

 Bake about 10 to 12 minutes at 350 F (until the bottom edge and tips of coconut are just starting to turn golden brown), then turn off heat and let cookies dry in the closed oven for about 5 to 10 minutes longer. (The insides of the cookies should still be soft while the outer surface is crispy.) Let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to one week.

Chanukah Chili

I'm calling this Chanukah Chili because I got this recipe for turkey chili  shortly after Thanksgiving and right before Chanukah, and it...