Shavuot is distinct from most other holidays because we traditionally eat dairy (why?). This means that we can eat gooey cheesey dinners, and more importantly, we don’t have to make desserts using fake butter like we usually do!! So we always pick out some special recipes to share with our family during this holiday.
Every year we make the same hamentaschen recipe. Not because it’s the only one we know, but because it’s really the best. I can’t say I know where this recipe came from, all I know is that it has been photocopied many times, and the instructions are cut off on the side of the page. We’ve been able to figure out what to do. Oh, and the original recipe calls for margarine – yuck! We use butter instead. Continue reading
An etrog is a very interesting fruit. You never really hear of it except for during Sukkot, and even then nobody eats it; we just shake it. It doesn’t help that they’re really expensive, and not that easy to eat.
This was my first experience cutting into an etrog. It’s a citrus fruit similar to a lemon, but you can’t squeeze the juices out. I guess you can use the outside like you would lemon zest, but it would be much harder, since the surface isn’t very smooth.
Jewish superstition connects etrog jelly to pregnancy and fertility. I have heard that it eases labor pains, helps a woman get pregnant, and can be eaten any time during pregnancy for health and luck.
It’s a tradition to eat round challah during the holidays to symbolize a repetitive cycle – the end of an old one and the beginning of a new one. Usually people add some sweetness to the challah with raisins, and instead of dipping it in salt, as we dip it in sugar (or honey). I skipped the raisins – a lot of my guests don’t like raisins – but made sure to use plenty of sugar.
This challah was definitely a special one. I’ve been practicing the six-strand braid and got really good at it, but have never braided a round one. It came out really pretty. I also made it dairy, since we were having dairy for the second day of rosh hashanah. Instead of the usual oil and water, I used milk and butter, which I thought would add a delicious flavor. Continue reading