When I was 16 I was in a community theatre production of Fiddler On The Roof. I always felt a connection to that musical somehow, and while I was not raised in a Jewish household, I have felt a certain attachment to the traditions surrounding Judaism. There is a song in the show called “Tradition!” I’m fairly certain we sang the words 30 times in each performance.
Perhaps it was my best friend, Jennie, who included me in her family’s traditions during Hanukkah, Passover and for various friends’ Barmitzvahs and Batmitzvahs. Whatever the reason, I have been in love with Jewish tradition and the food that follows.
This year when I was asked to do a Hanukkah meal plan for RelayFoods, I reached out to three friends (Jennie, Naomi and Solene) who might have some suggestions about how best to go about writing a meal plan for a week’s worth of Jewish food when, in fact, Hanukkah has very few food-traditions, latkes being the most well-known.
I decided, instead, to create a meal plan based off of all types of Jewish celebratory food. My meal plan just went up on Relay’s site, find it here. This has been my favorite one to write yet. From brisket to knish to sufganiyot to falafel, and of course, latkes, this meal plan will not disappoint.
These dishes are comforting, easy to prepare and so rich in flavor! Get on your apron, step into the kitchen and create these time-honored and amazingly delicious Jewish meals for Hanukkah and beyond.
Now, in the vein of traditions, I would be wrong to not include what might be THE favorite birthday tradition in our family: Special Pancake. Special Pancake is a fluffy, crunchy, buttery and egg-y breakfast delight that I prepare every morning we have a birthday in the house. It’s like a combination of a funnel cake and a lemon tart. Gotcha, didn’t I?
I serve it with lemon wedges and powdered sugar, and it’s a tradition that has been carried over from when Nick and Kate were very small. I have my own variation now, but I always thought it important (especially when I first became their step mom nine years ago) to carry on certain special traditions that they were used to. I always get up before the birthday person (whomever that may be) and get this easy-to-prepare dish in the oven before anyone wakes so that when the birthday person is up it is ready to serve hot (the dish takes about 45 minutes, but the aroma is what lures everyone out of bed).
Oddly enough, this recipe is based off of one that I stumbled upon in a GQ magazine many years ago. I guess it is considered “man food” because it is so easy? Or maybe because it tastes good? Beats me, because I know plenty of men whose kitchen skills far surpass this simple dish. Just make sure to use a cast iron pan and follow this recipe:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. In a large cast-iron skillet, melt 1 stick of butter.
3. Combine in this order:
1 cup whole milk, 2 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 6 eggs
4. Whisk, then add 1 cup of flour.
5. Pour ingredients in pan with melted butter and bake for 45 minutes until crisp and puffed.
Since Colin’s birthday was last week, we all enjoyed some fluffy pancake love!
Here are some images, although it is truly hard to do this special birthday breakfast justice.