A guest post by Karen Malena
Being Italian, I’ve not had much call for Jewish movie night recipes. If it doesn’t have sauce on it, anise oil, or ricotta cheese, then I probably haven’t made it.
Recently, though, while writing about a man who finds his Jewish ancestry, I’ve done a little research on all things Hebrew. For instance, did you know that Chanukah is celebrated for eight nights? The children play spin the dreidel and adults play it as a gambling game. The prize is candy or “gelt,” an old Jewish coin, now chocolate. The dreidel is a four-sided top with the Jewish letters: Nun, Gimel, He and Shin on each side. The letters stand for “Ness Gadol Hayah Sham--A great miracle happened there.”
My new book, Sound of Silence, talks about the parallels between the Holocaust and a futuristic society. Since my main character, Ray finds out he’s Jewish, he also learns about his ancestors who had been in Auschwitz death camp. Ray lives in a time where a narcissistic senator’s decree of silence holds the country and a powerful secret in the palm of his hand. In a moment of kindness, Ray breaks the law and puts his wife and beautiful daughter directly in the path of danger.
I am out of my familiar comfort zone with a book of this nature. My other published works are mostly inspirational family fiction.
One of my favorite sayings while writing this book has been: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
I believe we must remember the Holocaust of the nineteen forties. A time when a madman ruled Germany and thought he could erase a whole nation of people from the face of the earth. For how could we ever hope to not repeat this type of terror if we don’t teach about it in our schools and educate the young people of today?
In honor of my Jewish friends, today I present some of the more popular Jewish movie night recipes.
Hamantachen is a traditional cookie usually made for Purim. Purim celebrates the Jews salvation from Haman who planned to kill the race. As it‘s a festive holiday, many dress up similar to Halloween for this day.
Ingredients: 4 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup Crisco, 3 tablespoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon salt, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon vanilla (add to juice), 5 cups flour
Directions: Combine eggs, sugar, and Crisco. Add flour and juice until dough looks and feels like a cookie dough. Refrigerate two hours or overnight. Divide dough into three pieces. Keep unused dough covered with wax paper while working. Roll out (not too thin) and cut into 3 or 4-inch circles. Fill with favorite Baker’s filling, bring up sides to make a triangle. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Makes approximately 4 dozen.
Noodle Kugel, a traditional Shabbat dish is a holiday favorite. While noodle and potato kugel are traditionally made on Shabbat or holidays, matzo kugel is made for Passover.
Ingredients: 1 pound bag wide egg noodles, ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 5 eggs (beaten), 1 pound cottage cheese (small curd), 2 cups sour cream, 1 can crushed pineapple (drained well), 2 cups corn flakes (crushed), ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
Directions: Boil noodles in salted water for five minutes. In a large bowl, mix noodles, cottage cheese, sour cream, and crushed pineapple. Add sugar and beaten eggs. Mix well. Pour into 13 x 9 glass pan.
In a separate bowl, stir together cornflakes, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over noodles. Top with Maraschino cherries or canned peaches (optional). Dot with butter and bake until kugel is set and edges are golden brown about 1 hour. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Pour over top of noodles. Bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes or until brown on top and sides.
Latkes or potato pancakes are a traditional Chanukah dish. Chanukah is known as the festival of lights and observes the victory of the Israelites over the Syrian-Greek army, and the restoring of the menorah in the holy temple. The miracle of Chanukah is that only one vial of oil was found with just enough oil to light the menorah for one day, but it lasted eight days.
Ingredients: 2 pound peeled and shredded potatoes (3 large potatoes), 1 small grated onion, 3 eggs (beaten), ¼ cup flour, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, oil for frying
Directions: Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth (you can use a clean dish towel). Wring, getting out as much moisture as possible. In a medium bowl, stir the potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, salt and pepper together.
In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the hot oil, pressing down on them to form ¼ to ½ inch thick patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Let drain on paper towels.
To keep latkes warm. Place on baking pan lined with paper towels and put in a 200-degree oven.
Serve with applesauce or sour cream.
Note: The key to crispy latkes is making sure you get as much water squeezed out as possible.
About Sound of Silence
A dark, all-encompassing law blankets the country.
Driven by a terrible secret, a powerful politician brutally suppresses speech for the sake of order and holds the country in the palm of his hand.
Ray Warren does the unthinkable. In a bold gesture, he seals his fate in a moment of kindness, a moment that marks Ray, his wife and beautiful daughter as dangerous fugitives and sets a society toward rebellion.
In Sound of Silence, an ominous new society is introduced leaving us with the question: What if?
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