Monthly Archives: September 2013

Something Different for Sukkoth

This is a very emotional time of the year for me, and I know it is too for my husband and children. For so many years my mother z”l would visit us both in South Africa and here in Atlanta at this time of the year. One of all of our fondest and meaningful memories of my Mom is the time she spent decorating the sukkah with our kids. This was the highlight of her visit, and I know both Avi and Michal will have these memories with them throughout their lives, and please G-d they will allow me to carry on this tradition with their children. It is also a time where we welcome our friends and family or adopted families into our sukkah and Mom and I would plan the meals together and cook together for hours. Mom, we try to keep the tradtion going, but know we miss you dearly.

Sukkoth is very early this year. Usually it falls in October when the weather is cooling down and I have to think of things I can make that will warm my guests in the sukkah. However this year it is really hot here in Atlanta, so I have focused on other things. I have tried to come up with different recipes, to stay away from the traditional briskets or yet another chicken dish after all we have eaten over Rosh Hashanah. I decided to focus my efforts on dishes with ground beef and ground turkey. The dishes are easy to make in larger quantities and lend themselves to entertaining in the sukkah.

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Delicious Desserts

Do you ever think, as I often do, “Why can’t we start a meal with dessert?” One year on a different holiday, Shavuot, we did exactly that. We started the meal with cheese blintzes, waited half an hour and then continued with a full meat meal. It was amazing, and sometimes I wish we could do that at every festive meal. However, as I mentioned in my last post, we have to keep up our traditions, and on Rosh Hashanah we have so much we eat before we get to the best part, dessert!

I could not do this post without my dear Mom z”l in mind. She just loved dessert. Every Rosh Hashanah she would make this spectacular meringue dessert, with a meringue base and then build small meringues up into a pyramid shape with Orley Whip, the South African equivalent of Rich’s Whip (a non-dairy substitute for whipped cream), and then she would decorate it with fresh strawberries.  In addition she would make a fabulous fruit salad. This actually became her signature dish when she moved to Israel. She always had big bowls of fruit salad waiting when my own kids came to visit her, and when they were on programs like High School in Israel, she would send them back to their campus with a container filled with fruit salad. She did not only do this with her own grand children, but she always made a huge bowl of fruit salad when she went to my Aunt Marica for the Chagim, or in later years to my cousins, Errol and Carleen. In our family, fruit salad is immediately associated with Savta.

I have adapted the meringue idea, so that I still make meringues, just the end product looks different.

Meringues Baskets with Blueberries and “Cream”

Meringue

Ingredients
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 cup Kinneret Whip/ Rich’s Whip
Blueberies
Chocolate Sauce

Method
Separate egg whites from yolks. (I don’t use the yolks in this recipe, you may keep to make mayonnaise or any other use you may have, or discard them)
Beat Egg Whites until stiff. Soft peaks will form when it gets to the right stiffness.
Slowly beat in the cup of sugar.
Fold in the tsp. of Baking Powder, making sure it is properly incorporated.
Cover a flat cookie baking pan with aluminum foil.
Take a dessert spoon, and spoon 12 – 15 “dollops” of meringue onto the foil, gently shape them into  round circles with the back of the spoon.
Fill a piping bag with a wide nozzle at the bottom with the remaining meringue mix. Pipe around the circumference of the circle (the outer edge) to form a little “basket” with a flatter center.

Meringues in oven
Bake at 250 F for an hour and 15 minutes. If the meringues are firm to the touch, turn oven off and allow meringue baskets to remain in oven while they cool.

Note: Meringues must cook in a cool oven, so it is best to do in an oven that has not been used that day or at least not for 3 hours before.

Once completely cool, remove and store in an air tight container or Ziploc bag until ready to serve.

To Serve:
Beat Rich’s Whip till firm.
Place a spoonful of whip into each basket.
Place blueberries on top of whip and around sides of meringue on plate.
Drizzle chocolate sauce over the top.

Fruit Salad

Of course the ingredients for this dish vary according to what fruits are in season in your part of the world. For us right now, we still have most the summer fruits available so …

Ingredients
1 large papaya
2 golden delicious apples
2 pears
pineapple
2 mangoes
4 plums
1/2 Honeydew melon/ green melon
2 -3 bananas *
4 Passion fruit/ granadillas if you can get them fresh
juice from 2 – 3 oranges

* To stop bananas from turning brown, place the banana with its peel into a bowl of boiling water. Allow it to sit there until the skin turns black. Remove from the water, peel and slice.

Method
Juice the oranges to begin with, so that as you put the fruit into the bowl, you can pour some juice over it to stop it turning brown.
Peel and slice all fruit into bite size pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
Pour rest of orange juice over the fruit, cover  and place in refrigerator to chill.
Pour into serving dish when you are ready to use it.

In addition to the famous meringue and fruit salad, we always had some sort of home made parev ice cream.

Halva Ice Cream

Ingredients
6 eggs separated
1 box Kinneret Whip 16 oz. or 2 boxes Rich’s Whip
200 gram/ just under 8 oz. Halva

Method
Beat whip till stiff. Set aside.
Place Halva in a bowl and using a fork, flake it into small flakes, but do not mash it. Put a little of the flaked mix aside for decoration.
Separate eggs.
With a fork, beat four of the yolks and add to the halva. Mix gently trying not to mash the halva.
Fold into the whipped topping.
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites till they are stiff. and fold into the Halva mixture.
At this point you can put the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze till ready to serve. You must freeze this ice cream for at least 24 hours. However, I chose to make individual servings by putting cupcake holders into a muffin tin and adding 2 tablespoons of ice cream mixture into each cup.
Sprinkle each cup with a little flaked Halva that you had set aside, and cover the muffin pans with aluminum foil and freeze for at least 24 hours. At this point you can remove the cupcake holders from the muffin pans and place in an airtight freezer safe container until you are ready to serve them.

Halva ice cream in pan individual ice cream

As my mom had her signature dish, I too have mine. It is my chocolate mousse. There is a funny story that goes with this recipe. I originally got this recipe from my Auntie Marcia in Israel. She always made the best chocolate mousse. Her recipe contained a tablespoon of sweet wine or sherry, but I eliminated this from my recipe. Many years later, she was visiting us in Johannesbureg, South Africa, and she asked me for my chocolate mousse recipe. I laughed so much as I told her it was her recipe!  So, auntie Marc, this is our recipe, for which I have become pretty famous here in Atlanta.

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients
200 grams chocolate chips or I prefer to use the Parev Elite Dark Chocolate Bars
4 eggs
1 box Rich’s Whip or 1and 1/4 cups Kinneret Whip

Method
Break the chocolate into squares and place in a microwave safe dish. Add about 2 Tbs. of water to the dish and microwave on High for 1 minute 10 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir immediately to see that all the chocolate is melted. Set aside to cool.

Separate eggs and add the yolks to the chocolate mixture while it is hot, stirring constantly so the egg yolks don’t curdle but they get absorbed into the chocolate mix. Set whites aside in a different bowl ready to beat.
Beat Whip till it is still. Gently fold the cooled chocolate mix into the whip. Fold till the chocolate is completely incorporated.
Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites till stiff. Fold them into the chocolate mix until they are fully mixed in. Be careful not to stir it, but to fold the whites in so that you do not lose their “fluffiness”.

Place in serving dish of your choice, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Choc pudding 2

I hope that you enjoy all my ideas for Rosh Hashanah, and at this point I want to wish you all

Le’Shana Tova Tikateivu Ve teichateimu. May you all be blessed with a wonderful, happy, and peaceful New Year and May you all be inscribed in the Book of Life.