July 27, 2007

Explaining Matzoh Meal

My mom recently compiled a family cookbook on the internet that she then printed to order. It took her about two years and the final product is pretty amazing. The book is probably 200+ pages and each recipe was submitted by a family member. Alongside recipes are family photos and my mother's personal notes about who people are in the historic images and how the recipe relates. The project turned into an interesting family tree of sorts.

Last weekend my mother-in-law, who lives in Scotland, was showing me which recipes she wanted to try. Her challenge was understanding some of the ingredients. Some were easy to translate, for instance Crisco would be vegetable lard in the UK. But the harder ones were explaining Jewish ingredients such as Matzoh Meal.
Amy: It's Matzoh made into a meal.

Mum: Oh, yes, aye.

Amy: You know, crumbled up or actually made back into dust.

Mum: Oh, yes, and Matzoh is...?

Amy: Well, it's that bread that the Jews took out of Egypt, the one that didn't rise and they baked it in the sun, that flat bread.

Mum: Oh, yes, aye.

Amy: Breadcrumbs will work.

Mum: We have those.

Then I tried to explain gefilte fish and how it was like the haggis of Jewish food but not nearly as good. Poor Mum, she was going to try and make it but I think she's now deterred. I didn't have the heart to explain that the carp has to swim in your bathtub before you kill it. Of course now she knows from reading this post.