April 18, 2011 by Dana
I don’t like chain emails. I find them to be annoying. Obtrusive. Not funny when they’re meant to be. Or not sincere if they’re not.
For these reasons I never pass them on. I know by not doing so I’m risking 7 years of bad luck. Or my three dearest wishes not coming true. Or giving up my first born. But these are the risks I’m willing to take.
So last year, when I received an email from my mom titled “Fw: FWD: Fwd: You know you are Jewish If…” I almost hit delete without even reading it. But something stopped me. My mom doesn’t usually send me chain mail, so I figured she must have thought it was something that would interest me.
I opened it up, skimmed the first few lines… and was hysterical! It was honestly one of the funniest chain emails I’ve ever gotten. It was pretty long, so I won’t post the whole thing, but here are the highlights:
As a general principle, Jewish holidays are divided between days on which you must starve and days on which you must overeat. Though there are many feasts and fasts, there are no holidays requiring light snacking.
Many Jews observe no fewer than 16 fasts throughout the Jewish year, based on the time-honored principle that even if you are sure that you are ritually purified, you definitely aren’t.
Note: Unlike Christians, who simply attend church on special days (e.g. Ash Wednesday), on Jewish holidays most Jews take the whole day off. This is because Jews, for historical and personal reasons, are more stressed out.
The Diet Guide to the Jewish Holidays:
Rosh Hashanah ——- Feast
Tzom Gedalia ———– Fast
Yom Kippur ————– More fasting
Sukkot ——————– Feast for a week +
Hashanah Rabbah —- More feasting
Simchat Torah ——— Keep right on feasting
Month of Heshvan —– No feasts or fasts for a whole month. Get a grip on yourself….
Hanukkah —————- Eat potato pancakes
Tenth of Tevet ——— Do not eat potato pancakes
Tu B’Shevat ———— Feast
Fast of Esther ——— Fast
Purim ——————— Eat pastry
Passover —————- Do not eat pastry for a week
Shavuot —————— Dairy feast (cheesecake, blintzes, etc.)
17th of Tammuz ——– Fast (definitely no cheesecake or blintzes)
Tish B’Av —————– Serious fast (don’t even think about cheesecake or blintzes)
Month of Elul ———— End of cycle.
**Enroll in Center For Eating Disorders before High Holidays arrive again.**
Anyway, as I’m sure you’ve guessed based on the timing and my sharing that ridiculous email, today’s recipe is for Passover. Tonight’s the first night, and, of course, we feast!… with restrictions.
So whether you’re hosting a sedar, attending someone else’s, or even if you have no idea what a sedar is, try this recipe out today!
6 unsalted matzos
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 ½ cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ¼ cups chocolate chips, approximately
The recipe calls for unsalted matzoh, but I used the lightly salted variety. I am such a
rebel fan of the salty/sweet combo.
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Line a large (or two smaller) cookie sheets completely with foil. Cover the bottom of the sheet with baking parchment on top of the foil. (This is very important since the mixture becomes sticky during baking.) Line the bottom of the cookie sheet evenly with the matzo, cutting extra pieces, as required, to fit any spaces.
3. In a 3-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the butter or margarine and the brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 to 4 minutes. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and pour over the matzo, covering completely.
4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure the mixture is not burning. If it seems to be browning too quickly, remove the pan from the oven, lower the heat to 325°F, and replace the pan.
5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the chopped chocolate or chips. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then spread the melted chocolate over the matzo.
6. Chill, still in the pan, in the freezer until set. Break into squares or odd shapes.
I have to give a big THANK YOU to Stephanie for this recipe, because it is AMAZING! Stephanie is Jill’s sister. (You remember Jill, right? I’ll jog your memory… she made that yummy Turkey Bolognese for us when I was away). Anyway, Steph is great… and lucky for us, she has a blog of her own called One Happy Tomato! She hasn’t updated in a while, but is planning to start posting again soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more of her recipes!