April 19, 2011 by Dana
You may have gathered from this blog that I have some pretty strong opinions. I try to avoid anything too controversial on here, like politics or religion, (although I did stir up some people with my S’mores Bars post), but, as I’m sure you can imagine, I have some strong beliefs on those matters as well.
So I’m sure it’s not hard to guess how I react when someone tells me I can’t have those beliefs or opinions. I’ll give you a hint: not well.
This is precisely what happened fall semester sophomore year of college, right before break, when discussing my plans for the holidays. I mentioned that I would be flying to Florida to celebrate Christmas with my family, when one of my groupmates ever so delicately exclaimed: How can you celebrate Christmas when you’re Jewish?!
I went on to explain that I am only half Jewish, and that I do, in fact, celebrate both the Jewish and Christian holidays.
His response? You can’t.
My response? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Of course I can. I can and I do.
His response? Well, you can’t.
My response? That’s idiotic. I do.
The conversation went around in circles like this until the class ended. And it’s a good thing it did, because I was about ready to explode.
Looking back, I think what my classmate couldn’t grasp was that, to me, holidays are more about tradition than the actual religion aspect. They’re about family. About honoring those who came before us and celebrating how they’ve shaped the holidays for us.
Celebrating my family, my heritage, and my traditions is the reason why in the same week, I will happily eat Greek Bread decorated with red dyed eggs on Easter, and Matzoh Bagels on Passover.
Matzoh Bagels are not considered a traditional Passover food, but to my family, any Sedar table would be incomplete without them. My grandmother made them. My mother and aunt make them. And now, I make them too. Because, to me, Matzoh Bagels mean family.
¾ cup water
¾ cup vegetable oil
2cups matzoh meal
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
It’s hard for me to explain exactly what Matzoh Bagels taste like, but a few people that tried them recently said they reminded them of a corn muffin, which is a pretty good analogy. They are not overly sweet, but do have a little sweetness to them. We serve them with dinner and eat leftovers for breakfast and snacks as well.
1. Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on how soft you like them – I prefer 350). Grease cookie sheets and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring the water and oil to a boil. Once boiling, remove the liquid from the heat and add matzoh meal, sugar and salt.
3. Beat the eggs and then them to the matzoh mixture.
4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, make the batter into 3 inch pancakes and place on the cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart. Using your thumb, make imprints in the center of the pancakes (like big thumbprint cookies).
5. Bake 40-45 minutes or until the bottoms are light brown.
Matzoh Bagels are best eaten
right out of the oven when they are so hot they burn your tongue but you don’t care because you love them within a day or two of making them, as they will dry out. After that, they are delicious toasted with a little butter (because that’s just what they need… more calories) or jelly.