Posts tagged Spring
German Potato Salad

The Fourth of July is clearly a day on which we American foodies ought to celebrate American food. But what American food is exactly seems much less clear. Short of the few foods native to North America (most notably plants like beans, corn, and squash) the foods we eat are a culinary hodge-podge of foods brought by generations of immigrants arriving in this country and tweaking their recipes to fit their new surroundings and new lives.

German immigrants, who flooded onto American shores in record numbers in the middle of the 19th century, brought with them some staples that most of us would list when asked to name a few American favorites: hamburgers, hotdogs, pretzels, and beer. In fact, that list sounds like a pretty good start for a Fourth of July menu, right? 

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Lemon Strawberry Charlotte

This week’s recipe was supposed to be easy. Especially for me. I’m a trained pastry chef. I’ve made puff pastry, croissants, petit fours, sugar showpieces, and wedding cakes. For this week’s recipe, all I had to do was open some pre-packaged ingredients, do a little stirring, and stick a pan in the fridge to chill, and voila!, I would have a beautiful, refreshing, delicious cake to write about for my blog.

Things didn’t quite go as planned. First off, there was the weather issue. Next, the pre-packaged ingredients weren’t so easy to come by. And then there was the problem of the eggs. Here’s what happened, starting from the beginning:

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Palacsinta (Hungarian Crêpes) with Sweet Cheese and Caramelized Rhubarb

This week’s post is inspired by the Jewish holiday Shavuot, which, this year begins at sundown on Saturday, May 23rd and ends at sundown on Monday, May 25th. For Jews, Shavuot is a spring festival with both historical and agricultural significance. Often remembered as The Festival of The Torah, it celebrates the giving of the Torah (the Jewish Bible) at Mount Sinai. Sometimes referred to as Feast of The First Fruits, Shavuot also celebrates the harvest of the season’s first fruits and grains. To observe Shavuot, Jews are not required to perform any or rituals or attend a particular type of service; only festive meals and celebration are called for.

Some have nicknamed Shavuot “the cheesecake holiday”, because it has become customary for Jews of all kinds to celebrate Shavuot by eating foods featuring dairy. Why dairy?

 

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