Friday, April 18, 2008

Gefilte Queen

I made gefilte fish!

Gerry went shopping for it and couldn't find it anywhere. So I asked, "How do you make it?" and he told me what his parents used to do. Grind up fish and cook it.

"I can do that!" I thought, "So why not give it a try?"

A bit of time on the internet, a scanning of Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen and some help from Julia Child, I was good to go!

I think I've done okay. I fixed them sort of like quenelles using ground up cod, halibut and another white fish (catfish). Gerry said his dad used to use anything he caught in the Long Island Sound. I should have added some walleye.

I ground the fish and added eggs and cream to make a paste. I chilled the fish paste, brought some chicken stock to a simmer (the same stock I'd used for matzo balls earlier) and then I basically made fish dumplings. They certainly LOOKED right.

Now they're finished, sitting in a casserole covered with carrots, celery and a little bit of the chicken stock. I was feeling not quite 100% about how long they'd cooked, so I've shoved them in the oven as a double check - I hope I didn't ruin it... (are you afraid yet, London?)

As mentioned, I also made some matzo balls (to put into soup tomorrow, they're chilling now) and there's a noodle pudding in the oven right now. In a nod to Minnesota it's being baked in a bundt pan.

Invert and dust with powdered sugar
.

As predicted, after biking Gerry's hurting. But he's a stalwart fellow, and doesn't compain (much.)

But he's in pain, dang. Today he fiddled around in the basement and I think he got carried away with rearranging his tools.

He thinks the gefilte fish looks good... Nothing like a nice seder to ease the back.

As well as the fish, pudding and soup, we're also making a turkey breast and asparagus, a spring salad, there's tsimmis in the oven and of course we have our matzah. We have a little kosher wine, but I want to go out tomorrow and get some more.

We have some good friends coming over, we're trying to dig up the haggada (heaven knows where they are...) and we're settling down to have a nice one-Jew seder. We even know where the leaf for the table is (that's half the battle - thank you St. Anthony!) Gerry's never taught Max the four questions - tonight will be devoted to that.

Shed Raisin'
I got a bee in my bonnet about moving our rubbermaid shed from the center of the backyard where I'd put it last year over to the space between the house and the garage. It fits like a glove, it's a perfect spot for it, but it was a couple hours of evil hard work. But ultimately VERY worth it as we now have a much more usable backyard.

I'd ordered some climbing vines and other stuff to plant. This weekend was supposed to be sunny, but now it seems that Saturday will be rain, with Sun on Sunday. I love to garden in the rain, so tomorrow I'll try to get out in the morning and get some roots in the ground.

I have no reason for putting this photo of Keith up except that I SO dig the jacket, tie and shirt. Geeze, that man dresses well! I wonder what seder he's going to...

Tomorrow I'll spend the afternoon warming up food. Passover - the wonderful holiday when most of the food can be pre-cooked and carried to your mother in law's house.

The perfect covered dish holiday! I'm surprised more Minnesotan's don't celebrate it!

Note: Please, no more comments about how our meal isn't kosher for passover. We know it isn't (although the powdered sugar was a joke about bundt cakes, and the catfish was a joke about, well, catfish.) The last thing we need is the kosher patrol turning up on our door. Elijah will be enough of a surprise.
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20 Comments:

Blogger aimee said...

Your meal looks wonderful! Just one note, confectioners' sugar usually has corn starch added to it. Not sure, how strict you are, but just in case. Have a wonderful meal.

April 18, 2008 10:09 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

It's nice to know *someone* in St Paul is celebrating Passover. Congrats on the gefilte fish!

(Hi, I'm Stephanie, first year student at a college in St Paul. Lurker for a few days, wanting to comment because it's soooo cool to read about places I know. Summit, Grand -- those are the streets I know best by now.)

April 18, 2008 10:16 PM  
Anonymous twinsetellen said...

Have a great Passover meal. Don't be too shocked if you still have some frost in your soil - this was a cold winter! Some years I actually have seeds popping up by now (things like peas), but this year I haven't even thought about getting out there yet (other than to do the dog "clean-up").

April 18, 2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Annie, I know you went to alot of trouble to fix the fish dish but feel I should tell you that, if you did indeed use cat fish, the dish is not kosher.

Dolores

April 19, 2008 7:18 AM  
Anonymous myra said...

Oy, I wanna come to your house for Pesach.
I'm whining......
(Manischewitz, of course!)
Happy Passover!
(PS, your gefilte fish woulda made my Nana proud!)

April 19, 2008 7:34 AM  
Blogger Sheree said...

Anne-
The meal that you prepared sounds delicious, but it is not Kosher for Passover.
Noodle Kugel is not Kosher for Passover because egg noodles are not a Kosher for Passover food, unless you used the special ones which are made for the holiday (they are made from Matzoh meal rather than from regular flour).
The gefilte fish is not Kosher for Passover because you used cream in the fish and cooked it in chicken broth (the combination of milk and meat in the same dish/meal is not permitted). Also catfish is not a Kosher fish according to Jewish rabbinic law.
Finally, powdered or confectioner's sugar isn't Kosher for Passover because it has corn starch in it to prevent clumping.
Not sure how religious the sedar attendees will be, but thought that you should be aware.

April 19, 2008 7:37 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Reading your blog, I was impressed at what you've gone through to make a nice Passover meal for your family. I can picture you in the kitchen grinding fish, chopping carrots, etc. and infusing it with all the love and care you feel for them. I can see that you prepared the meal in the spirit (if not, as some of the comments have noted, necessarily the letter) of the rabbinic law. I applaud you for making that effort.

I wanted to tease you a little bit about committing Minnesota sacrilege by considering adding Almighty Walleye to the gefilte mixture, but it's OK, you're a transplant and didn't know any better (ducking and running and laughing all the way).

Judy in Rochester

April 19, 2008 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Rosie said...

I hope that you and your family have a wonderful passover, the food sounds and looks delicious. Rosie

April 19, 2008 8:33 AM  
Blogger OfTroy said...

Did you have a chance to see the Passover Chronicles on PBS? its was on a half dozen times in NY area.

(you could have gotten all of the recipes there!)

I hope your gefilte fish was good, (i've only eaten home made stuff.. and i think its delish) but then anything made with love is!

April 19, 2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Beth R. said...

What a wonderful meal - made with such love, enthusiasm and thought. Your family and friends will love it all and you! Fellowship and traditions and not rabbinical rules is what it is all about. Celebrate!

April 19, 2008 10:13 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I love homemade gefilte fish. Can't stomach the stuff in jars. Brava for pulling together such a lovely meal!

April 19, 2008 10:31 AM  
Blogger Abby Cohen said...

Annie, you are my hero(ine). Even before making the gefilte fish! I made my own exactly once, when I lived in Manhattan and it cost me $50!!! This was almost 20 years ago. I now use the frozen loaf you cook yourself which I found to be a good compromise.

I wouldn't throw Keith Olbermann out of my seder :)

Have a great one!

April 19, 2008 11:46 AM  
Blogger vagabond bettie said...

You go! I'm sure all the love you put into your cooking will be appreciated by your loved ones!

April 19, 2008 4:38 PM  
Blogger catie said...

No more comments about kosher? Does that mean that I can't ask if you put bacon in your gefilte fish?

Really, it looks totally delish! Have a great Seder!

April 19, 2008 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Tina Rose said...

Annie... how delightfully creative you are (yes we already knew that!)

I've been having fun watching Jeffery ?? of New Jewish Cuisine on Create TV (one of PBS's new digital channels) I could see him coming up with some of the things that you do. Since he's K I won't mention the changes he might make a few changes.

To bad I'm a raw vegan, otherwise I might try making some of the things you did. (such as the kugel)

Have a very nice time remembering and celebrating.

Tina

April 19, 2008 9:38 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Wow...that looks to be a fantastic Passover meal! Kudos for all your work on it!

The (Lutheran) church I went to in college would occasionally put on a Passover meal for us to have a better understanding of what Passover is and how it relates to our own beliefs. It was really a wonderful experience and a beautiful tradition to have.

I hope your dinner went beautifully!

April 19, 2008 10:08 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Wow! You put on one heck of a Seder! So what it wasn't kosher - if you sprinkled everything with Manischevitz wouldn't *that* make it holy???

It was a lot of effort and all made with love and the love is what counts.

Blessings.

April 20, 2008 6:51 AM  
Blogger tamdoll said...

Hey forget about kosher, I did a "Seder for the Impatient" this year. I think it lasted a whole 10 minutes.

April 20, 2008 10:20 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Annie, you amaze me. *making* your own gefilte fish? [screw kashrut/kosher for passover restrictions] Wow. I'll attempt many things: cables w/o a needle, lace, spinning ... but making my own gefilte fish (sort of taking it out of the freezer and boiling it for 90 minutes)? wow.

April 22, 2008 8:13 AM  
Anonymous kristi said...

I think the technical term is "kosher -schmosher" :)

I married into a family where homemade gefilte fish is the norm, as is singing and dancing until midnight. It was years before I realized how lucky I was and that not everyone's seder was like that. Your gefilte fish looks absolutely lovely; I hope you had a wonderful evening.

April 28, 2008 12:38 PM  

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