Funny thing about The Great Lakes we live in an area surrounded by them (Huron, Erie and Ontario) and yet they rarely impinge on our consciousness. When you do see them, to me its a bit like going to the seaside, there is a frisson of excitement and I try to see as much as possible al;though I am usually in a car. The lakes are absolutely vast, and appear to go on forever. They are really inland seas, not lakes at all. The US and Canada share them all except for Michigan which is entirely in the US. Lake Ontario is the smallest and is 7,320 square miles, 193 miles long and 53 miles at its widest point.
One more week and the A to Z Blogfest begins. I have finished my blogs for the month. As I said before, I have volunteered to help L. Diane Wolfe, as a Spunky Soldier, to keep an eye on her assigned blogs, as yet I don’t know which ones will be my responsibility. Checking today there are over 1200 blogs signed up. If you haven’t joined in, I recommend you do so, its not only great fun, but helps to spread your name around the blogging world so more people read your blogs.
On Sundays I like to have a glass of champagne before lunch. I recently found some Parmesan Cheese crisps which I am now adding to my drink. When I was a kid, my mother used to make fried cheddar cheese for me and I loved it. These Parmesan chips are oven baked, but much the same thing and absolutely delicious. Unfortunately they are also quite expensive, $7.99 for 3 oz. which is not very much. It turns out they are made in New York by Kitchen Table Bakers so next time we are in the States I will see if I can get them and bring a few packets home. I do like them so very much. They go very well with champagne too.
In honour of the beginning of Passover this evening, and for those who make seder tonight, here is a Matzoh Ball Soup recipe.
Passover Matzoh-Ball SoupContributed by Andrew Zimmern
Photo © Stephanie Meyer
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS
- SERVINGS:8 to 10 servings
- 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- One 3-pound chicken
- 1 1/4 cups matzoh meal
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 large eggs, 3 separated
- 1/4 cup melted chicken fat (schmaltz) or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for forming the matzoh balls
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 large dill sprigs
- 4 large parsley sprigs
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- MAKE THE CHICKEN SOUP In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer. Add the chicken and return the stock just to a simmer. Cover the chicken with a small plate to keep it submerged and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer; simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken and let cool slightly, then shred the meat; discard the skin and bones. Strain the soup into a heatproof bowl. Skim off the fat and return the soup to the pot.
- MEANWHILE, MAKE THE MATZOH BALLS In a large bowl, combine the matzoh meal, salt, garlic, baking powder and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 whole eggs with the 3 yolks, schmaltz and onion. In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir the schmaltz mixture into the dry ingredients, then stir in one-third of the beaten egg whites until incorporated. Gently fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the batter and refrigerate for about 20 minutes or overnight, until firm.
- Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of water. Scoop 1-tablespoon-size mounds of the matzoh batter onto the baking sheet. Using the oil-and-water mixture to keep your hands moist, roll each scoop of batter into a ball, handling them as gently as possible.
- Return the chicken soup to a simmer. Add the carrot, celery, onion, rutabaga, dill and parsley and season with a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the matzoh balls. Cover and cook over moderate heat, turning the matzoh balls a few times, until they are plump and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Stir the shredded chicken into the soup and cook just until the meat is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs. Season the soup with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Happy Seder to those celebrating.
Have a good day