Monday, March 25, 2013

Lunch, Great Lakes,

Saturday we drove to Burlington, ON, to have lunch with friends. Burlington is on Lake Ontario. A Burlingtondelightful lunch it was too, nice to see them, haven’t done so in such a long time, mostly because they are still young enough to work all the hours God sends so just don’t have a terrific amount of spare time. It was an absolutely beautiful day with blBurlingtonue skies. Still a little chilly, but made you think of spring at least. Of course we do have a lot of snow on the ground in places.  Later, I had intended to shut off the lights for Earth Hour, but I completely forgot until someone mentioned it on Facebook. First time I haven’t done so since the idea began.

Funny thing about The Great Lakes we live in an area surrounded by them (Huron, Erie and Ontario) and yet thThe Great Lakesey 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 La-to-z-letters-z. 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 AgedParmButtfound 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 Soup

Contributed by Andrew Zimmern
Photo © Stephanie Meyer
  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • SERVINGS:8 to 10 servings
For 40 years I looked high and low for the best matzoh ball recipe, but nothing measured up to my grandmother’s until I discovered Susan’s, an old family friend. After a Passover seder at her house 20 years ago, I begged for this recipe and finally she gave it to me. It’s the perfect balance for a matzoh ball: light enough to float, dense enough to be a good “sinker.” I can now die in peace knowing I have achieved what every Jewish man should for his family: a roof over their heads and a nice chicken-soup-and-matzoh-ball recipe. We eat this meal year-round, and we call it chicken-in-the-pot. When I make it as a main course, I serve the chicken in sixths with the skin and bone. I will often add kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) or noodles and leave the vegetables in bigger pieces so the dish is more like a poulet pot au feu than a first course for Passover seder. For the uninformed, the seder is a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. It is held at sundown on the 14th day of Nissan in the Hebrew calendar and on the 15th by observant Jews living outside Israel. That means late March or April for most of us. The meal involves a retelling of the liberation of the Israelites from their bondage in ancient Egypt. It’s basically Thanksgiving for Jews, and it’s my favorite holiday of the Matzoh Ball Soupyear.—Andrew Zimmern

Chicken Soup
  1. 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  2. One 3-pound chicken

Matzoh Balls

  1. 1 1/4 cups matzoh meal
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 5 large eggs, 3 separated
  7. 1/4 cup melted chicken fat (schmaltz) or vegetable oil
  8. 1/4 cup minced onion
  9. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for forming the matzoh balls

To Finish

  1. 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  2. 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  3. 1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  4. 1/4 pound rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  5. 4 large dill sprigs
  6. 4 large parsley sprigs
  7. Kosher salt
  8. Freshly ground pepper
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Make Ahead The soup can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Cover the matzoh balls and shredded chicken with plastic wrap before refrigerating.

Happy Seder to those celebrating.

Have a good day


  1. I've been to Detroit and it was wild to think I was looking at Canada on the other side.

    Thrilled you are one of my soldiers! I featured you girls today in my post.

  2. Bit like being on the edge of the English Channel and seeing France on the other side.

    Will head over to see what you have said.

  3. Parmesan Cheese Crisps - I could eat those! And without guilt.

    1. Without guilt? They are still cheese. Plus you'd have to have a well filled billfold

  4. Way to plan ahead!!! This is my first year with the challenge and I'm sort of winging it. Hope it turns out ok!!


    Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

    1. I more or less did that last year, but being a Spunky Soldier, i.e. helping with one of the blog hosts, I figured getting them done would give me more time.

      Hope you enjoy A2Z.