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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Upper West Side’

Kosher Cook-Off

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

        What do a young chassidishe woman from Williamsburg, a Modern Orthodox mom from the Upper West Side and a non-Jewish mother of three from Connecticut all have in common? They were just a few of the semi-finalists in the first annual “Simply Manischewitz” cook-off.
 
         The contest was launched in May, 2006 and sponsored by Manischewitz, Cooking Light Magazine and General Electric. The purpose was to highlight that anyone could produce delicious meals using simple and user-friendly kosher ingredients. I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the semi-trials, and the food was good. All in all, the event was a success.
 
         According to Stacey Bender of Bender Hammerling Group, the contest garnered over 1,500 recipe submissions. Thirty semi-finalists had to be chosen from this pool. This is difficult in any recipe contest; judges must shift through a myriad of recipes “blind” (without benefit of taste or presentation).
 
         However, in a contest where the focus was on kosher, the task was even more daunting. All recipes had to undergo two separate screening processes. The initial screening was to weed out recipes containing non-kosher ingredients; those comprised of meat and dairy; and those that combined fish and meat. It was only then that a panel of judges could get down to the “meat and potatoes.”
 
         Each recipe required four components:
 

         1) Use of at least one Manischewitz product

         2) Eight ingredients or less

         3) Ease of preparation

         4) Time of preparation (one hour maximum for prep and cooking)
 
         From a technical perspective, the most complex task was assigned to Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz, Rabbi Yonah Hayum and their staff of mashgichim (kosher supervisors). They had to oversee the logistics involved in the setup of the locations for the cook-off and the arrangements of the appliances and utensils. From toiveling (immersing in water) every utensil, to marking every oven, to the purchase of all ingredients for the semi-finalists, they checked every detail to ensure that the highest standards of kashrus were adhered to.
 
Rabbi Yonah Hayum, Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz
 
         Dairy ingredients were Chalav Yisrael and the meat glatt with a universally-respected hashgachah. The ovens and utensils used for the dairy and meat recipes, respectively, were placed on opposite sides of the room – with the parve dishes placed between the two. Rabbi Hayum turned on the ovens and personally marked each utensil, dish and pot: meat, dairy or parve after its initial use.
 
         The first round of semi-final trials was held on October 26 at the Hilton Newark Airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The feeling in the room was electric – the contestants getting their stations ready, their families walking around to check out the competition and everyone partaking of the delicious cake and fruit buffet.
 
         At about 11:30 a.m., after a presentation from the mayor’s office, the call came, “Contestants begin!” For the next hour the focus was on watching each of the 10 women prepare their dishes. The seven judges walked from station to station watching the preparations and speaking to the women while they worked. And the smells! From Jambalaya and Orange Glazed Chicken on one side to Passover French Onion Tart and Creamy Tomato Egg Noodle Soup on the other, the room smelled heavenly. For me, waiting to taste was the most difficult part of the day.
 
         At the end of the hour the tasting began. While I (and my grandmother who came with me) was neither sponsor nor judge, I did have the opportunity to taste a number of the dishes. It was a delightful experience – the tastes, colors and textures were a joy; I truly don’t know how the judges were able to make a choice. But they did.
 
         Two finalists were chosen: Rayzel Yaish’s (Bergenfield, N.J.) Middle Eastern Falafel Stuffed Peppers (which she choose to show that Manischewitz products can be used in Yemenite cooking) and Sharon Ricci’s (Mendon, Conn.) Matzah Brunch Bake (which she chose because she had made it for Passover and it was a hit.)
 
Sharon Ricci, Rayzel Yaish, regional finalists
 
         Rayzel and Sharon will compete against four other contestants (still to be chosen from Florida and California) on February 1, 2007 in New York City. And I am looking forward to being there and tasting all of the delicious dishes.
 
 
Matzo Brunch Bake
from Sharon Ricci – Mendon, NY
Serves 8


8 eggs, well beaten
3 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon
Manischewitz® Horseradish
4 pieces of Manischewitz® Egg and Onion Matzo
1 pound Morningstar Farms Sausage Pattie – cooked (dairy)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt

 

Mix first 5 ingredients and set aside. Spray 9″ x 13″ inch baking dish with cooking spray. Break matzo into 2-3″ pieces and combine with egg and milk mixture. Add cooked and chopped sausages. Pour into baking dish, top with cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.
 

 

 

Middle Eastern Falafel Stuffed Peppers
from Rayzel Yaish – Bergenfield, NJ
 


4 medium bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
1 pound ground meat (lamb)
6 tablespoons
Manischewitz® Falafel Mediterranean Snack Mix
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1/8 bunch basil washed, dried and chopped
3 tablespoons oil
1 jar
Manischewitz® Mushroom Pasta Sauce
Water (enough to form paste)

 

Filling: Mix falafel mix with enough water to make a paste. Brown meat and falafel pasta separately in a frying pan with 1 tablespoon of oil each. Falafel should be cooled until crumbly. Meat should be drained. Set cooked meat and falafel aside.

Saut? onions, garlic, and basil together in frying pan with 3rd tablespoon oil. Add meat and falafel and mix together. Set aside.

Prepare bell peppers: Cut tops of peppers, remove seeds and cut a design in top of peppers (You can skew peppers together with wooden skewers to help them not fall apart in oven). After peppers are secure stuff them with filling. Place the 4 peppers in a baking dish that is filled with 1 jar Manischewitz Mushroom Pasta Sauce. In an 8″ x 8″ pan, Sauce should be about 1 1/2″ deep. Cook for 25 minutes at 350 degrees or until veggies are softened but still slightly crunchy. 

The Lack Of Chizuk (Part I)

Wednesday, November 12th, 2003

Letter # 1

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis;

I won’t be seeing my husband and children this Shabbos. I won’t see them next week either. As a matter of fact, I won’t be seeing them next month either. That’s because I don’t have a husband or children yet.

Yet I wonder when will I? It gets to me, sometimes more than at others, but lately, it seems worse, harder to take. One thing that doesn’t help is ”other people.” I just went Baruch Hashem, to another simcha and there I sat, almost invisible. Invisible because I don’t have a sheitel on my head. A divorced woman is never treated this way, never invisible. I sat there and no one asked me anything other than one single question about a piece of jewelry that I wore. Not even ”How are you?” or ”What are you doing?,” or ”Where will you be for Sukkos?”

I didn’t attempt to make conversation. I’ve been through this countless numbers of times, and I know exactly how it goes. I used to make conversation, but finally after years and years of the effort coming only from my part, I decided that this year – that’s it, and so I just sat there and couldn’t wait to leave and be home. I’m sure that there will be those reading this that will say, ”It probably shows, and that’s why no one talks to you.” No, it doesn’t as I smile and act as if there’s nothing wrong.

These were not strangers, but my own relatives to whose simchas I’ve gone to most of my life. I won’t even go into how they never ever helped me with shidduchim, yet some would criticize my mother and me with actual relish, that it’s our fault that I am not yet married.

But to think that it so hard for them to give a little chizuk at a simcha is hard to take. It’s enough that there are no invitations all these years for a Shabbos or a Chanukah (eight nights to choose from!) Or Purim, or just an invitation to a Sunday lunch or brunch. No calls ever all year round all these years. (Or at least not a real invitation – there were those few who would ask ”Would you come for a Shabbos? I’ll call you” - and then they never did).

When they see a relative of theirs who is still single, while their lives have been blessed with spouses and families – why can’t they summon up a few words to talk with this person? To wish me well, to see if in some way they could give some chizuk? Just by talking! They don’t even seem to think of helping, like suggesting a good shadchan.

I know that I am not the only one to suffer this way, but I also know why there are few single girls over 30 or 40 at simchas, and there are many, many in that group. There comes a point where you just don’t want to be the oldest single at any event and you also don’t want to be treated as if you’re invisible. So you might as well not be there and not go.

Letter #2

Dear Rebbetzin Jungreis:

I have attended many of your Torah classes and have always found them informative, stimulating and inspiring. To be candid, I have also come for shidduch purposes, but thus far have had no luck. I live on the Upper West Side. I have participated in the many shidduch programs available in that community and have been on countless singles weekends and Shabbatons. I have met some very nice people – but I have as yet to find my basherte. Why? I do not know. It certainly has not been for lack of effort on my part.

I am a 57-year-old man. I own and operate a successful business. I am in good shape, work out daily, love music and travel. Everyone tells me that I don’t look my age… I don’t really know what someone my age (57) is supposed to look or act like. All I can tell you is that I feel young and act young. I am loathe to admit to my age however, because that automatically limits me when it comes to a shidduch. I have to marry someone who is no older than 37. You see, I would still like to have children. I know that I would make a wonderful father. When it comes to kids, I have loads of patience and I feel that I have a lot to offer.

Unfortunately, for many reasons, too complicated to go into in this letter, I never married. I guess what it all boils down to is that I was too choosy, and time has passed me by. So here I am, 57 and single, still looking for that special someone.

I know that you will most probably say that nowadays, women in their forties are also having children, and it would be more appropriate for me to marry someone closer to my own age, but women who are having children in their forties are the exception, and I can’t really rely upon that. If I don’t have children soon, our family line will, G-d forbid, come to an end. I have one brother, and he is married to a Gentile, so while he has two children, they are not Jewish. My father is no longer alive, and I would love to have a name for him, which would also comfort my 90 year old ailing mother. So, as you can see, it’s not selfishness or vanity that prompts me to seek a younger marriage partner, but the preservation of our family name.

It has been a very painful and lonely quest, and people have made it worse. I have not only had very little sympathy from friends and relatives, but they have said some very cruel things to me like, I should face facts, come to terms with my age, and not be an old man who chases after young girls. And the shadchanim have been no better – they have been downright unsupportive. My situation is difficult enough, and I need people to give me chizuk - strength, and not sarcasm. I am totally misunderstood – I just want to have children.

And yet, I know of many men my age who married younger women. Why can’t I have the same good fortune? Am I chasing a rainbow?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/rebbetzins-viewpointrebbetzin-jungreis/the-lack-of-chizuk/2003/11/12/

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