Home > cooking, work > April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

I was pretty well convinced I wouldn’t have my meat order, so I stopped at a supermarket to buy chicken bones. (There are THREE kosher supermarkets on my route to work, and one non-kosher, plus several kosher fruit stands and one non-kosher (meaning their processed goods are all kosher – of course, all fresh fruits and veggies are already. I love my neighborhood.)

I also picked up dill and parsley.

Got to work. Found my meat order in exactly the wrong freezer. Started the soup. Also started cooking eggs and got out the frozen corn. Defrosted frozen ground turkey.

And I got down the matzo ball mix and mixed up a bowl to put in the fridge. When the eggs were done, I started a pot of boiling salted water.

Now understand this, lovely readers. I have had lousy luck with matzo balls for the past 19 or so years. Matzo balls come in two varieties – floaters and sinkers. My mother makes floaters – so light and fluffy, they practically defy gravity. I make matzo balls once a year, for Passover, and I make sinkers. I’ve tried everything, including seltzer, and they are still firm little golf balls. Tasty ones – after all, *I* make them – but not the floaters of my childhood and my dreams. And, no, I can’t get Mom to make them. Her kitchen isn’t kosher, let alone kosher for passover.

But this year, I had a hypothesis, one I formulated AS I made my firm little golf balls. Because I noticed I was making them the same way I make meatballs – take two or three fingerfuls, and roll quickly between both hands to form a nice little ball. I wondered, even as I did that, if I were being too firm, too forceful. My hands are competent – I can cook, I can sew, I can knit, I can embroider, I can touchtype. They’re also strong, so I can open bottles and chop squash, and I give REALLY good neckrubs. REALLY good. What they aren’t and have never been is gentle. I break things all the time. I can’t use wooden sock needles because they shatter in my hands. Metal ones only bend.

So, I thought, one needs gentle hands to make fluffy matzo balls. I asked people who made floaters if this were so, and they looked at me oddly, as in, why was I stating the obvious?

So, today I experimented. Instead of making nice little balls, I just sort of picked up the mixture and patted it vaguely into shape and dropped that into the boiling salted water (never make matzo balls in soup. It make the soup cloudy.) I did this twelve times, and twelve fluffy little irregular clouds floated in the pot.

I think I may have solved the mystery. I’ll have to experiment more, but it bodes well.

I also made fried turkey patties – ground turkey mixed with spices and egg, dipped in flavored bread crumbs and fried. The starch was noodles, and those had a bad start, because when I put the first bag in the boiling water, I noticed things floating on top. Things that looked like grains of rice but on closer inspection, had legs. Yuck. Dumped the pot, tossed the noodles out and washed everything thoroughly and started fresh. At one pm. Yeah, well. Left, eventually, in a hour, with insectfree noodles cooked and flavored.

Categories: cooking, work
  1. Laura V
    April 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

    mmmm. matzoh ball soup. Congrats on figuring out the floaters!

    Two friends of ours came up with an idea (which they have not implemented) for the least kosher matzoh ball soup ever: hot & sour matzoh ball soup. (perhaps unsurprisingly, one of these friends is Jewish and the other is Chinese).

  2. April 16, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Why would that necessarily be unkosher? Every kosher Chinese restaurant has a hot and sour soup. Also a matzo ball soup.

    Huh. Next time I go to my favorite, I could get them combined. 🙂

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