Grandmother’s Matzo Balls


My grandmother was Russian Jewish and an amazing cook. She ran a catering business in South Philly and took care of my crazy blind grandfather. Things I remember about him: first and foremost that he Loved food. Second, he use to march in place to Sousa-like music every morning, AND the third thing to know about Karl Blum was that he was a news junky that listened to the radio all the time, a radical and vehement LIBERAL!

Although we were never religious, we were definitely Culinary Jews. My Grandmother made incredible knishes, kreplach, and blintzes. Special occasions were always a feast. When we had Rupperts Restaurant, Christmas Day was a day off. After she died we would get up early every Christmas morning and drive to the Lower East Side just to eat at Ratner’s kosher dairy restaurant. Of course this meant shunning the Jewish tradition of a movie and Chinese food on Christmas. Eating stuffed eggplant or cold kasha in her tiny apartment my mother found her late in life, these are my Proustian moments and Jewish soul food will always make me think of her.

This Saturday we are doing a Rosh Hashanah Home Restaurant for one of our new favorite guests. We are serving kasha, brisket, kuegel and I will be making my Grandmother’s Matzo Balls. She would serve them in a bright flavorful Chicken stock that made the whole place smell good. My Grandmother loved to feed people as much as she loved to cook.

When Chana Leah Grinstadt was 15 years old she came through Ellis Island from Russia via Poland. She came from Barassa Russia and came across on a ship named the Polonia. When she arrived in New York, she did not know her birthday so she chose Armistice Day, November 11. Anna Blum died in November of 1997 after her 90th birthday party–I think of her everyday…

Matzo Ball Recipe

1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons seltzer

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a medium sized pot.

Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from water and serve in hot chicken broth.

Vegan Matzo Ball Recipe

1/2 cup matzo meal
1/2 cup pureed silken tofu
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons seltzer

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a medium sized pot.

Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove from water and serve in hot vegetable broth.

Advertisements
This entry was published on September 16, 2009 at 1:14 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: