Sunday, March 31, 2013

Polish Lemon Tart: Not Just for Pesach

Yom rishon, 20 Nisan 5773, Erev Yom Shvi'i shel Pesach.

This is not a very important post.  But it is delicious, works for Celiac sufferers and non-gebrokts folks and Paleo-centric diners, anybody avoiding potato starch on principle, and for kitniyot and non-kitniyot types alike.  In other words: World Peace is possible over this dessert.  Unless you never, ever eat butter during Yom Tov... in which case, I cannot help you.

The recipe was borrowed and modified (of course) from, by Barbara Rolek.  Check out her original recipe here:  Polish Lemon Tart Recipe - Tarta Cytronowa.

200 gr. softened butter
200 gr. sugar
4 large eggs
300 gr. almond flour (aka finely ground almonds)
2 large lemons, zest and juice
113 gr. while chocolate, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 177 degrees Centigrade.  Spray sides and bottom of 24 x 17.5 x 5.5 mm pan with Pam or similar substance (unless you happen to have a springform pan for Pesach, in which case you are welcome to line it with parchment paper, as Ms. Rolek suggests.  I've done it both ways.  It works either way.)
2  Cream butter and sugar till fluffy.  Add eggs and beat until nicely blended.  Mix in almond flour.  Add lemon juice, zest and white chocolate pieces.  (I don't own a Pesadike blender; and this recipe works just fine with a spoon and a bit of vigor.)  Transfer mixture to prepared pan.
3.  Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour.  You will know your oven; and the main thing is that the cake should be golden brown at the edges, but moist throughout.  This is why it's better than most potato starch cakes.  It is NOT dry as dust.  Just sayin'.  (If you have a moist potato starch cake recipe you'd care to share, I'm open-minded.)
4.  Serve directly from the pan when cool.  Honestly, does the powdered sugar platter presentation make it taste any better?

The only thing that could possibly make this taste any better is to serve it with a nice almond liqueur and coffee.  I know... right???

Thursday, March 14, 2013

And Baby Goes to Battle

Yom chamishi, 3 Nisan 5773.

Saying a temporary goodbye to an old friend?
I have a remarkable ability to live outside moments that are particularly HUGE until I'm in them.  This means that I don't suffer from anxiety for weeks and weeks before an event.  It also means I crack my husband up in the days or hours before an event, as I go into hyper-accelerated meltdown.

My youngest baby -- all 183 centimeters of him -- is being inducted into the Israeli Defense Forces on Sunday.

And my face isn't exactly melting.  But my heart is beating more rapidly than it usually does.

You might ask why this has my attention, when all of that brutal activity on the gridiron just has my awe and pride, rather than my fear.  (See the short video at the end of this post, and watch for Number 20.  How does he do that????)  Many mothers have pointed out to me, in the most loving possible terms, that there is something wrong with a mother who doesn't freak out about her kid playing American football.  But it's just who Sports Guy has always been.  Taking the essence of my children away from them in order to keep them safe has never been my style.  So I just don't think about the danger.  Except for those isolated moments, late at night, when the prayer and the bargaining with G-d sneak in...

All of Sports Guy's brothers are or have been soldiers.  I spend a lot of time not thinking about this, focusing instead on my gratitude and pride in them for their service to our country, and on the fascination of watching their adult selves emerging from the boys I'd raised with their excellent father.

Suddenly, the baby of the brothers is changing uniforms.  From the orange and green of the Judean Rebels to the olive drab of the army.  He's not more special to me than his brothers.  I have been blessed to have such extraordinarily different sons that Soldier Boy is my favorite.  And Yeshiva Bochur is my favorite.  And Stunt Man is my favorite.  And Sports Guy is my favorite.  And SamJam is my favorite.  It's just the end of an era... and it's always hardest to say farewell to the last guy out the door.

While the Dearly Beloved and I have already discovered that we like the empty nest (as long as the chicks fly home every once in a while), today through Sunday and a while after will feel a little odd.  And then will be the day he comes back home in uniform...

We'll just keep cheering you on, Brothers.
Thank you for this wonderful video, Pavel Archavsky.  I'll probably be watching it a lot over the next few months...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Bit O' the Irish, Jewish Style

Yom rishon, 28 Adar 5773.

Stunt Man played a fifteen minute "Irish Set" for his brother's wedding, staying in character throughout.  He was so effective at bringing joy to his brother and his new sister-in-law and their guests that one attendee quipped, "This is the first time in my life I've regretted not being born Irish."

Well, G-d gathered us in from the four corners of the world into the Jewish family for some reason or other.  Could be to add a few songs, and a little color.

Here's a short sample of brotherly love.

Hat tip to the band Gaelic Storm and to Josh Polak, who taught the lad nearly everything he knows.

Photos and videography by Yehuda Bolsthauser & Co.