Posted on August 28th, 2012 by Rachel
A blog post by Gift Shop Manager Esther Weiner.
Did I say kreplach? In the same breath as the High Holidays? Yes, I did…and since you asked, I’ll tell you why. Since I was a child my mother, Pearl Printz, served her delicious golden chicken soup every Friday night, always with her home-made noodles. Of course for the high holidays, kreplach floated in the soup, hiding between the noodles. It was kind of a tradition that kreplach and Rosh Hashanah were a team. When I got married and moved to Baltimore, my mother-in-law, Fannie Weiner, made kreplach, they too were delicious, and I was hooked on learning how to put them together.
Well, after trial and error I came up with my own recipe and now my family will not sit down to the table unless they know that kreplach will come with the chicken soup! So my friends who follow blogs, I am stuck…but, I must admit, happily so. Even though it’s a big job, I love making kreplach. I make what seems like tons of them so that they last through the holidays, the extras hidden in my freezer, to surface on Shabbat dinners with friends and family (…”what, kreplach?”) and the bounty continues to be enjoyed through the year, as long as they last.
Definition of kreplach: Small dough squares, filled with a mixture of seasoned cooked meat, served with a soup, usually chicken soup, although they have been known to float in vegetable soup as well.
(dough squares filled with meat), makes approximately 150 pieces
Use a food processor, it’s easier. Into the processor bowl put:
3 cups regular flour
1 tsp salt
Scant ¼ cup warm water
PROCESS all of the above until dough forms a ball. If necessary add a bit more water to the machine as it processes. Stopping the motor to push down the dough.
REMOVE the dough, knead on a board or clean countertop until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Any combination of cooked chicken and beef, or chicken and veal or beef and veal. Meat can be cooked in a soup, removing the cooked meat when cool and cut into small pieces. There should be about 1 ½ lbs of cooked meat. Saute a large onion (or 2 medium size onions) in oil together with minced 4-5 pieces garlic until golden. Grind the meat together with the onions (they should be ground twice otherwise the meat could be chunky). To the ground meat mixture add 2 or 3 eggs (depending on your amount of meat), about 3 tblsp fine bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste.
ROLL OUT DOUGH
Cut off a small piece of dough, roll out as fine as possible, dough should be quite thin. Cut into strips then into 2” squares, fill with a half tsp. of meat mixture, fold to form a triangle, close the ends by pressing them tight. Drop the filled triangles into a pot of simmering lightly salted water, cook for 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl, lightly sprinkle with oil. Continue until all the meat is used.
NOTE: kreplach will freeze well in strong plastic bags.
Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Rachel
Like two kids in a candy shoppe, Karen Falk, Curator at the JMM, and I, Esther Weiner, the Shop Manager, took the Baltimore Free Bus, the Circulator, to the Baltimore Convention Center for the renowned ACC show. This is a show populated with artists from all over the United States, exhibiting their own crafts ranging from hand-loomed scarves to hand-woven jackets to magnificent jewelry, both gold and silver, to amazing blown glass decorative and useful pieces.
We oohed and ahhed our way down one aisle and another, stopping to look at all the booths, trying to decide if this was something that we would want to have in our own Museum Shop. Believe me, if I tell you that it’s a challenge, it is. You want to have all the candy in your own store…all the goodies.
And yes, we found something to bring to the customers and visitors to the JMM: an exquisite glass seder plate with perfectly sized dishes for each of the symbolic seder foods! We want the visitor to the JMM Museum Shop to feel just as good as we did in the ACC show by bringing back as many of the “candy pieces” as possible for our visitors to enjoy. And yes, we hope they will take something home with them!
So…do come to the JMM…do plan on visiting the Museum Shop…let us hear from you!
Posted on December 9th, 2011 by Rachel
A blog post by Outreach Coordinator Rachael Binning.
Esther entertaining the crowd.
The day I bought my mezuzah from Esther.
On December 1, the first Thursday of the month, Elena Rosemond-Hoerr and I hosted our sixth Brews & Schmooze event called “ Esther Fest: Cooking with Bubbe.” Since I began working at the JMM a little over a year ago I have to admit that seeing Esther has always been a highlight of my day. Although I am Jewish both of my grandmothers were not so I like to consider Esther to be the bubbe (or Jewish grandmother) I never had. From needing a good laugh to buying a mezuzah, she’s always been there for me. When I first moved to the area she even set me up with her granddaughters who live inWashingtonDC because she knew that I was new to the city and needed friends. Her instinct to introduce us was right on and I continue to be good friends with her granddaughters today.
Playing Apples to Apples under our festive decorations.
Elena and I knew right away that Esther needed to be our star attraction for the December Brews & Schmooze because her latke’s are known to be the best in town. In years past Esther performed her latke demonstration for a variety of groups both at the museum and off-site. She is one of the most requested speakers from our Speakers Bureau. Esther is also famous throughout the staff for being an amazing entertainer and knowledgeable chef so she was our clear choice when deciding on who should be the main event for our Hanukkah program.
Esther and her grandchildren, Jackie and Laura.
Our decision to focus on Esther and her latke’s was clearly the right one. We had a huge crowd (around 80 people) attend the event all of whom were clearly vying for Esther’s attention and delicious latkes. Elena and I made an effort to make the JMM’s lobby look festive with handmade decorations, which we enjoyed immensely. We also made the smart decision of providing other entertainment including dreidles games (how can you have a Hanukkah party without dreidles) and the card game Apples to Apples. Apples to Apples ended up being a huge success and we plan on having more games and crafts at future Brews & Schmooze events.
My sister, Sarah, eagerly signing up to receive Esther’s latke recipe.
As you can see from the photos, the event was high energy and very fun. We hope that all future Brews & Schmooze events will be as entertaining as Esther Fest was. If you would like to learn more about Brews & Schmooze and other young adult events you can visit the JMM young adult webpage at www. Jewishmuseummd.org/youngadult.
Esther’s famous latkes!
Finally, Esther was such a hit that she was invited to perform another latke demonstration and talk about the story of Hanukkah on WYPR’s The Signal. The radio segment airs 12/9/11 and 12/10/11. It is already streaming here: http:///www.wypr.org/stationprogram/signal. If you missed Esther’s Brews & Schmooze presentation or you want to relive the experience again you must check this out.
I hope to see you all at the next Brews & Schmooze!