1 Apr

ImageYou have to understand that I grew up learning to cook at my grandmother’s elbow. I barely could reach the counter. There were times, I had to stand on a chair. That made me too tall so some times tippy toes is what made me just right (as long as I could hold an oversized apron. Those were the days of aprons, a thing of the past, in our techno nouveau world. I never did get Bubby’s recipes. They weren’t written down. She used what she called the SHITLACH method. Don’t ask me for the translation. I could never stop laughing hard enough to ask, the word had me pealing over in giggles.  I did learn something though. I learned to never be afraid of trying or failing or understanding there was no wrong in her kitchen just adventures of a cooking kind. Every so often I would ask Bubby to teach me how to maker her rugelach that was the centerpoint of every family get together. It wasn’t a simcha without Bubby’s best.

I learned from Bubby that a cup was what a hand held… obviously her cups were bigger than mine. The art of the dodge was to speculatively weigh in the other ingredients in proportions that made sense.. or balance of an ingredient kind. So craving cupcakes on Passover and being enough of a traditionalist to pooh-pooh at the Kosher To Passover mixes stocking Safeways shelves, believing that Passover, as it is celebrated today, isn’t in the vein of the way the holiday is intended in that the Israelites didn’t stop at Trader Joes on their way out of Egypt, they snagged their unleavened bread before it could rise, hence the origin of the annual Bread of Affliction. My guess is prunes were found along the way as Matzah does have its habit of impacting even the best of intentions.

I had seeb snowball cupcakes at a friends. I am an icing girl. The cupcakes were piled high with white mounds of cream topped off with coconut flakes. IMG. There was no was I would make it through the end of Passover. There was no way I would make it through the end of the day so I began envisioning how I could make a cupcake without flour. No dough. I fantasized breaking matzah into chunks or crumbles or even less. Two boxes of matzah in hand, out the door, and waiting for inspiration to take my cravings on. And it did. In spurts.

I had bought one box of whole wheat and one box of onion and egg. An adventure in taste buds. And cravings. So heres how it went:

One box of onion and egg matzahs opened.

Pull out one of the two packages.

Open it remove on matzah piece. Set it aside covered with butter.

Take the rest of the pieces crunch in a small bowl breaking them up further and smaller with the bottom of a salt or pepper shaker.

Pick up the piece of matzah with butter set aside and nibble. Set back down.

Go to the Computer and find a recipe for the Ultimate Cupcake. Take another matzah and butter bite. Print.

Go back to the kitchen and realize the cupcake tins cannot be found. Improvise. Pie tin. Check. Another bite again.

Look through the ingredients to figure out what is available or needs to be improvised

1 cup granulated sugar (make a cup out of Starbucks brown sugar packets saved from all the Traveler coffees)

All the smunched matzah

Salt to taste

¼ cup butter room temperature

2 large eggs

1/3 cup organic yogurt (no full fat sour cream)

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350

Mix sugar, salt, matzah, eggs, butter, vanilla together. Beat it until you feel inclined to taste the spatula. Butter the pie dish. Pour the batter in. Resist eating all the batter before it even gets baked.

Bake for 14 minutes or until the soft middle gets baked. The edges may get browned a little sooner than the middle.

Pretty rocking for a recipe of innovation learned at my Bubby’s elbow. NO ICING NEEDED!!!


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