Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Goyishe Guilt

I'm sorry.
I got your matzos.
I didn't know there would be a shortage in stores this week. And I'm not even Jewish.
So if you've had to do without, blame me.
It's not like I needed the matzos. I just like matzo brei.
Two weeks ago the local paper ran results of a taste-off of various matzos. Suspecting that the number-one favorite, available at Whole Foods, would probably disappear off shelves, we made a dash for a box.
Now I'll be honest. My limited contact with matzos makes Manischewitz a hands-down winner, strictly by familiarity. Ooh, the soggy, creamy, unthreatening, traif texture of these domestic crackers is almost part of my DNA. Like Carr's Table Water Crackers.
But when I read that these upscale Yehuda matzos, made in Israel, topped the food section chart, I had to try them.
So? (Oh, I have to say "nu" here. Can I say "nu"?) They're, um, fibrous. You know, difficult. Kind of like a cross to bear, but probably more like running away fast and the problem with the not-quite leavened bread, difficult in its own way, although freedom (good) and tradition. Tradition!
I would have been happy buying the Manischewitz, although now I'm suspecting that a whole lot of other shoppers, ones with more legitimate shopping needs, might have been, too. Doesn't matter in the long run, I suppose, because all the matzos, all brands, got scarfed up.
I shopped early, I got the Yehudas, and I wanted the matzo brei.
You might not believe this, but I think I'm good at making matzo brei.
Probably because I don't know what matzo brei is supposed to come out like.
Mine is always fluffy, tender, eggy, and totally not sweetened. No cinnamon. No jelly.
Scrambled eggs, buttery, mixed with puffy mounds of softened matzo.
What's the opposite of "oy vey"? They're that good.
I have asked Jewish friends whether they like matzo brei cooked soft or crispy, and the answer I usually get is "No."
Would you have liked some? Thought so. Nu? No recipe.
So please, no complaints about shortages.


Anna Haight said...

Ahhh.. a former roommate introduced me to this dish, totally creative and delicious.

kudzu said...

So, Cookiela --
If the matzo (matza, matzah,matzoh) is that different, don't feel guilty. It probably wouldn't have flown in most of the Jewish households I know! Probably worked okay in the brei, though.....I felt pangs of homesickness for the Upper West Side and bought a big jar of Manischevitz matzoh ball soup and ate all of it my very own self. I knew it would be fresh since it was Passover stock at Mollie Stone!

Dagny said...

I thought of you on Sunday when I read Neil's post (over at Citizen of the Month) about matzo brei. I've never tried the dish myself but if I had taken that job at Saul's two years ago ... *sigh* Because when I interviewed, I saw the store room. I had never seen that much matzo in one place in all my life.

dancingmorganmouse said...

Carr's Table Water Crackers I know, but matzo? Read about it, heard about it but never actually stumbled across it. Probably because I don't live in Sydney's eastern suburbs ... perhaps a little field trip is in order.

El said...

Okay thanks CC but now I am going to say "traif texture" to myself all day.

Zoomie said...

Mazeltov! to you on your toothsome matzoh brei!

peter said...

I'm kvelling.

Sam said...

You have given me a serious jonesing for Jacob's High Bake Water Biscuits and after searching the internet I am not sure they exist any more.

cook eat FRET said...

this post was absolutely brilliant

girl, when you're good - you're the best.

i am forwarding this to the immediate universe

cookiecrumb said...

Anna: It's comfort food!

Kudzu: I MUST buy a jar of soup! Thanks for the tip. The only matzo ball soup I've made (twice) came out 1) fabulous, and 2) leaden. Sigh.

Dagny: Oh, I remember your Saul's thing. Jeez, rated X! Too much.

Morgan: Matzo is big, bland, square crackers like saltines without the salt. Not worth a field trip, but -- then again, I always love to appropriate other cultures' food celebrations.

El: I had no idea I was being so alliteratively alluring. :D

Zoomie: Hee! Yes, toothsome is the right word. We have most of the box left to use up, so there will be more soon. (Can you believe I'm making this with Marin Sun Farm free range eggs?)

Peter: {{blush}}
Thank goodness you're not kvetching.

Sam: Oh no! I'm horribly sorry. I'm sure Carr's doesn't cut it for you. Try Manischewitz.

ceF: Honey, I had you in mind the entire time I was writing this. XXX!

Amy Sherman said...

Oy! So much guilt! What are you catholic or something?

leena! said...

I'm not Jewish either, but I will gladly help you hoard matzoh next year if I can some some of your brei!

cookiecrumb said...

Amy: Not Catholic!

Leena: I think matzo brei would make a stellar brunch party. Come on over.

shelly said...

Goyishe, shmoyishe. Your matza brei sounds like it's to die for. A "mechayeh!"--the opposite of oy vey. Fluffy matzah brei... who'da thunk it?

If you really want to blow your socks off next year, try the handmade whole wheat organic shmura matzah. I think Chabad sells it.

cookiecrumb said...

Shelly: Handmade, whole wheat, organic? Too scary! Remember, I'm the type that orders a pastrami sandwich with mayonnaise.