Mmmmmmmmmmm, matzo balls!

The Mrs. made some chicken soup the other day, and after having it a few times with rice or noodles, I finally remembered I had recently picked up a big jar of matzo balls from the “Everything’s a dollar” grocery store near us. Genuine Manischewitz, and not even expired! (This store is the only place to find decent kosher products in the Calvinist heartland. Also mexican sodas, baking ammonia, and Indian lime pickle. Go figure.)

It has been a long time since I had decent matzo balls, I must admit. And these were pretty dreamy when served in the soup for our dinner. Light as a feather, creamy texture, and big, too! Not quite up to the standards of my college roommate’s mom, who first turned me on to them (along with decent gefilte fish, challah, knishes, schav, and her strudel.) But still, it made for a nice trip down euphoric recall lane.

Anybody else have any matzo ball memories? Or recipes, perhaps?

I’ve seen those Manischewitz matzo balls in a jar and have regarded them with the same :dubious: with which I view jarred pickled pigs feet. They might be perfectly delicious, but I just can’t go there.

Years ago, in an Urban Removal section of Cleveland, there was a diner that had unbelievable matzo ball soup. That was the first time I’d ever had it, despite growing up with two Jewish families as neighbors. Heavenly! (Or are heavenly matzo balls an oxymoron?)

No need to bother with a jar. They’re hella easy to make. Matzo meal (grind up some of those matzo crackers or bake your own…all matzo is is flour and water), salt, pepper, eggs and fat (preferably schmaltz [chicken fat], but oil works ok too. make a dough, roll into balls, chill, cook them in chicken stock.

I like to make homemade matzo ball soup it when the kids have cold. I just made a big pot of a couple weeks ago when we had H1N1 running through the house. Jewish pennecillin. And the kids love it.

After decades of being told of their goodness, upon getting a job in Skokie, IL, I had to try matzo ball soup from a genuine Jewish restaurant.

The matzo ball was the size of a regulation Spalding baseball, and more tasteless. The broth could’ve come from a can and was insufficient to moisten the chunks I broke off the baseball. Mostly inedible.

“This is kinda nasty,” I ventured.

“It’s classic Judaica,” I was told.

Wife has a couple boxes of matzo meal in the pantry. I have no idea how she will use it to torture the goyim. Which should include her, though she has kept a kosher household, but she’s diabetic and can always beg off. This leaves me and our children as her victims. :eek:

Does a sleeper cell implant last for decades? I need to make a dish that both uses the meal (Jewish great-grandmother says you can’t waste food!) and negates the nefarious scheme implanted when Wife was an innocent Methodist 35 years ago. Breaded pork chops with milk gravy might do it. :smiley:

Don’t let one bad bowl of soup dissuade you from trying it again. You’re allowed to season the matzo dough. Be creative.

You’re also allowed to use whatever broth you want.

Nah, it was a tasteless ball of starch. I know how to treat tasteless balls of starch, but butter and chicken broth do not make a kosher combo.

I’m often glad that my ancestors who chose to convert did so. If nothing else, it meant I only need one kitchen.

I find the matzo a better soup filler than most rice or noodles, save for occasional home-made egg noodles. To me, there’s starch, and then there’s carbs which which have been buffed up with spices, MSG, a little schmaltz, and decent ageing.

Why not?

Butter is dairy and chicken is meat. It is not kosher to mix dairy and meat products.

I don’t know much about dietary laws. I thought the prohibition was something along the lines of ‘not mixing the milk of the mother with the child’. Or something like that.

You’re not supposed to use butter, you’re supposed to use schmaltz. Barring schmaltz, you can use vegetable oil. No dairy need apply.

Found it:

I’d never heard that the rabbis decreed that the prohibition extends to dairy not from the animal the meat came from. Anyway, ignorance fought.

It actually says that Jews should not “boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” It is a particularly puzzling mitzvah, and rabbis eventually interpreted it to mean that dairy products should not be eaten with mean products. Even a lot of rabbis, I think, will freely admit that that might not actually be what is meant, exactly, but there is a concept of gader haTorah (a fence around the Torah) that basically, just to be SURE, we’re going to take this extra step and make absolutely certain we’re following the mitzvah correctly.

Next time you’re at the store, take a look at the kashrut markings on packages. It’s common to see the little U with a circle around it, and there is usually a letter next to it. If it’s a D, that means it’s kosher dairy. If it’s a P, that means it’s kosher pareve (neither dairy nor meat, can be eaten with either) and…well, I’m a vegetarian, so I’m not positive, but I assume there would be an M by the U if it’s kosher meat.

The separation of dairy and meat products is what makes keeping kosher so difficult for Jews outside of Israel or very Jewish communities outside of Israel. Depending on how observant you are, you may not even want to eat at a restaurant that serves both meat and dairy products, even if a meal can be prepared for just one or the other. In Israel, a kosher restaurant will be either kosher meat or kosher dairy. (Kosher pareve places exist, but are rare…fish is considered pareve, btw.) There are varying levels of observance and strictness and kashrut certifications from different rabbinates. Different traditions and even just different individuals have different standards of how long to go between eating meat products and eating dairy products. A four hour time lag between one or the other would be normal, but I’ve heard of people doing both less and more.

Wow, I really went on. That’s only the basics, too. I’ll stop now.

Heck, I’ve seen Jewish people eat rumaki – neither of which I understand are kosher.

Thanks for the detailed answer.

I had to google that. Yeah, not kosher. But plenty of Jews don’t give a shit about kashrut, so I can’t say I’m surprised.

My mother made the best matso balls . . . made with schmaltz and grilled diced onions. I would never eat matzo balls from a jar.

Hmmmm! Rumaki!

Okay, I’m a fan of both ingredients and find that rumaki fails compared with either.

When my wife worked at a hospital that employed Muslim and Jewish doctors, along with doctors who CAN’T cure you ;), visitors to the buffets would refer to “smoked salmon” when describing the ham and bacon dishes. She quickly gave up trying to correct them since they are responsible for their own souls.

That would work. I have matzo meal and access to an onion. Do you have her recipe?

One reason I suspect some Jewish recipes are, um, less than flavorful is the same reason a former boss of mine, a Catholic born in Bavaria, was the cheapest mo-fo I ever knew: It’s not because they are Jewish, but because they are German. :wink:

I used to work with a guy who had been in the AAF in WWII. I don’t remember the story exactly, but it was somewhere in England and it was a cold, stormy (torrentially downpouring? blizzarding?) night. He and the other men were freezing and hungry in their hut. One guy went to find some food. When he came back he apologised to the one Jewish guy on the team, saying ‘All they had were ham sandwiches.’ The Jewish guy took a sandwich, looked inside, and proclaimed ‘Ham nothing! That’s fish!’ (I’ve heard that the laws provide an exemption in extraordinary situations.)

Sorry to hijack the thread with these questions. I’ve just never heard of a prohibition on eating chicken with dairy. It doesn’t apply to me, but it’s conceivable I’ll have someone over for dinner sometime to which the laws do apply. I’d hate to make the mistake of making fried chicken.

It’s permissable to break kosher laws if you are starving (or in other extraordinary situations, like is someone forces you to eat a lobster bacon club at gunpoint). The soldier in the story would have been fine. You’re not expected to die to remain kosher. The value of human life (including your own) still takes precedence. The Jewish God is not a completely inflexible prick.