By Faith Rein
I lived in Southern California for a number of years. That was a period of time when I was Jewish.
As a Korean orphan adopted by Caucasian Baptists and raised in NY I ventured out west and married into Judaism.
What I got from this was…I knew Jews. My best friends were Jewish. I grew up on Long Island and I could never decide if Mrs. Mauro’s chopped liver was better than Mrs. Migdal’s. Both were delicious.
I could walk into any of my friend’s homes on a Friday and would have to sit and eat. Not as a punishment but it was mandatory.
Cali Jews or at least my family there were a bit different than what I was used to.
Critical of New York and New Yorkers they did, however, love the food.
Deli’s at that time was not that easy to come by in the San Gabriel Valley.
Grandma Billie, my mother in law did make amazing blintzes.
Billie and Al lived 2 doors away from me during most of my marriage.
Yes, it was the Barone’s from Lynbrook.
Al grew up on the East Coast so he took a liking to me. Also, I gave him 3 beautiful grandchildren.
He was a mensch.
Billie was a bit high maintenance. But she could cook. If you didn’t notice she would let you know how much better her cookies were than yours. In a nice way sort of.
She would call you dear. As in dear did you mean to not use butter in your baking or dear are you really picking that color for your walls or dear…I’m sure you didn’t mean to lock your front door, we don’t do that that here. What are you from NY?
With all that said I did love this woman and learned how to raise a nice Jewish boy and the fine art of passive-aggressive guilt.
Also, I got the recipe for Blintzes.
This was our Hanukkah tradition and still is. The oil represents the miracle of lights and the oil in the temple that lasted 8 nights.
Now the miracle part for me is finding the farmer’s cheese.
Even in NY this is not readily available in your local grocery store. However, we have some of the best deli’s and cheese shops around.
2 lbs. Farmers Cheese
PLEASE when you read the recipe take it seriously.
I know this is kind of baking…but it’s Jewish baking. Which means it’s frying…which means nothing is really measured.
I can admit now…no 2 blintz batches are alike.
I mix all of the ingredients above to what I know they should look like. Taste like and feel right.
For the crepe…you might want to follow this part a little closer…but I don’t.
When I mix I again mix until it looks right.
5 c. flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
It should be runny…not lumpy. It’s crepe.
A teaspoon of hot oil in a small sauté pan. Then about a ½ – cup of batter and swirl it in the pan to create a nice cook and a little brown on the edges. Slide it out and flip it cooked side down. Repeat and repeat and repeat.
When the crepes are done and you have a pile load. Flip it so the cooked side is up. Fill each one with the filling. A spoonful. Don’t fill too much but don’t skimp either.
Roll it like a burrito not an egg roll. You are also putting the filling on the cooked side. So when you are ready to fry the blintze it will be the raw side rolled, that’s what still needs to be cooked. Get it?
After you rolled and rolled and rolled.
Get the oil hot again. This time a little more in the pan as if you are frying potstickers or latkes.
Lay it down carefully. Fry until it’s crispy and a golden brown. You want to make sure the cheese is cooked through and melted a little. Dear, no one likes raw cheese filling…oy.
Eat…what are you waiting for? Eat.
Try a dollop of sour cream, cinnamon sugar…fruit compost…anything really.
These freeze up well. To freeze completely to the rolling stage. Lay them flat like soldiers not touching each other. You can put them in freezer bags and they will fry up beautifully.