We use to have really good home-cooked breakfasts when our children were little. Norm would spend every Sunday morning in the kitchen, trying to please everyone by preparing pancakes, eggs, hash browns, and French Toast. Despite the complaints, especially if the yolk of the fried egg broke, we knew how much the children enjoyed not only the variety, but the feeling of being in the kitchen, eating as much as they could possibly want, and not having to hurry off to school.
It’s not just the food that I miss, it’s the ritual of waking up in the morning to the smell of something cooking. Breakfast foods have their own special smells, eggs frying in butter, potatoes and onions simmering in oil, bread that has been perfectly toasted, and of course, freshly brewed coffee. It all tastes better when the amount of time you can devote to enjoying the meal equals the amount of time spent on its preparation. These days, even our Sunday mornings have become so busy, there no longer seems to be enough time to sit around and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. But Pesach is different.
Since I only make certain dishes during Passover, and try to make those that have been passed down from family members, it seems that the recipes themselves have taken on a life of their own. Each one is a little reminder of a story, a person, a time or a place. What would breakfast during Passover be without making Matzoh Brie, a bubbelah, or the cottage cheese pancakes that my mother-in-law Lil used to make. Whenever I make them, I think of Passover on Chiltern Hill Road in Toronto, and breakfast in Lil’s kitchen. Norm said his Mom took pride in the fact that she made ” a sponge cake a day” something I have never been able to duplicate. I don’t remember the sponge cakes, but I do remember the delicious cottage cheese pancakes. Serve them with fresh berries or a little jam, some coffee, and a side order of time.
Cottage Cheese Chremslach
1 cup cottage cheese (try to get a brand that isn’t too runny)
1 Tb sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup matzoh meal
dash of salt
Butter/oil for frying
Mix all the ingredients and let stand for about 5 minutes. Batter should hold together and depending on size of eggs, add a little more matzoh meal. Then pour a couple of tablespoons of oil into a frying pan along with an equal amount of butter. Using a large spoon, drop the batter into the pan to make small pancakes. Fry till golden and then flip over. Makes about 12.