I was 16 years old, it was my first trip away from home, and I was going abroad. Although my parents had never been to Israel, they decided to send me on a summer program. I was nervous and excited and had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know anybody else in my group but I was confident that I was going to a place where I would feel comfortable. My mother had two friends that she had known in Poland before the war but had not seen since 1945. Manya and Sonia both lived with their families on a moshav outside of Gedera called Meishar. My mother asked me to go see them, she said they were like family. I had to hitchhike into the moshav, another first, and when I was dropped off at Manya’s home, (same name as my mother) she looked at me as if she were looking at my mother, with recognition in her eyes. Manya K. and Sonia U. were neighbors and their homes were no more than 100 feet apart. On that first of many visits they opened their homes and hearts to me. They fussed over me and told me stories and cooked and cooked and cooked. I literally went back and forth between their homes all day long, each one beckoning for me to come over and have something to eat. Sonia U. would make blintzes for Aruchat Arba, afternoon tea, in such an effortless way that it made an impression on me that lasted till today. It was hospitality at its best. Warm, inviting, and gracious.
Both women have passed away but their families are still on the Moshav, and I still see Aaron and Rosie and their children whenever I go to Israel. We sit and tell stories and cook and eat. They are like family.
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tbsp sour cream
1 cup flour
Beat eggs and add milk and sour cream. Slowly whisk in flour and pinch of salt and beat till batter is smooth.
1 lb. farmer’s cheese ( I prefer Friendship brand)
8 oz. small curd cottage cheese
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk (gives filling a buttery color)
dash cinnamon and salt
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Heat an 8″ omelette pan and grease with vegetable oil. (I like to put the oil on a paper towel which I use to grease the pan in between making each leaf) Heat pan and add slightly less than 1/4 cup batter, swirling pan so that batter covers the bottom. Fry for about 2 minutes or till there are bubbles forming and batter looks dry. Turn leaf onto plate. Continue until batter is finished, stacking leaves. This should yield 15 leaves.
Spread leaves on dish towels and evenly divide filling among them. Fold and lightly saute blintzes in butter.