Kopytka (Polish Noodles)

With Rosh Hashana just a few days away, this morning Norm and I began preparing in earnest.  We made 12 Challot between the two of us, some of which are being shipped to the kids on the East Coast.  Since I already had a cake to send to my daughter, I decided to bake Oatmeal Cookies and Ginger Crinkles for my son and daughter-in-law.

I hadn’t spent much time thinking about a menu for the holidays, although I knew dinner would include some standard dishes, like home-made Challot, chicken soup with Kreplach, fish, vegetables, chicken and some type of beef.  I needed inspiration for the main courses and last week it arrived in unexpected ways.  My Machatenista sent me a link with some recipes, one of which was chicken with dried fruit and honey and so, to my surprise, ( and I am sure to her surprise as well) Nancy ended up helping me with the menu.  Then I had lunch with two old friends, one of whom had just lost her Mom.  We sat and talked about our children, our mothers, the holidays, and food, and that’s when Anna G. shared her recipe for Goulash.  I decided that a stew would help balance some of the sweetness of the meal but I wasn’t quite sure what to serve with it.  Always trying to incorporate a dish that my mother would make, I decided to prepare a thick Polish noodle called Kopytka, which actually means “little hooves”.  It is the perfect size, shape and density for a thick hearty stew, a noodle that can “sop” up the sauce.   I have to warn you, this is not as quick or easy as it looks, but it did make me feel as if my Mom was in the kitchen with me, for hours and hours.

Shana Tovah to all of you. 

 

 

Kopytka

The more common version is made with boiled potatoes but this is the way my mother prepared these hearty noodles.

4 eggs

2 Tbs oil

1 Tbs salt

1 tsp pepper

2 cups water

6 cups flour and more as needed.

In a bowl mix eggs with oil and add salt and pepper.  Mix in water, and gradually add flour till dough is workable.  Dough needs to be firm enough to roll into ropes.  On a floured board, take a portion of the dough and roll into a 1″ thick rope.  Slice on the diagonal, about 1/2″ pieces.  Repeat till you have used all of the dough.  Toss some flour on the noodles so they don’t stick together.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (throw in some Telma or Osem for extra flavor), and throw in the Kopytka, about 10 at a time.  Once they float to the top, cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon and allow to cool in one layer on baking sheet.  Serves 10 -12.

Enjoy,

Irene



 

Blueberry Peach Pie

This is a thank you note.  Last week my middle child got married and during the weekend celebration I kept looking at our guests, realizing that although it was my son standing under the chuppah, there were many people at the wedding who had left their footprints on his path.  Family and friends that nurtured him and helped him grow into the man he now is.  I had exactly the same  impression observing the family and friends of my daughter-in-law,  seeing how close they were to her, how proud they were of the woman she has become, and how much it meant to her to have them there.

After the wedding, the celebration continued with  Sheva Brachot, a Jewish tradition.  I think I can speak for both sets of parents when I say that we feel so fortunate to have friends who wanted to host these “dinner parties” in honor of the bride and groom.  Yes, it was a long week, exhausting and emotional, but this morning as I am sitting by myself, I am so grateful to everyone who participated in this wedding in every imaginable way.  From those who came to Houston from near and far, to others who could not come but who gave unending support, to the friends who cooked for us and opened their homes to us, others who whispered words of encouragement,  family and friends who spent time writing toasts and Divrei Torah,  teaching classes, those who attended Sheva Brachot,  friends who helped with shopping, packing, organizing, transporting and much, much more.  I could not have done it without you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  To my sister who had one request that I did not honor, I felt Mommy and Daddy everywhere.

This past Shabbat, both families would be spending our last day together.  We would share five meals over the course of the day, one of which was afternoon tea.  As cooking is one way that I express my love and appreciation, I spent most of Friday afternoon preparing the food, including baking a Blueberry Peach Pie.

Blueberry Peach Pie

Basic Pie Crust  (this is enough for one crust, I doubled recipe to made a double crusted pie)

1 1/2 sticks butter ( cold and cut into small pieces)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbs sugar

2 -2 Tbs ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place butter, flour and sugar in food processor.  Pulse and add ice water, slowly, till dough forms into ball.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Roll dough out on floured board and place in greased pie pan.  Place a sheet of wax paper over dough and add dried beans to prevent pastry from puffing up.  Bake crust at 400 degrees for 1o minutes, reduce heat to 375, and bake an additional ten minutes.  Crust is now ready for filling.

Blueberry Peach Filling

2 pounds of large peaches, peeled, pitted and thickly sliced

1 pint blueberries

1 cup sugar

2 Tbs quick cooking Tapioca

2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs sweet butter, cut in small pieces

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mace (optional)

In a large bowl, combine peaches, blueberries, sugar and tapioca. Add lemon juice, butter, cinnamon, mace,  Fill pie crust.  Place second crust on top, and brush with an egg wash (one egg and 1 tsp water combined), make slits in top crust and bake at 375 for about an hour.  Tip: Place a cookie sheet on the bottom of oven to catch any drippings.

Enjoy,

Irene