Happy Shavuot

Adelle was the coolest relative we had. She was a high school friend of my aunt's. Adelle had an affair with her High School Hebrew teacher, who was a cousin of ours. Eventually, she married him.  Adelle came from a family of not Communists, but Anarchists.  She was smart, arty and mouthy. She treated kids as worthy conversation partners.

My parents loved fine china of the Royal Crown Derby mode. We once has lunch at Adelle's seaside  Victorian home in Brooklyn. Her table was set with mis matched, hand thrown ceramic dishes and mugs. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life.

After Adelle retired, she began making art. She made collaged assemblages out of found objects. They were hauntingly beautiful.

Several months after he husband had died, Adelle came to visit during Shavuot. My mother was going to make blintzes and began to flip though her cookbooks. Adelle said to my mother, " A cookbook for blintzes?? Don't you know how to cook? ". After that Shavuot, Adell's blintzes became our touch stone blintzes.

When Adelle died, she was cremated. Soon after the cremation there was a memorial service for Adelle in an art gallery. The walls were filled with Adelle's art work. My  cousin brought  copies of Adelle's honey cake recipie  and gave them out to Adelle's relatives. It made me think of the recipie that ought to be given out at my funeral. Any ideas???

Adelle's blintzes
For the bletl/pancake
3 eggs
1C milk
1C flour
1 pinch salt
1 pinch baking soda ( this is how you  know this is an old timey recipie)
1 tsp sugar
mix and let the mixture sit for several minutes

Heat a six inch cast iron skillet on a medium high flame. put a bit of cooking oil on a paper towel and wipe the pan with the oil. Pour in just enough batter to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cook bletl on just one side and then place onto a nakpin covered plate. Stack all the bletlach and cover with a cloth until you are ready to fill them. You can also wrap in a cloth napkin, put the napkin in a plastic  bag and store in the fridge until ready to fill.You can wait up to a day before you fill the blintzes.

1/12 1lb sieved farmer cheese or a
combination of your favorite soft cheeses, like ricotta or cottage cheese or cream cheese
1 egg ( optional)
flavor either sweet with some sugar, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon, or  savory with salt and pepper

assemble the blintzes by putting a teaspoon of filling on the cooked side of the bletl and then folding in first the east/west sides of the bletl, the the north/south sides.

fry in butter starting with the seamed side of the blintz and then flipping to the unseamed side.

I know that lots of people serve blintzes with sour cream. That seems like dairy overkill, even for me. I prefer serving them plain or with a sourish berry sauce ( cook frozen berries with very little sugar in the microwave)


  1. The filling sounds like it might be the solution to me finding how to make something I had in Romania when we went after the revolution. We arrived at the home of our hosts, who had thought they needed to go to Bucharest to collect us, so a relative who didn't speak English cooked us a quick meal. We didn't speak Romanian, but we both spoke women and with a language dictionary had a good time getting to know one another while she made the meal. ( Which was actually better than some of the rest of the meals we had later which were meant to impress.)

    anyway, it was a curdlike dairy product with lemon flavour served over a stack of pieces like pancakes. I have forgotten what she called it, but I have still been trying to find something that might give that taste. I did ask some Romanians about it, but as I probably had the pronunciation wrong, and never did know the spelling, it has been a bit like the search for the black tulip.

    I will have to try the filling out.
    Sandy in the UK

  2. Despite the fact that I grew up here in the states, , so much of the food I eat is Eastern European. My father's family came from western Poland. My mother's familyt is from Moldova, right next to Romania. Soft curd cheeses,(as I have learned this year), are easily made at home.

    Those soft cheeses are either flavored with salt and lots of black pepper or sweet with some lemon peel and sugar. To me it seems a natural pairing--but it is what i gew up with. Those pancake pieces might have been home made noodles which can have a great deal of similarilty to a crepe...but also much of the time consuming aspect of making blintzes could be gotten out of the way if you made a big pancake, cut it up and just layered the cheese and pancake rather than wrapping up each teaspoon of cheese in it's own pancake..the presentation is adorable...but it is a bit pesky to do.

    This was a big blintz year fr us. i kept making batches..and my kids kept eating them up.


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