Cholesteral Death Kugel

This post is for Alan, who requested the recipe at last night's break-fast. My mother began making this kugel once she moved to Quincy in 1957. I assume that it came from one of my parents' congregants. My parents used to host elegant Saturday evening get- togethers for fellow rabbis and their wives. This kugel was often served.

The kugel was so emblematic of my mother's cooking that my cousin made a pan for me to eat right after my oldest was born. She felt badly that my mother couldn't be at my side, so she made the kugel to create my mother's presence.

My parents' first pulpit was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. For the 50th anniversary of the congregation,a really wonderful community cookbook was put together. I have a precious collection of community cookbooks. This Shaar Shalom cookbook is probably one of the best. It combines community history and photographs along with the recipes. I'm sure that you can order it from them. Because Halifax was so isolated, this cookbook contains old times recpies for foods one normally does not think of making at home.

The cookbook committee asked my mother for recipes. My mother contributed a few, including the kugel recipe which was put together with my sister. Those of you with sharp eyes may notice some differences between the version my mother and sister make, and mine. The differences matter little, the kugel needs to be slightly sweet  balanced with a bit of saltyness. The taste is uncomplicated. I think of it as tasting like the love a mother has for her young child (which is why it is so deeply satisfying).

So here it is:

We called this particular variation of Kugel, Cholesteral Death Kugel, or simply Death Kugel, on the assumption that if you ate it every day it would lead to your early but happy demise.

Pre-heat oven to 350
Put 1 stick of butter into a 9 x13 pan and put into pre heating oven. You can also use just 1/2 a stick of butter to no ill effects

Boil one package of egg noodles in a pot of water

In a blender ( or a mixer) combine
8 eggs ( you can use as few as 5)
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz farmer cheese
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Remove pan from oven when butter is melted. Drain noodles. Put noodles in baking pan. Stir. Add dairy/egg mixture and pour over noodles. Be sure that noodles are submerged in dairy mixture. Sprinkle top of kugel generously with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Bake 45 minutes or until center is done.

You can vary the exact form of soft dairy that you use. Vanilla yogurt, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, ricotta cheese, all work well. If you want the kugel to taste entirely ethereal, you can beat the egg whites until they are stiff and them combine with the rest of the ingredients. you can also add plumped raisins to the kugel.

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  1. OK, mine only has 4 eggs but 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese. It doesn't call for sour cream or any other kind of cheese, and only 3 tablespoons of butter (which I replaced with yogurt-based, margarine-like spread). I use skim milk. The only sugar in it is a couple tablespoons of turbinado, mixed with smashed whole-grain cereal flakes & sprinkled on top. I think that overall, you win... ;) But it was close!


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