The Festival of Shavuot. Cheesecake. Cheese Blintzes. Lokshen Kugel.
This weekend celebrates the Jewish festival of Shavuot. We know it well as a time to eat dairy products. It is a time where many Jewish people all over the world fress (eat with abandon!) cheesecake and cheese blintzes. Any opportunity!
There are a number of reasons offered as to WHY. The main one is that at the time Moses received the 10 commandments on Mount Sinai, it was Sabbath in the desert, and the new rules meant the meat they had already prepared for eating was not in fact kosher and they had no choice but to eat a dairy meal. (There are several other compelling reasons which you can read about by googling the question…)
But on this page, we are not focussing on the religious, we are focussing on the food. As we love to say, it’s always about the food. It’s quite funny how things morph over time. I can imagine that centuries ago, a simple dairy meal would suffice. Now there are books, articles, blogs, competitions…all about the BEST cheesecake recipe, or giving 8000 versions of cheesecake.
We, at the Monday Morning Cooking Club, think we’ve done some of the hard work for you. Our years of research, testing and (yes it was so difficult…) eating has produced the recipes for some of the best Shavuot recipes that can be found. Not to say that there aren’t still some great ones out there not yet discovered, but these ones are truly tried, tested and simply EXCELLENT. And we are honoured that these wonderful cooks have chosen to share these recipes with us. These recipes can all be found in our first book ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood‘.
Melanie’s Cheese Blintzes. Page 162. These are slightly different to the run-of-the-mill blintzes. They start with simple crepes, filled with a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream which are then folded and baked in a cream bath. Nice.
Eva’s Hungarian Cheesecake. Page 108. We like to think of this as a cheesecake from the old world, steeped in European tradition. A simple pastry base topped with a cheese mixture made with farm cheese and then finished off with the traditional lattice top.
Lauren’s South African Cheesecake. Page 157. This is the cheesecake that is an afternoon tea favourite, the recipe coming from Sydney’s South African community. A biscuit base topped with a creamy and smooth cream cheese mixture which is then baked. And then devoured.
And last, and definitely not least, is the humble lokshen kugel. Page 62. A baked noodle and ricotta cheese pudding, sweetened with sugar and sultanas. Comfort food at its best. This recipe is Natanya’s, handed down from her grandmother. We will soon be posting a video on how Natanya makes her kugel. Stay tuned.
So, whichever you choose to make, please remember that we are here on Facebook, or on this website, always happy to answer any questions regarding any of these recipes.