Friday, April 09, 2010

Yom Ha-Shoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day

This Sunday (April 11, 2010) is Yom Ha-Shoah, a holiday created by the State of Israel to remember the losses the Jewish people suffered during the Holocaust (known in Hebrew as Shoah).  There is an international Holocaust Remembrance Day created by the United Nations that is observed on January 27, the day that the Allied forces liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, a day of Allied triumph.  Yom Ha-Shoah is scheduled on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust, on Nissan 27 of the Hebrew calendar, about a week after Passover.

I've seen a number of gentiles suggest that the purpose of Holocaust remembrance is to make them feel guilty about what they did or did not do during the Holocaust.  To anyone who feels that way...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A Very Veggie Pesach: Matzah Spanakopita

Yes, this is the secret final recipe I promised last Friday.  I was trying to think of recipes like matzah lasagna, where I could substitute sheets of matzah for a grain product that provides structure.  I thought of spanakopita, the traditional Greek dish made with layers of pastry-like phyllo dough holding together layers of spinach and feta cheese.  I love spanakopita, but I've never had much luck working with fragile phyllo dough.  Substituting matzah looses the light pastry texture of traditional spanakopita, but is much easier to work with and is still quite tasty.  Rachel declared it to be "crazy good."  A second taste-tester, Hutch, called it "delicious," and he doesn't even observe Passover!

I ran into only one problem: too much filling!  I was working from several different recipes, all of which were designed to make a 13 x 9 pan of spanakopita, while I was working with 8 x 8 matzah.  I thought about reducing the quantities for this post, but that would complicate the measurements.  I would recommend one of two options: either expand it to 13 x 9 (breaking some extra pieces of matzah in half to fill out the pan), or set aside the extra filling and use it on another occasion as a spinach-cheese dip!

This recipe is not vegan (contains cheese) and is gebrochts and not gluten free (contains matzah).