On This Day in History: Sliced Bread


“It’s the best thing since sliced bread!” is a modern saying.  But where does it come from?

“Otto Frederick Rohwedder was an American inventor and engineer who created the first automatic bread-slicing machine for commercial use. It was first used by the Chillicothe Baking Company.”

~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Frederick_Rohwedder2016-07-07

Since then, we have seen pre-sliced bread in so many recipes and favorite meals.

I love grilled cheese and tuna sandwiches.  What about you?

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An Accidental Cider Project


On a crisp Fall evening, I decided to open the more-than-half gallon of apple cider I had been keeping in my fridge for the past few weeks.  It had been a good day, and I just wanted to relax with a refreshing drink at the end of it.  What came out of the bottle was a bit of a surprise to me. Continue reading

Learning About Recycling


When I was a little girl and living in Morris County,  my father would take me on the weekly trips to the local recycling center when the weather was nice. I remember how much fun it was to take out all the items from our trunk and toss them into  their appropriate dumpsters. These things were monstrous! This taught me, early on, about how to recycle. In school, I learned the importance of it.

In sixth grade, I chose Groundwater as my science fair project and my father helped me to build a  ‘working’ cave that would allow water to seep through the top of the ‘cave’ (made of clay and other things) and out the bottom of a storage basin. For this, we needed a mesh screen. So, to the recycling center we went for the parts we needed!

Take children to the recycling center. Educate them there. Collect a few items (clean them with a bleach and water solution) and do a craft. I know that people do this already with items in their homes, but if you really want to teach about recycling, you should go to the place where your recycling goes.

~Lily

Grandma’s Pot Le Gel


On February 10th, last year, I entered a contest on justapinch.com and asked my followers to cast their vote for it.  The problem, of course, was that I didn’t have a proper picture of my recipe being made or completed.

Tonight, I made this fabulous eggplant dip to have as an appetizer before a dairy Shabbat dinner.

The story as it was written last year:

“My Grandma was notorious for her home cooked family favorites. There was never a visit without a hot, homemade pie.
Another recipe was for this eggplant dip. My Poppy adored this dip!
She had given me the recipe, but I lost it. Poppy has since passed on and Grandma has dementia, and so for the last couple of years, I tried searching the internet without luck.
Luck changed a few months ago when Grandma and I were looking at a recipe for ratatouille, when suddenly, it all came back to her!”

This recipe calls for one eggplant.  We used two and came out with this one small bowl.  You may decide to double or triple your recipe, depending on how many people you intend to serve it to.

More than one website recommends the use of wooden utensils for making eggplant dips in order to avoid oxidation in your food.  Poppy of Poppy Planet warns that if you use stainless steel, inox or iron, it will leave the dish with a bitter taste.

*This recipe may be Eastern European in origin, but I’m not sure.  I will update this post when I find out.

Pot Le' Gel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Pot Le' Gel

Pot Le’ Gel

Pot Le’ Gel

Serves: about 6 hungry family members

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 tsp oil (I suggest olive oil, it’s healthiest. Start with 1 teaspoon. Another recipe we found says 4-5 tablespoons. You may not need all of that.)
  • 1 medium onion (finely grated, or finely chopped)
  • 1-3 large garlic cloves, mashed (the amount you use is to your preference)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Utensils: wooden knife or wooden spatula

Directions Step-By-Step:

  1. Microwave the eggplant until it is soft.
    I don’t recall the exact microwave time, but I recommend starting with five minutes and then another five. Keep at this until it will slightly ‘sink’ in it’s appearance. DO NOT OVER COOK!
  2. After cooking, cut the green tips off. Peel the skin, cut in half and scoop out the seeds. I remember my grandmother using a grapefruit spoon for this, but I used a fork since I don’t have any.
  3. Mash the meat in a bowl. Use a little olive oil. Start with 1 teaspoon. Mash this with a wooden knife or other mashing utensil.
  4. Add salt, pepper, onion, and garlic (optional).
  5. Cover, chill and serve with bread, crackers or matzoh. This makes an excellent accompaniment alongside your vegetable trays and is also a great vegan alternative to your classic baba ganoush.

Making Matzo Balls With Preschool Children


The craft of making Matzo Balls can be turned into a fun and educational cooking activity to do with preschoolers ages three to five.  At this point, they already love to play with Play-Doh and mold it with their hands.

Here they can do all of the pouring and mixing steps that are on the box.  After the dough has cooled for a bit in the fridge, which I will have to check on that particular step the next time I have a box, then you can take the bowl out, give each child a place mat or piece of wax paper with a glob of the dough on it, and let them play with it for a while.

While they are playing, you can read a story to them or tell them a shortened Story of Passover.  You can ask them questions, such as what kinds of things do they like to put into their soup?

Fill a soup pot with water.  Do not heat it yet!  Place the pot in the center of the table. Show the children the pot and explain that the matzoh balls will be cooked on the stove, in the pot and not in the oven.

The children will need to roll their dough into balls and place them into the pot, one ball at a time to avoid splashing.

This is a sensory baking project, because unlike most in-school baking activities (i.e. cookies, cakes, etc.), this one allows the children to bake with their hands.  They can feel the stickiness of the dough. They can describe the texture.  They can smell it, and at lunch, they can each taste a matzoh ball with their lunch or snack.

The recipe contains eggs, so you’ll want to make sure that your students are not allergic.  Otherwise you can try Matzoh Pizza which is fun, easy, and can be made in an oven, toaster oven or microwave.

*I have done this cooking activity in a three-year old classroom before.  The preschool where I lead this activity is owned and run by the YMCA.  It was Passover at the time, and of course, Easter time as well.  There were many Easter activities and crafts going on, but of course, not the same could be said for Passover.  So after discussing my idea with the head teacher of the classroom, she felt that it would be a great idea, especially since we also had a few Jewish children in our class.

Overall the activity was a great success.  Children who wanted to participate, did.  During lunch, they were offered a matzoh ball.  Some liked it, from what I remember, especially the Jewish children, who knew what it was!

Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix – 1 Boxes (5 oz). Matzo Balls are a delicious treat that taste great in chicken soup or as a side dish. Enjoy all of our matzo ball, and matzo ball & soup products throughout the year. Makes 9-12 matzo balls Fat free Cholesterol free Lactose free & vegetarian Quality Since 1888 Kosher for Passover / Pareve Made in the USA

Matzo Ball and Soup Mix, 4.5 oz (Pack of 3)
Manischewitz Matzo Ball Mix, 5 oz
Streit’s Matzo Ball Mix
Reduced Sodium Matzo Ball and Soup Mix
This Amazon page instructs you to buy the soup mix at another website (Soup Online), where the preparation directions and nutrition facts are available for viewing. There are also some consumer reviews.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.  While you do not have to buy these products from Amazon, it can help to have a visual reference if you’d like to see what something looks like.