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Nut loaf? I’ll give you a recipe!

Bit late to be thinking about Christmas lunch, but that’s still going on in my house. How will you be enjoying Christmas this year? Only six at my table this year – but that’s double last year. My family are all in Sydney or Cape Town while I reside in Perth and friends who aren’t locals with family here fly home.

But it’s no heartache for this Jewish Mumma – as long as there’s turkey and room in the freezer I’ll deal with it. This year Illya and Pascale are visiting from the UK. Illya will cook his goose. Well that was the plan till the butcher rang and broke it to us that the poulterer had delivered 2, 2 kilo geese instead of a 4 kilo goose. But we have oven room to spare – there will be a poultry extravaganza.

Illya is king of the desert, having created a Bombe Alaska on a previous visit some years ago:

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This year he has promised us a sherry trifle.

My traditional dish is a roast turkey with mango sauce. I’ve been making this since 1982. Ahead of my time? I’m not going to tell you how to roast a turkey – there are wiser roasters than me online. I do smear some sauce on the turkey overnight – you could call it a marinade.

But basically I serve the sauce on the side.You will find the recipe and another Christmas:

http://www.smartfoodmama.com/jewish-christmas/

But wait there’s more – we also have a pescatarian. We will have smoked salmon for entrée so I need to create something special for her.

Create is the operative word – I searched online, I searched my books but I will not be making a lentil loaf for Christmas lunch and nor do I think some fancy salad will do.

Yes I could of course find a festive nut loaf if I keep looking, but smartfoodmama has long been queen of the meatloaf and the chick pea patty so I’m going to create a cashew nut and mushroom loaf. I can’t really give you the recipe, as I don’t know what I’ll end up doing, but it should go a little like this:

Large mixing bowl:

Beat 2 large eggs

Add:

Chopped parsley and chopped coriander

Grated carrot – maybe 2 small

Finely diced celery and capsicum

Maybe some finely sliced red onion

At least a cup of breadcrumbs, a cup of finely sliced mushrooms and at least a cup of chopped cashews – make that 2 and wiz them in the food processor.

Salt, pepper, gr paprika and ground coriander to taste.

How do you know how it should taste?

Patty one up and quick fry to get an idea, always!! However I will line a loaf tray with baking paper pop in the mixture, you can pat a line of sliced mushrooms into the top to pretty it up before completely enclosing the mixture and bake for about half an hour in a hot oven.

Roast veggies, braised red cabbage, salad, bread sauce ( I hear and await).

Have a delicious Christmas one and all.

 

 

 

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Chanukah is not Jewish Christmas!

Today is the first day of Chanukah. You know, the festival where Jews celebrate the 2nd century BC victory of the Jews over their oppressive Greek rulers. This uprising went rather well but sadly the Temple had been desecrated, reconsecrating it was a priority. However custom demanded the Menorah be lit and kept burning.

The high priests could only find enough oil for one day and it took 8 days to produce fresh olive oil, we’re talking cold pressed EVOO. So they figured they would burn the oil they had – enough for one day. Being a miracle based festival we know how this went. The oil burnt for 8 days, hallelujah! So we Jews celebrate by lighting a candle on first night, and then one more for each night. For more detail try http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm

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Children receive gifts, money or chocolate. Oh, yes, we eat a load of fried food. What’s not to like? Jam donuts (sufganiyot) are a must as are latkes – fried potato cakes.

Some of the goodies devoured at yesterday’s simchafreo party.

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No you don’t have to have smoked salmon on rye at Chanukah but my Granny believed it’s simply not a celebration without smoked salmon and I agree.

I have written about Chanukah before – and I’ve supplied my latke recipe: http://www.smartfoodmama.com/festive-frying/

I have found gluten free flour produces an excellent latke so that’s all I use these days – making coeliac sufferers very happy. Sadly vegans, like so many Jewish delicacies, this dish cannot be made without eggs. I made about 120 latkes this year, I think I’m getting the hang of it.

What many non-Jews don’t realise is that Chanukah is a not really a major holiday, not a High Holiday.  Its importance has been elevated, particularly in the US, by Christmas – hence all that Chrismukka stuff. It’s an intimate domestic celebration which is now set in tandem or in competition with Christmas. Lest we Jews feel a little left out during this period of hyper-consumerism, Elf on the Shelf has been joined by Mensch on a Bench: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/11/christmas-hanukkah-traditions_n_6140056.html?ir=Australia

Some days I just hate the world.

Chag Sameach – happy Chanukah!