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A different take on potatoes and oil

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A new 365-page hard-cover cookbook, "Quick & Kosher—Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing" (Feldheim Publishers, '007), with 160 recipes and 1'0 full-color photos, would make a nice Chanukah gift — and not just for the bride who knows nothing. Jamie Geller writes that she entered marriage and kosher cooking "without knowing a spatula from a saucepan." The recipes include step-by-step instructions with a promise that they require "no more than 15 minutes to prepare." Especially noteworthy is the introductory section on "Setting Up Your Kitchen," with a comprehensive four-page list of "must-haves," including spices, equipment, pantry items, and staples for the refrigerator and vegetable bin. The book retails for $34.99.

Potato Kugel Cups

Here is a different take on potatoes and oil for Chanukah — the potatoes are baked, not fried.

Potato Kugel Cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Chill Time: none

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup olive oil, divided

3 eggs

' tsp. kosher salt

1/' tsp. coarse black pepper

6 large Idaho potatoes

1 large onion, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 4'5 degrees.

'. Liberally oil six (6-oz.) Pyrex glass dessert dishes or custard cups. Place custard cups in a 9 x 13-inch disposable pan.

3. Place the pan of cups in the oven to heat.

4. Place eggs in a small bowl and beat. Add salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.

5. Fill a large bowl with cold water and, as you peel potatoes, place them in water to prevent browning.

6. Heat remainder of oil in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat.

7. Cut potatoes lengthwise into halves or quarters so they fit into food processor feed tube. Process potatoes and onions using the blade that creates thin, shoestring-like strips.

8. Transfer potatoes and onions to a large bowl, add egg mixture and heated oil from stovetop, mix very well. Remove any large pieces of potatoes or onions that weren't processed properly.

9. Remove heated cups from the oven and spoon potato mixture evenly into hot, oiled cups.

10. Bake at 4'5? for 1 hour, or until the tops look crunchy and sides look golden and browned. Loosen edges with a knife, unmold, and serve on a platter.


Make this in a 9-inch-round glass baking dish as a potato kugel pie and bake for about 1 hour or longer, depending on desired crunchiness.

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The Jewish Slandered

Bridgegate motives revealed

Christie supporters say the new finding proves their contention that what was initially reported as a traffic study blocking three lanes of traffic on the George Washington Bridge was simply a mishearing.

“It was a truffle study,” said a Christie confidant.

“Truffles, not traffic. Chocolate truffles, of course.

“We had heard that the shalach manot may have fallen off the truck, so we dispatched policemen to look for them. We knew people might be inconvenienced, but it was a small price to pay to permit the governor to enjoy a festive Purim, however belated.”


The Jewish Slandered

Yeshiva students call for renewed focus on day school education

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The holiday kiddush


My gang of pals always called me Dunderhead. Was it because I refused to study? Well, that wasn’t the only reason. Truth is I didn’t want to study. Who does? Did they dub me Dunderhead on account of my wooden head? Maybe. Truth is I was a numbskull. Nothing penetrated, my teacher complained. I had to work my head to the bone before I understood anything.

But, on the other hand, my memory, knock wood, was pretty weak too. I couldn’t remember a blessed thing. In one ear, out the other. Absolutely nothing sank in.


Considering ‘Next year in Jerusalem’

On a recent trip to Jerusalem, my son decided that his favorite color was gold. Whenever he’s asked why, he replies with a wry smile befitting a 5-year-old.

“Jerusalem is the city of gold, of course,” he says.

When we told him our family was moving to Israel this summer, he was quite pleased.

“Ima, will we live there until I’m a grown-up?” he asked.

That’s the idea, we nodded.

While I know what my family will mean when we reach the end of the Passover seder this year and say “next year in Jerusalem,” what do these words mean for those not making the trek to the Holy Land anytime soon? Are we being disingenuous? Or, as the rabbis encourage with every other part of the Haggadah, are we expounding, embellishing, interpreting, and reading ourselves into the story of the Exodus from Egypt?


Love, marriage, motherhood

And other uncomfortable seder table talk

We had just closed our Haggadahs to begin the dinner portion of the Passover seder when the conversation abruptly, yet not surprisingly, turned to my singlehood.

There is a curiosity to some about a single, childless woman in her early 40s, and a guest at the table, a married mother of three, couldn’t hold hers in. The Four Questions all single women of a certain age know by heart were about to begin:

“You’ve never been married?” the woman asked as the youngest of her three children tugged on her sleeve and she sat him on her lap.

“No,” I responded, hoping my frank, curt answer would shorten the conversation.

No luck.

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