Well the holiday season is upon us. At Rosh Hashana I had the pleasure of sampling two unique honeys from the The Bee Folks in Maryland. First I tried a Heather Honey from Scotland. Leave it up to Scottish bees to produce a sturdy honey. It was so thick it wouldn't drip off the honey dipper. And, it had a strong smell and almost molasses like taste. However, I can see spreading it on a thick piece of homemade bread to enjoy with tea on a chilly Highland's morning. The Blueberry Honey was more appealing to me. It is not blueberry syrup mixed with honey, it is actually honey gathered from the nectar in blueberry bushes. It was a very light honey color, and I could definitely detect a faint blueberry flavor. Both items are Star-K certified kosher, and were reasonably priced. They were sold as a school fundraiser from Lillie and Rosie's school, but you can but directly online at the link above. The company also boasts Cranberry, Buckwheat and Killer Bee Honey!
A lovely looking recipe for challah crossed my path this week. It is from Jules Gluten Free Products, of which I am a big fan. It appears to make a nice, light and fluffy challah. The recipe does call for yogurt, but soy yogurt may be used to make the recipe pareve. I look forward to trying it! Please post your results below if you try it before me! Click on this link for the recipe.
I don't know what a holiday meal would be like without brisket. Erev Yom Tov I called up my mother, and seemingly out of breath she said she just finished her brisket clinic. I thought she said "bridge clinic"-- an avid past time of hers. When I asked how the game was, she said, "Brisket, not bridge! All my friends have been calling for brisket advice." Even my friends call my mother for brisket advice. I have dubbed my mother the "Boynton Beach Brisket Queen". Her brisket is known far and wide for its richness of flavor, tenderness and melt-in-your-mouth quality. When she asked me how mine turned out, I sheepishly replied "Tough". "That's because you cooked it in the oven", she replied. Actually, this time I did it on the stove-top, the Queen's preferred method, and it still came out tough. "Hmmm, " she pondered, "you didn't cook it long enough." She was right! I learned my lesson; don't start making a brisket at 9 p.m., unless you plan on staying up until 3 a.m.!
3 pound beef brisket
1 -15 ounce can tomato sauce
1-15 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
2-3 onions, sliced
1 envelope gluten-free powdered onion soup mix
1 Tablespoon garlic powder or crushed garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
6 carrots, peeled and sliced in thirds
6 celery stalks, sliced in thirds
Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees.
In a large soup pot, brown brisket over medium-high heat.
In a roasting pan large enough to comfortably accommodate brisket, mix together tomato sauce, cranberry sauce, 1/4 cup water (more if needed to thin mixture), onion soup mix (reserving 2 Tablespoons) and onions. Make several 1-inch slits in brisket with a sharp knife. Rub brisket with additional soup mix, garlic and paprika. Place brisket in roasting pan and spoon sauce over meat. Bake covered with foil or lid in pre-heated oven for at least 3 hours. Add carrots and celery to baking pan after 1 hour.
Allow to cool overnight in refrigerator. Skim off fat from gravy and slice brisket. Cover with pan gravy and return to a 300F degree oven for another 1-2 hours to tenderize (this may be done right before serving).
To prepare on top of the stove, follow directions as above, except remove brisket from pot after browning, discard any rendered fat, and mix sauce in pot as above. Return brisket to pot and simmer on low heat for 5 hours.