KOSHER RECIPES FOR GLUTEN-FREE LIVING



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dishes of Comfort

A wonderful Canadian food blogger has suggested writing on the topic of Dishes of Comfort. I have been trying to remember what my childhood comfort foods were and the memories associated with them.

That photograph on the left is a miniature knish I made a few weeks ago, just 2 inches across and utterly perfect. Let me tell you a little more about knishes. When I was in middle school my aunt Rima (z"l) married the Knish King of the Hudson Valley, a wonderful man who owned a company called Kisses Knishes in Rosendale, NY. Marvin's knishes were sold up and down the valley, and in New York City. From the time he entered our lives our refrigerator was frequently full of knishes, it seemed there was usually at least one hiding somewhere. At holidays, he would bring over trays of freshly baked miniature knishes. At other times he'd hand us boxes of different flavors of saran-wrapped full-size knishes. Kasha knishes, potato knishes, broccoli-potato knishes, tofu-blueberry knishes (the latter of which is the only flavor I refused to try). They ruined me for those deep-fried orange-tinted machine-made knishes sold by street vendors in New York City.

There is something comforting about dishes that incorporate more than one carbohydrate - Knishes made of dough-wrapped potato filling. Or the pasta-and-buckwheat combination of kasha varnishkes. I was shocked to read someone online explain knishes to a non-Jew as being like "Hot Pockets" - What a shonde! But it's true that there's something about any food that's wrapped neatly in a pocket of dough. It's convenient, satisfying, and a good snack when you're on the run.

As a school project in middle school we were asked to prepare, and bring to school, an ethnic food from our culture. I spent the day in the Knish Factory, learning how to make miniature knishes, a tray of which I proudly brought to school. Needless to say, they were a big hit.

Kisses Knishes closed this past year when Tante Rima was diagnosed with lung cancer. She passed away in September (Zichrona livracha, may her memory be for a blessing). I look forward to seeing the Knish King when I go back east for Thanksgiving, and to tell him I missed his knishes so much that I baked my own.

12 comments:

Poet with a Day Job said...

That mini knish looks so good I want to die. After eating seven thousand of them. Unfortunately, I don't think pierogi will look so yummy or cute if made with tapioca flour.

ByTheBay said...

Buddy, you must be aware that I read this as a challenge, and I will now have to PROVE YOU WRONG!

Lookie here:

http://community.livejournal.com/coeliac_recipes/46290.html?mode=reply

I'm going to make them soon (I have all the ingredients accumulated but am trying to find a pierogi press, I should probably just order one online). I will freeze somem for you and L.

Poet with a Day Job said...

woah woah woah: of course I knew you'd take it as a challenge, but what's this about a pierogi press? To get the dough real thin? It's all about the roller baby!

(if you can't do it, I am happy to come over and roll it til the cows come home...)

ByTheBay said...

No, no, no. I have a rolling pin for that. A pierogi press is:

http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=170918

There's another kind that's metal and a little more complicated (and traditional, I think) but I'm just gonna get one of these.

The problem with GF doughs is you can't always just use water or egg to fuse the edges together. Thus, the press.

What kind of cheese do you think I should use for a potato-cheese filling?

Ivonne said...

That is absolutely adorable! I had never heard of knish but now I so want to try one!

Thank you so much for taking part in this great event!

Poet with a Day Job said...

cream cheese, definitely...

Orchidea said...

Very nice and interesting recipe. Thanks for participating.
Ciao

Allergic Girl said...

oh knishes--great job making them GF and what a lovely story--here in NYC we used to have a great place called "knish knosh" that made the big and the minis and franks in blanks in the knish dough--yummy! thank for the story BTB!

Ruth said...

What a lovely story. Knishes were definitely creations my grandmother and mother made. Somehow, by the time I had my own kitchen, we used to buy them at a local deli in Montreal. Now I live in Toronto and when I buy "Montreal" knishes, I'm still transported back to my roots.

Thanks for sharing your lovely story - I too would pass the blueberry knishes!!

Rachel said...

I love knishes!

Michelle said...

I really appreciate your quest to make Jewish dishes kosher and gluten-free. I hope that you decide to make hamentaschen for Purim!

Anonymous said...

I worked for three years under Marvin the "Knish King" on Main Street, in Rosendale and can attest to the quality of his product.I still crave all 17 flavors of knish he offered........all baked not fried!