Theodore Bikel’s 1998 album “A Taste of Passover” gets a little peculiar on the ninth track. Rather than music, it features Yiddishist Chasia Segal teaching a live audience how to prepare kneydlakh, or matzo balls. After combining matzo meal, eggs, salt and chicken broth, she announces, “And now I have a problem!” In an ideal world the next ingredient would be schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, but Segal observes that “We’re not supposed to have any more schmaltz” and uses vegetable oil instead.
I recently received an e-mail from Amazon.com informing me that, based on my previous purchases and ratings, I might enjoy Paula Shoyer’s “The Kosher Baker: Over 160 Dairy-free Recipes from Traditional to Trendy.” Not one to doubt Amazon’s grasp of my culinary tastes, I clicked the link provided and read the product description. It begins: