Jewish holidays are all about food, don’t you think? One of my truly favorite is Shavuot. I just love anything cheese, especially my mom’s cheese cake. It is the kind of cake you eat with a spoon straight from the pan. I am very stingy about sharing that cake, but I will gladly share the recipe (see below).
It was not until my uncle invited us to a barbecue on Shavuot that I started wondering about the tradition of eating dairy on Shavuot. I was a bit puzzled with the offer I must say. Looking for an answer, I was not surprised to find several different explanations (you know what they say 10 Jewish people, 100 different Opinions). The practical explanation for eating dairy originated when the Jewish people received the Torah at Mount Sinai on Shavuot; which included instructions for how to slaughter and prepare meat for eating. Until then, the Jews had not followed these laws, therefore all their meat including the cooking pots were now considered "not kosher". Since the revelation of Mount Sinai occurred on Sabbath, when slaughter and cooking is prohibited, the only option the Jewish people had was to eat dairy; and I am thankful for that…as for the barbecue proposal, I have also learned that on the holiday of Shavuot, a two-loaf bread offering was brought in the Temple. To commemorate this, we eat two meals on Shavuot, first a dairy meal, and then, after a short interruption, we eat the traditional holiday meat-meal. I guess I will also be barbecuing this year…
For other explanations follow this link
My moms cheese cake:
Preheat oven to 350 °F / 180 °C
Mix all the following ingredients in a bowl:
750 grm / 1.5 lb soft cheese*
200 grm/ 8 ounce Sour cream
6 spoons self rising flour
6 spoons vanilla instant pudding (the powder) usually makes one pack
5 egg yolks
2 spoons of oil
In a separate bowl:
Beat 5 egg whites gradually and add 2/3 cup of sugar till mixture is firm. Fold egg white mixture gently in to the cheese mixture.
Pour mixture into an oiled pan, place pan in a bigger pan filled with water (keeps the cake moist while baking), place in oven
Bake for about 1 hour
Cake is ready when it is firm yet fluffy; make sure you get a golden brown color on top. (My mom always burns it a bit…my favorite part of the cake)
Turn off oven and leave cake inside to cool down.
*soft cheese can be farmer’s cheese, or light fluffy cream cheese. The best is to use the Israeli soft white cheese by Tnuva or Strauss (Ski) can be found in any local Israeli/ kosher market.
get the spoons ready...
If you have any other MUST Shavuot recipes, please share.