From ReadTheSpirit host Bobbie Lewis:
Passover will soon be upon us and I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with an idea for a Passover-related column.
To my rescue came my Australian friend, Andrea Cooper.
We met nearly 20 years ago in a “bulletin board” (remember those?) for public relations professionals. When we discovered that we were both Jewish we started emailing privately and have been in contact ever since. Andrea has done a couple of interesting pieces for Feed the Spirit, including one about the Pavlova wars between Australia and New Zealand and one about an unusual family recipe.
The most-observed Jewish holiday
As Andrea points out, almost all Jews around the world observe Passover in some way.
“At a basic level it may mean attending a Passover seder meal or abstaining from bread or other wheat/grain based products over the full festival eight days,” she wrote. “Jewish cooks take up the creative challenge of the Passover food laws and find inventive ways” to make palatable meals.
“In Australia, I participate in two strictly orthodox kosher Facebook pages,” she wrote. “With Passover only a few weeks away, the discussions are currently full of diverse ‘kosher for Passover’ food questions.
Making pasta without grains
“One interesting thread has been about pasta and how one might make this without wheat or other grain flour. A question was asked about pasta made with potatoes. I quickly responded that I make Passover potato gnocchi. A couple of requests quickly surfaced for my recipe, which I proudly provided.”
Then Andrea started to wonder if she should have published the recipe online.
“You see the recipe is not mine. It sits hand-written in my Passover notebook titled ‘Bobbies Pesach Gnocchi.’ My online, also kosher, friend from across the world gave me the recipe many years ago. I have no idea where she got the original from but it’s great!
“Though Bobbie and I have never met, for almost 20 years we’ve shared many aspects of each other’s lives.
“What should I do now? Would Bobbie mind? I then thought, oh, she edits the Feed The Spirit food pages. Why don’t I just write up this as a story for her?
“So Bobbie and all readers, here it is!”
A mystery recipe
But here’s the funny part about Andrea’s gnocchi recipe, which she makes every year to rave reviews: I have no recollection of it!
I have a manila folder, similar to Andrea’s notebook, stuffed with Passover recipes and notes. Some are dishes I make just about every year. Other recipes have been in that folder for more than 30 years and I have yet to try them. There are kugels (puddings) and cakes galore, but no gnocchi.
It’s a mystery. Perhaps Andrea and I were discussing recipes and I sent that one to her because it sounded like something she’d like and then neglected to keep it myself. Or perhaps it came from another Bobbie altogether!
This year I’m copying it and putting it at the top of my pile so I will try it for sure.
And by the way, in case you have concerns similar to Andrea’s, there’s no problem sharing a recipe you find elsewhere; recipes cannot be copyrighted. The commentary about a dish, and any detailed instructions that aren’t part of the recipe itself, are covered by copyright laws. This is something I was careful to check before starting this blog.
I do try to credit the person or publication where I got the recipe, if I know it. Unfortunately, in the case of “Bobbie’s” Passover Potato Gnocchi,” I have no idea!