Sunday, 20 May 2012

May holidays...Victoria Day, Shavuot, and Cheese Muffins

Sisters...Bubbie Lou & Auntie Etta - the
 originators of our family's cheese muffin recipe

Chag Sameyach!  That means Happy Holidays!  And as a Canadian Jew there is a lot to celebrate this weekend!

First off, it is the Victoria Day Weekend, where we Canadians, as part of the Commonwealth, celebrate the birth of Queen Victoria.  I love this weekend.  It officially marks the start of planting season, people open their cottages for summer...and to me, it represents the beginning of everything summer: warm weather, sunshine, longer days, amusement parks, the zoo, picnics, walks to the lake, bike rides, BBQs, and so much more.  And what a gorgeous weekend it is!

Secondly, it is Shavuot, a 2 day holiday when we celebrate receiving the Torah (Old Testament) from Har (Mount) Sinai.  Typically, people serve dairy dishes during this holiday, in recognition of the Kashruth (dietary) laws contained in the Torah, which prohibited the preparation of dairy and meat meals in the same dishes (and so much more!).  The Hebrews could only prepare dairy dishes, because they had not yet kashered (made kosher) their pots, pans and dishes.  As a dairy lover, this tradition sits very well with me!

There has been a massive exchange of dairy recipes for Shavuot on Norene's Kitchen as of late, and one dish that was featured jarred my memory....cheese muffins!   As I was reading about one lady's search for a specific recipe, I could see the muffins being served on my Bubbie Lou's kitchen table, ladled with sour cream and rhubarb & strawberry compote (if you opt for the sauces, you're best to cut it into pieces on your plate first!).  I could even recall the unique taste of these muffins.  I think I even remember them being served at Mom and Dad's during a Break The Fast celebration.  Strange how food memories and associations can be so strong...

I decided to sift through Golden Recipes and Mom's Cookbook in hopes of finding a recipe...and lo and behold, there it was - Cheese Muffins (Etta).  I have yet to make the recipe, but hope to this weekend, along with a cheesecake, both in honour of my beloved matriarchs and Shavuot.  I will post a pictorial step-by-step when I do.  But until then, here is the sure to serve it with Mom's compote!

Cheese Muffins


  • 1 lb (16 oz or 2C) large curd creamed cottage cheese G
  • ⅞C sour cream (1C less 2 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ lb (4 oz or ½C) melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 2C flour
GIf you do not want to use 1lb of creamed cottage cheese, Bubbie Lou suggests either 12oz of dry cottage cheese and 4oz of creamed cottage cheese or 16oz dry cottage cheese (all large curd).

Preheat oven to 375˚.  Sift together baking powder and flour.  Then combine with all remaining ingredients and let stand for 5 minutes.  "Butter" the muffin tins (I prefer canola oil cooking spray).  Fill each tin ¾ full and round up in middle (this is how Bubbie Lou wrote it - I am not sure what it means, but I am thinking it is so the muffin will peak when baked?  Will make sure to let you know when I make them).  Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.  Cool and serve with sour cream (& compote!).  

Until next time, I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food.  B'Tayavon  & Buon Appetito!