For some reason, the cheese kreplach has been overshadowed by it’s better known “relation,” the cheese blintz. That is too bad because cheese kreplach are soooo symbolic.Here’s just a few meaning that have been attached to these soft, doughy stuffed triangles.
Shavuot is in the third month–that’s when you count from Nissan. The Torah tells us that the year starts not only at Tishrei in the Fall when we celebrate Rosh Hashana but at Nisan when we celebrate Passover. Count– Nisan, Iyar and Sivan–that makes Sivan month #3.
Moses was the third child to his parents–the others were big brother Aaron and big sis Miriam.
The Jewish people split into three parts-Cohen Levi and Israel.
There are three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
There are three pilgrim festivals (the Shalosh Regalim) Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot when the Jews of ancient Israel visited the Temple
And there are three levels to Torah–the written Torah (the Five Books of Moses), the Oral Torah (Mishna and Gemara or Talmud) and the Hidden Torah or the Kaballah.
Says Rabbi Dovid Meisels, “a triangle remains a triangle in every direction.” The Hebrew punctuation symbol the segol is triangular. It’s made of three dots arranged in a triangular composition and segol relates to “segula’ or chosen. Shavuot is a celebration of our choseness, which happened when we came to Mount Sinai and accepted the Torah.
Cheese Kreplach are a potchke or a project, depending on how you look at it(it’s also fattening but yummy) but Shavuot is a relatively undemanding holiday. On Shavuot you get to stay home and eat regular food. No cleaning rituals required. The change is in scheduling. The custom is to forego sleep and spend the entire night studying the Torah.
The unpolitically correct truth is that most women don’t stay up. Since you can cook on Shavuot, that leaves plenty of time to make a batch of yummy cheese kreplach.
Recipe from the Balabusta’s Choice Yields 30 kreplach. Freezes well.
Put up a large pot of salted water (1/2 salt) to boil. Then make filling and then dough.
One and one half cuups farmer cheese (in Isarel Tuv Taam or Canaan–1 package)
2 tbsp sugar
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
Blend with an immersion blender and set aside.
Four ounces or 1/2 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 tbsp melted butter
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
Knead together and roll out on floured surface. Try to roll it as thin as you can and cut into 3 inch squares.
Place a teaspoon of filling at the center of each square. Fold the dough to form triangles. Pinch edges together tighty.
Drop in boiling water and cook for 20 minutes or until the kreplach rise to the surface. Drain well
Fry in butter. You can dust with confectioners sugar before serving.