By Larry Gordon –
Sometime over the Pesach holiday, I think it will be at one of the evening meals, we are planning on dining on goose. Have we ever eaten goose— probably in one of those wonderful and hospitable hotels sometime over the last few decades but I do not really recall. Of course we had to contemplate whether or not we wanted to start with goose when it was offered to us by our son-in-law Eliezer who is in the meat and poultry business in upstate New York.
We’ve long ago grown accustom to dining on chicken or even duck (which is also on the menu) but goose? Frankly, I’ve enjoyed writing columns over the last few years about what caterers who provide food service at leading hotels around the world will be serving their guests over yom tov. And I might still do that again next week. For now though I am aiming at looking inward, at how everyday families are preparing for this great and greatly anticipated chag that requires so much planning and preparation.
Batya Kahn is a culinary expert and extraordinary chef who has built an unusual but increasingly popular business of preparing yom tov gourmet meals for her customers. You may have noticed that she has been advertising here in the 5TJT for many years but I have not paid that much attention to what she offers because we’ve been for the most part going to this or that venue for the holidays.
Full disclosure demands that I say here that my wife, Esta, is an extremely talented cook as well and her commitment to serving up unique and creative dishes especially on Shabbos or holiday time transcends and defines new levels of perfection all the time.
But she said the other day as we were discussing these issues that she was reluctant to deal with the matter of that large goose sitting in one piece in our basement freezer. So even though I have mostly emailed and spoken several times to Batya I never visited her place to see what she had put together and what specifically was going on there at this very busy time of year. That is until we had to deal with the matter of this goose.
I told Batya about the goose and she quickly shot back an e mail that said she had never cooked a goose before. Then about an hour later she wrote again that she read up on the matter and that it was okay us to cross county lines that are from Nassau County to Kings County in Brooklyn with the goose in hand.
Anyway since we are having a lot of company over yom tov we also took 4 ducks with us on the outing with the thought being, why pathcka (loosely translated as bother) when Batya can work her magic on those sumptuous birds.
As you may recall I wrote about Batya’s Kitchen last year prior to Pesach which is by far her busiest time of the year although these days her kitchen is open around the calendar year and for special occasions. What sets the things that she prepares apart from others is that it looks and tastes home cooked because it is home cooked. Preparing Pesach meals for a full nine days when there are so many dietary restrictions and limited amounts of time to do whatever needs to be done warrants retaining the services of an additional outlet to help perfect the celebration of the chag.
This year Batya is preparing full Pesach menus for over 125 families some as far away as California with the majority of the food being sent to homes and apartments in Florida. More in this week’s 5TJT.