Blintzes are a natural for Shavuot, because dairy is one of the three main categories of foods. The others are twin hallot (representing two Torah scrolls) and three-cornered kreplach.
Joan Nathan’s How to Make a Cheese Blintz
If you are new to blintz-making, start here with Joan’s easy-to-follow video about how to make blintzes.
As you watch it, imagine which parts your kids can do, based on their ages.
- Search for farmer’s cheese in the supermarket or farmer’s market.
- Choose their favorite berries to top the blintzes – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries.
- Find a berry or fruit they’ve never had before, like kiwi or blackberries.
- Crack the eggs.
- Measure the milk and water.
- Mix the wet ingredients together.
- And – the fun part – adding the blintz filling to the crepes and rolling them.
Unless your kids are older, you will probably have to cook the actual crepes and fry the blintzes.
- Wash beautiful berries and arrange them on a plate.
- Slice ripe bananas with a butter knife to add to the plate.
- Scoop sour cream into a pretty bowl.
- Choose festive napkins and set the table.
- Go outside to cut flowers from your garden OR arrange flowers you’ve bought into a vase.
- Experiment with the flower-inspired art activities on our Shavuot Pinterest board.
Why eat dairy for Shavuot?
One explanation is simple exhaustion: the Jews waited so long in the hot Sinai desert to receive the Ten Commandments from God that they were too tired to cook. That makes sense.
An extension of this concept is that Jews did not want to prepare a meat meal, because that would involve slaughtering, kashering, and more work. Okay.
Harold Kushner (To Life! A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking) refers to a legend suggesting that the Israelites were “embarrassed by their non-kosher dishes,” so “discarded them all, and ate only simple foods for the rest of the holiday.”
Yet another explanation is that the Jews’ milk turned sour and turned to cheese. Oh dear.
Or, on a more positive note, there’s the hypothesis that Shavuot is the only season in the usually parched land of Israel when grass grows, supporting the production of milk from cows and goats.
My favorite explanation is that Torah should be compared to the sweetness of milk and honey. As it says in the Song of Songs 4:11:
“Honey and milk are under your tongue.”
In our family, we like a super simple cheese pancake recipe. It’s not quite as delicious as the pot cheese pancakes that my Bubbe, z’l, made, but it still reminds me of sitting in her kitchen. And all generations seem to love it.
Plus, check out our Pinterest board for lots of yummy recipes.
Do you have a favorite blintz recipe? Please share by sending to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.