All of us can remember the taste and smell of certain foods that connect us to our families.Lemon meringue pie immediately transports me to my maternal grandmother's kitchen while blintzes move me across town to my paternal grandmother's. I was privileged to hear from a woman forced to flee her Berlin home for Mexico talk about how the smell of fresh tomatoes was the gateway for her childhood memories of pre-Nazi Germany.
Recipes and foods not only link generations of families, for me they are also an integral ingredient of friendship.When I walk with friends before holidays we invariably ask, "what are you cooking?" I have stacks of index cards with friends' names appended to the title---Pam's Potato Salad, Geanie's Passover Cake, Soni's Chicken Marbella Variation, Laurie's Molé Enchiladas, Sandi's Tuna Salad.
Leslie and I are sharing Lori's Super Rich Dairy Kugel with you.Lori, a very close friend from the minute I moved to Minneapolis in 1971, was, coincidentally, Leslie's camp counselor.She was always ready with a recipe that evoked oohs and ahhs just as she was always ready with her sharp wit or incisive analysis. I miss her.
Thirty years ago I made the recipe for a break fast at Leslie's.One of the guests was Barb Monsey, now living in Seattle. She asked for the kugel recipe and I passed it on. Recently, Barb contacted us online to ask if we'd put it in our blog. I am flattered to hear it called "Meryll's Kugel" and, as Leslie suggested, in Seattle it's probably known as "Barb's Kugel." Leslie and I added the raisins to Lori's recipe.
In the generous spirit of all my friends and family who share their love through their cooking knowledge, feel free to make this your own as is or let us know how you improved on the recipe.
Lori's Super Rich Dairy Kugel or Meryll's Kugel
½ lbs wide egg noodles
½ lb creamed cottage cheese
8 oz cream cheese, softened
5 eggs at room temperature (beaten)
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
½ lb soft butter
½ box yellow raisins (soaked in hot water)
Cinnamon (a little bit unless you want to mix with sugar)
Boil noodles, drain, and set aside.
Creamsugar and cheeses
Addeggs and milk.
Smush butter on the bottom of pan.
Add: vanilla and drained raisins to the mix
Mix in noodles.
Add cinnamon and dot with butter
Bake @ 350 degrees in a 9"x13" pan for 40 min. or longer until the top is a little brown and crunchy.