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columnist cooks traditional Jewish fare
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I'M NOT SURE whether Karla,
But, like me, she likes to do both.
She competes at tennis. And--when she's not powering up on Gatorade and energy bars--she eats fresh-made oatmeal-raisin cookies, which she assures me are quite healthful.
But everything takes a back seat to the Jewish equivalent of French toast: fried matzo or matzo brei.
I caught up with Karla by phone in late March. She had just returned to D.C. from Miami, where she and her boyfriend and fellow tennis-lover, Randy, had gone to watch the Sony Ericsson Tennis Open.
When I asked about the tourney, Karla sounded strangely disinterested.
She seemed less intrigued by the Open than by her and Randy's daily foray to Jerry's Famous Deli on Collins Avenue in South Beach.
Several years ago, Karla and I vacationed in Florida with our younger brother, Ken. We had a glorious time reminiscing one afternoon
Now, filled with envy and longing, I asked Karla what she had to eat at the deli. "Fried matzo," she said. "I forgot how much I loved it! That's all I had!"
Some Jewish restaurants, such as the Parkway Deli in Wheaton, Md., keep matzo brei on the menu year-round for people like my sister and me who can't get enough of the stuff during the starch-starved Passover holiday.
Matzo is thin, crisp, cracker-like bread, which Jews eat in many inventive ways during the eight days of Passover.
Passover commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and their deliverance from slavery. It's the holiday of unleavened bread, the bread that didn't have time to rise--hence the restrictions on eating flour.
Non-Jews often find no use for matzo, likening its taste to that of corrugated cardboard, to which it bears an uncanny resemblance.