One thing about being a member of one of the minor religions--there's no large scale buildup for our holidays, especially the lesser known ones. So Shavuot just kind of crept up on me this year, amid the staff meetings, volunteering stints, brake jobs, cell phone outages, and the rest of the many things that went on this week. I mean, I knew it was coming. I've been quietly counting the days since Passover and I knew the seven weeks of counting was coming to an end but I just didn't have it together to celebrate Shavuot in traditional Ashkenazic fashion. I know, I know, I'm a bad Jew.
The result of all this carelessness? No blintzes this year. Shavuot is traditionally associated with dairy foods and cheese blintzes are the height of dairy cooking. They take forever to make: you have to make a pile of tiny crepelike pancakes, wrap them around a filling made of eggs, cream cheese, and cottage cheese or ricotta, and then fry them again in lots of butter without having them fall apart. I serve them with fresh fruit and lots of sour cream.
I am one of many folks who don't handle large amounts of dairy well but I'll gladly take some pills and suffer a stomachache for blintzes once a year just for that perfect combination of buttery/tangy/fruity/creamy that is the ideal blintz. I recently read a great post over at The Jew and The Carrot talking about lactose intolerance and a dairy based holiday. Kind of a niche piece, but I found it interesting.
So...while a full on holiday blintz fest isn't in the cards this year, we do have a birthday brunch coming up this weekend providing a perfect opportunity to serve up blintz souffle, a dish that's never failed me. It uses all the same ingredients as regular blintzes, but it's all layered in a large baking dish and served with fruit on the side. The taste is very similar to real blintzes though without the buttery note that comes form frying up the filled blintzes. But it still had the tangy/creamy/fruity thing going on. My friend Elaine posted the recipe to one of the Jewish food lists ages ago and I'm sure it's fed hundreds if not thousands of happy eaters since then. If you're at a local farmers market and come across some perfect berries, there's no better way to honor them than by serving them up alongside blintz souffle.