The sunlight through the windows of our garden-level apartment dimmed as the weekend ended. All was calm as the other occupants of our building settled in for a quiet Sunday evening. Our version of a relaxing Sunday night was watching the characters of The Walking Dead fight off zombies – a dramatic contrast to the mellow music and cozy book nooks that others might have been enjoying. Somehow, we both found comfort in seeing hordes of the undead being taken down by scrappy apocalypse survivors. While Rick dispatched yet another zombie on the tv screen, my attention turned to something only slightly less terrifying; a recipe for banana and pecan matzah brei.
I scanned the ingredients list and directions, painfully aware of the fact that I’d never made a matzah brei. As a rookie, I was nervous. What if I season it wrong? What If I miss a step? How will I plate it in an appetizing way? These thoughts came at me at a rapid-fire rate, but I made every effort to breathe deeply and take it slow as I mixed everything together.
As I expected, the 4th step in the process (adding the egg and banana mixture to the crumbled matzah and then leaving it to sit) gave me pause. Something about it just felt wrong despite the directions being perfectly clear (The next step – mine, not the recipe’s – was to take deeper breaths while reminding myself that I wasn’t messing up the dish). My anxiety decreased once I framed this stage as the matzah “marinating”, but I was still anxious about whether it would all come together later.
Happily, my senses lit up in the best possible way as the matzah and the egg mixture cooked on the stove. The scents of vanilla, cinnamon, and banana wafted through our tiny apartment, and I found my stomach starting to rumble. Despite my timid start, I found my confidence and was excited to put it all together.
When all was said and done, my matzah brei was delicious, and I smiled to myself as I added the honey yogurt and maple syrup garnishes. When I took my first bite, I couldn’t help saying out loud to myself, “Wow, that’s good!”
Despite my initial anxiety, I would definitely make it again. My sweet matzah brei would be a great choice for a quick, filling breakfast or brunch, or, in my case, a delicious dessert. My stomach and I went to bed happy.
Check out the recipe here.
Learn more about the JEWISHcolorado Matzah Challenge here.