It’s Foodie Friday, and this year I’ve decided to repost something from a Foodie Friday in 2009. Originally titled “Jewish Thanksgiving,” I’m putting it back up because many of you are new readers since 2009 and because my family is gathering this evening to celebrate. That means I’m busy making bilkies. Making what? Read on!
This week’s Foodie Fun Friday post is dedicated to all of you who won’t be using the bathroom for the next week. You know who you are. But the gentiles out there are wondering “what could he possibly mean? What could possibly stop someone up that badly?” Well, dear readers, Passover started Wednesday night and by now, most Jewish homes have had two Seders. With those Seders goes matzo and when we say hello to the matzo, we say “buh-bye” to regularity.
As some of you know, my view is that most Jewish holidays can be summarized thusly:
Someone tried to kill all the Jews;
The Lord saved us;
Passover typifies this more than any other holiday. It’s really Jewish thanksgiving with brisket substituted for turkey and various other beige and brown foods substituting for the rest. Passover is a great culinary challenge on many levels. Think about how often you use breadcrumbs or cornstarch when you cook and you’ll begin to understand. Sure, matzo meal and potato starch are substitutes but they change the flavor, consistency, and appearance of the food in which they’re used. Oy!
One dish that’s made in our family is something I’ve not seen elsewhere. We call it a “bilkie or bilky” – not sure of the spelling. It’s sort of a knish without the outside. One cooks down some onions in schmaltz (don’t ask – these are really delicious and really not healthy) and adds them to mashed potatoes. Some more schmaltz, matzo meal, and some eggs to bind. Then one forms patties, glazes them with egg wash, and bakes them at 500 degrees until brown. I usually make a few dozen of these and there are NEVER any left – my relatives put what they don’t eat in their purses, which isn’t easy since they’re the approximate size and weight of a compact car hubcap. I’d love to know if any of you have ever heard of anything similar?
I love this holiday and love that it coincides with Easter. Everyone has a reason to eat even if we can’t exactly share a lot of the desserts. And in a week when we go back to eating as we regularly do, we all hope that the rest of us becomes as regular as our eating habits. On to Memorial Day, the next great pig-out!
As you might have noticed, I took a day off from writing yesterday in honor of Passover. As we’ve discussed before, I really enjoy this holiday for a number of reasons. This year, I’ve been thinking in particular about a portion of the Seder that deals with the last straw. Yep – the plagues sent to convince Pharaoh to “let my people go”. You can almost hear Tony Soprano delivering the lines – “you don’t wanna know what’s gonna happen, capisce? Be that as it may, the plagues got me thinking about some of the things that we inflict upon ourselves and our businesses. Continue reading
This week’s Foodie Fun Friday post is dedicated to all of you who won’t be using the bathroom for the next week. You know who you are. But the gentiles out there are wondering “what could he possibly mean? What could possibly stop someone up that badly?” Well, dear readers, Passover started Wednesday night and by now, most Jewish homes have had two Seders. With those Seders goes matzo and when we say hello to the matzo, we say “buh-bye” to regularity. Continue reading
Every Passover, someone at the table, generally the youngest, asks the Four Questions. For me, these questions do a good job of putting the entire evening into perspective and make everything which follows them relevant to the overall purpose of the holiday. They are meant to be asked from a child’s perspective (hence the youngest inquires), which is often a combination of innocence and ignorance – without preconception.
I thought of the role questions play while working with a client of mine. We were reviewing a presentation we’re constructing to raise a funding round and the pitch felt too cluttered and unfocused. So I asked my own version of the four questions:
- What is the problem we’re solving?
- Is this a big enough problem that it can support a business that solves it?
- Is our solution unique and has anyone ever tried to solve this problem before?
- Who the hell are we and why should we be entrusted with anyone’s money?
You’ll notice I didn’t interject any mention of the client’s company or executive team until the end. Like most things in business, I like to try and keep ego out of it. Business is, at its core, about problems and solutions. It’s not about you – it’s about your customers (or potential customers). Odds are if you can answer the four questions I’m asking above, and remain focused on them, your business will be on the right track.
Fortunately, we already had the answers although they were buried deep within the current version of the presentation. A little editing and a lot of attention to some simple questions, and we’re a lot closer to some funding (we hope!).