Making Gefilte Fish

Do you have fond memories of your grandmother’s homemade Gefilte Fish, with stories of a carp swimming  in the bathtub (before refrigeration)?  I’m carrying on tradition and include photos from my recent cooking experience.

If you’ve never tried homemade Gefilte Fish, it is a different animal than the jarred or canned fish and has a light delicate taste. Gefilte means “chopped” and is traditionally made with a combination of carp, whitefish, and pike. I prefer a mixture of trout and whitefish.  The fish is mixed with seasonings, onion, eggs, and matzah meal then poached in a prepared fish stock. The fishy aroma that filled our house as a child signaled to me that Pesach was near.

One of my family’s rituals of making Gefilte Fish was taking turns hand chopping the raw fish mixture with a twin-bladed chopper in a wooden bowl. Last year, instead of purchasing a new chopper I asked the AS community if anyone had a spare to loan and I got five offers! Wicca Davidson was kind enough to give me her extra one–a family relic and well used. She was delighted to have the chopper used once again and the tradition passed along.

This year I will enjoy my Gefilte Fish with homemade horseradish, dug from the Mishnah Garden, peeled, ground, and mixed with vinegar and water.

Happy Pesach!

Cheryl Kollin

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