Thanks and welcome to my new followers. I can't believe I'm almost at 300. And don't forget to leave a comment on Jenyfer Matthews' post (scroll down to Tuesday). She's giving away an ARC. And why haven't you entered my contest? It's not that hard!
We're in the midst of Passover, and it's interesting to compare our celebrations over the past few years. Two years ago, we were still in Florida. No family around, so I invited another couple (non-Jews) to share our Seder. Last year, we were renting a small apartment in Monument, and although I had no real kitchen, family was nearby, so I went to my daughter's house and cooked, and we had the first "family" meal in quite some time. This year, we're up in Divide, and we can have a family Seder again.
I discovered that ethnic foods here are 85% Hispanic. A little Asian, and a smattering of Indian. I was able to find a few "Jewish" items in the local chains. (We have one small grocery store in Divide, and its ethic food section is more like 95% Hispanic. For "real" shopping we go to Woodland Park, where there are 2 grocery stores and a Walmart.)
I checked out the "Jewish" offerings at the two grocery stores there. Yes, they had a few items, but not the special "Kosher for Passover" variety. I figured the kids down in Colorado Springs would be able to get the appropriate foodstuffs, and would take advantage of their finds.
Again, since my daughter has the most room, but works all day, I volunteered to do the cooking. On the way down, we made a quick stop at Walmart for something entirely different, but I did a quick sweep through the grocery section to see if they had stocked anything for Passover. I didn't expect it, as they have never had any "Jewish" foods. In fact, at Christmas/Hanukkah time, I asked a clerk where the wrapping paper was, and said, "Not Christmas." He asked if I was a Jehovah's Witness.
At any rate, at the register, the clerk recited her, "Did you find everything you needed?" line, and I said, "Not really." Her response was, "That'll be $10.42." I did ask if there was a Passover section I might not have seen, and got a blank stare. "Passover," I said again. She shrugged and said, "I guess you could try Hobby Lobby."
As for writing: I could stick something in here about putting your characters in situations where they don't have what they're used to, but I think you can extrapolate for yourselves. Instead, I'll share a recipe. This one is Jessica's, and I confess I haven't tried it yet. All commentary is hers.
5 cups flaked sweetened coconut
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment sprayed with cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Scoop out 1 inch mounds, placed about 1 inch apart, on a lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, until just turning brown. Cool and store in a sealed container between sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
The macaroons will keep nicely for several days. Variation: Divide the coconut mixture in half, and add the chips to one half, leaving the other half plain. Adding cocoa powder also works, but you'll have to experiment with the amount until they're chocolaty enough!
I form them into balls with medium pressure, instead of just scoops, to help them hold their shape.
Makes about 5 dozen macaroons.