Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shavuot one-upmanship

For those who enjoy bragging about how strict and/or exotic their family’s minhagim (customs) are, the upcoming festival of Shavuot offers little scope.

After all, it’s a holiday which is famously devoid of specific mitzvot or ritual observances.

Of course, there’s the whole spend-the-entire-night-learning-Torah thing. But between Chodesh Irgun, Lag BaOmer, and other fake annual traditions , staying up all night is a fairly common occurrence in this country.

And so, by default, every session of Shavuot one-upmanship always boils down to the same question: How many of your family’s yom tov meals are dairy?

Both meals? (That would be, all four meals for those in the Diaspora.) Only one? Neither? Or do you eat your blintzes and cheesecake, clear the table, and then have fleishigs?

Here in TRLEOOB*, we generally have dairy at night and then meat for Shavuot lunch. (When Shavuot falls out on a Friday, we switch the order of the two meals, in order to avoid having a heavy besari (meat) meal right before Shabbat.)

What does your family do?

The following recipe is a mainstay of the Shiputzim family’s Shavuot menu. Note that by no stretch of the imagination can it be considered to be either low-fat or low-carb.

But, hey, Shavuot comes but once a year…


Milchig Lukshen Kugel


  • 500 grams noodles
  • 100 grams (8 TBSP) butter (or use 2-3 soupspoons of oil instead of the butter for a slightly lighter variation)
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 container (¾ cup) sour cream (i.e. shamenet chamutzah for the Hebraically-oriented among you)
  • 1 container (250 grams) cottage cheese (I use 5% fat)
  • Cinnamon to taste


  • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar


Cook the noodles, and after draining and rinsing them, immediately return them to the pot. Add the butter and let it melt all over the noodles. (There’s no need to turn the flame back on. The heat of the noodles together with the still-warm-pot should do the trick.) Add remaining ingredients and mix through.

Place mixture in an oiled baking pan. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of noodles in pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for one hour or until done.


Related posts:


*TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog


  1. We used to have all dairy, in my youth and young adult, but I have decided my body doesn't like all the dairy. I'll let the family decide the balance. Lots of pareve for me. Ice cream for dessert for the kids.

    Thanks for submitting your recipe to KCC.

    My brother-in-law the meat eater has a small dairy meal at some point just to be "yotzeh."

  2. All dairy, even before aliya. I have a bunch of indulgent/pain in the neck dairy recipes that I can only justify making once a year so we make them for shavuot (balance them with a lot of salad and some fish). My kids are already asking what I'm making this year, and putting in their requests.

  3. We do two dairy because Shavuot is the only time my husband agrees to have dairy on a Shabbat or chag (unless the chag falls out adjacent to Shabbat) and this is my only chance to use my fancy dairy serving pieces!

  4. Leora - This year, we will be hosting a couple of lactose-intolerant guests, and so the milchig meal will also include lots of parve.

    Rachel - As far as my kids are concerned, Shavuot wouldn't be Shavuot without certain key dishes (e.g. the kugel in this post) - which means that I basically prepare the same menu every year.

    Malke - LOL! I also rarely use my fancy dairy serving pieces. In fact, when I take them out for Shavuot, it feels kind of like taking out the Pesach dishes...

  5. Lots of dairy and parve for me. Probably cheesecake and, weather permitting, ice cream too. Then probably pies and fish.

  6. I generally serve a fish meal. The years my Tunisian family come we have a meat meal, too.

    Thanks for reminding me that I must ask the next door neighbor if he'll be able to give his annual shiur in English Shavuot afternoon.

  7. Ilana-Davita - Sounds delicious. (Especially your mother's ice cream recipe...)

    Batya - Do you have the shiur in your house?

  8. Our night meals are dairy and day meals are meat. I really don't like eating heavy meals so late at night and find it easier to eat dairy then. There have been years when I have served ice cream, rather than cheese cake, for dessert. My girls prefer dairy in general, but my son thinks only m eat is appropriate for Yom Tov.

    The dairy noodle kugel I make is not sweet. I plan to include the recipe in the Shavuous/summer online issue of Kallah Magazine.

  9. When my kids were school age we allowed them to stay up as late as they wanted but only if they were really learning. If they went out to run around for longer than a few minutes it was bedtime. (At the time we lived on a moshav and the kindergarten was open at night on Shavuot and there were several shiurim especially for children. After that they could stay there and read mishnayot or chumash or whatever they liked. Suprisingly they actually sometimes did.

    As to the dairy/meat question. Our minhag is to negotiate yearly how much dairy DH is willing to tolerate on yontiff. Some years we do better than others ;o)

  10. Ariella - That's exactly why we have our milchig meal at night. As I noted last year, we're big fans of the early erev Shabbat minyan. But of course, on erev Shavuot, there IS no early minyan...

    Risa - "Our minhag is to negotiate yearly..."
    LOL! :-)
    We have that same rule: The school age kids may stay up as long as they're actually learning.


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