Why we celebrate Shavuot

Cheese Blintzers

The Jewish festival of Shavuot, celebrated this year on 12 and 13 June, serves as the annual commemoration of the giving of the Torah by G-d to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. It comes 49 days after the end of Pesach, a period called the Counting of the Omer.

On the first day of Shavuot, the Ten Commandments are read in synagogue; it was on Shavuot that the Jews first learned of the Commandments. On the second day, Yizkor is recited, and the Book of Ruth is read. 

As with most Jewish festivals, special meals are eaten. Dairy foods are traditional during Shavuot, with favourites such as cheese blintzes and cheese cake gracing the Shavuot table.

It’s certainly difficult to resist a cheese blintz, a traditional dish which hails from Eastern Europe. It’s essentially a pancake filled with a sweet white cheese mixture. Here’s a recipe you may want to try out this Shavuot:

Recipe for Cheese Blintzes

Ingredients for the pancake
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup milk
⅓ cup water
1 Tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt

Ingredients for the filling
225g cream cheese
200g ricotta cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tsp fresh orange zest
½ Tsp vanilla essence
¼ Tsp cinnamon

• Mix the pancake ingredients with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. 
• For the filling, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir until mixed. 
• Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Put in a bit of oil or butter. 
• Pour ¼ cup of batter into the pan, or enough to coat the bottom of it evenly. Cook it for a short while until the pancake is slightly brown and the pancake feels loose from the bottom of the pan. Flip it over and allow to cook for a very short while until the other side of the pancake is cooked. Remove it from the pan, and set aside on a plate. 
• Repeat until you have used up all the pancake mixture. Add oil or butter to the pan as needed. 
• Preheat the oven – set it at a temperature of 190°C.
• Assemble the blintzes. Put a pancake on a large plate, and transfer about 2 Tablespoons of the cheese filling towards the bottom of the pancake. Roll the pancake by folding the bottom over the filling, then folding the sides of the pancake towards the centre, making sure to cover the filling so that it does not spill out of the pancake. Roll the pancake from the bottom up to form a cylinder. Place the blintz in a buttered baking dish, and continue making more blintzes like this until the filling has been used up. 
• Pour some melted butter over the blintzes and bake for 20 minutes.

Recipe credit: www.myjewishlearning.com

• Read the June 2024 issue – Click here to start reading.

• To advertise in the Cape Jewish Chronicle and on this website – kindly contact Lynette Roodt on 021 464 6736 or email advertising@ctjc.co.za. For more information and advertising rate card click here.

• Sign up for our newsletter and never miss another issue.

• Please support the Cape Jewish Chronicle with a voluntary Subscription for 2024. For payment info click here.

• Visit our Portal to the Jewish Community to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites.

Follow the Cape Jewish Chronicle: Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here