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How to Be a DiNozzo

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Chapter 40 – Matzah (מצה ) – April 2029

'Homemade matzah.' Tali typed the words into Google's search engine and hit the looking glass icon. The page quickly filled with links to recipes and places to order special flour for making the matzot kosher for Passover.

She chose a recipe that looked as though it had the best details on ingredients and instructions. After reading the ingredient list she sent her siblings to gather what they would need.

"LJ, you get the flour and measure one cup, plus some for dusting, and then measure one third cup of water. Beth, kosher salt and olive oil; plus get the measuring spoons. Riv, you are in charge of the mixer; prepare it for use. Anthony, you get to preheat the ovens and the big baking sheets; we'll need all four. Questions?"

LJ grinned at his big sister, "Yeah, what are YOU gonna do? Besides supervise?"

"I'm going to get the rolling pin and a fork; we need those for making the matzot flat. I will also put out the cooling racks."

"Hey, Tal, what oven temp?" Anthony queried.

She reread the instructions before answering, "Four seventy five." Anthony gave a thumbs' up and adjusted the settings on the two wall ovens.

When all the ingredients were ready, Tali dumped the flour into the mixing bowl and added the mixing blade. She set the speed on low and slowly began adding water to the flour watching for the dough to form a ball. As she was mixing, she instructed Riv about preparing the marble slab and rolling pin for flattening the dough.

"Make sure the rolling pin is well-dusted with the flour and spread some on the marble slab, put any extra to the side in case we need it as we work."

The timer beeped that the ovens were ready, so Anthony slid the two baking sheets on the racks in each oven to preheat. Beth watched and wondered when the ingredients she retrieved would be used.

"Tali, when do you need the olive oil and salt?"

"Not until after the matzot is baked," her sister replied. "Then you get to do your part."

The dough formed a ball and Tali stopped the mixer. She loosened the blade and removed the dough from the bowl, transferring it to the marble sheet. She quickly divided the dough into eight equal pieces. She placed one piece on the floured part and motioned to Riv to take over.

"Flatten out the dough into a shape about eight inches across; as flat as you can make it," she explained. "LJ as soon as she has one ready, you take the fork and prick the top; then flip it over and prick the other side. That keeps the dough from rising."

LJ grabbed the fork and stood ready to do his part. Rivka passed a flattened round to him and he stabbed it with the fork, making lines like he remembered from the store-bought matzot.

When all eight rounds were ready, Anthony took the two baking sheets out of the top oven. Tali and Beth transferred the flat pieces to the sheets, two per sheet.

"Okay, set a timer for two minutes for the top oven after you put the sheets in," Tali opened the oven door for her brother. After he got the top oven sheets in, he slid the two sheets out of the bottom oven and they repeated the process.

The two minute timer for the top oven beeped; Tali opened the oven door and flipped the matzot over and set the timer for an additional two minutes. The process was repeated with the bottom oven. When the timer indicated the top oven was done, she removed the baking sheets and set them on the cooling racks. Same for the bottom oven sheets.

After a few minutes cooling on the pans, she then transferred the baked matzot to the racks directly to cool further.

"Okay, Beth, time for your part. Brush the olive oil on the tops of the matzot, lightly, and then sprinkle the kosher salt on top," Tali moved out of her sister's way as the younger girl used a special brush just for olive oil to put it on the tops of their creation.

"When do we get to eat the matzot?" Anthony and LJ were eying the flat breads hungrily.

Tali shooed them away from the cooling racks, "Not until dinner; remember that Ima left a chicken, vegetables, and rice casserole in the fridge for us to heat up for dinner. This goes with dinner nicely."

"What about the extra one? Can't we split it to try? Please?" LJ made his best puppy eyes at his big sister as the others nodded in agreement. Anthony put his head on Tali's shoulder and gave her puppy eyes as the twins also joined in.

"Jeez, stop you guys. Now I know why Ima always gives in! Okay, we can split the eighth one five ways to try it," Tali sighed. She grabbed the knife and expertly split the circle of matzah into five almost equal pieces. Each of her siblings grabbed a piece; she took the last one and they all bit into the homemade matzah.

"Pretty good," Anthony announced.

His younger sisters nodded in agreement as LJ swallowed his bite so he could speak.

"Now that we know how easy they are to make, we'll have to try using some other flavorings, like garlic or onion," he suggested.

"Yep," Tali agreed. "I hope Ima and Abba like the matzot as well. I guess we shall see at dinner time."