Kugel Cookoff

I am going to be a judge at a Kugel Cookoff! Well, that’s good and bad news. Good because kugel, or good, old fashioned noodle pudding, is so fine. Bad because if this is anything like the cheesecake contest I once judged, or the apple pie contest, local baking contest — etc., etc. — I am going to consume MILLIONS of calories!!

It’s not so easy to work off those MILLION calories when you reach “that certain age.”

But, I am actually looking forward to this. First I am going to talk a little about kugel. People think of it as a Jewish specialty but it’s really just noodles with eggs and maybe cheese or vegetables, and it could be sweet and creamy or chewy and salty. The whole thing is baked until the middle is set and the top is crispy.

Lots of people from lots of ethnic groups eat it but don’t call it kugel. When my kids were little I often boiled egg noodles, mixed it with eggs and carrots or green beans or broccoli or mushrooms and grated cheese. I found it was one of the more efficient ways of getting my daughters to eat more vegetables. I never called it kugel, but that’s what it was. It was a more than once weekly dish at our house.

I don’t know what to expect at the contest. But here’s the information: the event is sponsored by the Stamford, CT. JCC at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday October 10, 2010. The entrants will bring their kugels, whch have been cooked elsewhere, to the JCC. The judges will then taste each one and make judgments about taste, ease of preparation, appearance and originality.

So, everyone who shows up at the event gets to eat lots of kugel. And guess what? After the feast there’s going to be a Kugel Workout! at the JCC fitness center.

How do you work off a MILLION calories??

Another bonus is that recipes will be provided and anyone who makes a kugel the next week can bring it to the JCC on October 17th. All the new homemade kugels will be donated to local homeless shelters.

For more information, call 203-322-7900.