Shavuot is the Jewish festival celebrating the return of Moses from Mount Sinai after receiving the ten commandments. To help us celebrate, PJ Library sent us Sadie and the Big Mountain by Jamie Korngold and Julie Fortenberry, published by Kar-Ben Publishing.
Sadie and her classmates are getting ready to celebrate Shavuot with a hike up their own Mount Sinai. Everyone is excited as they prepare for their trip; decorating walking sticks to help them and making cheese blintzes to eat at the top. But Sadie does not like hiking. She is convinced that she’d never be able to climb a big mountain and secretly hopes she will be ill on the big day so she won’t have to do it.
However, Shavuot arrives and Sadie is disappointed to find she is perfectly well. She tells Rabbi Jamie how sad she is and that she can’t climb a big mountain. Rabbi Jamie assures her that climbing Mount Sinai isn’t about climbing the biggest mountain because anyone can climb high enough to reach God.
Knowing that the mountain is not quite so huge and feeling confident in the support of her friends, Sadie enjoys the hike and reaches the top for a picnic of blintzes.
The author of this book, Jamie Korngold is a Rabbi and as a Reform Jewish family we loved the inclusion of a female Rabbi as well as some of the girls in the school wearing kippot.
My four-year-old liked the picnic at the end of the story when the children sit down to eat their blintzes. Blintzes are a traditional Jewish food eaten at Shavuot and are similar to a thin pancake rolled up with a sweet cream cheese filling. My son wanted to try some so we made our own, just like Sadie and her classmates.
We used a recipe from a brilliant website that I always go to for Jewish food, toriavey.com. Tori shares delicious food that is well researched and always paired with beautiful photographs. You can find her recipe for cheese blintzes here which includes step by step photos as well as easy to follow instructions.
Here’s a quick look at how ours went. First we made the cream cheese filling and the batter. Then fried the blintzes on one side ready to be filled.
Next we filled each blintze with the cheese filling and rolled them up – check the Tori Avey link for easy to follow photos of this stage. Once they’re filled and rolled they’re ready to fry for a few minutes on each side.
Then they’re ready to eat and enjoy!
This is how they look inside when you cut them open, they really are delicious, a creamy cheesecake filling wrapped in a pancake.
Happy Shavuot, Chag Sameach!