France: Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day from the MCCN!

Bastille Day is the French national holiday celebrated every year on July 14th. When in France, you may call the holiday La Fête Nationale (National Celebration), or Le Quatorze Juillet (the fourteenth of July).

The holiday memorializes the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, a festive commemoration held on the first anniversary of the July 14th, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress-prison.

The storming of the Bastille was an episode in French history where protesters demonstrated against the tyrannical royal authority and raided the Bastille for arms and ammunition. To the citizens, the prison was the ultimate symbol of royal oppression and autocracy. Prisoners included   people jailed on flimsy, arbitrary royal indictments and political prisoners imprisoned for publishing material found offensive to the royal court.

Serving as the flashpoint for the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille gave way to the abolishment of feudalism and the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Festivities include a national parade, picnic, ball and garden party, all attended by President of the Republic.

Celebrate France’s steps towards democracy with these recipes for Bastille Day.

Check out Wikipedia for more Bastille Day history.

Happy Bastille Day from the MCCN!

Matzo Ball Soup Recipe







Matzo Ball Soup

There are two matzo ball camps: those that like them heavy and leaden at the bottom of a bowl and those that like them light and fluffy–these are the latter, and in my mind, the better ones.

If you can’t find matzo meal, pulse a few pieces of matzo in your food processor until it is a coarse powder. If you can’t find matzo, well, you obviously do not live in New York City.

Makes 8 to 12 matzo balls

Matzo Balls
1/2 cup matzo meal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons reserved chicken fat or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chicken stock or seltzer (which both of our mothers swear by for making the balls extra light)

For soup
2 to 3 quarts prepared chicken stock (recipe above)
1 carrot, thinly sliced
A few sprigs of dill

Mix all matzo ball ingredients in a bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of well-salted water to a brisk boil in a medium sized pot.

Reduce the flame. Run your hands under water so they are thoroughly wet. Form matzo balls by dropping spoonfuls of matzo ball batter approximately 1-inch in diameter into the palm of your wet hands and rolling them loosely into balls. Drop them into the simmering salt water one at a time. Cover the pot and cook them for 30 to 40 minutes.

About ten minutes before the matzo balls are ready, bring prepared chicken stock to a simmer with the sliced carrot in it. Ladle some soup and a couple matzo balls into each bolw and top with a couple snips of dill. Eat immediately.

Hungry for more?  This blogger has a lot more to offer at:

Russian Borsch

Russian borsch with beef and sour cream


  • 1 lb beef tenderloin
  • 3 carrots (chopped)
  • 3 onions(chopped)
  • 2 big beets
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 small head of cabbage


  • Cook meat for 2 hours in *water* or until meat is very tender -reserve liquid (*add water if needed along the way)
  • Get meat out of pot and shred-set aside.
  • Sauté onion, carrots in small skillet-set aside with meat.
  • Boil beets in meat broth/water until soft.
  • Take beets out and shred.
  • Cut up raw potatoes and raw cabbage.
  • Put all-(the sautéed mixture–beets, meat, raw ingredients)–together in broth/water.
  • Boil until potatoes are done (about 30 minutes).
  • Add spices according to taste.
  • Serve with sour cream!
  • This Russian Borsch recipe was taken from RecipeZaar.

Russian Borsch is just one of the traditional Russian foods, Check out a recipe for Chocolate and Cherry Bread. Click Here.

Three Sisters Soup Recipe

The Three Sisters Soup recipe is a traditional Native American recipe from the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) nation. The term “Three Sisters” refers to the three main crops of some North American tribes: maize (corn), squash, and beans. The three plants were planted close together and like close sisters, aided one another in their respective growing processes. This type of ecological cooperation is one that many tribes believe humans should replicate.


2 cups canned white or yellow hominy,drained

2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and


2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

1 1/2 cups diced peeled potatoes

5 cups water1 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Place the hominy, green beans, squash, and potatoes into a pot, and pour in water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Blend flour into the butter, then stir into the soup. Increase heat to medium, and cook for 5 more minutes, or until soup thickens. Season with pepper, and serve.This and more American Indian recipes can be found at:


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