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There are times when, as a homemaker, I feel the need to turn to someone else for advice and information; someone who's been there, done that, solved the question. For more specifically Jewish/kosher questions, I don't have anyone. So I thought I'd post today's great puzzle here:

Can you make pastry using schmaltz? How does it turn out: flakey, stiff, only to be eaten warm? Do you stick to the same 1:2 ratio you'd use if using butter (ie 1 part butter: 2 parts flour)?

Also, I rend my own schmaltz when I have enough chicken skins/chicken fat collected in the freezer. I usually do this in a saucepan over a low heat, taking an hour or so. Does anyone have a better method? How do you make the chicken skin go all crispy without turning the fat dark? I'm talking about grebene here (crackling); my last lot was limp and inedible.

- Pam (opening the flood gates of an enquiring mind)
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