Friday, September 3, 2010

What We’re Cooking Up for the New Year

We always try to provide a recipe around the holidays to share in the communal spirit. This Rosh Hashanah is no exception, except there is a twist. The recipe comes from a brand new cookbook, written by MJH supporter extraordinaire June Hersh, that combines so many wonderful ingredients that we wanted you to get a sneak peek. Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival (Ruder Finn 2010), began, as June tells us, as a book of recipes, but became a book of stories documenting remarkable people and their ability to nurture and nourish their families despite their own unimaginable experiences.

How is this cookbook different from all other cookbooks? There are inspiring stories of Holocaust survivors who share memories of unforgettable meals that they recall from childhood…right down to the bisel of salt. Their recipes are included, as well as creative takes on these culinary gems by Daniel Boulud, Arthur Schwarz, and Joan Nathan and others.

What can we say? It’s food for the soul. Learn more about this exciting project.

Our holiday offering is Sally Rosenkranz’s Honey Cake. Sally, from Radom, Poland, was 13 when she was taken to the camps. She was liberated at Bergen-Belsen, and after the war met fellow survivor, Sol Rosenkranz. They moved to Stuttgart when Sally discovered she still had family there. Her mother died in the Holocaust, but Sally learned how to cook and bake from her Aunt Toby, always refining her own creations, according to her daughter, Rita. Much more of Sally and Sol’s story can be found in the book.

Yields: Two 9-inch Loaves, 12 to 16 slices each
Start to Finish: Under 1 ½ hours
½ cup brewed coffee, cooled
3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon powdered cloves (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons powdered ginger (optional)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups dark honey
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts or almonds
1 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease two 9-inch loaf pans or a 16 x 11 x 4-inch baking pan. Brew the coffee and set it aside to cool.

In a medium bowl sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs on medium speed, gradually adding the sugar and beating for several minutes, until the mixture turns a pale yellow. Beat in the oil, honey and cooled coffee. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, beating on low speed to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl. Turn the speed up to medium and beat for several minutes, until a smooth thick batter is formed. Stir the chopped nuts into the batter. If adding raisins, stir them in at this time.

Fill the prepared pans halfway with batter. The cake rises considerably when baking. (Any extra batter can be used to make delicious muffins). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 1¼ hours until the top of the cake is a cinnamon brown, but not burnt, and a bamboo skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before slicing.

We wish you and yours a sweet new year.

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