Pnina Jacobson and Judy Kempler are the authors of One Egg Is A Fortune.
Food has always been central to Jewish life – it holds both biblical and historical significance and often reflects our Jewish heritage. One Egg Is A Fortune shows that food is a great equaliser and, while considered a “Jewish” cookbook, appeals to the broader community all over. That being said, with thousands of books published annually, it’s sometimes difficult to rise to the top. Wikipedia quotes that in 2009 the U.S. alone published 288,355 new titles and editions. There are also a prolific number of cookbooks published with the popularity of cooking TV shows.
Book competitions are a way to promote awareness and sales. As self-publishers we entered some international competitions to increase the potential for a successful product. And it worked! One Egg Is A Fortune has been recognised on the world stage. It has won 3 awards:
- Winner at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in the Australia/Pacific fundraising category (Paris, March 2012)
- A silver medal in the cookbook category in the “World’s Largest Book Awards Contest” for independent authors and publishers in the United States (May 2012)
- An Indie Excellence Award also in the United States (May 2012)
Equally humbling: being acknowledged by our non-Jewish community. Irina Dunn, who runs the Australian Writers Network, wrote: “this is without doubt the most beautiful and original recipe book I have ever laid my eyes on…remarkable in its conception, perfect in its production, beautiful in its execution.”
Zechariah Mehler, a widely published food writer who specializes in kosher cuisine wrote: “A buffet of stories and recipes benefit elder care … one of the most innovative cookbooks to be released in the kosher world.”
We’ll leave you now with a summer recipe:
1 medium seedless watermelon
1 small white onion, very finely sliced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
Remove the skin and any seeds from the watermelon and cut into 2cm cubes.
Toss watermelon and onion lightly together in a large bowl and chill well. Sprinkle with fresh mint before serving.
One Egg Is A Fortune is a collection of recipes and stories from fifty prominent Jewish people from around the world. It was compiled by two Australian Jewish women.
Our purpose in publishing this cookbook is to raise funds for Jewish elder care all over the world. It’s hard to imagine a time when our parents and friends grow old, but many of us will find we are called on to assist in their care. It’s then when you may see the perception of the Jewish community that the elderly don’t need assistance and but can support them. This perception is not true. They need help–our help. The aging community continues to grow and with this comes the need to identify physical, emotional and financial help and extra resources.
Judy Kempler was a carer for her late mother-in-law and found just this. Together with Pnina Jacobson, she resolved to make a difference, whether by providing home help, equipment, meals or other things to help people remain independent in their own home and perhaps in some way make life a little better. By inviting prominent people to contribute, all with a diverse range of backgrounds and professions from around the world, we are not only providing for interesting reading, but also reaching a much larger audience.
After centuries of unrest and persecution, the Jewish people have wandered and established themselves across all corners of the globe. Changes have been constant in Australia and with waves of migration, the foods of the new homes were adopted and fused with traditional Jewish cuisine. Australia is a relatively new country, just over 200 years old. Although the first Jewish settlers were convicts, larger numbers arrived in waves, from the gold rush days in search of a fortune to escaping persecution in Russia, the Nazis, to recently leaving South Africa because of apartheid. It isfascinating to see that each wave of Jewish people prepare the same traditional fare, centuries later., butwith perhaps some subtle differences. However, it is the non-traditional foods adopted from other local cultures combined with the availability of a variety of fresh produce all year round as part of the move to eat a “healthier” diet that may in fact over time change these traditional signature dishes. Will chopped liver and egg salad disappear?
According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2009 the Jewish population was 13,421,000 worldwide – 5,275,000 in the United States; 107,500 in Australia. In the U.S. there are 157 Jewish Federations and over 300 communities with social, volunteer and educational programs and which raise largeamounts to provide assistance of all kinds. In Australia, the Jewish population is concentrated in the major cities with less and organisations.
The officially elected organisation representing the Australian Jewish community is the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, affiliated with the World Jewish Congress. The ECAJ deals with a wide range of issues including human rights, interfaith relations, refugees, education, Holocaust remembrance, anti-Semitism, Israel and the international community. In addition to ECAJ, each Australian state has many active synagogues, charitable, social and sporting groups.
We are fortunate to be living in better times and our communities have much longer and fuller lives. But with this come other implications about elder care requirements and these statistics highlight this. To entice you, we’d like to share a recipe from the book – from Australia comes a beautiful recipe for slip pancakes from artist Judy Cassab.
1 cup icing sugar or caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
50g unsalted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
1 cup milk
extra butter or oil spray, for frying
Make vanilla sugar: Break vanilla pod into pieces, crush in a blender, stir through the sugar
and set aside.
Make slip pancake: Beat egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg yolks and add in flour and milk. Gently fold in egg whites. Heat a 20cm crepe pan until moderately hot and melt butter or spray with oil. Place a large soup ladle of pancake mixture into the pan and fry it only on one side. When set, slip it onto a 20cm ovenproof round plate. Sprinkle some vanilla sugar on top. Make the next pancake. Stack this over the first one and repeat the process until five thick pancakes have been cooked. Cut into slices like a torte. This can be served at once orprepared ahead of time and reheated for about 15 minutes in a hot oven.
Savoury alternative: To make as an entree, sprinkle each slip pancake layer withgrated cheese and finely sliced mushrooms.
By now, most people have heard of quinoa, the superfood. With plenty of fiber, protein and vitamins it sounds like a super idea. The problem arises when the time comes to actually prepare this somewhat unfamiliar item and poses a special problem during the upcoming holiday of Passover. Jewish people tend to favor foods from their particular part of the Diaspora during these eight days. And really, how many Jews are actually from Bolivia? But never fear, we Jews are a glorious melting pot! We may have been kicked out of many places but we wind up taking the menus with us.
I have recently traveled around the country to do cooking demonstrations in response to my new book, The No-Potato Passover, and I have found that people have a fear and mistrust of this simple Bolivian staple.
But what exactly is quinoa?
Is it a grain? A seed? A vegetable? Help!
Quinoa (pronounced “keen-whah”) is often mistaken for a grain, but it’s actually a seed — one that originated thousands of years ago in the Andes Mountains. Dubbed “the gold of the Incas,” it’s treasured because of it’s nutritive value. Quinoa actually has more protein than any other grain or seed and offers a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies can’t make on their own. It’s also a great source of calcium and is high in lysine, the B vitamins and iron. To top it off, the seed is easy to digest and gluten free! If you are counting carbs or just want to eat healthier quinoa is your new best friend.
Why has this tiny seed brought forth such huge confusion?
• 1 cup red quinoa
• 1 cup slivered almonds
• 1 cup white quinoa
• 5-6 medium mushrooms, chopped
• 1 cup golden raisins
• 1 Vidalia onion, diced
• 1 cup Craisins
• 2 tbsp. canola oil
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook quinoa according to package.
2. In a separate skillet, sauté onions in canola oil until golden brown.
3. Add chopped mushrooms and sauté for one minute.
4. Add raisins, craisins and almonds, and sauté for another minute.
5. When quinoa is ready, add to pan and mix with other ingredients.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Recipe from The No Potato Passover (Brio Books; 2012 Hardcover $29.95)