Passover 2005/5765

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Mackerel at Midnight — Growing Up Jewish on a Remote Scottish Island
by Ethel G. Hofman

Our beloved food editor Ethel Hofman’s new book Mackerel at Midnight: Growing up Jewish on a Remote Scottish Island is a collection of remarkable stories about the meeting of two diverse cultures in a unique landscape. The book follows Ethel’s family — her grandfather Louis Pochapovsky, her uncles Hyman and Woolf, and her father, Harry Russia nearly a century ago, and, believing they have arrived in America, instead land unceremoniously in Glasgow. Having adopted the name "Greenwald" somewhere between Russia and Scotland, the men are drawn by the prospect of opportunity and decide to stay, opening a shop quickly embraced by the Shetlanders. 

Mostly though, this is the story of Harry and Jean — Ethel’s parents. Theirs is an arranged marriage set up through a marriage broker — Jean brought over from Glasgow. Separated from the nearest Jewish community by an ocean, this young couple is somehow expected to adjust to married life in semi-foreign culture — a Christian culture. 

Ultimately, Jean became a great matriarch, raising her children with deep pride in their Jewish heritage and religion. She was blessed with great humor and great resourcefulness — and through it all used good food to bring comfort and solace to her family in times of hardship and desolation. 

Both a memoir and a cookbook, Mackerel at Midnight brings the reader back to a time when food helped instill a lasting identity.We highly recommend it for you and as a gift! It is available at bookstores or directly from the publisher at Here are two recipes from Chapter 11, entitled An Island Passover. Enjoy! 

Matzo Plum Pudding 
(Serves 4–6) 

4 tablespoons margarine melted 
2 1/2 cups coarsely crumbled matzos 
2 eggs 
1/2 cup finely ground almonds 
grated rind and juice of one large lemon 
1/4 cup sugar 
6–8 bottled or canned plums, stones removed, and shredded with shears 
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger 

Preheat oven to 350°. Pour 1 tablespoon margarine into a 1-quart baking dish and brush over bottom and sides. Set aside. Place matzo in a bowl cover with warm water and soak 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Drain into colander and squeeze as dry as possible, discarding the liquids. Return to bowl. Add the remaining melted margarine, eggs, almonds, lemon rind and juice, sugar, plums, and ginger. Mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until edges are firm and center is barely set. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cinnamon Balls 
(Makes 15–20) 

2 egg whites 
1/2 superfine sugar 
2 cups finely ground almonds 
4 teaspoons cinnamon, divided 
1/2 cup confectioners sugar 

Directions Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk the egg white until they peak stiffly. Stir in the sugar, ground almonds, and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix well so that no white streaks remain. With wet hands, roll into balls about 1" in diameter. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until barely firm to the touch. Do not overbake. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar with remaining cinnamon. Roll balls, while warm, in this mixture. Cool and then roll them again. Want more of Ethel’s recipes? Go to and click on Cooking.


Hadassah Mourns Passing of Bundt Pan Inventor 

In 1950,when home-baked goods were still a staple of every American household, and baking lessons were a featured highlight of their meetings, the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah tried to recreate the heavy cakes their mothers and grandmothers had made back home in Europe. Unable to find the right pan, one member took a relic from her mother’s German kitchen to H. David Dalquist, the chairman, owner and founder of Northland Aluminum, and asked him to recreate the pan in a more modern material. 

The result was a success, and for years Dalquist gave the Hadassah chapter his seconds, which they turned around and sold to raise funds for Hadassah’s projects in Israel including two major hospitals, a college, a career counseling center, and numerous youth programs. 

The Bundt pan’s popularity really took off in the 1960s when a Texas woman used it to place second in the Pillsbury bake-off. Today, thanks to the Minneapolis chapter of Hadassah, and two Minnesota companies (Pillsbury and Northland Aluminum) there’s probably not a home in America without a Bundt pan. 

Sadly on January 5, 2005, H. David Dalquist, passed away. His memory should be for a blessing and he should be honored for his creativity and generosity in Minnesota and beyond. 

Founded in 1912, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America is the largest women’s, largest Zionist, and largest Jewish membership organization in the United States. In Israel, it supports medical care and research, education, and youth institutions, and reforestation and parks projects. In the U.S., Hadassah promotes health education, social action and advocacy, volunteerism, Jewish education and research, Young Judea, and connections with Israel. For complete information about Hadassah, visit


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