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April 11, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 11, 2003

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HE RITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 11, 2003 PAGE 13 IIII By Linda Morel NEWYORK (JTA)--Because Australia is situated below the jtor, its seasom rebel against ewish calendar. Ourwinter istheirsummer;ourspringtheir fall.Although Passovefs rituals and symbols resonate spring, Down Under the holiday is cel- ebrated in autumn Down Un- der. "Passover begins just as the temperature drops, days grow shorter, and grapevines lose their le " ayes, says Jenni Neumann, a New Yorker who %wup in,Sydney. "It's rather ,if you re not used to it, I guess." Yet most of Neumann's childhood memories of Pass- story pointed towers and spec- tacular stained glass. Built in 1879, the Great Syna- gogue is a quintessential ex- ampleofVictorianarchitecture, one of the most magnificent synagogues in the world. Dur- ing Australia's first 150 years, English descendants dominated the Jewish communityandwere fiercely loyal to the "mother country." But the 19th century saw the arrival of German, Rus- sian, and Polish Jews. A small Sephardi commu- nity bloomed and withered. As diverse as these influences were, they were not strong enough to compete with the established Jewswho quicklyAnglicizedand absorbed newcomers. But this about five dozen eggs, enough to send home with Seder guests and to last through the holiday's eight days. Neumann adds that when she and her brother were children, her mother enlisted their help to scour neighbor- hood markets for onion skim. "Fhe task is more stressful than it sounds," says Barbara Neumann, explaining that she competes with Greek women who use onion skins to dye Eas- ter eggs. Both mother and daughter agree that the effort is worth it because tinted eggs soak up marvelous onion fla- vor. While charoset is a delight- ful treat, Neumann feels her family recipe is the best. A gen- eroLLs amount of cinnamon and flavor than its white counter- part, in Australia mixing beet juice with this bitter herb con- notes that only the hottest horseradish was used. "As far as I'm concerned, the hotter the better," says Neumann, chuck- ling as she remembers chal- lenging her Uncle John to see who could take the strongest horseradish. '%Ve rated horseradish by how much it made you feel the top of your head was about to lift oft" says her mother. "For years I was the youngest person in the family and had to recite the Four Questions,' says Neumann, who was thrilled when John and Shirley's son was born, because she knew favorite. "Shirley had to make what Aussies call Progressive, two of these cakes to keep us Jews make up about 25 percent happy," Neumann says. of the population. With an eclectic array of reci- Neurnannwaxespoetic about pes, Shirley credits Sephardi a leather bound Haggadah she friends with expanding her cu- received as a bat mitzvah gift. A linary horizom, copper plaque depicting rains Australia's long-dormant of the Second Temple graces its Sephardi community was revi: fronL"It'sbeautifulandforyears talized in 1956, following the I proudly brought it to Sealers," SuezCrisis.Aftersomepolitical she says, explaining that the maneuvering, Egyptian Jews copper comes from mines in were allowed to enter its bor- Israel dating back to King ders. By 1969 when Iraqi Jews Solomon. She inherited her were targeted for persecution, appreciation of the past from Australia opened its doors to her parents who are antique them. dealers. Twenty years later, a stream "Morn and Dad have several of South African Jews arrived, Passoverplates,"saysNeumann, reinforced by refugees seeking describing one that is ceramic opportunities after the former with blue and white glaze and OVerwould be familiar to many. situationchangedradicallydur- a splash of sherry hint at someday soon he'd assume the SovietUniondisbanded.There's anothermadefromcopper.They American Jews: the apple and ing the 1930s when Jews from palatschinken, the famed roleofasking:"Whyisthisnight a contingent of Israelis, too. own an antique kiddush cup for Walnut charoset, matzah balls Central and Eastern Europe Viennese dessert crepe often differentfromallothernights?" Today morethan 100,000Jews Elijah, a silver short-stemmed tloating in golden broth, and headed in large numbers to filled with walnuts. Shirley introduced a trendy callAustralia home; 80 percent gobletabout8incheshigh.With jars0fManischewitzgefiitefish. Australia to escape the anti- Neumann has fond memo-honey mustard chicken and a of them live in Melbourne and an hourglass shape, it is deco- Like many of her American Semitism fueled by Hitler. ries of spending Passovers with layered matzah cake, with deca- Sydney. With more than half of rated with intricate engraving. counterparts, Neumann, 38, grew up in an Ashkenazi world. laile Australian Jews call them- selves Aussies, throw chicken on the barbie, or barbecue, and Anglo Jews could not con- rain this flood of Yiddish-speak- ing immigrants who descended en masse and eventually over- ran them. Once World War II her Uncle John and Aunt -dentarnountsofcocoa, whipped Shirley, whose father grew cream and dark chocolate. She horseradish in his garden. Con- learned to make this outrageous trary to bottled horseradish in dessert from an Israeli friend in America, where the infusion of the catering business, and it Jewish students attending Jew- ish schools, Australia boasts the highest enrollment rate of any country except Israel. The Or- thodox movement is strong While shopping for their busi- ness, the Neumanns collect Pass- overartifacts for theirSeder table, remnants of Australia's rich Ju- daic history, a legacy they have SPeak English with the accent ended, another band of Euro- red beet juice indicates milder immediatelybecameeveryone's Down Under, but Reform or passed to their children. (gCrocodile Dundee, their Pass- pean Jews took root; people freed (~r cuisine is straight from from displaced persons ~trnps. SHERRY CHAROSET 1/4 cup artificial kosher-for-Passover Dijon mustard MOlly Goldberg. Today approximately half the 1 pound red apples (2-3) with skin on and seeds and core I teaspoon curry powder How did that happen since Jews in Australia arrived in the removed I teaspoon salt AUstralia not only began as an Holocaust's wake, or are their 5 ounces walnuts, chopped 8 chicken drumsticks English colony, but also still descendants. For example, 2teaspoons cinnamon No-stickspray its allegiance and cultural Neumann's familyoriginatedin 1/4 cup sweet sherry 1. In a saucepan, stir first five ingredients over a low flame until heritage to Great Britain? Moravia (the southern part of 1/3 cup matzah meal thoroughly blended, about 5 minutes. Cool. While British Jews were the CzechRepublic)andmoved liquid artificialsweetener to taste 2. Preheat oven to 350 ~legrees. Coat a shallow, oven-proof 1. Cut apples into chunks run through a food processor using the baking pan with spray. Arrange drumsticks in a single layer. Pour Present at the colony's incep- at some stage to Vienna, where coarse grating disk. marinade over drumsticks. t lon the demographics of they became jewelers. Her 2. Place in a mixing bowl. Add walnuts and cinnamon. Combine 3. Place pan in center of oven, turning drumsticks every ten ~tralia s Jewish population grandparents and great-grand- ingredients by hand. minutes. Lower temperature if sauce thickens quickly as '~SOmersaultedseveraltimes, parents fled the Nazis in 1938. 3: Mix in sherry. Add meal to stiffen mixture. Add sweetener, if it may burn. Roast 40 minutes, or until drumsticks brown and ~ immigrants from various Finding asylum in Australia, needed. Charoset should be soft yet easy to serve with a spoon. If juices run clear when pierced with a fork. rltinentslandedonitsshores, theybroughttheirPassoverreci: necessary, adjust sherry and meal for consistency and flavor. If COCOA CREAM LAYER CAKE ~A~nar theAmerican Revolution, 1/2 pint of nondairy whip topping (or heavy cream, for dairy pes and traditions with them. making in larger quantities, retain the apple-walnut-cinnamon ngland heeded another penal '"I'he thing I remember most ratio, version) ~] nyandselectedAustraliaas about childhood seders are the Yield: 8 servings 1 tablespoon sugar ~Urnping ground for undesir- red eggs my mother used to RED EGGS 1 1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa ~mes. make," says Neumann, explain- Large pot that you don't mind staining 3 matzahs ~- 1n1788 eiahtofthe751con ing that this was one of the Supermarket sized bag full of onion skins 6 teaspoons sweet sherry (or a bit more, ifneeded) ,o expelled on the first fleet recipes her grandparents car- 2 dozen medium sized raw eggs 1. lnalargebowl, whipnondairywhiptopping, sugar and cocoa ~,~l 'na~LondonwereJews.Ifthat s ried from Vienna. She describes 1/2 pound fatty brisket until stiff peaks form. (If using cream, do not over beat or you II get ~u~| n tsurprisingenough, some of howwhiteeggshellsabsorbbril- 1. Place a thick layer of onion skins at bottom of pot, followed by a chocolate butter.) 2. ~pread matzahs on 3 plates. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sherry over ~! theSeJewswerewomen. Insub- liantpigment from steeping for layer of eggs. Continue layering, finishing with a layer of onion skins, each matzah. Makesure entire surface is moistened, but don't wet ~ Sequent decades, Jews contin- hours with skins from brown, 2. Top with brisket. !~i ~ to be sprinkled in convict or better yet, red Spanish on- 3. Add enough cold water to cover the contents of pot (about 2 completely or they II become mushy. inches from the top). 3. On a serving plate, place one matzah and completely cover [~'~[ ~tll~e'nts, and others, down ions. 4. Cover pot and place over medium heat to bring to a boil slowly, with half of whipped cream mixture. Don't leave any area bare or it ~ ~1 .on their luck, left London vol- Their red-brown color sym- which helps eggs from cracking. Keep eggs boiling steadily for 5- will dry out. Place a second matzah on top and repeat. iii bolizestheroastedeggonSeder 6hours, adjusting heat between medium and low. 4. Place third matzah on top and cover with chocolate topping plates. The pigment penetrates 5. Check on eggs every 20 minutes, adding more water if (recipe below). sodeeplythateggwhitestuma necessary. Gently move eggs around, using a wooden or plastic Chocolate Topping: pale peachy shade. Neumann's spoon. Make sure eggs are covered all the time.3 one-ounce squares of semisweet chocolate mother Barbara starts stockpii- 6~ Turn off flame and cool down to warm. Wearing plastic gloves 2 teaspoons pareve margarine (or sweet butter, for dairy ver- r~i ~ ill." ydney had ~stablished ing onion skins two months to protect hands from staining, carefully remove eggs to a strainer sion) ~,~,~lnyan and burial society, before Passover. to dry. Store in original egg containers in refrigerator. They will 1 Tbsp. nondairy creamer (or milk, for dairy version) ",I,".uen thinking of Jewish life "I save skins every time I use keep right through the holiday. To serve, break shells and sprinkle In a double boiler, melt and blend topping ingredients. Spread / ~elt hopae, I l~icture Sydney's an onion in cooking and also with a little salt or salt water, on top of third matzah. Place toothpicks into softened spots near 'reat S - , ~1 1~ ynagogue, says collect them from the green CHICKEN IN HONEY-MUSTARD MARINADE the top matzah s four corners. Cover completely with aluminum 11 describing this ar- grocer'soniondisplay,"shesays, 2 tablespoons margarine foil. Refrigerate for two days before serving. " [ "a.'tUtal jewel with its four- explaining that she prepares 1/2 cup honey Yield: 9 servings . eu,s as many recipes for haroset ts their do oph " IIY Seth Stern From Suriname comes a tart, dark, fruity stew of coconut, nuts, Persian Haroset and dried fruits. Yemenite Jews make a mildly sweet, slightly 1 unpeeledpear, cored and finely chopped p to reenact your ancestors escape from while sitting around the dining room table. crunchy and seedy combination of figs, dates, sesame seeds, and I unpeeled apple, cored and finely chopped a hint of ginger. 1 cup finely chopped walnuts Haroset from Suriname 1 cup finely chopped almonds 2 2/3 cups (7-ounce package) of unsweetened coconut 1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts 2 cups chopped walnuts I cup finely choppedpistachio nuts 1 1/2 cups raisins I cup chopped pitted dates 1 1/2 cups dried apples I cup chopped raisins 1 1/2 cups prunes 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 cups dried apricots 2 teaspoons gratedgingerroot 1 1/2 cups dried pears 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup sugar Sweet wine I tablespoon ground cinnamon Combfne pear, apple, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachio 1/2 cup cherry jam nuts, dates and raisins in a large bowl and blend well, being Sweet redwine careful not to chop the mixture into a paste. Add cinnamon, Combine in a saucepan all the ingredients except the cherry gingerroot, and cider vinegar, and enough wine to bind. jam and sweet red wine. Add enough cold water to just cover Place on a platter and shape into a pyramid. Cover and fruit. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 1i/2 refrigerate. Makes 5 cups. hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more water if neces- Haroset is traditionally eaten during the s rt of the Seder sary. meal as a sandwich between two broken pieces of matzah. Remove from heat; stir in cherry jam. Set aside to cool. It is also a great light counterweight to Passover's carbohy- Add just enough sweet red wine to be absorbed by the fruit, drate-heavy dishes. Refrigerate until well chilled. Makes about nine cups. Aweek of eating little else besides the flat crispy matzah that My favorite recipe is a Persian blend of fresh and dried fruit settles in your stomach like a shelf full of lead plates makes combined with four different nuts and ginger,haroset a welcome relief. The result is the chunkiest, nuttiest fruit salad you may ever Seth Stern is a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor eat. Each bite is a burst of different flavors, and lives in Boston, MA. exactly part the Red Sea. I, Jews celebrating Passover rely on edible symbols to ancient experience back to life during two special the Seders. OVer the world, Jewish families place a similar set of on their tables. An egg symbolizes life and rebirth. recalls the bitterness of slavery. And haroset, a nation of nuts and fruits, represents the mortar Jewish to build the Pharoah's pyramids. Oddly, that of Oppression is also the sweetest addition to the e are as many versions of the ground mixture as coun- Jews eventually settled. are endless, bound only by where ever their Michel, editor of the new Hadassah Jewish . for example, diced chili peppers might get L. :uropean Jews, such as my family, use a simple mix and wine. That was the only kind I ate until married a Moroccan woman. Her recipe sounded balls of dates, walnuts, and cloves rolled petals. daborateversions. I