Judy Kem­pler and Pni­na Jacob­sons cook­book One Egg Is A For­tune is now avail­able. They will be blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

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.

The 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 is fas­ci­nat­ing to see that each wave of Jew­ish peo­ple pre­pare the same tra­di­tion­al fare, cen­turies lat­er, but with 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 large amounts 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.

Csusz­ta­tott Palac­sin­ta: Slip Pan­cake

Serves 8 – 10

vanil­la sug­ar
vanil­la bean
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 or pre­pared 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 with grat­ed cheese and fine­ly sliced mushrooms.

Check back all week for more posts and recipes from Pni­na Jacob­son and Judy Kem­pler.