Posted on September 15, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Honey, Hope, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Paerve, Parve, Recipes, Rosh Hashannah Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

While surfing the net for inspiration for this article, I came across a wonderful gift which I would like to share with you. It is actually a gift from a man who calls himself “Uncle Eli.” Uncle Eli many, many years ago wrote a great Hagaddah for Pesach which you can still find online. It is written as Dr. Seuss would have written it.

Today I found that he has done something similar called “Uncle Eli’s Mahzor.” Here is the link. Go see and read it. I think you will be glad you did. The URL for this the Mahzor is:

I wanted to put an article here about Rosh Hashanah…A thought that might be a bit different from what we usually see in Rosh Hashanah. Or let me put that another way. I wanted an article that would make me see Rosh Hashanah in a different light. As you could tell by the poem I wrote for yesterday’s post, the most important things about the High Holidays for me were:

1. Get my cooking and baking done for all the company we would have.
2. Make sure I got the prayers we would need ready.
3. Pray for the New Year to be better than the last.
4. Go to Shul to see everyone.
5. Thank G-d for what I did have…if I remembered.

Well, this year I see things a bit differently. This year as I am making my Yom Tov here on the internet, I am learning a lot. As I told you in an earlier Rosh Hashanah Countdown post, I learned that it is really the creation of Adam and Eve that we are celebrating, not the New Year. And today I learned that on Rosh Hashanah the Haftorah we read is the story of Channa who was barren. Channa was married to Elkanah. Channa was barren and she cried and prayed to G-d to give her children. After many years of trying to have children, Elkanah took a second wife, Penina. Penina was mean spirited and taunted Channa with each of her pregnancies and the birth of each of her children.

We further read that Channa finally gives birth to a son, Samuel, who later becomes a profit. And when Samuel is born, one of Penina’s children dies. This happens each time Channa produces a child. So we see that everything in life is tenuous. You may be childless one day, but may have a child the next. You may be rich one day and poor the next. So you should never scorn one who doesn’t have what you have, instead, be grateful. G-d decides each year who should be with child, who should be healthy, who should be rich, and who shall be barren, who should be ill and who shall be poor. Most importantly, G-d decides who shall live and who shall die. But we are taught that G-d is merciful and through good deeds (Tzadaka), prayer and repentance we can perhaps be dealt with more kindly. G-d’s judgment of us a bit more lenient. You may be skeptical about G-d. You may be skeptical about Rosh Hashanah. But would it hurt to be more kind? Just think if for even one day you did someone a kindness, what a better world it would create. Multiply that by gazillions of people and can you imagine the domino affect it would have on the world! Now, bite your tongue and not say or do something negative for even one day and multiply that by gazillions of people in addition to the good deed you have done. Wow…it boggles the mind…who knows, perhaps that is how we will earn the reward of peace on earth!

Just one tiny lesson. I think I am learning more by doing this countdown than I have by spending hours in Temple reading words in a book. You see, I don’t really read. I listen to the beautiful music of the Hazzan’s voice. I am mesmerized by the chanting. I read the prayers but they are meaningless to me because I strive to read them in Hebrew which does not come easily to me, in other words, I “practice my Hebrew,” instead of reading the English and maybe understanding and thinking about the real reason I’m in Temple. My mind wonders as I look to see who I know and acknowledge them. This too distracts me from the reason I should be in Shul. If you were honest with yourself, why are you in Shul? What does Rosh Hashanah mean to you?

No matter what your answers are, here is today’s honey cake. May you all be inscribed in the book of life, good health and happiness.

Honey Cake W/Candied Ginger And Pecans (P, Tnt)
Source: “1000 Jewish Recipes, ” by Faye Levy
Posted by : Maxine Wolfson
Yield: 2 8″x4″ loaves


1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
6 tablespoons hot water
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Small pinch of cloves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup very finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 to 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease, or line with parchment paper, two 8″x4″ loaf pans.

Dissolve coffee granules in hot water and let cool.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cloves in a
medium bowl.

Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add sugar and honey and beat until mixture is very smooth and lightened in color.

Gradually add oil and beat until blended. Add half the flour, then half the coffee, then the rest of the flour and rest of the coffee. Stir in crystallized ginger and nuts.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 15 minutes. Turn out onto rack and carefully peel off liner. When completely cool, wrap in foil.

Wrapped tightly, cake will last at room temperature about a week.

Serve as thin slices.

Maxine Wolfson’s Notes:

1. I double-brewed a cup of coffee and used
6 tablespoons of that.
2. Doubled the cinnamon and used 1/8 tsp of cloves.
3. Ran out of crystallized ginger, so used fresh chopped ginger.
4. Original recipe called for one pan, but I used two and got
good-sized cakes.
5. Used almonds instead of pecans.
6. Using a convection oven, baked for 45 minutes, and it was
done, probably due to the smaller volume.
7. Batter tasted strongly of coffee. Finished cake brings out
more of the cloves.


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