ball and soup - Julek Rutkowski
The Rutkowski family, settled in Australia, maintained the Jewish
tradition of celebrating Pesach (passover) every year. Together with
friends they shared many meals during that time and it was a
tradition that each family would take turns in making a matzo
ball soup for the feast. There were always debates as to whose matzo
balls were the best, were they firm yet soft, too large or just right
and made with the correct ingredients as prescribed in the
traditional Jewish literature. As the circle of friends began to
diminish, the dinners became less frequent, however the Rutkowski
family always got together to celebrate. Julek took it upon himself
to provide matzo balls for the occasion and continued to cook
these until he and Irena moved to a retirement village.
This is his
Ingredients (will make 36 small matzo balls)
2kg of chicken
pieces, a few carrots, celery, parsley and turnips
of matzo meal, 4 coarse, 2 fine
6 cups of boiling water for making
of matzo balls
6 beaten eggs
2 tablespoons of fat
Matzo ball and soup
soup first by boiling chicken pieces with carrots salt, celery
sticks, turnips and parsley. Put cool water in the pot to just cover
the chicken and vegetables and boil with lid on for 1 to 1 1/2
hours. Strain the soup through a colander and put into the fridge
when cooled down so that the fat accumulates at the top. Remove
the fat but save 2 tablespoon of fat to put into the matzo ball
Mix the matzo ball meal mixtures - 6 cups together
with 6 cups of boiling water and wait until the mixture cools down.
Add the eggs and fat and put in fridge for 1 hour. Mix really
well. Add salt to taste. Form the balls with your hands and cook them
in chicken stock (1 or 2 chicken stock cubes in boiling
water). They will float when done. Do not cook them in the soup
because if one disintegrates the soup will be spoiled. When ready
to serve, serve immersed in the soup.
fruit cake - Irena and Julek Rutkowski
scarcity of quality cakes and tortes in Australia in the 1960s
enabled Irena, Julek's first wife, to supplement the family income by
making cakes and tortes for restaurants and private functions. This
was done in the small kitchen of the semi in Bondi. When Irena
passed away in 1968, Julek decided to try his hand at making one of
his favorite cakes, the almond chocolate torte with fruit. This was
not a business anymore, the cakes were only made for special
occasions such as family birthdays and holidays.
8oz (200 gm)
8oz (200gm) castor sugar
Dash of lemon juice
Punnet os strawberries (cut into
pieces), some pineapple pieces)
Other fruits as desired (eg kiwi
Block of dark chocolate for melting
yolks with sugar until creamy and add almonds. Beat whites until
stiff. Combine the mixture and bake in oven at 180degC for an
hour or so until brown. Leave cake to cool. When cool, slice the
cake into 3 horizontal sections (like 3 thin cylinders).
quantity of sweet cream until stiff, add strawberries, pineapple
and any other fruit. Add a dash of lemon juice. Spread the mixture
between the 3 layers. Melt chocolate and spread on top layer.
Decorate with almond slivers, fruit on top. Refrigerate until ready
- Stefan and Nata Drobot
making sauerkraut probably was started by Stefan’s wife, Nata,
whilst they were in Siberia during the war. Cabbage grew well,
provided a much needed source of vitamin C, as well as being a
welcome change from the staple diet of potatoes. When they moved
to Poland, food was also hard to get and a supply of sauerkraut
ensured healthy meals throughout the winter. When the family
immigrated to the US, this became more of a tradition and Stefan,
together with Nata and the rest of the family joined in preparing and
cooking.The recipe was never written down but Frank located what
he believes to be the closest on the web
– what follows is an abbreviated version with some additions.
crock or food-grade plastic bucket, one-gallon capacity or
Plate that fits inside crock or bucket
filled with water (or a scrubbed and boiled rock) for weight,
cover (like a pillowcase or towel).
(for 1 gallon (3.8litres) ):
5 lb (2.25kg) cabbage
tablespoons sea salt
Carrots, onions, apples, caraway seeds
other vegetables you fancy
: 1 US gallon = approx 3.8 litres
1 pound =
approx 0.45 kg
or grate cabbage, finely or coarsely, with or without hearts, however
you like it. I love to mix green and red cabbage to end up with
bright pink kraut. Place cabbage in a large bowl as you chop it.
Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go.
Grate and add other
Mix ingredients together and pack into crock.
Pack just a bit into the crock at a time and tamp it down hard using
your fists or any (other) sturdy kitchen implement.
kraut with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside the
crock. Place a clean weight (a glass jug filled with water) on the
cover. Cover the whole thing with a cloth.
soup - Wanda Drobot
Jan's wife, acquired the reputation as an excellent cook. Here is her
recipe for a traditional chicken soup, well known medicine for any
lbs (abt 1kg) chicken thighs, wings or legs
3-4 celery stalks
Small piece of celery
root or parsnip
2 medium onions with skins on
Parsley or dill
chicken and place in pot. Add water. Bring to a boil. Prepare
vegetables – wash, chop, set aside
Singe onion skin over
gas burners. Cut into quarters.
When liquid has boiled, skim off as
much foam as possible.
Add veg., including onions with
charred skin. Bring back to a boil, cover partially then reduce to a
simmer for 1 ½ hours.
Serve garnished with fresh dill or parsley.
Add boiled rice or potatoes to bowl.
(borsch - beetroot soup) - Wanda Drobot
traditional East European delicacy, a soup made from beetroot. There
are a few variations around, this one was recommended by Eve. Can
be served hot (great for cold winters) or cold (great for hot
2-3 good beef marrow bones
Celery root or stalks, parsley,
carrots, onions, 2 cloves
pepper to taste
20 cups of water
2 lbs (abt 1kg) beets –
fresh and canned
2-3 tsp. vinegar
beets thickly; layer in a shallow bowl sprinkling with salt and
vinegar. Marinate at least ½ hour.
Make broth with bones, carrots,
celery and parsley and water.
Add beets to stock and boil 2 hours.
If soup isn’t bright red, grate some canned beets into it.
to taste with salt, celery salt, lemon, Maggi. Pass through colander
Hot soup: add garlic cloves to strained soup. Serve
with hot boiled potatoes and chopped dill
Cold soup: serve with
dill pickles - Jan Drobot
are many varieties of commercially available pickles, however most of
them are vinegar based. These dill pickles are fermented with
Jan has a couple of pieces of advice : Do not eat all the
pickles at once, and the left over brine is an excellent cure for a
such as glass jars, clay pots, barrels
cleaned with boiling
Piece of cheese cloth for cover
Medium size cucumbers, not fully ripe and rather green
tablespoons of salt per litre of water to make brine
A slice of
brine from boiled water adding 2 flat tablespoons of salt per one (1)
liter. Allow to cool.
Wash the pickels and leave them so that the
water drips off. Do not cut the ends or prick them.
pickles in the jar and put at the bottom, in the middle of the jar
and at the surface some garlic and dill. Do not fill completely the
Pour cold brine to cover the pickles.
Put on top of the
jar clean piece of cheese-cloth. On this cheese-cloth put a piece of
Leave the jar for about two days in room temperature –
at least 18 or 20 ( C ) ot higher. After 2 days put the jar in the
refrigerator for at least one week. After one week try one pickle
for taste. If not yet ready, leave the jar for another 2-3 days.
pickles when ready can stay in the refrigerator for several weeks
- all good Polish and Russian cooks
(kasha) is a traditional East European and Russian meal, and as Vlad
pointed out, can be prepared using any grain as the main ingredient
although it is most commonly associated with buckwheat. There are
hundreds of ways of preparing, here is a recipe sent in by Eve.
-1 cup kasha oats (available in health food stores
“ethnic” aisles of most supermarkets)
1-2 cups chicken broth
kasha oats in cold pot. Break egg into them and stir until grains are
Add the mushrooms
Heat broth as hot as you can in
microwave; pour it into pot.
Turn burner on to high; bring broth
to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover. Cooks in about 10
minutes, that is, when all the
broth has been absorbed by the
oats. Check occasionally to make sure it isn’t all sticking to
bottom of pot.
Meanwhile, fry onion till nice and brown. Serve
kasha and add fried onions as garnish.