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April 11, 2006

Making a difference

BY THE TENNIS COURTS—For twenty-four hours, Shmoozniks dizzied themselves walking around the Palmer Field track to raise money for and awareness of the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life. Beginning Saturday, April 8 @ 10 AM and concluding Sunday, April 9 @ 10 AM, Team Shmooze had well over forty members (and parents of members) join the excitement that was brimming in and around Palmer Field. Over the course of these twenty-four hours, team members kibitzed, noshed, shpatsired, shluffed, and "ehh ... we shmoozed" in and around the tent site on the south end of Palmer Field; but never did members kvetch, well at least not until mid-morning when the temperature plummeted to freezing.

The Relay planning committee did an excellent job of engaging its 150+ teams with ceremonies, events, activities, performances, contests, and foods over the weekend. The luminaria ceremony, commencing a little after 9 PM, touched the hearts of all present. Lining the track on both sides, hundreds of decorated white bags with the names of family members and friends who have been affected by cancer, were lit (by candles) as part of a ceremony to commemorate and remember their individual stories, struggles, and lives. The luminaria remained lit until the wee hours of the morning, giving inspiration to those still walking and reminding the walkers that hope remains even when the conditions seem most dark or cold.

Near the end of the ceremony, still on the opposite end of the field, Shmoozniks from around campus assembled around a table overflowing with delectable pesadikhe delicacies. The reason: "Erasing Stereotypes" Passover Dessert Shindig.

Over fifteen dishes were entered by Shmoozers in an attempt to reverse the negative attitude generally associated with Passover desserts. Some entries were familiar to many of the thirty-plus judges who turned out to indulge themselves. Other entries were new and innovative, bordering on creative. Regardless, these judges walked off their indulgences for a good cause—ACS.

"Is this thing kosher for Passover because I don't think it should be here," remarked Frayda. This bewildered feeling, so aptly worded by one Shmooznik, was shared by many who were present.

"This is what we were looking to accomplish with the event," said Ian. "Our goal was to prove to all those naysayers that kosher for passover desserts can be delicious and leaven-free."

Similar to its culinary predecessor, the judging for "Erasing Stereotypes" was slightly contentious, though the best dessert did win. While some desserts didn't receive high praise from the judges, that doesn't mean that they were necessarily bad. One judge even remarked, "Ian, you're thing is not that bad."

The Shmooze leadership would like to thank everyone who came out and walked with us during the 24-hour event. We completely understand that RFL didn't fit in everyone's schedules. But we would like to personally thank the following mensches:

  • The Brothers Robinson
  • The Sisters Heisler
  • Orly
  • Adam M.
  • Aaron
  • David
  • Rachel J.
  • Sandra
  • Fallon
  • Frayda
  • Erick
  • Stefanie
  • Sarah
  • Alyssa
  • Rachel L.
  • Adam S.
  • Jon G.
  • Tedi
  • Jed
  • Jon L.
  • Deb
  • Zack
  • Arica
  • Josh
  • Ari
  • Noah L.
  • Jon Z.
  • Elan
  • Sam L.
  • Sam W.
  • Amira
  • Naomi
  • Scott
  • and you (I'm so sorry. You're still a mensch. E-mail me right now so I can add you before anyone notices my ommission. Though mensches should be more humble.)

We've just received word that the donation site will still be operational for at least a few more weeks. Now's as good a time as ever to donate!

Here are the official results from "Erasing Stereotypes." And in the words of Ian, "I believe those stereotypes were successfully erased. I even saw one participant pick up their cheesecake from the ground and eat it."

1. David's Macaroon Marble Cheesecake - 14

2. Adam and Daphna's Ice Cream Cake - 12

3. Greg's Meringue - 11

4. Sandra's Chocolate-Covered Fruit - 9

5. Ruby's Flourless Chocolate Cake - 6
6. Elan's Mandel Brodt - 5

7. Greg's Fruit Tart - 3
8. David's Extra Cheesecake Pile - 2

8. Aunt Shira's Apple Dealie - 2
10. Ruby's Macaroons - 1
10. Aaron's Chocolate- and Caramel-Covered Matzot - 1

10. Weiss' Matzlava - 1
10. Ian's Apple Surprise (no longer a surprise) - 1

Read on for some delicious recipes...

David's Macaroon Marble Cheesecake

5 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. matzo meal
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
4 eggs
1 oz. (or more) semi-sweet chocolate
Macaroon Crust
1 cup macaroon crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  1. Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter.
  2. Press firmly onto bottom of a 9" springform pan.
  3. Bake @ 350°F for ten minutes. [Bake @ 300°F for ten minutes if using dark, non-stick springform pan.]
  4. Mix cream cheese, sugar, matzo meal, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream, mix well.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until blended. Reserve 1/4 of batter.
  6. Melt chocolate and add to reserved batter.
  7. Pour white batter over crust and dot chocolate batter on top. Use knife to swirl.
  8. Bake @ 325°F for one hour and ten minutes or until center is almost set if using a silver springform pan. [Bake @ 300°F for same time if using nonstick pan.]
  9. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake. Cool before removing rim of pan.
  10. Refrigerate four hours or overnight.

Sandra's Chocolate-Covered Fruit: "Simply delicious: Fruit is a valid passover dessert."

fruit: any. Sandra used kiwi and blackberries.
chocolate: any. Sandra used semi sweet.
  1. Heat up the chocolate.
  2. Dip.
  3. Enjoy!

Adam and Daphna's Ice Cream Cake

1 carton Ray's vanilla bean ice cream
1 carton Homemade brand coffee ice cream
1 carton Breyers chocolate ice cream
1 20 oz. jar Saunders swiss dark fudge dessert topping
1 20 oz. jar Saunders milk chocolate hot fudge dessert topping (cold)
1 10 oz. jar Saunders butterscotch caramel dessert topping
1 8 oz. bag Heath toffee bits
  1. In a 9" springform pan, make a layer of ice cream using all three flavors.
  2. Cover with all three dessert toppings.
  3. Place in freezer until set.
  4. Repeat step one.
  5. Repeat step two.
  6. Cover with Heath toffee bits.
  7. Repeat step three.
  8. When complete, eat remaining ice cream.

Ian's Apple Surprise

1 box Manischewitz Kosher for Passover Cake Mix (includes pan)
1 sliced apple
  1. Follow directions on box.
  2. Add apples and cinnamon.
  3. Bake.
More recipes to follow later in the week. Good Yontov.

Posted by gluckman at April 11, 2006 09:56 PM


it was cold. it was dark. and i, a lone rider, ventured out on my trusty hand-me-down bike to retrieve my marble cake for the first annual erasing stereotypes competition. was it a culinary disaster? sure. did it get any votes? not a single one. but not even an honorable mention on the shmooze blog? that's just wrong. I WILL BE HEARD!

Posted by: sheis at April 16, 2006 04:27 PM

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