Different Drummer

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions,perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." ~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 30, 2015

Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer

“Man is a greater thing than you have thought him,” 
― Edith Hahn BeerThe Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust

Thursday, November 19th, the Ladies of Walden Pond met at Suzanne's home ~Paula, Patti, Carolyn, Carol, Brittany, Sandy, Suzanne, Ann and Lillian.  

We discussed a Nazi Officer's Wife, an auto-biography by Edith Beer Hahn.  Born in Vienna, Austria in 1914, she grows up in a happy Jewish family with her parents and two sisters.  An intelligent young woman, Edith studies law at the University and is denied her degree at the beginning of the war. Edith's two sisters are sent to Palestine, Edith is sent to a work camp. Her mother dies in a concentration camp.  When Edith returns from the work camp, she takes the star off her clothing and gets off the train in a different city.  With help, she changes her identity to Grete Denner and lives through the war as an Aryan.  She marries Werner Vetter, who keeps her true identity secret.  She lived in fear throughout the war, but had remarkable courage and grit.  

Everyone really enjoyed the book.  We admired Edith's courage and stamina and those who were brave enough to assist others through this terrible time in our history. Edith became a judge after the war.  There is also a Documentary available that is very interesting on this book.

Suzanne created a delightful taste of both cultures.  She made Matzo Ball Soup served with Challah Bread as well as  two German desserts - Pfeffernusse - German Peppernut Cookies and Ruglach ~ recipes are below

Matzo Meatball Soup ~ Suzanne
The Matzo Ball Soup I made with Swanson's chicken broth and a box of Matzo ball mix that I purchased at Fresh Market.  I did add a little minced onion and parsley to the Matzo ball mix. 

Pfeffernusse (German Pepper Nut Cookies )
YIELD 24 cookies

  • 2cups confectioners' sugar, for dusting (icing)DIRECTIONS
    1.   In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, pepper, aniseeds, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, nutmeg and cloves.
    2.   In a large bowl, using an electic mixer set on medium speed, beat together the butter, brown sugar and molasses until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
    3.   Beat in the egg.
    4.   Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture.
    5.   Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
    6.   Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
    7.   Butter 2 baking sheets, scoop up pieces of dough and roll between your palms into balls 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
    8.   Place the balls on the cookie sheets spacing them about 2 inches apart.
    9.   Bake until the cookies are golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch, about 14 minutes.
    10.      Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool slightly on the sheets.
    11.      Place the confectioners' sugar in a sturdy paper bag, drop a few cookies into the bag, close the top securely, and shake gently to coat the warm cookies with the sugar.
    12.      Transfer to racks and let cool completely.
    13.      Repeat with the remaining cookies.
    14.      Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • Rugelach
    ·         2 cups all-purpose flour
    ·         1/4 teaspoon salt
    ·         1 cup unsalted butter
    ·         1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    ·         1/3 cup sour cream

    ·         1/2 cup white sugar
    ·         1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    ·         1 cup finely chopped walnuts
    ·         1/2 cup raisins
    1. Cut cold butter or margarine and cream cheese into bits. In food processor pulse flour, salt, butter or margarine, cream cheese and sour cream until crumbly.
    2. Shape crumbly mixture into four equal disks. Wrap each disk and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.
    3. Combine sugar, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and finely chopped raisins (may substitute miniature chocolate chips for raisins).
    4. Roll each disk into a 9 inch round keeping other disks chilled until ready to roll them. Sprinkle round with sugar/nut mixture. Press lightly into dough. With chefs knife or pizza cutter, cut each round into 12 wedges. Roll wedges from wide to narrow, you will end up with point on outside of cookie. Place on ungreased baking sheets and chill rugelach 20 minutes before baking.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
    6. After rugelach are chilled, bake them in the center rack of your oven 22 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight containers...they freeze very well.
    7. Variations: Before putting the filling on the dough, use a pastry brush to layer apricot jam as well as brown sugar. Then add the recommended filling. You may also make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and roll the rugelach in this prior to putting them on the cookie sheets.
“That’s all it takes, you see—a moment of kindness. Someone who is sweet and understanding, who seems to be sent there like an angel on the road to get you through the nightmare. Veronica.” 
― Edith Hahn BeerThe Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived The Holocaust

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