Forty-four years ago, the Temple Beth-El sisterhood decided to hold a fund-raiser to furnish the kitchen of the building the congregation had just moved to. That fund-raiser became known as Food-A-Rama, and it continues, this year scheduled for Wednesday, May 17.
Food-A-Rama features lunches of corned beef sandwiches on rye and various side dishes. One of those side dishes was a special secret recipebaked beans created and baked by a local dentist, Dr. Aaron Raffle.
When Raffle retired to Florida, he reluctantly wrote down the recipe, and entrusted it to several members to continue the tradition.
That recipe is still being used, and Raffles special recipe baked beans are sold at the Food-A-Rama deli counter.
This festival of Jewish foods has grown. Last year, more than 1,600 lunches were served and more than 100 dozen blintzes were sold. Almost every womanand many menin the congregation helps to prepare for Food-A-Rama.
At first, the only takeout foods were cheese blintzes and some baked goods. Today, in addition to a buffet line where shoppers can buy lunches, Food-A-Rama visitors shop at the deli table for bagel-dogs, cheese blintzes, matzo-ball soup, corned beef, chopped liver, pastrami and other delicatessen favorites. The bakery is also a good place to pick up homemade cakes, cookies and breads.
New this year is a cake auction. One talented baker will construct two handmade, hand-decorated, rose-basket cakes to be auctioned during the lunch hour. The cake has two layers, filled with either chocolate mousse or sweet cream. The outside is chocolate butter cream decorated with the basket weave technique to simulate the effect of a basket. One half of the top has a lid that appears to be open, revealing a cascade of handmade sugar roses and leaves. The cake basket has a handle to finish the creation.
Now, visitors can choose to dine in, take out or drive through to buy their lunches. The lunches to go contain a generous quarter-pound corned beef sandwich on rye, a kosher-style pickle, a crispy apple, potato chips and a sugar cookieall for $8.
Free delivery is available for pre-orders of 10 or more lunches to the same address. To pre-order, phone or fax Temple Beth-El by noon Monday, May 15. Phone: 398-5020; fax: 398-5079. Pre-orders are also recommended for speedier pickup of multiple lunches at the drive-through window.
There is no admission, and visitors need not buy a lunch to shop at the deli or the bakery.
More info: Susan Rosenfeld at 964-8642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the May 10-16, 2006, issue