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Behind the Scenes at Break-Fast

10/22/2019 01:55:15 PM


Karen Mayer

This is the first of occasional blogs that will go behind the scenes to meet some of the magicians who make BHA what it is.  

From left: Christine Pincus, Joan Pirie, Laura Liebeck and Prue Posner

What does it take to make a world-class kugel for 100 people?  Sure, cottage cheese, eggs, sugar and noodles. But, if that’s what you thought, you would be wrong.  The right answer is Joan Pirie, a retired librarian from Vassar College, wife of Izak Breslauer and mother of Joshua and Rachel, whose current incarnation is the wizard who beat, stirred, mixed and prodded all that lusciousness into giant baking tins.   I watched dumbfounded as Joan whipped that kugel into being in two vast mixing bowls, without dropping a single egg on the floor and all the while chit-chatting with the merry mavens who had gathered in the BHA kitchen before Yom Kippur to slice, dice, schmooze and prep the break-fast soups and salads into existence.  The result of all those efforts? The best kugel you ever ate, right?  

And what does it take to produce the perfect break-fast?  The answer is a bunch of people who love BHA and love getting together to make it happen.  But the one indispensable ingredient this year (and in many prior years) is a person with the vision and skill to make it all come together.  That would be Laura Liebeck, who in other parts of her life is a publicity guru, married to Bill Smith and mother of Emma and Eli. Laura is the funny and fabulous whirling dervish who helped transform Christine Pincus’s kitchen a few days before Yom Kippur into a swirl of eager bakers, mushing, mixing and baking all those cookies and cakes that found their way to the break-fast.  No doubt the assembled group (Rebecca Ostrovsky, Deana Morenoff, Christine, Laura and me) could have done it without Laura at the helm but we wouldn’t have had as much fun. Nor would we have enjoyed Christine’s superb brunch quite so much without Laura! (The mimosas didn’t hurt either.) On Yom Kippur itself, Laura was at the center of an even bigger whirlwind, doing the final prep with a dedicated team who seemed to be having almost as much fun as we did in Christine’s kitchen.  

Thanks to both Laura and Joan for bringing their tremendous love for BHA to all of us and for modeling the very best of BHA!  Do you love to cook, prep and fuss over your kitchen? Do you love the BHA family and the sense of community? Hospitality would LOVE to have you join them for as much or as little time as you can give.  An hour here or an hour there is all it takes! Just contact Laura, Joan or Prue Posner, who co-head Hospitality.

Meanwhile, here are the recipes for the kugel and cookie bars (Laura doubles the vanilla and skips the nuts).

Sat, April 1 2023 10 Nisan 5783