Blintzapalooza: It’s all in good taste

Annual Olympia event highlights Jewish pastries while raising money for community causes

rboone@theolympian.comMarch 31, 2014 

For the 26th year, Blintzapalooza, an annual fundraiser hosted by the downtown Olympia synagogue Temple Beth Hatfiloh, delivered the goods.

Bagels, blintzes and other goodies attracted hundreds on Sunday to the Eighth Avenue destination where they could sit and enjoy their food or peruse the many books for sale.

All told, the sales of food and books help to generate about $10,000 for community causes.

This year’s effort is set to be spent on four groups, according to information posted for the event: Interfaith Works; Amahoro House, a new hospice for the homeless; Together—A Voices For Youth program; and Rosie’s Place.

While attendees chowed down on their blintzes and bagels, or found a book they couldn’t resist, three judges were hard at work trying to determine who had baked the best rugelach.

Rugelach is a pastry made with a sweet filling, such as nuts and raisins, chocolate, or jams and jellies, Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh said.

He said the treat is served throughout the year and is not necessarily associated with a Jewish holiday.

The judges — Olympian President and Publisher George Le Masurier, Olympia City Council member Cheryl Selby, and Bev Postman, called a “master baker” by master of ceremonies Oscar Soule — busied themselves comparing 16 rugelach entries.

The number of entries for the baked goods contest was a record for the event, Soule said.

The winning rugelach was baked by Ellen Silverman, who was not in attendance. Her recipe included apricot, chocolate and walnuts, according to the judges’ information.

Other winners included Lynn Grotsky of Olympia, who baked her mother’s recipe for rugelach. She recalled that her mother liked to bake late at night, sometimes as late as 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. Grotsky would stay up with her, and it became their time: a time for Grotsky to tell her mother about her day or for her mother to share stories with her.

Grotsky’s spouse, Lisa Brodoff, also participated in the competition, baking her grandmother’s recipe for rugelach. Her grandmother lived to be 102.

Both her grandmother and Grotsky’s mother were with them in spirit Sunday, Brodoff said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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