A trip to New York City to visit a real Jewish deli isn't necessary anymore. There's one right in Lexington, but it's open only a few times a year.
Temple Adath Israel's TAI on Rye deli will be open Sunday, and not again until Oct. 16. That's because the entire staff is made up of volunteers, and they work for the benefit of their temple.
Ruth Poley and Pat Shraberg are among the 25 congregants who received their food handler's licenses so they could prepare and serve food for four or five hours on an occasional Sunday. In addition to the food handlers, other Temple members work as runners or do odd jobs.
"It's developed a wonderful spirit within the Temple," Shraberg said.
"It's mobilized folks in the congregation," Poley said. "People come to the deli who don't get to the Temple."
The deli was born when a few people were thinking about a fund-raiser that would appeal to the Jewish community, and they came up with the idea of providing food that they couldn't find here, Poley said.
The volunteers make authentic-tasting New York deli foods such as coleslaw and chopped liver. Poley's husband, Neil, slices the meat just before serving.
The deli is open to the public from noon to 2 p.m., and the workers will accept advance orders. "A couple of times, we've been swamped and ran out of food," Ruth Poley said.
The desserts are made by the baking experts in the congregation, including Tamara Ohayon, who makes the traditional black and white cookies, and Linda Gerall, who makes rugelach.
To raise seed money, the deli sold naming rights to sandwiches. There's David Shraberg's edible complex (pastrami, turkey, coleslaw, mustard), Neil Poley's hyperpoley (pastrami, chopped liver, coleslaw, Russian dressing), Rabbi Marc Kline's surf and turf (turkey, tuna salad, lettuce, tomato), and Kathy and Alan Stein's Lexington Legends all-beef hot dog.
The deli also will be open Nov. 20, Jan. 15, Feb. 19, March 18, April 15 and May 20.
Here's the recipe for the Russian dressing that goes on the hyperpoley.
¾ cup Hellmann's mayonnaise (not the light variety)
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup bottled chili sauce
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator. Use as a spread on ham or roast beef sandwiches, or as a dressing for chef's salad and other salads made with fresh greens.
Amish deli turns 1
The Willisburg General Store and Deli, 89 Chaplain Road in Willisburg, will celebrate its first anniversary on Oct. 8.
The store is owned by an Amish family who moved to Kentucky from Ohio.
"We have a bunch of these stores there, and we thought it might go well here," Andrew Miller said.
The deli makes sandwiches to order from a wide selection of meats and homemade breads. Bulk foods are available, and old-fashioned canned goods include peaches, sauerkraut, pickles and okra. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m, Saturday. Call (859) 375-9266.
Speaking of food
Cookbook author Maggie Green will speak at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at Holly Hill Inn in Midway. The luncheon menu will feature recipes from Green's Kentucky Fresh Cookbook. Included are: fall salad with pears and maple balsamic vinaigrette, roasted brined chicken, maple mashed sweet potatoes, braised kale with diced tomato, silver dollar corn cakes with oven-baked pumpkin butter, and Concord grape piettes with pecan streusel topping.
The cost is $50, which includes a copy of Green's cookbook. Call (859) 846-4732 or go to Hollyhillinn.com. Holly Hill Inn is at 426 North Winter Street.
This technique is in the bag
Cooking en papillote just got easier.
By cooking ingredients in parchment, chefs can capture flavors and moisture that are often lost in other methods of cooking. Now the home cook has a simple way to employ the classic French technique of en papillote, with cooking bags from PaperChef.com.
They can be used in frying pans and on the grill. Heat the pouch on the top rack on a metal plate, with the lid closed, at no more than 425 degrees.
Reach Sharon Thompson at (859) 231-3321 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3321.