LACONIA — Gloria Borchert has lived in the Lakes Region since 1977 and still remembers the first Jewish Food Festival 18 years ago.
Seated in a chair by the window in her home at Briarcrest, the 90-year-old said she was living in Meredith with her husband Walter when they read about the festival in a local newspaper.
"We were thrilled," she said. "We had to be first in line and we waited in the car an hour until it opened."
She said she stood in line for the latkes while Walter stood in line for the brisket. She also remembered a table filled with cakes and pastries and buying an apple cake.
"The woman, I've forgotten her name, got to know us," she said. "We got an apple cake every year."
Walter and Gloria grew up in Brooklyn and spent their lives surrounded by Jewish delicatessens and butcher shops. She said her husband's father was a German immigrant. After they married 69-years-ago, she said, they bought a good deal of their food from the Jewish delis and shops in the area, though they themselves were not Jewish. When they retired and moved to Meredith she said the one thing they could never find was any good Jewish food.
Since then they have either been attending the annual food festival or, as they became less mobile, placing bulk orders with master cook Irene Gordon, who would deliver them in person. This year, Gloria placed the order and will bring some to Walter who lives at the N.H. Veteran's Home in Tilton.
She said their standard order included three pounds of brisket and three pounds of tongue, chopped liver, Jewish half-dill pickles, latkes (potato pancakes", blintzes, kugel, and "a good Jewish rye bread".
"Three pounds of tongue is a lot of tongue and not one iota was wasted," she said adding tongue freezes well and makes wonderful sandwiches and a main meat course.
"You can get tongue anywhere in New York (City)," she said, adding that when she went to central New Hampshire butchers they just looked at her like she didn't know what she was talking about.
Gloria said it would usually take about two weeks for them to eat all of the food procured from the event.
"Walter would eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner," she said, noting that with Walter now living in Tilton her order this year will last a little bit longer.
Karen Lukeman and Irene Gordon said they would deliver Gloria's food sometime on Saturday to which Gloria replied, "the sooner the better."
"It means everything to us although I wish it would happen more often during the year," she said.
The 18th Annual Jewish Food is Sunday beginning at 11 a.m at the Temple B'nai Israel on Court Street. Closing time is 2 p.m. As part of the annual festival, there will be a yard sale and the Nearly New Boutique.
About 50 volunteers have been preparing the food and freezing it since March but the bulk of the work, said Lukeman, will take place on Friday, Saturday and early Sunday.
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