We’re going on a virtual picnic!

Picnic with group of friends 1936 – anyone recognise them?

Sadly, at the moment the museum family can’t get together and do all the different activities we normally offer. As we miss you all, we thought it might be nice to all come together in the virtual world and plan a picnic (which we eventually hope to host properly face-to-face when we can).

Getting out and about with family, friends, clubs and societies was a favourite past-time of Manchester’s Jewish communities. Photographs and oral history recordings in our collection show and describe picnics from the simple to the very elaborate.

Worker’s Circle Friendly Society Branch 11, Annual Picnic, Rose Hill, Marple, 1920

The collaborative virtual picnic where everyone can help:

Inspired by these stories, here are some of the things you can do to help us with creating our virtual picnic which is for anyone and everyone:

  • Send us a photo of your favourite picnic food or of you picnicking with your friends, family or social clubs from easier times
  • Have a picnic at home and send us a picture
  • Join in with our staff team and take Clara’s strudel challenge (you may need to plan this for after Passover, if your kitchen has already been prepped).
  • Have a listen to the oral history clips below and send us your stories of going to Heaton Park (or any park!) for a picnic
Pearl Gollenbeck talking about her picnic trips to Heaton Park
Dayan Golditch talking about his childhood trips to Heaton Park and the nearby farm during WW1

Clara’s strudel challenge:

Clara Weingard describing her mother’s strudel

Staff members at the museum have been inspired this week by Clara Weingard’s descriptions of her mother’s cooking. We decided to challenge each other to make a strudel in our home kitchens and send pictures to each other. Which one do you think deserves to win?

As it was close to Pesach, Programmes Administrator Andrea decided to make a yeast free tea loaf using some of the toppings described by Clara and then upping the ante by using chocolate drops!

Andrea’s loaf before going in the oven

Coming out the oven while on the phone to Laura – multi-tasking!

Head of Programmes Gareth got his whole family involved in some giant strudel making. They found the story of Alissa Harouch who grew up in Southern California and whose Great Aunt Blanche Schiff would send her strudel in a shoe box to enjoy! https://www.jewishfoodsociety.org/posts/2018/2/7/the-strudel-that-arrived-in-a-shoebox

Prize for the biggest strudel awarded even before everyone else got their picture in!

Outreach Co-ordinator, Dara made her strudel with anything that was lying about in her cupboards – cherry, coconut and almond – nice combo!

Creative Producer, Laura (with a bit of help…) made cherry, almond and cinnamon as well as fig, lemon and almond. For those of you that also can’t eat sugar, she used a natural sweetener made of tree bark called xylitol in her fillings. One of the strudels was so big it had to be curled around to get in the oven!

Picnics and other pastimes

Senta Baschin, knitting outdoors while on a picnic outside Berlin before WW2. Senta was married to Milliner, Alfred Breitbarth, who died in 1939. Their sons came to the UK on the Kinder transport and Senta also managed to com eto Manchester on a domestic visa. She re-married a fellow refugee in 1944 and became Senta Laden.

Women’s Textile Group helps create the virtual picnic

Our ladies textile group are also going one step further and making some of their favourite dishes out of knitting, crochet, embroidery, felt or any other materials. If you like making things you are very welcome to join in and like Laura and Dara, you don’t have to be expert makers.

Dara’s orange

Laura’s attempt at a pear

She’s going to go for a full fruitbowl!

Diane’s truly amazing crochet hamantaschen biscuits!

Have a go, have fun and send you responses to Laura and Dara. We will share them on this blog and social media to build our virtual picnic together.

You can send us an email or connect with us on Facebook (Manchester Jewish Museum), twitter (@MCRJewishMuseum) or Instagram (MCRJewishMuseum)

laura@manchesterjewishmuseum.com dara@manchesterjewishmuseum.com

Virtual Picnic

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