Ella’s Deli and Manna Cafe Favorite Recipes Reduced for the Home Cook | Restaurants


“You know, people enjoyed food for so many years, we thought there was no point in keeping the recipes a secret,” Ken said.

Barb and Mike Pratzel, owners of Manna Café & Bakery for 15 years at their home in Maple Bluff, display a copy of their old restaurant cookbook.


Barb and Mike Pratzel closed Manna on North Sherman Avenue after 15 years. He was one of the first victims of the pandemic.

Their book release event for “Manna Café and Bakery Cookbook: A Memoir of Two Businesses, a Community, and the Food that Connected them” last month at the Goodman Community Center drew a large crowd.

“Strangely enough, we had over 200 people,” Barb said. “It was like a big party of love from Manna. We described it as another Manna Sunday brunch just on hormones and for the cookbook. It was just a really beautiful, wonderful, warm and happy experience.

To the size

The first step in each project was to find a way to reduce the large amounts of restaurant recipes to small amounts for home cooks.

Instead of their kitchen staff making 350 balls of matzoh for the restaurant, said Ken Balkin, they needed a recipe that would make 10 balls of matzoh.

Judy took care of the recipe adjustments, but the truth was that in the past, when she wanted a matzo ball, she would order one at a restaurant, where her cooks made giant batches about three times a week.

“I put it in the computer,” Judy said, “but you still had to play with it because it doesn’t really translate perfectly.”

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