I’m devoted to my Jewish cookbooks.
My sister gave me this cookbook. She’s very special to me and so is this book.
Take my Joy of Cooking, my Barefoot Contessa, my Moosewood, all my Martha’s and Jamie’s and Nigella’s and even my Julia’s. But please don’t ever take away my Jewish cookbooks.
My life has changed throughout the years. I went from being single to married to a family of four. We moved from East to West. My style evolved from traditional to contemporary, modern and minimal. I used to eat whatever I wanted without giving it much thought. Now I’m all about local and slow and organic. And through it all, my Jewish cookbooks have stayed with me.
Some sit on the shelf unused. Others have pages so worn and torn from recipes I’ve made hundreds of times. Some were gifts I cherish.
Even though the recipes that fill these books are not my grandmother’s, I imagine they are somebody’s grandmother’s. And in my fantasy, she’s just like my bubbe—kind and warm—and her home smells just like my grandma’s did—of chicken soup, roasted sweet potatoes, stuffed cabbage, homemade challah and mandel bread. I felt adored there in my bubbe’s home and full from so much.
Many of our traditions get passed down through food. And isn’t cooking for our family and friends one of the ways in which we show our love? Then what lies between the pages of my Jewish cookbooks is powerful. Such history! Such love! Right there in each one of my Jewish cookbooks! There is also comfort in knowing, I’ll never truly leave behind what came before me.
Here’s another thing…when I’m in a small town or traveling and see a used bookstore, I always have to go inside. I know exactly what I’m looking for—those abandoned Jewish cookbooks—the ones that are ignored and forgotten. Sometimes they end up in the $1.00 bin. Out of print, outdated, bindings torn. They call out to me. They need a home. And that home is mine.
Do you feel the same? Do you have certain Jewish cookbooks that you use all the time and others you just keep because they are special? Were any of them gifts?
Here are just a few of my favorites. I’d love to hear about some of your favorites.
I found this one in a used bookshop. It’s very funny.
Capanota Meshugenuh Papparazzi.
Sweet and Pungent Beef Chunks Oy Gah Valt
Shouldn’t I own at least one Hadassah cookbook?
My kids love this kugel. It’s the only thing I’ve made from The Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook.
Just so you know, I own trendy Jewish cookbooks too.
And a few of Joan Nathan’s…
I didn’t make hamantashens this year. But I own so many books with hamantashen recipes, I feel less guilty about it.
This was a gift from my sister’s husband’s mom. She was a great cook.
I think schmaltz is making a comeback.
Love these three women.
The recipes in Cucina Ebraica are different from the Eastern European foods I grew up eating.
I used to make this.
I always wanted to make this.
I found The Reasoning and Seasoning of Jewish Cooking in a used book shop and couldn’t resist buying it. For the title alone, it was worth it.
I won’t be making onion souffle anytime soon but who knows?
Great picture of the fish next to the gefitle fish.
It says it’s a classic. I had to buy it.
A lot of the foods I grew up eating are in Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking.
I will never make homemade stuffed derma even though I loved it as a kid. My children don’t know what it is.
This is out-of-print. It was published in 1964 for El Al Airlines. I really like the look of the cover.
I didn’t know that sheep’s head used to be a symbolic Rosh Hashasha dish for Jews in Yemen and Afghanistan. You can learn a lot from reading a cookbook.
If you can believe it, I paid retail for this.
These are the kinds of things Mandy must have eaten when he was growing up.
Everyone should own a copy of Claudia Roden’s The Book of Jewish Food.
This Hadassah cookbook was sad and lonely when I found it in the bookshop but it’s not anymore.
Did Jewish mothers really used to make salmon stuffed artichokes?
And avocado soup?
I’ve received lots of sisterhood cookbooks from many of the women in my family and also from good friends. I cherish them all.