1.9.15 Issue

by Mary Sue Grossman, Program Coordinator, The Center for Jewish Life

Food has always been and, no doubt will always be, a focus of utmost importance in Jewish life. Any Jewish holiday and any Jewish life cycle event features special food dishes and menus. As the “people of the book,” there have been a remarkable number of publications related to the world of Jewish food. Whether it’s historic, educational or hands-on, the culinary arts section at the Kripke Jewish Federation Library includes over 100 selections from which to choose.

Read on to learn about some of the new food-related additions to the library collection during the past year. Whether you are interested in cookbooks, ideas for eating healthy or food history, plan to visit the library soon to spice up your menu planning and mealtime conversations. Library hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday. The on-line catalog is available 24/7 on the Kripke Jewish Federation Library page at www.jewishoma ha.org.

The Gourmet Jewish Cookbook: More than 200 Recipes from Around the World by Denise Phillips

From modern spins on classics, like Schnitzel Noodle Stir Fry and Matza Granola, to make-ahead meals like Passover Beef Lasagna, to sophisticated dishes like Veal Chops with Mushroom Sauce, this cookbook covers it all. Suited both for home chefs looking to introduce new foods into their repertoire as well as casual cooks searching for that perfect dinner party recipe to wow their guests, this is the ideal source for modern, gourmet twists on classic recipes. Each recipe also includes a brief overview of the background and rich history of Jewish cuisine and illustrates how kosher cooking is the first example of “fusion,” as it melds local foods of the countries where Jews have lived with the dietary laws that Jews observe.

Get Cooking! A Jewish American Family and Rockin’ Mama Doni Celebration by Rachel Harkham and Doni Zasloff

Packed with holiday activities, jokes and rockin’ tunes on a free CD from Jewish children’s musician Mama Doni, this is so much more than a Jewish holiday cookbook. A true celebration of Jewish American culture, it makes a Jewish connection to secular holidays to show how our American lives and Jewish lives intersect. Co-author, Recipe Rachel, includes modern reinterpretations of classic recipes, sure-fire kid-pleasers and New Jewish cuisine with a wordly spin.  Straight-forward directions, cooking tips and mouth-watering photos make the recipes appealing and accessible to young cooks.

Living a Real Life with Real Food: How to Get Healthy, Lose Weight and Stay Energized – The Kosher Way by Beth Warren

When navigating the world of health and wellness, nutrition advice is sought from newspapers, magazines, our “know-it-all” neighbor, our grandmothers’ old wives’ tales, the muscular guy at the gym, or “expert” health-care professionals. One is often confused by the conflicting messages that arise from mantras to “eat this, not that.” In Living a Real Life, registered dietician and certified nutritionist Beth Warren writes with a kosher perspective and relies on science and her clients’ experiences to show that the best way to lose weight, build strength, and help fight obesity-related diseases is to eat the natural, organic, whole foods that people have been eating for centuries — before fad diets and America’s food system got in the way.

Kosher Cuisine for a New Generation by Cantor Mitch Kowitz

Who says the kitchen is just for cooking? Cantor Mitch brings kosher cooking to a new generation and away from the stove. With over 75 recipes and lay-flat binding, Kosher Cuisine For a New Generation is the perfect kitchen companion for anyone looking to put the chutzpa in cooking. With song and music pairings for each recipe, this is not your average cookbook. Whether you’re looking for soups, salads, or Bubbie’s favorite recipes, you’re sure to find it and more in this one-of-a-kind creation from the infamous singing chef.

Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food by Laura Silver

When Laura Silver’s favorite knish shop went out of business, the native New Yorker sank into mourning, but then she sprang into action. She embarked on a round-the-world quest for the origins and modern-day manifestations of the knish. The iconic potato pie led the author from Mrs. Stahl’s bakery in Brighton Beach to an Italian pasta maker in New Jersey — and then on to a hunt across three continents for the pastry that shaped her identity. Starting in New York, she tracks down heirs to several knish dynasties and discovers that her own family has roots in a Polish town named Knyszyn. With good humor and a hunger for history, Silver mines knish lore for stories of entrepreneurship, survival, and major deliciousness. In a series of funny, moving, and touching episodes, Silver takes the reader on a knish-eye tour of worlds past and present, thus laying the foundation for a global knish renaissance.

The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home: Made Fresh Daily! by Michael C. Zusman

If you don’t happen to live near one of the new wave of artisan-style Jewish delis that have sprung up around North America over the last few years, not to worry. With this book, the world of Jewish deli can be yours in the comfort (and privacy) of your own kitchen. And it’s not that hard. Really. On top of all the Jewish deli classics, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home offers updates and new angles on the old ways that are bound to thrill the palates of a modern generation of eaters focused on quality ingredients and a lighter-handed approach to a traditionally heavy cuisine.  The range of favorite recipes include: Crispy Potato Latkes with Chunky Ginger Applesauce; Summer Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber and Cracklings; Wise Sons’ Chocolate Babka French Toast; Home Oven Pastrami; and Celery Soda. Photographs, historical tidbits, reminiscences, and reference material round out the book and add lively cultural context.

The Kripke Jewish Federation Library is a program of the Center for Jewish Life as a part of the agency’s mission to maximize involvement of Omaha’s Jewish community in imaginative, compelling and meaningful Jewish experiences. For additional information, please call 402.334.6462.