Friday, May 27, 2011

An eBook for the Ages

My friend Yael passed along an incredible link this morning, to The Project Gutenberg EBook of the International Jewish Cook Book, by Florence Kreisler Greenbaum, which is free to all.

Yael, who is strictly kosher, writes: “In my search for a recipe (as I never asked my grandmother to write these down) for Farina Soup and Klutzsky, I came across this fascinating and homey Jewish cookbook. It dates back to 1919, and was compiled by a New York housewife and foodie extraordinaire. Some of the recipes I recognized, some I desired, and many I read and lavished in the cook's expertise.”

I immediately clicked on the link Yael had sent and was swallowed up in a world of both ancient and modern Semitic flavours and traditions – 1,600 recipes in all. There are appetizers, sandwiches, garnishes and dumplings for soups, sauces for fish and vegetables, stuffings for meat and poultry, fresh fruits and compotes, egg dishes, cheese dishes, coffee cakes, cookies, steamed puddings, pickles and relishes, and more, and so on.

It’s like a Jewish culinary jackpot full of simple recipes that allow anyone to prepare and enjoy a wealth of global recipes that follow the rules of Kashrut, and that stand the taste test of time.

Here’s an easy classic to get you started:


Take one-quarter pound chicken livers that have been boiled soft; drain and rub through grater, add one-quarter cup of fresh mushrooms that have been fried for three minutes in two tablespoons of chicken fat, chop these, mix smooth with the liver, moistening with the fat used in frying the mushrooms, season with salt, pepper, paprika and a little onion and lemon juice. Spread on rye bread slices. Garnish plate with a red radish or sprigs of parsley.

P.S. I didn’t have a photo of chopped liver so instead included this photo I took at an awesome herring smokehouse on the Magdalen Islands last spring. (I figured with the kosher diet’s predilection for smoked fish it was appropriate to the post.)

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