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Welcome to MyJewishBooks.com
Welcome to MyJewishBooks.com, where, since 1998, we list new, diverse, and eclectic books of Jewish interest and sort them by publication date (we do not categorize by fiction and non-fiction). All net proceeds go to tzedaka. (SORRY.. our TZEDAKA site was hijacked. We hope it returns to us one day) Look at the hyperlinks to the left for books by publication data or season.
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by JENNIFER WEINER
MAY 5, 2020
#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner is back with a powerful tale of friendship and forgiveness set on Cape Cod during the disastrous wedding of an old friend.
After giving her readers the family saga across generations that was MRS EVERYTHING, Weiner is back with a warm, funny, insightful book on female friendships and how we return to those we have known since childhood
The prologue opens in 1989. Christina asks her widowed father for the Cape Code house near Truro Beach. He is angry when she informs him that she is staying there since she is pregnant (with the child of a married man with no intention of ever leaving his wife), but he relents, and she makes a life for herself and her son Aidan, scraping by in a creaky cottage. The novel then opens three decades later... where we meet Daphne BERG, a young woman making a career for herself in Manhattan, while trying to afford to live in NYC.
Daphne has grown from an insecure, younger woman.... and now, feels good, on most days, about where she is in life and where she is headed. Behind her are her attempts to be thin. She is strong and accepts her fatter form and empowers others to do the same. She is “adorbs.” Her posts have thousands of followers. She (and her dog Bingo) are climbing the ranks as online influencers; she posts her outfit of the day (OOTD), linking the outfits to where they can be purchased. But then an old friend who has said mean things about her weight in the past (since 6th grade) – Drue Lathrop Cavanaugh - contacts her with a HUGE FAVOR to ask, and this old frenemy is acting all friendly-and-nice now. (But she has been in WASP therapy, so maybe she has actually changed for the better). Will Daphne agree to the hige favor and travel to Cape Cod in June?
This is a story of a woman's BIG SUMMER on CAPE COD and about old friendships and powerful friendships... for better or worse, til beach reads do us part.
Note to file.... I picked up the book on a Sunday... and... could not put it down until 12 hours later, and discovered why Jennifer Weiner is an amazing novelist.
Florence Adler Swims Forever:
by Rachel Beanland
July 7, 2020
Simon & Schuster
Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets in this stunning debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Manhattan Beach and The Dollhouse.
“Rachel Beanland is a writer of uncommon wit and wisdom, with a sharp and empathetic eye for character. She’ll win you over in the most old fashioned of ways: She simply tells a hell of a story.” —Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Finalist for The Great Believers
Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.
Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.
Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.
When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.
Based on a true story and told in the vein of J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occasions and Anita Diamant’s The Boston Girl, Beanland’s family saga is a breathtaking portrait of just how far we will go to in order to protect our loved ones and an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.
by Sami Tamimi with
Tara Wigley, and a foreword
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Date changed to June 16, 2020
Ten Speed Press.
A soulful tour of Palestinian cooking today that opens minds and mouths... from the Ottolenghi restaurants’ executive chef and partner — over 110 recipes shaped by his personal story as well as the history of Palestine.
“This is a beautiful book and I want to cook every single recipe in it.”—Nigella Lawson
Yotam Ottolenghi has written several very popular, best selling cookbooks, and his restaurants in London are prime destinations for tourists and locals. But the co author and chef behind a lot has been Sami Tamimi, who, like Yotam, was born in Jerusalem and is queer. He left his Jerusalem home and 11 siblings and half-siblings at the age of 17 and cooked in Tel Aviv for a dozen years, five of them at Lilith. In London, he worked at Baker & Spice where he met Yotam. By the time he returned to his family after a 17 year gap, he had 30 nephews and nieces. Now he has penned his own cookbook where he gets the top billing and shares his stories, recipes, and stories of family.
The story of Palestine’s food is really the story of its people. When the events of 1948 forced residents from all regions of Palestine together into one compressed land, recipes that were once closely guarded family secrets were shared and passed between different groups in an effort to ensure that they were not lost forever.
In Falastin (pronounced “fa-la-steen”), Sami Tamimi retraces the lineage and evolution of his country’s cuisine, born of its agriculturally optimal geography, its distinct culinary traditions, and Palestinian cooks’ ingenuity and resourcefulness. Tamimi covers the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River—East Jerusalem and the West Bank, up north to the Galilee and the coastal cities of Haifa and Akko, inland to Nazareth, and then south to Hebron and the coastal Gaza Strip—recounting his upbringing with eleven siblings and his decision to leave home at seventeen to cook in West Jerusalem, where he met and first worked with Yotam Ottolenghi. It encompasses recipes of the people of the North, Arabs of the Negev, Gazans, refugees, 48ers, Arab Israelis, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, and other identities.
From refugee-camp cooks to the home kitchens of Gaza and the mill of a master tahini maker, Tamimi teases out the vestiges of an ancient culinary tradition as he records the derivations of a dynamic cuisine and people in more than 130 transporting photographs and 120 recipes, including:
• A fascinating story on Sami and Tar's visit to a chef/restaurant in Haifa's lower port road and in Nazareth, and the politics of food (or not).. (and how even if you studied amazing seafood techniques in Sweden, the customer still just wants a kids menu and basic linguini with seafood.
• Hassan’s Easy Eggs with Za’atar and Lemon, an homage to his late father, Hassan. Use a high quality oilve oil if you can, and Aleppo chili flakes and avocado cubes.
• Fresh herb omelette, which uses baking powder and flour and fried in olive oil
• Red Shakshuka and Green Shakshuka
• Hummus (two types)
• A story of the village of Battir and its eggplant
• Labneh and the women of Bethlehem
• Beet and Sweet Potato dip
• Butternut squash m' tabbal … with an explantion on how m'tabbal and baba ganoush differ.
• Roasted figs and onions with radicchio and goat cheese
• Mashed Turnip with greens, carmelized onions, and feta
• Chilled cucumber and Tahini soup; Besara soup with fava beans, charred eggplant and lemon soup
• Meatballs and Peas in Tomato sauce
• Fish Kofta with Yogurt, Sumac, and Chile
• Pulled-Lamb Schwarma Sandwich
• Labneh Cheesecake with Roasted Apricots, Honey, and Cardamom
Named after the Palestinian newspaper that brought together a diverse people, Falastin is a vision of a cuisine, a culture, and a way of life as experienced by one influential chef.
By Daniel Silva
July 14, 2020
From Daniel Silva, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The New Girl and The Other Woman, comes a stunning new action-packed thriller of high stakes international intrigue featuring the enigmatic art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon.
Master of the spy thriller Silva has entertained readers with twenty-two thoughtful and gripping suspense novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back-from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East.
He returns with another blockbuster-a powerhouse novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, destined to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.
The Fixed Stars
by Molly Wizenberg
May 12, 2020
postponed to August 4, 2020
From a bestselling memoirist, a thoughtful and provocative story of changing identity, complex sexuality, and enduring family relationships
At age 36, while serving on a jury, author Molly Wizenberg found herself drawn to a female attorney she hardly knew. Married to a man for nearly a decade and mother to a toddler, Wizenberg tried to return to her life as she knew it, but something inside her had changed irredeemably. Instead, she would discover that the trajectory of our lives is rarely as smooth or as logical as we’d like to believe.
Like many of us, Wizenberg had long understood sexual orientation as a stable part of ourselves: we’re “born this way.” Suddenly she realized that her story was more complicated. Who was she, she wondered, if something at her very core could change so radically? The Fixed Stars is a taut, electrifying memoir exploring timely and timeless questions about desire, identity, and the limits and possibilities of family. In honest and searing prose, Wizenberg forges a new path: through the murk of separation and divorce, coming out to family and friends, learning to co-parent a young child, and realizing a new vision of love. The result is a frank and moving story about letting go of rigid definitions and ideals that no longer fit, and learning instead who we really are.
SINCE THE AUTO WAS INVENTED (after peddlers gave up walking or using horses), JEWS NEEDED TO KNOW which towns to steer clear of and not be caught in after sundown. You saw Gentlemen's Agreement, the film where a reporter tries to reserve a room in a Pocono's hotel as a Jew. It was a real thing. Hotels, hospitals, clubs, restaurants were restricted. No Jews allowed. There was a guide for the Borscht Belt, towns that accepted Jews and those that did not. And there were Sundown Towns, towns where African American/Black people could not be in after dark. Some town sounded a siren at 6PM so that Black workers knew to head home and not be caught outside after dark. Based on the book for Jews in the Catskills, a Harlem NYC postal worker created a list for Black drivers called the GREEN BOOK. Its used was the basis for a film a few years ago. BWLOW IS A FASCINATING BOOK on the topic.
THE GREEN BOOK AND THE
Roots of Black Travel in America
by Candacy Taylor
See the USA in your CHEVROLET.... as long as you are White
The first book to explore the historical role and residual impact of the Green Book, a travel guide for black motorists from Maine and NY to Route 66 and the West Coast.
Published from 1936 to 1966, the Green Book was hailed as the “black travel guide to America.” At that time, it was very dangerous and difficult for African-Americans to travel because black travelers couldn’t eat, sleep, or buy gas at most white-owned businesses. The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that were safe for black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem. It took courage to be listed in the Green Book, and Overground Railroad celebrates the stories of those who put their names in the book and stood up against segregation. It shows the history of the Green Book, how we arrived at our present historical moment, and how far we still have to go when it comes to race relations in America.
Get a facsimile of the GREEN BOOK HERE
A Wise Sons Cookbook
for Jews Who Like Food
and Food Lovers Who Like Jews
by Evan Bloom
and George McCalman (Illustrator)
March 3, 2020
From nationally recognized Jewish brand Wise Sons, the cookbook Eat Something features over 60 recipes for salads, soups, baked goods, holiday dishes, and more.
Here's a fanatical, pathological, humorous take on Jewish food obsession, with photos, illustrations, shared recipes, and schmaltz.
This long-awaited cookbook (the first one for Wise Sons!) is packed with homey recipes and relatable humor; it is as much a delicious, lighthearted, and nostalgic cookbook as it is a lively celebration of Jewish culture.
Stemming from the thesis that Jews eat by occasion, the book is organized into 19 different events and celebrations chronicling a Jewish life in food, including: bris, Shabbat, Passover and other high holidays, first meal home from college, J-dating, wedding, and more.
• Both a Jewish humor book and a cookbook
• Recipes are drawn from the menus of their beloved Bay Area restaurants, as well as all the occasions when Jews gather around the table.
• Includes short essays, illustrations, memorabilia, and stylish plated food photography.
Wise Sons is a nationally recognized deli and Jewish food brand with a unique Bay Area ethos—inspired by the past but entirely contemporary, they make traditional Jewish foods California-style with great ingredients.
Recipes include Braided Challah,
Big Macher Burger, Wise Sons' Brisket,
Chinese Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad, Smoked Fish Salad, Tuna Salad, Egg Salad,
Oven Poached Salmon,
“Jewish Chicken” with onion powder and garlic powder,
Challah Onion Rolls
DIY Cured Fish,
Fall Vegetable Hash,
Honey Cake from the Box (using Betty Corcker Super Moist French Vanilla mix as a starter),
Challah Apple Fritter Monkey Bread,
Not a Lower East Side Knish,
Challah Strawberry Shortcake,
Chicken Schnitzel with Lemon-Caper Mayo
Roumanian Skirt Steak with Scallion-Garlic Sauce,
Chopped Liver Toast, Kreplach Wontons, and Silver Dollar Potatoes,
Green Bean Casserole, Rugelach, Russian Dressing,
Carrot Tzimmes, and Morning After Matzoquiles,
while essays include Confessions of a First-Time Seder Host,
So, You Didn't Marry a Jew,
and Iconic Chinese Restaurants, As Chosen by the Chosen People.
• The perfect gift for Wise Sons fans of all ages, lovers of Jewish food and humor, as well as gift-givers young and old looking for Jewish-themed gifts for bar mitzvahs, birthdays, weddings, and more
• Great for those who enjoyed Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomonov, The 100 Most Jewish Foods: A Highly Debatable List by Alana Newhouse, and Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built by Mark Russ Federman
• A must for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of Jewish cuisine and culture
The Last Kings of Shanghai:
The Rival Jewish Dynasties
That Helped Create Modern China
by Jonathan Kaufman
June 2, 2020
An epic, multigenerational story of two rival dynasties who flourished in Shanghai and Hong Kong as twentieth-century China surged into the modern era, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Shanghai, 1936. The Cathay Hotel, located on the city's famous waterfront, is one of the most glamorous in the world. Built by Victor Sassoon--billionaire playboy and scion of the Sassoon dynasty--the hotel hosts a who's who of global celebrities: Noel Coward has written a draft of Private Lives in his suite, Charlie Chaplin entertained his wife-to-be. The American socialite Wallis Simpson reportedly posed for dirty photographs. The city is notorious for easy money and loose morals. And a few miles away, Mao and the nascent communist party have been plotting revolution.
By the 1930's, the Sassoons had been doing business in China for a century, rivaled in wealth and influence by only one other dynasty--the Kadoories. These two Jewish families, both originally from Baghdad, stood astride Chinese business and politics for more than one hundred seventy-five years, profiting from the Opium Wars; surviving Japanese occupation; courting Chiang Kai-shek; and losing nearly everything as the Communists swept into power. In The Last Kings of Shanghai, Jonathan Kaufman tells the remarkable history of how these families participated in an economic boom that opened China to the world, but remained blind to the country's deep inequality and to the political turmoil at their doorsteps. In a story stretching from Baghdad to Hong Kong to Shanghai to London, Kaufman enters the lives and minds of these ambitious men and women to forge a tale of opium smuggling, family rivalry, political intrigue, and survival.
The book lays bare the moral compromises of the Kadoories and the Sassoons--and their exceptional foresight, success and generosity. At the height of World War II, they joined together to rescue and protect eighteen thousand Jewish refugees fleeing Nazism. Though their stay in China started out as a business opportunity, the country became a home that they were reluctant to leave, even on the eve of revolution. The lavish buildings they built and booming businesses they nurtured continue to define Shanghai and Hong Kong to this day. As the United States confronts China's rise, and China grapples with the pressures of breakneck modernization and global power, the long-hidden odysseys of the Sassoons and the Kadoories hold a key to understanding the present moment.
My Wife Said You May
Want to Marry Me:
by Jason B. Rosenthal
An inspiring memoir of life, love, loss, and new beginnings by the widower of bestselling children’s author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose last of act of love before her death was setting the stage for her husband’s life without her in a column in the New York Times.
On March 3, 2017, Amy Krouse Rosenthal penned an op-ed piece for the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column —”You May Want to Marry My Husband.” It appeared ten days before her death from ovarian cancer. A heartbreaking, wry, brutally honest, and creative play on a personal ad—in which a dying wife encouraged her husband to go on and find happiness after her demise—the column quickly went viral, reaching more than five million people worldwide.
In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with, and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal—how he and their three children, despite their profound sorrow, went on. Jason’s emotional journey offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soulmate, and illuminates the lessons he learned.
As he reflects on Amy’s gift to him—a fresh start to fill his empty space with a new story—Jason describes how he continues to honor Amy’s life and her last wish, and how he seeks to appreciate every day and live in the moment while trying to help others coping with loss. My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me is the poignant, unreserved, and inspiring story of a great love, the aftermath of a marriage ended too soon, and how a surviving partner eventually found a new perspective on life’s joys in the wake of tremendous loss.
PREPARE MY PRAYER
(Recipes to Awaken the Soul)
by Rabbi Dov Singer
NOTE: Rabbi Dov Singer contracted Coronavirus in Feb/March 2020 during his book tour in the USA. He is recovering in Israel
Prepare My Prayer is a unique attempt to develop a dedicated language for the worship of the heart, the language of prayer. In a unique style, inspired by recipe books, this volume offers a variety of concise and practical recipes for prayer by one of Israel's most popular religious educators.
Rabbi Dov Singer is a recognized trailblazer in Israeli education and Jewish spirituality. He has attracted thousands of Jews of all backgrounds to workshops and prayer events to explore and enhance spirituality while going beyond ritual choreography. He has taught generations of students, young and old, how to talk and listen to one another, and as a result, how to do the same with God. His new book, Prepare My Prayer: Recipes to Awaken the Soul, invites readers to taste his unique insight.
Rabbi Singer sees humans as “Homo-mitpalelos”- praying beings, rather than “Homo-sapiens” – thinking beings. He claims that all of humanity, and in a sense, all of creation prays instinctively. He guides his readers on how to let go of all the questions – “to whom am I praying? Why I am praying? Does it even work?” and to learn how to harness their spiritual instinct for prayer.
In his debut book in English, translated from the successful, bestselling, Hebrew edition, Tikon Tefillati, Rabbi Singer seeks to engage readers and encourage them to take practical steps and actions to actively influence their prayer experience. In the style of a cookbook, Rabbi Singer includes short recipes as a means to develop and enhance one’s skillset – the mechanisms we use when we pray. Modeled on techniques Rabbi Singer has implemented in his popular workshops that attract people of varied backgrounds, Prepare My Prayer emphasizes one’s concentration, one’s emotional and spiritual connection with God, and one’s personal engagement with the Divine.
Comprising eleven chapters broken down into concise, accessible sections, each “recipe” begins with short, powerful quotes ranging from traditional Jewish texts from the Bible to the Talmud to Hassidic masters like Rebbe Nac?man. Rabbi Singer’s poetic narrative then focuses on and guides readers in a particular practical aspect of prayer encouraging readers to take what’s being shared and practice it.
This book is for anyone who prays, who wants to pray, or who wants to want to pray.
Rabbi Dov Singer, head of Yeshivat Makor Chaim and the Study Center for Renewal, is an educational innovator and a leader of the modern Israeli revival of Hassidut. He is well known in Israel and the US for his inspiring teacher training and prayer workshops.
THE BOY WHO FOLLOWED HIS FATHER
IN AUSCHWITZ: A TRUE STORY
OF FAMILY AND SURVIVAL
By Jeremy Dronfield
May 26, 2020
The #1 Sunday Times bestseller—a remarkable story of the heroic and unbreakable bond between a father and son that is as inspirational as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and as mesmerizing as The Choice.
Where there is family, there is hope
In 1939, Gustav Kleinmann, a Jewish upholster from Vienna, and his sixteen-year-old son Fritz are arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Germany. Imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, they miraculously survive the Nazis’ murderous brutality.
Then Gustav learns he is being sent to Auschwitz—and certain death.
For Fritz, letting his father go is unthinkable. Desperate to remain together, Fritz makes an incredible choice: he insists he must go too. To the Nazis, one death camp is the same as another, and so the boy is allowed to follow.
Throughout the six years of horror they witness and immeasurable suffering they endure as victims of the camps, one constant keeps them alive: their love and hope for the future.
Based on the secret diary that Gustav kept as well as meticulous archival research and interviews with members of the Kleinmann family, including Fritz’s younger brother Kurt, sent to the United States at age eleven to escape the war, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz is Gustav and Fritz’s story—an extraordinary account of courage, loyalty, survival, and love that is unforgettable.
Baby Ever After:
Expanding Your Family After
by Rebecca Fox Starr
January 31, 2020
Rowman and Littlefield Press
After perinatal or postpartum depression, the decision to have another baby can be fraught with emotion. Rebecca Fox Starr movingly shares her story and those of others who have decided to carry, adopt, or not have another child and helps readers explore their own feelings about their own baby ever after.
In her last book Beyond the Baby Blues: Anxiety and Depression During and After Pregnancy Rebecca Fox Starr gave a candid account of her battle with prenatal and postpartum anxiety and depression. Rebecca’s story has touched readers deeply and, as her own journey has continued, so has her story, having veered in an unexpected direction: the decision about a future baby.
What many people do not realize is that the idea of another pregnancy post-postpartum can be cripplingly frightening to a woman and her loved ones. Rebecca addresses this woefully in her first book, opening up about her sadness that her “shop is closed.” Having a baby was an option taken off the table, for a reason completely out of her control.
Until it wasn’t.
In 2017 Rebecca and her husband began exploring the idea of expanding their family, and, therefore consulted experts in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, perinatal mental health, fertility, adoption, surrogacy, and grief (in coping with the idea that, despite all of the options, the most sound of all could be to not have another child). Books on the topic of pregnancy after postpartum depression are scarce, making it difficult to find support or advice.
This book, anchored in Rebecca’s story, offers an informative guide to the expert advice and insight, alongside current research, for women who want to explore pregnancy and other family expansion options after postpartum depression. With heartfelt stories, clinical data, and a consideration of the range of options and the emotions that along with them, Rebecca’s book fills a gaping hole in an area that leaves too many women feeling abjectly alone.
by Heather Morris
October 1, 2019
From the author of the TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITz
Lale Sokolov, a death camp survivor, shared her life stories with Heather Morris, who based a screenplay on them and later a novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Now she goes back to the well and tells a tale based on or influenced by the life of Cilka Klein.
Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.
After liberation, Cilka Klein is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?
In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.
Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.
Fresh, Sunny Flavors
From My Israeli Kitchen
by Adeena Sussman
with a Foreword by Zahav's Michael Solomonov
September 3, 2019
"The pages of this book ooze with [Adeena's] passion for the romance and beauty of Israeli cuisine. The recipes are soulful, elemental and stunningly delicious." --from the foreword by Michael Solomonov
Michael Solomonov (Zahav) moved from Israel to Philly. Adeena Sussman moved from California to Israel (near shuk hacarmel). Both are dedicated to Israeli cuisine. Few of us will get invited to their homes to eat. SO this is the next best thing.
In an Israeli cookbook as personal as it is global, Adeena Sussman celebrates the tableau of flavors the region has to offer, in all its staggering and delicious variety. Adeena is the secret powerhouse recipe developer behind the scenes on many cookbooks, including her collaboration on Cravings and Cravings: Hungry for More with Chrissy Teigen and The Sprinkles Baking Book with Candace Nelson. She has also written about Jewish and Israeli cooking and food culture for Food & Wine, The Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, and the now defunct Gourmet.
In Hebrew (derived from the original Arabic), sababa means "everything is awesome," and it's this sunny spirit with which the American food writer and expat Adeena Sussman cooks and dreams up meals in her Tel Aviv kitchen. Every morning, Sussman makes her way through the bustling stalls of Shuk Hacarmel, her local market, which sells irresistibly fresh ingredients and tempting snacks--juicy ripe figs and cherries, locally made halvah, addictive street food, and delectable cheeses and olives. In Sababa, Sussman presents 125 recipes for dishes inspired by this culinary wonderland and by the wide-varying influences surrounding her in Israel.
Sussman shows readers how to use border-crossing kitchen staples -- tahini, sumac, silan (date syrup), harissa, za'atar, hawaiij, dukkah, baharat -- to delicious effect, while also introducing more exotic spices and ingredients. From Freekeh and Roasted Grape Salad and Crudo with Cherries and Squeezed Tomatoes, to Schug Marinated Lamb Chops and Tahini Caramel Tart, Sussman's recipes make a riot of fresh tastes accessible and effortless for the home cook. Filled with transporting storytelling, Sababa is the ultimate, everyday guide to the Israeli kitchen.
Some early recipes include Salt-Brined Crispy Dill Pickles from Kibbutz Yavneh; 24-Hour Salted Lemon Spread courtesy of Jonathan Borowitz of M25 steakhouse; 40-Minute Amba; Amba Mayo; Rosh Hashanah Pomegranate Molasses; Zucchini, Dill & Feta Shakshuka; Amba Egg Salad; Preserved Lemon-Date Tuna Salad; CHEESY ASPARAGUS Sheet Pan PASHTIDA; Honey and Olive Oil Challah; Erez's (Kamarovsky) Wedding Lamb Focaccia (which was served at the author's wedding (plus a variation of Date, Kumquat, Kashkaval Focaccia Pizzas); Sweet Oitati Frico Burekas; Magical Hummus from Ariel Rothstein's Hakosem (Magical) bistro; Broccoli Cottage Cheese Pancakes; Charcoal Gray Tahini; Pink Tahini; Pecan-Lime Huhamarra; “The Best Baba Ghanoush;” Israeli grilled sweet corn ears with labaneh, feta, sea salt and cilantro; Oven-Roasted Artichokes with Roasted Garlic by way of Rome and Northern California; Chilled Beet and Cherry Borscht; over half a dozen Israeli salads; Okra Fries; Tahini-Glazed Carrots (which is always in high demand); Cinnamony Smoky Eggplant P'titim (or how you should request Israeli couscous, aka Ben Gurion Rice); Jeweled Rice; Yerushalmi thin egg noodle Ge'ula style Kugel; a unique Roasted Tomato and Labaneh Pappardelle; Ricotta Dumplings with Pistachio-Cilantro Pesto; and Crispy Sesame Schnitzel.
Other pages include standout recipes (to name a few) for Root Vegetable and Medjool Date Stew; Turkish Coffee-Rubbed Rib-Eyes with Seared Broccoli; Schug-Marinated Baby Lamb Chops; Fried Barbounias with Lemon Chips and Sage; Lemony Salmon with Fennel and Orange Salad; Fluffy Israeli Cheesecake with Fresh Plum Compote; Triple Ginger Persimmon Loaf; Rinat Tzadok's Moroccan Fish Cakes (Ktyzitzot Dagim) which use sweet paprika instead of hard to find shoshka peppers; “Eser” Halvah and Baharat Coffee Cake (Sussman named it Eser for the 10 AM snack Aruchat Eser) Chewy Tahini Blondies; and Pistachio-Crusted Lemon Bars.
FROM MARKET TO TABLE
the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking
by Einat Admony and Janna Gur
September 17, 2019
With Shuk, home cooks everywhere can now inhale the fragrances and taste the flavors of the vivacious culinary mash-up that is today’s Israel. The book takes you deeper into this trending cuisine, through the combined expertise of the authors, chef Einat Admony of Balaboosta and food writer and author Janna Gur..
Admony’s long-simmered stews, herb-dominant rice pilafs, toasted-nut-studded grain salads, and of course loads of vegetable dishes—from snappy, fresh, and raw to roasted every way you can think of—will open your eyes and your palate to the complex nuances of Jewish food and culture. The book also includes authoritative primers on the well-loved pillars of the cuisine, including chopped salad, hummus, tabboulehs, rich and inventive shakshukas, and even hand-rolled couscous with festive partners such as tangy quick pickles, rich pepper compotes, and deeply flavored condiments. Through gorgeous photo essays of nine celebrated shuks, you’ll feel the vibrancy and centrality of the local markets, which are so much more than simply shopping venues—they’re the beating heart of the country.
With more than 140 recipes, Shuk presents Jewish dishes with roots in Persia, Yemen, Libya, the Balkans, the Levant, and all the regions that contribute to the evolving food scene in Israel. The ingredients are familiar, but the combinations and techniques are surprising. With Shuk in your kitchen, you’ll soon be cooking with the warmth and passion of an Israeli, creating the treasures of this multicultural table in your own home.
Named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Cookbooks of Fall 2019...“Admony (Balaboosta), who owns the restaurants Balaboosta and Taim in New York City, and Gur (Jewish Soul Food) excel at crafting recipes for Israel’s flavorful melting-pot cuisine, and they organize this fascinating cookbook around eight shuks, or markets. They include Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Market, which houses a stall selling roasted seeds and nuts and a spice store that traffics in potions and powders reputed to “drive away an evil eye, lift a curse, or help you find your soul mate.” Dishes are equally intriguing: a chopped salad of avocado and kohlrabi highlights the country’s abundant produce. Traditional selections and clever inventions intermingle, the latter exemplified by challah braided around mushrooms and za’atar, and, in a chapter on stuffed items, a cake of cabbage leaves encasing a filling of pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, ground beef, and rice. A chapter on couscous includes a brace of stews for ladling over the pasta, as well as two options for creating couscous from scratch. A grilling primer features whole fish, kebabs, and arayes—pitas stuffed with beef and lamb and cooked over a flame. Sidebars range from suggestions for optimizing Israeli salad to an explanation of the evolution of date syrup. This energetic and exciting volume serves as an edifying deep dive into Israeli food market culture and cuisine.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
And now, my take on it...
The authors visit eight major shuks (open air marketplaces, mazes of stalls and stands) in Israel. Einat would shop as a child in Tel Aviv with her father at the century old Shuk Hacarmel. They would buy “Mizrachi” ingredients, since her mother was Persian who grew up in an Iraqi household and her father grew up in the Yemenite quarter. Janna first visited loud, sensual, boisterous Shuk Hacarmel as a teen, fresh from the politeness of Nordic Latvia. The shuks they visit in this book are: Levinsky (with roots in Salonika), HaCarmel, the welcoming T.A. HaTikva, Hanamal (the relatively new market of sixty stalls in Tel Aviv's old Port), Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem, Ha'ir Haatika in Jerusalem's Old City (home of Arafat/Nazmi Hummus), Haifa's Wadi Nasnas, and Shuk Akko (the Old Akko Market), and from them they bring the shuks into your home kitchen. For each market they list a few of their favorite stalls/shops. There are fourteen chapters with over 13 dozen recipes. The chapters are Salad All Day; Cauliflower and Eggplant; Dairy and Eggs for Breakfast and for Dinner; Mad About Chicken; All About the Rice; Ktzitzot: Patties, Latkes, and Meatballs; Soups to Comfort and Refresh; Deliciously Stuffed; The Couscous Table, The Flavor of Fire; Flatbreads, Traditional Breads, and Savory Pies; and... Sweet Endings. They recommend about a dozen items for your pantry, and nother dozen spices, including zaatar sumac, hawaij, ras el hanout, cinnamon, cumin, dried mint, and turmeric. Actually, just in the pantry intro, they share several recipes for sumac mayo; dressings; lemon and mint pesto; chermoula (cumin, parsely, cilantro, coriander, paprika, oil, lemon) for fish; dukkah; harissas; olives; and s'chugs.
The Salad chapter begins with Israeli Salad, and a list of salad rules. Some other salads of interest are a cerviche' chopped avocado, cucumber and kohlrabi (did you know Israelis adore kohlrabi); spicy tomato and garlic with tahini; three-tomatoe with sub-dried tomato dressing; caramelized fennel and radicchio with Arak Vinaigrette; orange and olive with harissa vinaigrette; and fresh mango with AMBA and mustard vinaigrette. And take note of the summer watermelon with salty feta cheese recipe. Chapter 2 pays homage to heroic eggplants and cauliflowers (are you aware of the whole roasted cauliflower craze in Israel and on Manhattan's West 72nd Street?), and begins with a cauliflower salad that includes a peanut tahini sauce and sliced bamba snacks. A sampling of recipes include ones for grilled cauliflower steaks; sweet and sour baked (fried then baked) eggplant a la Einat's mother; and Sabich. In Chapter 3, Tahini and Chickpeas (and Hummus), with eight tahini recipes, including honey-soy tahini sauce, and a tahini banana date shake.
Chapter 5 is focused on dairy and breakfast, and the cheese that has been coveted in Israel back to the time of the Knights Templar. Recipes includes ones for homemade Labneh; marinated Labneh balls; Shakshuka (3 types); Balkan-style scrambled eggs; and Egg Salad with Preserved Lemon, Caramelized Onions and Zucchini. Chapter 6 on Chicken explains how you can master Israeli Schnitzel, and includes recipes for an Orange Blossom-scented Roast Chicken; Ethiopian Doro Wot; chicken LIVER schnitzel; and Musahan on Flatbread a la chef Nof Atamna-Ismaeel. In Chapter 7, which is All About Rice, there is a recipe for Persian bottom of the pot Tahdig Rice; Tbit (Iraqi chicken with rice); Chicken Maqloubeh (Upside down; Palestinian jasmine rice, eggplant, cauliflower, vegetables and chicken pilaf); Bakhsh; and Ghormeh Sabzi. Chapter 8 is dedicated to Ktzitzot (minced ones, chopped ones) which they wrote are the “epitome of Israeli home cooking: inexpensive and designed to stretch a bit a protein to feed a family.” Some of their faves are Beet (and russet potato) Latkes with preserved lemon and yogurt dressing; Chicken Patties with chard, leeks and celery in lemony broth; Persian Beef and Duck Meatballs (Fassenjan); Persian Meatballs stuffed with prunes (Gondy Berenji); and Ktzitzot Abu Hatzerah.
The title for Chapter 9: Soups that Comfort and Refresh sounds poetic to me. Their southern French inspired chicken soup with knaidlach uses saffron, fennel and tarragon. The lentil with carrot soup is thick with cumin, turmeric, coriander and garlic. The Yemenite White Bean Soup is seasoned with Hawaij, tomato paste, beef bones and cilantro. Their Kubbeh soup uses a beet based broth, and the tomato, strawberry and arak gazpacho refreshes and is based on a recipe from chef Guy Zarfati. Chapter 10 shares recipes for “Deliciously Stuffed” Seer Memulayim, where the authors stuff onions, cabbage cake, peppers, beets, delicata squash... with lamb, freekah, prunes, quinoa, lemon, silan sauce, spiced beef, pomegranate, dried mint sauce, raisins, and more. Chapter 11 is focused on couscous, which in some Israeli households is traditionally eaten twice a week: on Shabbat, and for Tuesday lunch; and its fixings, including Mafroum, Lamb Tagine, Matboucha, Mesayer, and short ribs.
Al-Ha'esh (on fire) and Mangal (Arabic for “a grill”, cookout) foods are the focus of Chapter 12. Recipes include ones for whole grilled fish with za'atar; grouper kebabs with chermoula; grilled chicken wings that are shawarma spiced; and Arayes, which are grilled meat-stuffed pitas. Chapter 13's breads include a challah stuffed with mushroom, leeks, and za'atar; pita bread; laffa; lahmajun topped with beef; phyllo bourekas; Yemenite semolina and flour pancakes (Lachuch); spinach and pine ut fattayers; Jerusalem “bagels” stuffed with feta and scallions; and kubenah stuffed with caramelized onions. Among the happy treats in Chapter 14: Sweet Endings are recipes for a Fresh Orange Pound Cake; lazy easy baklava; Israeli cheesecake with pistachios and labneh; and chocolate Kadurey biscuits balls.
The 100 Most Jewish Foods:
A Highly Debatable List
by Alana Newhouse
(EIC OF TABLET.COM)
March 19, 2019
Tablet’s list of the 100 most Jewish foods is not about the most popular Jewish foods, or the tastiest, or even the most enduring. It’s a list of the most significant foods culturally and historically to the Jewish people, explored deeply with essays, recipes, stories, and context. Some of the dishes are no longer cooked at home, and some are not even dishes in the traditional sense (store-bought cereal and Stella D’oro cookies, for example). The entire list is up for debate, which is what makes this book so much fun. Many of the foods are delicious (such as babka and shakshuka). Others make us wonder how they’ve survived as long as they have (such as unhatched chicken eggs and jellied calves’ feet).
As expected, many Jewish (and now universal) favorites like matzo balls, pickles, cheesecake, blintzes, and chopped liver make the list. The recipes are global and represent all contingencies of the Jewish experience.
You might be surprised to learn the Jewish histories of Sweet n Low and Bazooka bubble gum.
Contributors include Ruth Reichl on Lamb, Elissa Goldstein on leftovers, Alana Newhouse on Kiddush cookies and Haminados, Gabriel Sanders, Éric Ripert on Gefilte FIsh, Joan Nathan, Michael Solomonov, BKG/Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett on Flanken, Dan Barber, Gail Simmons, Yotam Ottolenghi, Tom Colicchio, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Maira Kalman on Herring (and Chekhov), Action Bronson, Daphne Merkin on Beet Horseradish, Shalom Auslander, Merissa Nathan Gerson on Honey and honeycake, Marc Tracy on Hebrew National Hot Dogs, Gabriela Geselowitz on Joan Nathan's Azerbaijani Style Eggplant, David Sachs, Rosie Schaap (yes of the grape Schaap's) on Concord Grape Huice, Wayne Hoffman on Chicken, Marjorie Ingall on Bokser, Paola Gavin on Roman Artichokes, MaNishtana on Haroset, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Eve Jochnowitz on Dill, Leil Leibovits on Treyf, and Phil Rosenthal, and many many others. Presented in a gifty package, The 100 Most Jewish Foods is the perfect book to dip into, quote from, cook from, and launch a spirited debate.
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