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Jewish Festival Cooking    by Phyllis Glazer & Miriyam Glazer order for
Jewish Festival Cooking
by Phyllis Glazer
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Jewish Festival Cooking is not only a cookbook crammed with recipes for traditional dishes, but it's also a primer for the religious occasions that produced these holidays - festivities that have been observed for hundreds and hundreds of years.

Roasted Vegetables in Olive Oil and Spring Herbs, Cream of Root Vegetable Soup, Roasted Chicken with Two Potatoes, Garlic and Rosemary - and how about Fudgy Passover Brownies to finish - makes a menu for a Passover meal. Red Lentil Hummus with Olive Oil, Yehiel's Famous Kabob, Cheese in the Fire and Miri's Muffleta might be a meal for the Omer. Along with the mouth-watering recipes is a brief history of the origin of each festival: Passover, Omer, Shavuot, Tu b' Av, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Purim, and Tu b'Shvat. I am not Jewish but could not help but be caught up in the Haggadah the 'Telling Stories' of the history of Judaism and the foods that go with those accounts. Haggadot are sprinkled through the wonderful cookbook, as are biblical sayings pertinent to the stories or the foods.

You also do not have to be Jewish to cook, eat and appreciate the dishes suggested by the authors. Phyllis Glazer is an American-born food journalist and author of several cookbooks that have been published in Hebrew, German and Italian. Miriyam Glazer is a professor of literature at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, and is studying for the rabbinate. Surely, both sisters are experts in their fields. There are no pictures in this lovely book, but it comes with complete menu suggestions in the back of course, using the recipes presented. Each recipe is marked with an M for meat or a D for dairy and a P for pareve. There are too many wonderful sounding recipes to highlight. Well, maybe just a few ... Ida's Classic Cheese Blintzes sound marvelous. How about Roasted Eggplant and Pomegranate Seed Salad? Or Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie (who can resist the bite of cranberry with the sweetness of apple and pastry?) Or Chicken and Red Grapes with Honey-Mustard Viniagrette?

I could go on. But you get the idea. I intend to try some of these dishes. Won't tell you which ones. Decide on your own what would appeal to you and your family. But each recipe seems better than the last, and Jewish Festival Cooking is a must in your cookbook library.

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