Ever since I read the information about this book I was itching to get my hands on it! Monday Morning Cooking Club by Merelyn Frank Chalmers, Natanya Eskin, Lauren Fink, Lisa Goldberg, Paula Horwitz and Jacqui Israel, published in 2011 by Hardie Grant Publishers. With thanks to Caroline and Hardie Grant for my copy.
It was worth the wait too. I would have to start off by saying that I’m not Jewish, but for some time now I’ve been buying and looking at books searching for ‘the’ book on Jewish food. I don’t know exactly what I was looking for only that I had not managed to find it, but let me tell you, for me - this is it!
So what is the Monday Morning cooking club? Well it is a Monday morning meet up for the six authors of this book, where they have hunted out recipes, tried and ditched, or tried and kept the recipes. The recipes in the book are the keepers, all accredited to their family owners, and there is a little information about each family, and how they came to Australia – the country where they all now live. I love the little snippets of family history, particularly as I get older where recipes come from their provenance and how they have evolved is ever more important to me.
Chapters are: *Our Story* Who we are* The cooks, their stories, the recipes* plus a glossary. The book is nicely laid out, with lots and lots of pictures, and they in turn are very doable and look like they have been cooked in a family kitchen.
There are so many recipes I’d like to try over the next while like: Chocolate Almond Florentines, Bienenstich, Mediterranean Fish Stew with Couscous, Sophie’s Orange Cake, Mamoul, Chicken Persian Pilau, Lauren’s Tuna Salad, Almond Kifli, Israeli Couscous Soup and Mum’s Crumb Cookies (date bars), Gina’s Hair Raising Honey Cake – to name but a few.
A lovely book all round, worth keeping an eye out for - interesting for the cook, but also the cookbook reader too. Here are the three recipes I’ve tried so far:
My Own Red Chicken
This is an oven bound sort of sweet and sour chicken. It’s punchy and loud, but I loved this recipe.
These are suggested as accompaniments to soup. Little yummy savoury beef puff pastry morsels, well actually not so very little! Beef mince cooked with red wine, tomatoes, kecap manis and Worcestershire sauce, then encased in puff pastry and baked. They would be nice for supper with a good salad too.
I love ginger snaps, but have never got round to making them myself until now, very easy and results in a good crisp gingery biscuit. A lovely biccie to have in your cookie tin or jar.
Next Review Up: One of Nigella’s classics - How to Be a Domestic Goddess with one copy to give away.