NEW RELEASE! Cooking for the King

August 22, 2013

L624Service of the Heart, Soul, and Kitchen

A look at Cooking for the King: Winning Recipes for Shabbos and Yom Tov

By Malka Winner

Every year, my friend and I have the same conversation.

“This year, my Rosh Hashanah is going to be all about ruchniyus,” she says. “So I’m making the menu very, very simple.”

“But it’s still Yom Tov,” I protest. “And you have to make food for meal after meal, so you must be cooking something.”

“True,” she concedes. “But still, ruchniyus, not gashmiyus, that’s what matters! Right?”

“Right,” I say. “But what about the simanim?”

And round and round we go…

This year that conversation is going to be different. Enter Cooking for the King, a new cookbook that takes care of the gashmiyus—while nourishing the ruchniyus. Cooking for the King by Renee Chernin (Brand Name Publishing, 2013), is more than a cookbook. It’s a guidebook to Rosh Hashanah, and indeed to domestic life throughout the year, from the grocery store to the kitchen to the table—and everywhere in between.

“The woman who, day in and day out, manages and cares for her Jewish home holds the key to eternity,” Chernin writes. She acknowledges that a life of chores and housework “can feel fragmented.” But when you flip through the pages and see the beautiful photographs of Chernin’s easy-to-make dishes, you can’t help but be caught up in her enthusiasm.

Organized around the structure of a holiday meal—starting with salad and ending with dessert—the cookbook makes you want to just get busy planning your own yom tov meals. And with numerous, appetizing-looking options in each section, the most discerning chef—or most simple cook—will find recipes that appeal to her.

Chernin takes normal, everyday ingredients and turns them into foods with flair, whether it’s the Harvest Bisque, with its surprise ingredient (an apple), or the Best Rosh Hashanah Meatballs, which you’ll want to make year-round. She turns simanim into side dishes, soup, and salad, making Rosh HaShanah preparations easier, without all the simanim needing to be made individually. Many of these recipes are also sure to become perennial classics.

The recipes are easy to follow; they were developed with busy wives and mothers in mind, providing prepare-ahead instructions, shelf-life information, menu suggestions, complementary side dishes, and more. Chernin even shares tips on how to organize and prepare in Elul.

But the truth is, this cookbook isn’t just for Elul and Tishrei. It can be used throughout the year. The majority of the recipes, like the Pareve Cream of Zucchini Soup, the Roasted Beet Chips, the Brown Sugar Salmon, the Caramelized Onion Chicken, and Good as Gold Potatoes, to name a few, are ones you’ll want to use time and again, regardless of whether there’s a yom tov on the calendar.

Chernin’s book so aptly demonstrates that one can eat to indulge or one can use food “to build a bridge between heaven and earth.” Cooking for the King builds a bridge between recipes for food and recipes for life. This year, Rosh Hashanah preparations will be different; Cooking for the King is a siman of that!

Click here to order online.

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 9

August 16, 2013

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 9 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

A deep, heavy stillness hovered over the house. Bentzy was sleeping soundly, perhaps because he sensed that he was home alone with his father. Yaffa had gone to school, as she had the past few mornings, and Elchanan had suggested that if he was staying home this morning anyway, Bentzy could stay with him.

Elchanan had taken some Tylenol early in the morning and was now feeling so much better that he vacillated whether it hadn’t been foolish of him to miss a day of work. He went into the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea for himself. Opening the cupboard to take out the teabags, his gaze immediately fell upon the open package of Bamba standing behind the box of teabags. Now that the topic had been analyzed from all sides and resolved, the Bamba wasn’t quite so threatening anymore, and he took it out along with the tea. Yaffa wouldn’t be going to the Emmanuels’ house anymore, and that was that. All he needed was for his mother to find out what her daughter-in-law was dabbling in for a living.

Yaffa had halfheartedly agreed with him at first, and then became more convinced. She apologized for not telling him anything, but he was still so shocked about the whole thing that he almost forgot to be insulted. Yaffa also pointed out that now that she was working in the school, the job in Maaleh Adumim had really become superfluous and she could easily give it up.

For his part, Elchanan had promised that when the week of work at the school was over, he would help her find another job, something more normal than cleaning houses for twenty shekel an hour. Perhaps telemarketing or something like that; there were lots of positions available in that field. Or would telemarketing be too difficult for Yaffa? Speaking over and over again to strange people, half of whom were liable to get angry and scream at her before slamming down the phone? Keep Reading…

Dance of the Puppet – Chapter 8

August 1, 2013

purple bookIsrael Book Shop presents Chapter 8 of a new online serial novel, Dance of the Puppet, by Esther Rapaport. Check back for a new chapter every week. Click here for previous chapters. 

Copyright © Israel Bookshop Publications. 

“That woman is going to send me out of my mind!” Malka grumbled angrily. The teachers’ room was empty, aside for her and the shelves of account books. “She approved forty sheets of labels for them from Efroni’s store. Each sheet cost six shekel. So she just threw two hundred forty shekel in the garbage!”

She recoiled somewhat when someone entered the room. While her irate murmurings were quiet enough that she could be sure the person hadn’t heard anything, she still felt uneasy.

“Oh, hi, Yaffa,” she said amiably. “How’s the work going?”

“Fine,” Chaya Schuck’s sister replied. “No problem.” She paused for a minute, as though waiting for the green light to enter the room, but when none was forthcoming, she continued her way into the teachers’ room anyway.

Malka observed her from behind. Yaffa looked so similar to Chaya in coloring and features—but the two sisters couldn’t be more different in temperament.

“Are you looking for something there?” Malka called when she saw Yaffa opening and closing the kitchenette cabinets one after another.

“No….not really…I mean…yes. I’m looking for cups, for coffee.”

“In the right cabinet, at the top,” Malka said, and went back to her papers. She concentrated for a few minutes until she heard a slight clearing of the throat to her right. “Yes, Yaffa?” she asked in the same cordial tone that she used when speaking to ninth graders.

Yaffa placed a steaming cup beside her.

“For me?” Malka was surprised. “Thank you. How did you know how much coffee and how much Sweet & Low I like?” Keep Reading…