Shalom Y’all

People often call community cookbooks simply “Church” cookbooks but as I have pointed out in the past,  fundraising cookbooks encompass much more than just your neighborhood church.  Since two Jewish holidays have just recently passed, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I thought I’d share two Jewish community cookbooks today.  I just happened to pick up both of these at the last twenty-five cent sale.
imageTHE LOOK! I CAN COOK BOOK was put together by the Sisterhood of Temple Beth Sholom in Hull, MA and lists the publish date as 1979-80.  It was printed by a commercial cookbook publisher but there is one irritating weakness:  there is no index or table of contents.  This is a substantial cookbook, 300+ pages … so good luck finding anything without the index.  The front of the book is also overburdened with those helpful hints the commercial cookbooks often have.  I don’t mind a few of those, but they have pages and pages of these things you have to flip through before you get to the first section of recipes.  I have always assumed these things are stock add-ins you can purchase when you order — they must have said, “we’ll take them all!”  I think organizations usually get a few of these things, weights and measures and such, to boost the page count when they are low on submissions.  At they managed to add a few personal touches, like a special section with Hebrew prayers.
As one would expect with a Jewish cookbook there are quite a number of Passover and other special recipes.  I found a few to share but chose a couple of the off-beat recipes from the passover section: vegetarian chopped liver and another for vegetarian lentil casserole.
imageThey also had an interesting “intoxicated” barbeque sauce and a stereotypical “Foo Yung” recipe … there are a number of Chinese food variations in this book, not unlike other Jewish cookbooks I’ve seen.  Somewhere I have an entire Chinese cookbook put together by a Synagogue in NYC.
POT OF GOLD is the work of the Sisterhood of the Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac MD in 1976.  Although I usually love original artwork on these cookbooks, I have to say that the subject in the front cover drawing is worthy of almost any zombie movie.  Another irony is the candle on the cover … someone obviously took this to heart because the cover is stained by a fair amount of candle wax.  I never mind stains too much, as that is a good indication that the book was actually used.
This cookbook was locally printed and unlike the other one it has a a good table of contents and a very good index.  There are some personal stories included and like the other one quite a few Jewish specialties.
imageI’ve included one recipe for Hamentashen Dough and another for a quite interesting Caviar Pie.
Granted, neither cookbook is spectacular, but both have a good mix of common recipes along with cultural specialties.  Just your buck basic Church, er, uh, Synagogue Cookbooks.
Shalom, Y’all   (It’s both hello and goodbye)

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