Eat peppers and live longer?

salsa de arbol

If you are a fan of spicy foods, you're going to like the findings of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Vermont. The study found a reduction in mortality for those who consumed hot red chili peppers, especially for deaths due to heart attack or stroke.

Researchers used data from more than 16,000 people in the US, covering a span of 23 years. Although there is a correlation between eating peppers and living longer, the mechanism by which this occurs remains a mystery. One theory is that Transient Receptor Potential channels, which are the primary receptors for capsaicin, play a role, but much more remains to be learned.

In the meantime, it might not hurt to add some spice to your diet. The EYB Library is chock full of ideas for using hot chili peppers, including the Salsa de arbol from Martha Stewart Living Magazine pictured above, plus over 6,300 other online recipes that include red chiles. 

January Cookbook Giveaway Roundup

This updated post will provide you with a full breakdown of all our current promotions. Links for the articles, recipes and giveaway posts for each title are shared. If you enter our giveaways, please be sure to check your spam or promotion folders for email notifications - or add jenny at eatyourbooks dot com to your filters. Also, you can check the giveaway post itself on the day of, or soon after, for a listing of the winners names. You have three days to respond and I want to be sure you receive the notifications.  

If you are interested in buying any books (or any items from our affiliates), using the BUY BOOK button for your purchases helps support our indexing efforts.

Christine's weekly posts on Fridays keep you up-to-date on all the recipes and happenings here on EYB and Darcie's daily posts keeps us current with food, cooking and book trends - so be sure to catch those. Our home page provides links to our forums, categories of posts, author and cooking school events and so much more. My posts focus on cookbook promotions, reviews and cookbook news. If there is anything else you would enjoy seeing, please leave a comment here. 

I am also working on building an Instagram following for us. More will be coming on that later. Our other social channels can be found at Facebook, TwitterGoogle + and Pinterest. Following us on those outlets is not only appreciated, but will ensure that you don't miss out on book news, giveaways,and reviews. We always appreciate your sharing our posts so that we can continue to grow our cookbook loving community.

Now for a list of our current promotions: 

Homestead Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Our Hearth to Yours the debut title from Eve and Eivin Kilcher, is the back-to-nature lover's dream. Beautiful photographs, recipes made with fresh produce, wholesome ingredients along with homesteading tips and stories - make this an all-around great read. You can find out more about this title and try two recipes over at our review post. Our contest post is open for US members until midnight January 18th, 2017. NOW EXPIRED

 

 

The Taste of Egypt: Home Cooking from the Middle East by Dyna Eldaief is open worldwide until January 31st, 2017. Be sure to enter our giveaway and read the author interview which shares insight into Dyna's background and upcoming plans for a second book.

 

 

Italian Street Food: Recipes from Italy's Bars and Hidden Laneways by Paola Bacchia's giveaway is open until February 5th, 2017 for U.S., U.K. and Australian members. Be sure to check out my review the recipe post. This book is beautiful and an interesting look at the street food scene in Italy.

 

Modern Pressure Cooking: More Than 100 Incredible Recipes and Time-Saving Techniques to Master Your Pressure Cooker by Bren Herrera is available to U.S. and Canada members along with one winner receiving the grand prize of an Instant Pot with the cookbook! Check out my review and recipe post. This giveaway is open until February 7th, 2017.

 

Butter Celebrates!: Delicious Recipes for Special Occasions by Rosie Daykin's contest is open until February 9th to US members. Be sure to check out my review and recipe post. This is a charming book that every baker would love to have on their shelves. (Both Rosie's books are!)

 

 

The contest for Mad Genius Tips: Over 90 Expert Hacks and 100 Delicious Recipes by Justin Chapple and Editors of Food & Wine is open to US members until February 12th. The recipe and review post shares a tutorial on how to core zucchini and then use that zucchini for Sesame Zucchini. 

 

 

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig started the Whole30 sensation.  Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food from Melissa Hartwig serves as a reinforcement of the program with strategies for success. And the most current addition to the Whole30 family is The Whole30 Cookbook: 150 Delicious and Totally Compliant Recipes to Help You Succeed with the Whole30 and Beyond also by Melissa Hartwig brings it all together with great recipes, the Whole30 basics as well as tips and variations to keep the program fun. For more information on these titles and a recipe to try from The Whole30 Cookbook, please see the review and recipe post. Two sets of these three titles are up for grabs for our members in the U.S. until February 15th.

The Del Posto Cookbook by Mark Ladner is a book focusing on the dishes and experience of dining at the Michelin star NYC hotspot. Two copies of this title are avaiable for U.S. members in our contest. Please be sure to check out my review and recipe post for more information on this book. This giveaway is open until February 18th.

 
Thanks for your support. More giveaways are coming soon as well as the January cookbook roundup. With our growing community, I hope providing this roundup post every month will make sure everyone stays on top of the giveaways and the information available here at Eat Your Books. 
 
Take a quick tour of Eat Your Books and if you wish to join you can sign up today! 

Famous chefs criticize competition cooking shows

 Jacques Pepin and Alice Waters books

For many years, chef competition programs like Bravo TV's 'Top Chef' and the Food Network's 'Chopped' have been highly popular with food lovers. Some food media experts credit this show and others like it for reinvigorating interest in home cooking. But a few people don't think that the program is doing cooking any favors. Culinary icons Alice Waters and Jacques Pépin recently critized some of these shows at a Television Critics Association press tour stop.

The chefs feels that the shows promote the worst of the U.S. "fast food culture". Says Pépin, "It's a disservice very often because this is not what's cooking is all about. That kind of confrontation that you have there is not really how you learn to cook. Or how you understand food." Waters agrees, saying that cooking is "never about competition. It's about the pleasure of dealing with real food."

Waters admits, however, that the country is in the midst of a food revolution, and the public is ready to "start learning how to cook." One could argue that part of this readiness is due to the popularity of cooking shows like Top Chef and Chopped. But on the flip side, some studies show that people who watch reality cooking programs actually cook less, and are less healthy.

What's your take on these competition shows? Do they encourage interest in cooking, make us hungry and therefore eat too much, or a little of both? 

Update: Pepin clarified his remarks in a Facebook post to Tom Colicchio:

"A couple of articles that came out recently that were not quite accurate. Below is the note I wrote to Tom Colicchio and I trust this settles the matter. -JP

Dear Tom
I was at a PBS convention in Pasadena over the weekend and was quoted as criticizing the reality food shows and they mentioned Top Chef. I criticized shows where the chef insults and yells at the cooks and the cooks are fighting between themselves as not being conducive to learning and good cooking and I still stand by that. That certainly did not include Top Chef. I have been privileged to be part of it several times, I enjoyed it and I have great respect for you as a chef. I am writing a clarification on my Facebook Page.
Hope all is well with you and your family. See you soon.
Fondly,
Jacques"

 

The Del Posto Cookbook - Mark Ladner

The Del Posto Cookbook by Mark Ladner and Michael R. Wilson brings Michelin star dishes from the Manhattan restaurant to our table in this new title. The beautifully written recipes were tested for the home kitchen and this book also shares well-researched information on which ingredients make a dish extraordinary. Since I will unlikely be able to eat at Del Posto, I particularly loved the pages dedicated to the restaurant, staff and the whole fine-dining experience.

The Del Posto Cookbook delivers upscale Italian dishes where even the more basic dishes such as Potato Chip Salad or Fried Calamari are elevated. The photographs have a retro feel but definitey reflect the experience of dining at this high-end establishment. This is a must have book for any lover of Italian cuisine with recipes for Emilia-Style Pork with Proscuitto, Parmigiano, and Balsamic, Agnolotti Cacio E Pepe and the Dolci chapter - desserts are stunning. As always, a full index of recipes is available here at Eat Your Books.


This Sunday, I braved the Timpano Alla Mancuso from Del Posto. I wanted to try something more complicated than the two recipes we are sharing today. I had battled a timpano before but nothing as elaborate as this show stopper of a dish.

This recipe is an all day affair - my son, my husband and our friend who was over to watch football - all raved about this dish - the men had three large servings - they loved the six different meats as well as multiple cheese combinations.

I am one of those people, who after cooking a dish literally all day - could care less about eating it. I had a few bites and I thought it was good - I think I was resentful with it for taking up my day but then again great things take time. The photo on the left is Grandma's Gravy and the photo to the right shows the timpano before placing on the pasta cover. I decided to do the torching and ended up sadly burning the top of the pasta dish so no finished photos. This dish is a show stopper and definitely one to make when entertaining a crowd. I'm sure there are shortcuts you could take - buying the pasta, using your favorite jarred sauce - I did it all from scratch - and it was fun during the prep and cooking - I was just worn out by the end from squeezing in work and other duties. A fun project also if you enjoy cooking with other people - I do not. I'm selfish in my kitchen.

The recipe for the 100-Layer Lasagne al Ragù Bolognese is worth the price of the book - and was one recipe that was highly anticipated by those awaiting this release. This dish is on my ever-growing list of recipes to create. New Yorkers have something to look forward to in 2017: Ladner's new venture Pasta Flyer, a quick-service pasta restaurant will open and I hope to visit it when I'm back home.

Special thanks to Grand Central and Chef Ladner for sharing two recipes with our members and for providing two copies of this title for our contest. Be sure to enter this contest on our giveaway page.  

BRUTTI MA BUONI COOKIES

Makes about 28 cookies

½ pound (226 grams) blanched hazelnuts (see note)
3½ large egg whites (105 grams)
1¼ cups (250 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
¼ teaspoon (scant ¾ gram) cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1.25 milliliters) pure vanilla extract

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: parchment paper or 2 silicone baking liners (such as Silpat)

Heat the oven to 325ºF (163ºC) with racks in the middle and upper third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking liners.

Spread the hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven on the middle rack, stirring twice, until golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the nuts cool completely.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF (149ºC).

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cooled nuts to a fine powder (make sure the nuts are completely dry and do not overmix; otherwise, the nuts will become pasty). Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-low speed until they are frothy and begin to increase in volume, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add the sugar, then continue beating for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture becomes thicker and shiny, about 10 minutes. Fold in the powdered hazelnuts, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Drop about 2-tablespoon (20-gram) spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart. Bake, rotating the pans once halfway through, until the cookies are lightly golden and set, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely. The cookies keep, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE: If you can't find blanched hazelnuts, you can use the skin-on type: Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 325ºF (163ºC) until they are lightly golden and the skins blister, 15 to 20 minutes. Wrap the warm toasted nuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub to remove the loose skins. Don't worry about skin that does not come off. Let cool completely, then transfer the nuts to the food processor and proceed with the recipe.

 

WARM COTECHINO  with Lentils and Prosecco Zabaglione
Serves 6 to 8

COTECHINO


1½ pounds (680 grams) uncooked cotechino sausage (see note)
3½ cups (830 milliliters) chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 (750-milliliter) bottle Prosecco

LENTILS

2 cups (475 milliliters) chicken broth, preferably homemade
1½ cups (235 grams) brown lentils
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons (total 25 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons (30 grams) finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons (15 grams) finely diced carrot
2 tablespoons (15 grams) finely diced celery
2 tablespoons (20 grams)
Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (14 milliliters) sherry vinegar

PROSECCO ZABAGLIONE

½ cup (118 milliliters) Prosecco (reserved from the bottle for the cotechino)
7 large egg yolks (130 grams)
2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) heavy cream
1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
Kosher salt 

TO SERVE

3 tablespoons (9 grams) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons (8 grams) finely chopped chives

For the cotechino: Heat the oven to 300ºF (149ºC). Place the cotechino in a 5- to 6-quart (4.7- to 5.6-liter) Dutch oven or wide heavy saucepan with lid. Add the chicken broth and 1 cup (236 milliliters) water. Measure out and set aside ½ cup (118 milliliters) of the Prosecco for the zabaglione; add the remaining Prosecco to the pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the liquid just to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 150ºF (65ºC), about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare the lentils.

For the lentils: In a medium saucepan, combine 1½ cups (355 milliliters) water with the broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaf, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Reserving the cooking liquid, strain the lentils through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl; discard the thyme and bay leaf. In a blender, combine 1 cup (150 grams) of the lentils (reserving remaining lentils) with ¾ cup (177 milliliters) of the   cooking liquid, then purée until smooth. Add the mustard and vinegar. With the machine running, drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) oil. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then fold in the reserved lentils and the onion mixture. Set aside.

Remove the cooked cotechino from the oven and let stand, uncovered, while you prepare the zabaglione.

For the Prosecco zabaglione: In a small saucepan, boil the ½ cup of Prosecco until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium metal bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of water and bring to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add the egg yolks, cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the bowl with the wine. Place the bowl over (but not touching) the simmering water and cook, whisking constantly and vigorously, and clearing the bottom of the bowl so that the eggs do not scramble, until the mixture is thick, foamy, and tripled in volume, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk 30 seconds more.

To serve: In a small skillet, gently heat the lentil purée over medium heat just until warm, adding water as needed to loosen the purée a bit. Fold in the parsley and chives. Spoon the purée onto a serving platter. Spoon the zabaglione over the top. Remove the cotechino from its broth and cut it crosswise into rounds, then arrange on top of the lentils. Spoon about 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the broth over the meat.

NOTE: Italian cotechino sausage can be purchased at Italian gourmet stores and online during the holidays

 

Excerpted and adapted from the book The Del Posto Cookbook, by Mark Ladner with Michael R. Wilson. © 2016 by Mark R. Radner LLC. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. 

Cookbook Giveaway - The Del Posto Cookbook

The Del Posto Cookbook by Mark Ladner and Michael R. Wilson is the highly anticipated cookbook from the Michelin starred restaurant. This book reflects the fine-dining experience and helps us to recreate the dishes in our own kitchens.

More information on this cookbook - along with two recipes you can try now - are available on my recipe and review post.

We are pleased to offer two copies of The Del Posto Cookbook to our EYB Members in the U.S.
 
One of the mandatory entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post:
 
Take a look at the book's index and leave a comment telling us which dish you would like to recreate from this book.
 
Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends February 18, 2017.
 
Be sure to check your email spam folders for email notifications or check back on this post on the18th for the names of the winners.

 

How to snap out of a cooking rut

Baked Alaska 

Even the most enthusiastic of cooks runs out of inspiration at some point. Whether it's a busy schedule that leaves you too tired to plan, a healthy eating resolution, dreary weather or just plain boredom, you can find yourself in a dull routine, making the same dishes and not feeling inspired to do anything different. If this describes you, don't despair. Instead, read Sam Worley's advice on how to break out of a cooking rut

The first piece of advice may sound like heresy to cookbook lovers - Worley begins by instructing you to take a hard look at your cookbook collection and donate any books you haven't used in the last five years. Don't think of that as a loss, says Worley, but rather "as gaining space for cookbooks you'll actually use. Any new cookbook gives the home chef an opportunity to stretch her legs, and right now we're in a golden age: whether it's  Appalachian or  surrealist cuisine you're interested in, there's probably a book for you."

Other ideas include buying an ingredient you know nothing about and making a dish when you bring it home (EYB is the perfect resource to find a recipe for this strategy), or tackling a big project that you've never tried before. Make puff pastry or Baked Alaska from scratch, for example.  Another way to find inspiration is to explore a cuisine that you like (or think you'd like) but haven't cooked much yourself. With the many blogs and online magazine recipes available, you're sure to find a recipe that will intrigue you. 

What strategies do you employ to break out of a boring cooking rut? 

Photo of How to make baked Alaska ice cream cake from Food Wishes by John Mitzewich

January Cookbook Previews - Part 2

This is my final installment highlighting new books this month.  My first installment covered a mix of titles and this post covers health-focused titles being released internationally. Have no fear, there are other titles coming this month and I'll have information on them in my January round-up. 
 
The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot: 80 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes That You Can Make in Half the Time by Kathy Hester contains recipes like Herbed French Lentils with Beets and Pink Rice, Creamy Mushroom Curry with Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf, Southern- Style Pinto Beans, Whole-Grain Cornbread, Smoky Pecan Brussels Sprouts and Tres Leches-Inspired Dessert Tamales. Kathy also shares how to cook an entire meal at the same time with layered entrees and side and how to save time and money by making your own homemade condiments like No-Effort Soy Yogurt, Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce and Not-Raw Almond Milk. Kathy is the vegan queen - her recipes work.
 
The Poke Cookbook: The Freshest Way to Eat Fish by Martha Cheng brings the flavors of Hawaii to our kitchens with 45 recipes for traditional poke, modern twists, bases, bowls, and other local-style accompaniments. From classic Shoyu Ahi to creative Uni, Lychee, and Coconut to vegetarian Mango and Jicama, poke is delicious, simple, and endlessly customizable. 

 

The Virtuous Tart: Sinful but Saintly Recipes for Sweets, Treats, and Snacks by Susan Jane White is being released in the U.S. this month. Previously released in Ireland in 2015. it contains over 60 recipes with healthy benefits. Recipes include: Piña Kale-ada, full of fortifying folate, Lemon Shizzle Cake, bursting with vitamin C and an anti-inflammatory dose of turmeric, Honuts, the healthy donut, and Macaccino Torte with Toasted Pecan and Chocolate Crumble, beaming with stamina-building maca and antioxidant-rich cacao. I'm expecting this title this week and will be sharing a promotion soon. 
 
Deliciously Ella With Friends: Healthy recipes to love, share and enjoy together by Ella Woodward is the much-anticipated follow-up cookbook from Deliciously Ella, the inspirational bestselling food writer who has taken the cookery world by storm. In the follow-up to her bestseller Deliciously Ella Every Day, Ella makes it easy to prepare delicious food for you, your friends and family, whatever the occasion. No more wondering whether certain dishes go together, Ella makes life simple with her menus - whether you are planning a laid-back brunch, a last-minute lunch or a fancy supper, Ella has it covered with wonderful hearty and filling recipes that celebrate her natural eating philosophy. This title is being released in the UK this month. 

Cooking with Leo: An Allergen-Free Autism Family Cookbook by Erica Daniels tells the story of a mother desperate to heal and to connect with her severely autistic son. For many years, Erica Daniels had been out to find a successful dietary intervention for her eleven-year-old son Leo, who suffers from significant food allergies, gastrointestinal disease and autism. Through trial and error in her own kitchen, she finally hit her gastronomic stride of preparing nourishing meals for her entire family without gluten, dairy, soy, nuts, additives, or GMOS. 
 
Neil Perry's Good Cooking by Neil Perry is being released this month in the UK and previously released in Australian in November. This book has over 110 simple yet sophisticated recipes that will show you just how easy it is to create amazing flavours at home with seasonal produce. Drawing on culinary influences both global and local, this collection features recipes suitable for any occasion, and is full of food that will entice you into the kitchen and inspire you to cook. Some of the examples of recipes are: Pork and kimchi fritters with spring onion dipping sauce,Thai basil and vermicelli, and Cinnamon and chilli braised beef; and devour desserts like Raspberry and yoghurt mousse cake and Spiced date cake with creme anglaise. One of my favorite titles from this author is Spice Temple and I'm working on collecting the rest. I just ordered this one and Simply Asian!

Cooking that Counts: 1,200 to 1,500-Calorie Meal Plans to Lose Weight Deliciously by Editors of Cooking Light delivers sustainable 1,200-1,500 calorie-controlled meal plans packed with tasty food in an easy-to-use format. Unlike other weight-loss plans that rely on processed meals and preportioned snacks, the Cooking Light solution emphasizes delicious meals prepared with whole, natural foods and teaches proper portion sizes. With more than 150 recipes, readers will enjoy menu variety (hopefully picking up some new favorite recipes along the way!) as well as some flexibility to enjoy desserts and alcohol.
 
If you would like to buy any of these titles, using our BUY BOOK button helps to support our indexing efforts by providing a small affiliate fee to EYB at no extra cost to you.

 

Dan Barber to bring experimental food waste restaurant to London


The Third Plate

Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill Farms in New York didn't always plan to be a chef. Originally, he wanted to be a novelist, enrolling in English Literature at Tufts University in Massachusetts. He turned to food service in an attempt to earn money for college, working in Los Angeles' fabled La Brea Bakery. Food soon became his main passion, and he has been a driving force in the industry for years. He did find a way to work in his writing, publishing The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food in 2014.

Even though he is an award-winning chef, Barber isn't content with just making delicious meals. He has long promoted sustainability, and to emphasize the amount of food that is wasted in the US each year, in 2015 he created a popup restaurant called wastED (the capitalization referred to "education"). There he served food made exclusively from what would be considered waste products: burgers made from beetroot pulp, fries repurposed from corn for cattle, and novelties like "carrot top marmalade".

Now Barber is bringing that sensibility to London. He's creating a popup at the rooftop restaurant at Selfridges on Oxford Street beginning in February. The popup will be open for about a month, and will feature items with a "uniquely British flavour". He is busy sourcing products like the rich "bloodline" flesh from salmon that gets discarded, and he's talking with local chicken and dairy farms about their waste products as well. "A project like the one I am trying to do at Selfridges couldn't have existed even 100 years ago," says Barber. "Because there was no waste from agriculture, everything was utilised."

Cooking with words

An article entitled Dreams of Cooking Behind Barbed Wire passed through my newsfeed earlier this week. The subject of the article broke my heart while reminding me that hope, food and love of family - even when manufactured through memories - is incredibly powerful.  

The photo to the left taken by the Sydney Jewish Museum is of a 56-page cookbook laced together with barbed wire and memories and was compiled by the women of Ravensbruck. The contributors of this formidable piece of history were the starving inmates of Germany's largest female concentration camp during World War II. Sharing their stories and writing down their recipes helped the women hold on to themselves, deal with their hunger and gave them strength. These memories of the life that was left behind sustained their spirits.

The cookbook is housed at the Sydney Jewish Museum and is one of six known fantasy cookbooks written by Holocaust prisoners. Edith Peer, the creator of this particular book, was forced to work in an office which enabled her to steal pencil and paper. Stealing these materials, writing down these recipes and keeping the book hidden was very risky. The Sydney Museum's head curator, Roslyn Sugarman, states it beautifully, "This tiny book is an act of resistance to maintain a sense of hope and humanity."

This piece sent me on a journey of learning as much as I could about these strong women who "cooked with words" and strengthened their resolve to keep home and family in their hearts. My search lead me to "Yehudit's Recipe Book" a young Hungarian woman who with her friends kept the faith by sharing fantasy meals and writing down recipes. There are more stories out there - more voices that must be heard.

Today, I'm sharing a few titles below that may be of interest. The first two I have ordered and were recommended by friends. These stories are powerful reminders of what hate can do but also of what hope, love and strength can endure.

In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin by Cara Desilva shares the stories of the brave women who defied their captors by preserving their heritage. Despite the horrid conditions the prisoners' endured in the camps - cultural, intellectual, and artistic life did exist within its hellish walls. The handwritten cookbooks are proof that the Nazis could not break the spirit of the Jewish people.



Recipes Remembered: A Celebration of Survival: The Remarkable Stories and Authentic Recipes of Holocaust Survivors
by June Feiss Hersh gives voice to the remarkable stories and cherished recipes of the Holocaust community.  The first professionally written kosher cookbook of its kind is a moving compilation of food memories, stories about food and families, and recipes from Holocaust survivors from Poland, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Greece. 
 
Holocaust Survivor Cookbook: Collected From Around the World by Joanne Caras and her follow up Miracles & Meals Volume 2 of the Holocaust Survivor Cookbook (The Holocaust Survivor Cookbook)  is a collection of recipes from survivors but more importantly these books contain the stories of the strength and resilience of these women. I've read both books and passed them on to others. I felt keeping these titles on my shelf was not as important as sharing these stories.

The resurgence of rye bread

 rye bread

Rye is one of the ancient grains that is receiving renewed interest from chefs and home bakers alike. Recent cookbooks like The Rye Baker: Classic Breads from Europe and America by Stanley Ginsberg explore the world of rye breads beyond the classic mild-flavored deli loaf. But that is just one example of rye's resurgence. You can learn more about its history at The New York Times, which reports on the renewed interest in this ancient grain.

Rye thrives in conditions that would spell ruin other grains like wheat, so for many in Europe it was the go-to grain for centuries. Rye bread requires a long fermentation period, which leads to its characteristic sour taste. In addition to that tang, all-rye breads like pumpernickel are usually dense and chewy. What the loaves lack in lightness, however, they make up in flavor. 

Recent renewed interest in Scandinavian food has led many back to traditional rye breads, which had been all but abandoned by chefs. They are also using whole rye grains (aka rye berries) in dishes beyond bread and pastry. Chef Kevin Adey, of the restaurant Faro in Brooklyn, New York, grinds the berries into fresh rye pasta to accompany hearty winter dishes. He likes the way that its complex flavor stands up in long cooking dishes like ragu. Adey doesn't label the pasta as rye on the menu, though, because many people think that they don't like rye and won't order it. The chef posits that they may not like caraway, which is often associated with rye. 

Photo of East Berlin malt rye (Malfabrot) from The Rye Baker: Classic Breads from Europe and America  by Stanley Ginsberg

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!

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