The Kosher Cookbook Club, a new Facebook group, held its first event on Sunday, January 21. The club was an idea cooked up by the Kosher Dinner Lady, Rachel Berger. “I have a huge collection of cookbooks, some which I have never cooked from. I thought it would be fun to pick one each month and cook a recipe or two,” Berger said. “But it would be more fun to do it with other people who also like to cook. We can taste each other’s creations and talk about our experiences.”
The Kosher Dinner Lady optimistically thought: “I should be able to get a group of three or five to join.” Instead, “I currently have over 50 members, including people from other states and countries.” Anyone can join the group by simply requesting to join on Facebook. “We plan to meet in person once a month to discuss and/or cook from another kosher cookbook,” detailed Berger, “and people who are not nearby can participate online—by posting to the group page about the recipes they are cooking and sharing pictures.” The only real rule is to “get a copy of the cookbook, read through it and cook at least one recipe!”
The first cookbook selected was Joan Nathan’s latest book, King Solomon’s Table. “Joan is one of the great authorities on Jewish cooking and the author of numerous cookbooks.” In particular, the Kosher Dinner Lady confessed, “This beautiful cookbook has an incredible sense of history. There is something for everyone.”
At the meeting, members explained which dishes from this cookbook were prepared and why they wanted to join the group. Many offered tips based on their experiences preparing the recipes. One tip offered by the Kosher Dinner Lady was to prep all your ingredients first. When you have a long list of items, it won’t seem so daunting. However, it was pointed out that once you use an ingredient, remember to put it away so you don’t make the mistake of using the ingredient twice.
Members were excited to be part of the group, as many have large collections of cookbooks from which they have never actually created a dish. Two people were given this selected cookbook as a gift, but had never used the book.
In explaining why she joined the group, Nina Roisman, of Bonnie Crest and also hostess of the first meeting, said “I am looking forward to The Kosher Cookbook Club. It is exciting to try my own creation and what others have made!” She hopes to gain more confidence in her cooking by trying new things.
Myra Mogilner, also of New Rochelle, was motivated to join the Facebook cookbook group “as a way to be involved in something that I love to do and share the experience in person and remotely. I am making the Seven Sacred Species salad because we are getting close to Tu B’Shvat and it can be an entire meal during the week!”
The Kosher Dinner Lady explained to the group, “I hope people will feel comfortable trying new recipes, and it’s a nice, relaxed way to socialize and get new ideas for cooking.
By Judy Berger