Katish, round as a plum and neat as a pin, arrived in Los Angeles as a Russian emigre in the 1920s. As Wanda L. Frolov remembers, her house was brought to life by this humble genius of the kitchen, whose English was unpredictable and whose love of company (especially that of the downtrodden) was unstoppable. Soon Katish was nourishing the bellies and the souls of a happy throng with her blini and pilaf, her shashlik and borscht. On the side, she brokered marriages and started bank accounts for new emigres, presiding over all from her spotless pastry table.Katish offers deliciously simple Russian country cooking enveloped in a warm and cheering narrative, tender as the crust of Katish's own piroshky. It includes Katish's Cheesecake, one of the most beloved recipes ever published in Gourmet magazine.