Help from the Jews please?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by phatch, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    First off, I'm not Jewish or this wouldn't be something I'd have to ask, now would it.

    For a few years, I've been toying with the idea of studying a culture with the kids over the course of a year. We'd do the holidays at the appropriate time of the year, and once a week, we'll have a meal in that culture's style. We wouldn't do the holidays full out as that's not necessarily practical and possibly disrespectful, but could talk about the holiday, symbols, meaning and so on. Go to a local event maybe. And eat of course. Plenty to talk about, lots of fairly accessible food and recipes, plenty of history.

    Anyway, I'm looking for ideas recipes, pointers/links to religious calendars for holidays, family traditions we might use as examples and as a basis for them to understand others and so on.

    I've got a couple of cookbooks with either Jewish sections or just dedicated to Jewish foods. I recognize that they vary with the Sephardic, and the other historical cultural groups whose names escape me right now.

    Good excuse for me to cook some new recipes too. Not sure I'll pull it off, but your input will help me set a scope and find info to decide if I'm going forward with it.

    Phil
     
  2. redace1960

    redace1960

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    not jewish.
    try 'Jewish Cooking in America' by Joan Nathan-many different cultures and movements represented, anecdotes, history, all with a 'life in america' focus. and all my favorites the way i remember them from the deli. i own this one and its well used!
    for stricter orthodox, with anecdotes and history, try the origional 'The Spice and Spirit of Kosher Cooking' i understand theres updated versions, haven't read them. me and a roomate years gone used a softcover version of this to death. these are my two favorites.
     
  3. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I'm Jewish and Phil, I love your idea. This is for your own kids, right?

    If you go to urj.org, you'll be at the site for Reform Judaism in America. (Internationally, it's called "Progressive Judaism".) The local synagogue for Salt Lake City is Congregation Kol Ami. Here is a link to their site:www.conkolami.org/. There are also synagogues in Ogden and Park City.

    (As an interesting aside, the Rabbi Emeritus at Kol Ami is someone from my hometown in Illinois. Our families were friends.)

    The rabbi, cantor and educator will be good resources. I should mention that Judaism does not proselytize to non-Jews, so your requests for information should be fruitful and be met with a warm welcome, but no push to join. You will probably be invited to visit a worship service, attend holiday activities, etc. The temple will have a library where you can find books for children or adults to give you background information. Our holiest holidays (not counting the Sabbath) are coming up in October this year.

    As for food.... oy, vay! You are probably familiar with Eastern European cooking (lox, bagels, matzo ball soup, etc.). You are correct that Sephardic (Mediterranean, N. African and Middle Eastern) food is different. Some religious practices are different, too.

    If you'd like to PM me, I have some handouts, charts, etc. that I use for presentations to church groups. Many of the talks are to groups of kids. I'll need to know your kids' ages.

    Jewish culture is rich and you'll find connections in all fields: food, science, art, sports, literature.....

    Mezz
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I know of Kol Ami. I remember when they built it. Happens to be next door to good park we go to occasionally.

    Phil
     
  5. ducky

    ducky

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    I learned some good basics in Jewish Cooking for Dummies. :cool:
     
  6. shahar

    shahar

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    Don't forget, there's really no such thing as "Jewish Cooking". Jews are everywhere and have very different cuisines. Yes, in the states they're mostly represented by easter european. But you have jews in Italy(I've seen many a Jewish Roman restaurants), India, Iraq, France etc.

    There are commonalities of course, mostly based on kosher requierments.
    For example most would have a slow cooked stew for saturdays after noon. Lighting a fire after sunset on friday is forbidden, but you can leave something on ambers over night.

    What I'm saying is that it could be intersting to see how jews in different countries developed local cuisines based on the laws of their religion. Learning other people culture's great, but it's ever more educational(and intersting) to understand the hows and why of it.