You Made My Day: Four Generations of Kosher Cooking
Contains Photos, Index
Christy Conte is a member of the Parents Advisory Committee at the
YMCA’s Parent and Child Enrichment Centre and a journalist.
You Made My Day is as much a cultural history as it is a collection of
recipes. The book features several hundred kosher dishes and was
conceived as a tribute to the author’s mother, Chana Schiff Katz. Gold
takes the cookbook concept one step further: by adding dozens of Yiddish
proverbs, family snapshots, and reminiscences, she paints a vivid
portrait of a loving, meal-centred family. The book closes with a lovely
essay tribute to the late Katz on mazzai (luck) by family friend Michael
The recipes offered here are traditional Jewish fare. This is not a
politically correct cuisine: eggs, cheese, and organ meats abound. To
“lighten up” the originals would have spoiled the book’s overall
effect. What’s a blintz without sour cream? The recipes are
categorized under conventional headings such as Holiday Treats, Light
Lunches and Pastas, Vegetables, Fish, and so on. In addition to simply
listing ingredients and method, the author often provides helpful hints
on presentation and accompaniments. All the favorites are here,
including Kreplach, Honey Cake, Knishes, Egg Rolls, and Chicken Soup.
Chana Katz’s Halishkes (cabbage rolls) are a particular standout,
layered in casserole form with apples, tomatoes, raisins, brown sugar,
and tomato juice.
Non-Jews will find this book every bit as useful as those who keep
kosher. In the recipe for Sponge Cake, for example, both Passover and
year-round ingredients are provided. Certainly Gold’s emphasis on
family and holidays is a theme held dear by people of all cultures. In
an age where fast food is king and haute cuisine is de rigueur, You Made
My Day is a touching reminder of the role traditional foods play in
maintaining a happy household.