Unlike Italian, Chinese and Mexican cultures, there are not an over-abundance of Jewish restaurants in America. Much of Judaism is centered on family and the home, so instead of choosing to mass produce food items which is so often what’s done in a restaurant setting, Jews have mainly passed down their traditions and tastes from one family member to another.
Dishes such as Hamentashen cookies for Purim, noodle kugel for the Yom Kippur, potato latkes for Hanukkah and Gefilte served as an appetizer during Passover are classics. GET COOKING! A Jewish American Family Cookbook by Doni Zasloff Thomas (also known as “Mama Doni”) and Rachel Harkham strives to provide families with traditional Jewish dishes they can use today and for future generations.
The authors, both from the New York tri-state area, thoroughly incorporate classic Jewish recipes while offering suggestions for twists on select ones. Favorites include Stuffed Peppers and Potato Knishes. The book also lists stories that are rich in culture, holiday activities and music (a CD is included).
A highlight of the book was the way it described Yom Kippur and then followed up with a related activity for kids. Yom Kippur is a day where Jews do not eat, take note of their sins from the past year and pray to make amends for the year ahead.
The “3 SORRYS & 3 I LOVE YOUS” activity explains this holiday by placing it on a level that young minds can comprehend. It encourages children to pick three people in their lives and think about something they did that “may not have been nice.” It tells them to “write it down on a card” (sorry card) and give it to their family members. It then encourages them to follow up with a hug and tell the family members they love them
GET COOKING! A Jewish American Family Cookbook is a great resource for families looking to explore Jewish culture and for those who wish to expand and remember their own Jewish heritage.
Long Island Event
MAMA DONI GETS COOKING! - A Family Show and Book Signing for Get Cooking! A Jewish American Family Cookbook & Rockin' Mama Doni Celebration
WHERE: Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center, 300 Forest Drive, East Hills, NY 11548
WHEN: Saturday, January 12, 4 p.m.
About Mama Doni
Doni Zasloff Thomas, a.k.a. Mama Doni, is the lead singer/songwriter of The Mama Doni Band, honored with a Parents’ Choice® Award for their CD, Shabbat Shaboom and winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music” in competition with more than 100 bands from 15 different countries at the International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam. The band celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in its interactive family rock concerts filled with catchy pop songs that break the mold of traditional Jewish music. Quirky, offbeat, and unpredictable, The Mama Doni Band offers up a contagious and unexpected blend of reggae, rock, disco, Latin, klezmer and “Jewgrass” – all woven together with a hip Jewish sensibility.
Disclosure: Author received a sample of the book to assess. All opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Excerpts in this article were republished here with the permission of Maria Adcock, NY Motherhood Examiner who is also the founder of BiculturalMama.com. The post was written with contributions by Kim Como.