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Once upon a time, your bubbie would have cooked up her flavorful masterpieces by throwing in a pinch of this, a handful of that, recreating recipes passed down from her own bubbie, which she had learned at her mother’s side.
In my mother’s generation, Jewish women collected cookbooks, which would wear out as they lovingly thumbed through pages, searching for the next family favorite.
My mother didn’t really cook, so looking through cookbooks was as far as she got (she didn’t want to feel left out).
When it came to my turn, I was cast adrift. I wrote Quick & Kosher – Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing because, seriously, I knew nothing. And I had married a man who came from a family of inspired cooks. These were people who expected to eat delicious home-cooked meals and they expected me to cook some of them.
Despite being a “champion eater” and the first to suggest a restaurant as the prime evening activity, I was clueless how to produce in my own kitchen.Then I had my infomercial moment there’s got to be a better way: Exquisite kosher meals prepared in 15 minutes!
The cookbook came out in 2007. Now, just two years later, publishing has been radically transformed and cooking is online. We’re not only hitting the Internet for shopping, social networking and entertainment, but also for food, cooking advice and recipes. And the kosher culinary world is no different.
Not that bubbie’s recipes aren’t still a treasured yerusha, but the Internet has added new vistas to our kosher heritage. There’s no question that the American kosher palate has become more international, refined and diverse over the past few decades. And the Web has enhanced this trend; we can now explore the world through our fingertips, even ordering ingredients from around the world that may not be available in our local kosher supermarkets.
But the appetite (actually, for some people it’s more of an addiction!) for food and cooking information is infinite, so websites have had to do much more to meet demand. The Web lets people explore culinary avenues not available to them in the past. The availability of new and different products makes it possible to cook in ways that our bubbies would find dizzying (though my bubbies could definitely hold their own).
Take fish for example. In many kosher communities, sushi has even taken the place of gefilte fish as a fish course for some people. When we were first married, we lived in Far Rockaway and shared a two-family house with the most wonderful young couple. We were all in our mid-twenties and were great friends. They were chassidish – granted baalei teshuvah chassidish – and used to splurge on sushi as the Shabbos fish course. We loved being invited to their house.
Now almost every kosher food establishment serves sushi, whether it is a Chinese restaurant, dairy eatery or steak house. It seems you can’t shop in a kosher supermarket worth its weight in salt if it doesn’t have a sushi counter. My grandmothers passed away 14 years ago and I can’t say for certain, but there’s a 99.9% chance they did so without a piece of sushi ever passing their lips. I imagine it was not regular fare in the cities, towns and shtetlach where they grew up in Transylvania.
Food sites are also transitioning from being online stores to being lifestyle destinations. Nowadays consumers want a “place” where they feel comfortable – a destination they can trust to deliver sound cooking advice and the latest cooking trends alongside their groceries. That’s why I sometimes think of the Internet as my very own personal “Cyber Bubbie.”
About the Author: Jamie Geller was "The Bride Who Knew Nothing" - until she found her niche as everybody's favorite kosher cook next door. She is the author of the best-selling Quick & Kosher cookbook series and creator of the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller magazine. Join Jamie and the world's largest kosher food community of joyofkosher.com to discover 5,000 FREE kosher recipes, inspiring menu ideas, how-to videos, and more! Follow more of Jamie's Quick & Kosher cooking adventures on Twitter @JoyofKosher and on facebook.com/joyofkosher.
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Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.
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Cooking according to Chanukah tradition doesn’t have to be boring! Though it’s unlikely that any Maccabee ever saw a potato, latkes are traditionally made with potatoes and that particular “traditional” dish is based on a South American tuber that didn’t cross the Atlantic until the sixteenth century.
One of the cool benefits of living way north of the GW Bridge and the Big Apple is that we are in real apple country. On a whim, we can take the kids to a local orchard not ten minutes from our house, and become one with nature. It feels just like the olden days – only back then, the farmers would pay hired hands to pick the apples, while we actually pay the farmers to please, please let us harvest their fruit.
I love hosting backyard barbecues on sunny, cloudless days. Hubby at the grill. Me sitting poolside, sipping a pina colada as the kids splash around. After the party’s over, I’ll lounge a while with a novel.
I try to make it a point to work things into my life – including insane schedules, impossible goals and conflicting priorities – in the most upbeat way I can. OK, so it doesn’t always work. What surprises me is how shocked people are when I tell them I just can’t handle everything.
I sometimes — ok, often — envy my friends who cook daring, exotic dishes and throw crazy things like fruit into veggie salads. Innovative stuff like that doesn’t go over so well in my house. I can prepare it, but Hubby will stare down at the unfamiliar thing on his plate with suspicious distaste. He’s a creature of habit, even more so a creature of tradition. Not only does he want to eat the same things, he wants it prepared in the most traditional way. To him, it’s not really Shabbos without classic gefilte fish and chicken soup. And even when its 99 degrees outside, steaming hot cholent and potato kugel better be on the menu.
This is the final cleaning phase and your vacuum cleaner is going to be running all week long! Go over all the bedrooms, living spaces, offices, the dining room, kitchen – every possible area that needs to be vacuumed.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/online-kosher-a-brave-new-world/2009/12/02/
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