Feed Me Bubbe
Review by Maron L. Waxman
Practical and wholesome, Feed Me Bubbe is Jewish Cooking 101 with a supportive and experienced teacher who laces her lessons with personal anecdotes, advice, and a Yiddish word a day. Chopped herring, brisket, chicken fricassee, stuffed cabbage, matzo brei, a variety of blintzes, kasha varnishkes, potato knishes—for everyone who craves the food of his or her grandmother, Feed Me Bubbe serves it up clearly and concisely. The chapter on baking is particularly attractive, with easy-to-bake home cakes and cookies, highlighted by Bubbe’s signature Jelly Jammies.
But Bubbe is open to innovation, substituting tofu and low-fat ingredients to reduce cholesterol in classic dishes, enclosing kreplach in wonton wrappers, and embracing new flavors like honey mustard for baking salmon and lavash for Lox and Cream Cheese Rollups. Like most skilled everyday cooks Bubbe uses ready-made ingredients judiciously—bouillon cubes if necessary to bolster chicken soup, packaged puff pastry, ketchup—to save time without sacrificing flavor. All the recipes are kosher, with symbols indicating whether they’re meat, dairy, pareve, or for Passover.
To round out her book, Bubbe has a short list of her favorite Yiddish songs, which she suggests listening to while cooking; menus for the holidays and for everyday; a glossary of basic cooking words; and formulas for metric conversion. Although Bubbe doesn’t divulge her name or address, she does give a phone number and e-mail address to which readers can address questions. Proudly old-fashioned, Feed Me Bubbe is a lively and relevant guide for the homestyle cook. Index, photographs.