As I graduated high school, I took an opportunity to be a Nanny. It was clear across the country and with a Jewish family, whom I absolutely came to adore. While I wasn’t Jewish, I came to love their religion. One moment that stands out is we went to Atlantic City to visit their relatives and we were seated to eat. There were gasps as I put all my food on one plate. It was my introduction to Kosher eating.
I suppose, in all honesty, parts of that meal became part of who I am. It wasn’t completely evident until I received Susie Fishbein’s cookbook, Kosher by Design that I realized part of my ritual is kosher. The glossy cookbook and I sat at the table and gave me an escape from the NOW and a portal to that dinner in Atlantic City. I could see the people, hear their laughter and feel the warmth of their hospitality. I longed for those kosher recipes again.
Kosher by Design Cooking Coach is an introduction to the basics. It’s a challenge to cook by intuition. It’s a guide to cooking with the stellar illustrated instructions from baking rice in the oven, instead of on the stove top to spatchcocking a chicken. It’s, I suppose a balance being found in the kitchen and within ourselves.
In reading I learned how to grip a knife. Something I thought I was doing right, yet there is a better way. Fishbein’s guidance teaches and allows me to position myself in the kitchen so that my tools work with me.
Once a week, we have for dinner what I call, “De ja vue Dinner”. Fishbain dedicates a section in Kosher by Design Cooking Coach to leftovers, that she calls the Playbook. It puts a new spin on leftovers–far more than my reheating technique. Fishbain creates a whole new dish, repurposing the original dish. I like that!
In reading through the pages I realize I need to let go when I cook, use more intuition. I rely heavily on directions. In reading through the recipes I notice Fishbain instructs to make a crumb topping, but leaves the application of it to my own intuition. It was a sense of freedom and an unveiling that with three decades of cooking, I do know what I’m doing.
There are things to consider. Baked rice for example. Why do I make it complicated and insist it be cooked separately on the stove top, when I could place it in a pan and cook it alongside the entree in the oven?
your most essential kitchen equipment
how to make can’t-miss side dishes
how to skin and pin-bone fish
how to prep fresh herbs
why you only need 3 primary kitchen knives
what you must know about meat and poultry
plating and garnishing made simple
how to “reincarnate” your leftovers
Perhaps, with a little more time spent between the pages of Kosher by Design Cooking Coach, I’ll be the kind of cook my grandmother is where when I ask her about a recipe she will say, “Until it feels right”. I’m looking forward to finding myself, cooking with intuitive and baking a babka. You know, for old times’ sake!
Julee is a quirky, dorky, North Carolina Transplant with an appetite to taste the world, meets its desserts and blog about them. When she’s not behind the computer you can find her playing with her family, reading a good book and celebrating the little things.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”.Julee Morrison