How fascinating can gefilte fish recipes be?
Well, what if it’s Grandma Celia’s gefilte fish recipe and it calls for a yahrzeit glass as a measuring cup?
And what if the young man dishing out the horseradish was a Tony- and Emmy-award winning celebrity named Mandy Patinkin? Just ask Mandy’s mom.
Grandma Doralee Patinkin’s Jewish Family Cookbook makes even “Egg Salad Party Mold” sound delectable. It’s a hefty collection of both traditional and innovative dishes served up lovingly by Mandy’s mother, the late Doralee.
The book, which was published in 1999, is deliciously schmaltzy on many levels. First, there’s the hefty amount of chicken fat, butter, and margarine used in these time-honored recipes. (“Aunt Lillian’s Jelly Kichel” looks like a mouth-watering cholesterol crime scene.) Then, there’s the sentimental notes from Doralee throughout the book, describing her family traditions and the joy she gets from baking for her grandkids.
And the introduction from Mandy himself is a tearjerker.
“I love just hunting through these pages looking for my childhood,” he writes. He also describes all the aunts, cousins, and siblings who contributed to this project and what it felt like to be at the Patinkin Passover table.
Whether you like canned pineapple chunks in your hot dog and baked bean casserole or not, this cookbook is a fascinating culinary trip, and feels like a real gift from Doralee to the world.