Latest Blog Posts

by Diane Leach

10 Nov 2015

Lovers of both cooking and reading require a steady influx of cookbooks to feed both appetites. But spend enough time cooking and reading, reading and cooking, and soon your appetite becomes increasingly difficult to sate, within the kitchen and without. If you see another meals-in-minutes, another creme fraïche at home, more fun with kale, or God help us all, another Moroccan carrot salad, well, you won’t be held accountable for your actions, now will you? 

How you long for the rare cookbook that’s truly a game changer.

by Diane Leach

26 Oct 2015

“Japanese cooking is a way of walking into Japanese culture. “
—Jane Grigson, The Mushroom Feast

In 2012, Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s first book, Japanese Farm Food, quietly rocked the food world. The California native had followed her interest in Japanese food to its source. Then she met handsome organic farmer Taadaki Hachisu.

Part memoir, part anthropological study, part cookbook, Japanese Farm Food is the work of an intelligent woman integrating traditional Japanese and Western foodways very far from home.


by Diane Leach

9 Jul 2015

In 1938, cooking teacher, restaurant proprietress, and vegetarian Fania Lewando published a Yiddish-language vegetarian cookbook. Vegetarish-Dietisher Kokhbokh: 400 Shpeizn Gemakht Oysshlislekh Fun Grinsn or, the Vegetarian-Dietetic Cookbook: 400 Recipes Made Exclusively From Vegetables, was the first Yiddish-language vegetarian cooking manual published Europe.

Shortly after Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Vilna fell under Soviet Union rule. The Nazis invaded soon afterward. We know Lewando and her husband Lazar tried to escape and were caught by Soviet soldiers. They were never heard from again.

by Diane Leach

16 Apr 2015

Spices & Seasons is a mixed offering from home cook and blogger Rinku Bhattacharya. While her love of cooking shines from every page, the book is marred by minimal editing and limited spellchecking. Poor organization stymies willing cooks. Information about spices, alone and in combination, is spread throughout the book. The various subrecipes beneath main entries send readers hunting through the book in the midst of cooking. 

This is all a shame, for Bhattacharya is an earnestly sweet kitchen presence with much to offer. One suspects she carried the production of Spices & Seasons entirely on her shoulders. This would be overwhelming for anyone, much less a married financial professional with two children. Bhattacharya deserves better.

by Diane Leach

10 Apr 2015

“Jews have always been known for their moderation in drinking alcohol.”
Claudia Roden, “Wine in the Jewish World”, The Book of Jewish Food

“Don’t worry, your Jewish blood will get you through. “
—Caroline Knapp’s maternal Jewish Uncle, on her admission of alcoholism, Drinking: A Love Story

“How can you tell the Jews from the non-Jews leaving the theatre? The Jews are saying: Oh my God, I’m starving. Let’s go the deli. Let’s get some cake.  The non-Jews are saying, let’s go the bar and get a drink.”
—Comedian Jackie Mason

Jeff and Jodie Morgan, authors of The Covenant Kitchen, aren’t suggesting Jews surrender their historically abstemious attitudes toward drink.  However, the owners of Berkeley, California’s kosher Covenant Winery do wish we’d drink more wine with our dinner. Hence, The Covenant Kitchen, a collection of kosher meals and wine pairings for “the new Jewish table”.

//Mixed media

Marina and the Diamonds Wrap Up U.S. Tour at Terminal 5 (Photos)

// Notes from the Road

"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.

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