Neighbors join together to celebrate a holiday.
Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, brings a wonderful aroma to an urban apartment house. All the neighbors stop their activities and happily sniff the air as one door opens and everyone enters to feast on cholent. And what makes this dish so delicious? An Italian neighbor says tomatoes. Barley, says the Korean neighbor. Potatoes, says the family from India. No, it is beans, says the Spanish family. Goldie, a contemporary hostess, explains that cholent is a dish that her grandmother served on Shabbat, and that is what makes it taste special. Then, one Saturday, there is no wafting aroma, because Goldie is sick. Things go awry until the neighbors troop up the stairs with Indian potato curry, Korean barley tea, Italian pizza, and Spanish beans and rice. Goldie is happy because she can share a Shabbat meal. A recipe for vegetarian cholent is appended, but it’s too bad there is no note about the origins of the dish, a slow-cooked stew prepared before Shabbat when lighting a fire is not permitted. Also, “chik chak,” Hebrew for “quickly,” can be inferred but is not translated. Brooker’s oil paint and collage art presents a richly textured assortment of folk and apartments.
A warm, cozy and loving depiction of shared culinary traditions around an inviting table. (Picture book. 3-6)