An inviting collection of Sephardic and Mediterranean recipes.

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A Legacy of Sephardic, Mediterranean and American Recipes

Almeleh’s cookbook offers a cornucopia of recipes from Sephardic and other cuisines.

Almeleh’s passion is Sephardic cuisine, food of “Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition of 1492, many of which were allowed to settle in the Ottoman Empire.” Her parents were born on the formerly Ottoman Isle of Rhodes, though they met after immigrating to Seattle, Washington. The early death of her mother meant that Almeleh spent a great amount of time in the kitchens of her aunts and cousins, absorbing the traditional recipes in order to make them for herself. The book includes the range of Sephardic dishes that she learned from her extended family of cooks, a treasury of foods that demonstrate the influence of Spanish, Mediterranean, and American tastes. The recipes are organized by meal, starting with pastries, eggs, and breakfast foods, followed by snacks, appetizers, breads, pastas, entrees, and desserts. Special holiday sections include recipes for Passover and Thanksgiving. Many of the large pages contain color photographs of the dishes in various stages of completion. Directions are concise and to the point, as Almeleh offers tips but few shortcuts: many of the dishes are time-consuming, just as they were for the generations of Sephardic cooks through the ages. From boyos to bulemas to burecas to baklava, an entire history of migration and tradition are present in the food. Many recipes are vegetarian or suitable for those with nut and gluten allergies, though they are not always marked as such and may require some digging to uncover. The fun of this volume is sifting through its clutter for dishes the reader has never encountered, such as, for instance, the pretzel-like resha, which comes via Almeleh’s “dear cousin Esther.” The true standout is the Passover section, a collection of quashjadu, kiftes, and macaroons that dispels any notion that Pesach is a matzo-based holiday. Standard American cuisine is well-represented, particularly of the cookies-and-cakes variety. In fact, Almeleh might have done a book of desserts alone: there are three different recipes for pumpkin pie alone.

An inviting collection of Sephardic and Mediterranean recipes.

Pub Date: Dec. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4897-0345-3

Page Count: 166

Publisher: LifeRichPublishing

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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