An inviting collection of Sephardic and Mediterranean recipes.

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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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