Archive for the 'Books' Category

A Review of “Gristle”

I first picked up Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat) because of its bright yellow cover.  As a new vegetarian, when I saw it was about the implications of factory farming, I was intrigued.  Wanting to learn more about the food I had always eaten and that most of the world still eats, I began reading it.  When I finished the book, I felt like my choice to be vegetarian suddenly had dimension and added depth.  I didn’t feel like I was doing anything “better” than anyone else by being vegetarian, but simply that the extent to which we are divorced from the knowledge of what factory farming does is a real shame and will end up harming us.

The Power of Reading

In November of last year I read a story by a Holocaust survivor describing how, even though they were starving, she and other Jewish prisoners refused an offering of snails from the Nazis. The reason? Snails are not kosher.

I sat back and my heart sank.  I’d never really thought about what I ate, food meant nothing to me but a few moments of taste. I felt guilty and I wanted to change. I still wanted to eat good food of course, but now I wanted my choices to matter and I felt deeply that I had no excuses.

Jonathan Safran Foer at B’nai Jeshurun

I just got home from seeing Jonathan Safran Foer speak at B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan. Foer spoke for a short while and read from his new book, Eating Animals, but a large portion of the event was devoted to Q&A.

Foer noted from the onset that the synagogue was a fitting venue to have a discussion about the ethical issues related to eating animals. He said that religion strives to lessen violence and suffering in the world and that it affects our relationship with the Earth and nature. He said that while he does not consider himself particularly observant, the Judaism passed down to him from his parents and grandparents “informed” Eating Animals.

He read a sample of the book’s opening chapter, which also appeared in The New York Times Magazine last fall. The concluding line “If nothing matters, there’s nothing to save” was a great “thesis” to shape the conversation that followed.

Win A Copy of Eat Fresh Food – Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs

Eat Fresh Food by Rozanne Gold

Photos by Phil Mansfield

Every once in a while I feel sorry for myself because my kids won’t eat my lovingly prepared meals; for comfort, I seek out one of my fellow mom’s, specifically those with teen-agers. Invariably they look at me with a withering ‘well let me get you the violins and a stiff drink fast, your poor thing’ stare, reminding me that I am a mere amateur at kitchen rejection. When I hear their tales of trying to feed their teens, my load somehow seems lighter, more manageable. Snarky, picky, and sometimes downright nasty, it is no easy task to manage teens at the table.

Enter Rozanne Gold and her new book, Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs. I sat down with the author and discovered that the book’s appeal to teens is as organic as its recipes. Gold recently adopted a teen-ager and for the past few years they have been coming together as a family, in and out of the kitchen. Her daughter was one of five teen chefs engaged to prepare and test each recipe. Their collective industry and obvious enjoyment is evidenced throughout the book with hands-on pictures depicting their efforts.

Eating Animals and the Hazon Food Conference

Jonathan Safran Foers new book, Eating Animals

Recently, acclaimed bestselling author Jonathan Safran Foer appeared on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show to talk about his upcoming book, Eating Animals. As Julie Steinberg details in her post below, Foer, being both Jewish and a vegetarian, explores issues of food choices and eating meat in a personal narrative that helps shape a larger argument about vegetarianism.

Win 1 of 5 copies — Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals is not for the faint of heart. His recent article in the New York Times (excerpted from the first chapter) includes stories of his grand-mother, a holocaust survivor, which he uses to define himself as well as frame his book. The Jew and The Carrot’s Jonathan Brumberg-Kraus wrote a nice post about it, including:

“But I what I found most moving was the way he connected his own ethical commitment to vegetarianism to his grandmother’s commitment to kashrut, even under the most extreme circumstances. She gets the last word in the dialogue he recalls,

Win a copy of Save the Deli

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The deli has been in the spotlight these days thanks to the work of  David Sax.  You  may have read Joan Nathan’s piece in the New York Times about David’s upcoming book, Save the Deli, a call to action to revive deli culture.  Deli has been in most newspapers and on the radio now and is  the talk of the town in a way it hasn’t been since its golden years thanks to one man with a mission.

Early on for the Jew and the Carrot Leah Koenig wrote a post about David’s deli zeal during David’s journey to eat at delis around the world (which he also chronicled on his blog), and now the Jew and the Carrot is eager to announce a deli contest in the book’s honor. The winner will receive a free copy of Save the Deli.

Just leave us a comment on this post about your most memorable deli meal or experience and your name could be drawn to win a copy of his book.  Last day to leave a comment is Thursday October 22nd and the winner will be contacted the next day.

And while we’re on the subject, the Save the Deli book launch will be held this Monday at Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen.  It will be a great time with remarkable deli kitsch.

What is Jewish Eating? Win a Signed Copy of David Kraemer’s Book!

Jewish Eating and Identity Though the Ages

What does eating Jewishly mean to you?  What is Jewish food?  Does it reflect where you come from?  Where your family came from?  Dr. David Kraemer’s 2007 book Jewish Eating and Identity Through the Ages, recently published in paperback explores just those issues – and you can win a signed copy of his book!

Just leave us a comment on this post what is Jewish food for you and your name could be drawn to win a copy of his book.  Last day to leave a comment is Tuesday October 14 and the winner will be contacted the next day.

Interview: Jonathan Bloom, founder of WastedFood.com

Jonathan Bloom

 

“I grew up in a family that emphasized food and used it as an organizing principal for family gatherings – which is probably not unfamiliar to The Jew & The Carrot’s readers,” says anti-food-waste activist Jonathan Bloom.

As a freelance writer for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, Bloom wrote about food and travel. (“My travel articles were about going somewhere else to eat,” he jokes.) Like many Americans, Bloom became increasingly attuned to environmental issues and, he says, “My interests in food and the environment came together for me in 2005, when I volunteered at D.C. Central Kitchen, an organization that rescues food that would otherwise go to waste, and trains homeless people to be chefs using that food.

What to Do When Your Garden Explodes in Bounty

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Q: What do you do when you have so many home grown zucchini your friends won’t answer the door when you try to share your harvest?

A: Find a car with an open window.

The triumph and the tragedy of the summer growing season is the sheer fecundity of gardens and farms. How to partake of fruits and vegetables at their peak without relying on the same old recipes?

Lois M. Burrows and Laura G. Myers offer a mouth-watering solution with their book, Too Many Tomatoes . . . Squash, Beans, and other Good Things; a Cookbook for When Your Garden Explodes.

Raising a Good Loaf

Tassajara Bread

Remember back in the day when you told someone you ate mostly vegetables and organic food and they told you they only ate food that tasted good? You’d ask them what wasn’t good about the organic food they’d tasted, and usually they’d describe some sort of hard, seedy, lumpy thing. They’d use the word “brick”.  They’d mime chewing like a mouth on novacain. I’m sorry to tell you, but they’d probably been eating bread at my house.

Here’s what happened: I decided maybe seven years ago that I was going to learn how to make bread, except I didn’t really understand why you would spend all that time shoving it around on a table and punching it  if you didn’t have to. Luckily, there was the Cuban bread recipe in a copy of the New York Times cookbook. That no-knead, no-nonsense bread was an excellent gateway drug, but it was also kind of flat; and when you make it with whole wheat or spelt, it ends up looking sort of like a large, good-smelling cow pie.

Last Chance to Win: Farmer John’s Cookbook

Don’t forget – our cookbook contest closes tomorrow! To enter, just leave a comment telling us your most creative use for your CSA veggies, and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables.

Contest Closed! Stay tuned for the winner – Win This Book: Farmer John’s Cookbook

kohlrabi

So you’ve just opened your CSA box to an unfamiliar sight—a strange-looking bulb with long leaves sprouting every which way. After asking Google, your hippie aunt, two of your neighbors and a guy in line with you at Trader Joe’s, you finally figure out that the mystery plant is called kohlrabi. Great… now what do you do with the giant bag of it in your fridge?

Book Review: Clean Plates N.Y.C.

Jared Koch, author.

Jared Koch, author.

Like any good narcissist, I’m a sucker for a self help book. Particularly those sweet tongue-in-cheek manuals sitting near the counter at B&N. Those slim volumes seem to promise a schematic for your life: how to dress, date, survive a bear attack, and of course, eat. Clean Plates N.Y.C. fits the bill neatly. But unlike those “Survival Guides,” this is a self help book with a mission: to help its readers eat healthy and yummy meals in NYC.