Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Jewish Calendar of Festive Foods | Sneak Peek

Since December of 2008, I've been working with the author of this unique cookbook, Jane Portnoy, to create a professional and practical book design. But the beginnings of this book came long before I entered the picture. Jane is Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthamology at the University of Pennsylvania. Which probably makes you think, "Sheesh. How in the world does she have time to write and publish a book?" Great question. I still haven't figured that one out! What I do know is that this project is a lifelong dream of hers. One tends to make time for those sorts of things.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction:
"I began collecting recipes from my mother’s friends when I was about twelve. At first, I collected only desserts. Then, whenever I encountered a special dish, I asked for the recipe. Recipes therefore became much more than food, but also links to special people, places, and memories. And that to me is the real meaning of tradition — taking the best of what you know and linking it to the future. To do this in the context of the Jewish calendar is a rare and special privilege. " (Copy courtesy of Jane Portnoy)

So there you have it. A Jewish Calendar of Festive Foods is an intelligent combination of the traditional foods and calendar of the rich Jewish heritage. Jane and her husband, Marshall, have done a fabulous job articulating all of the details of the lunar calendar.

Jane commissioned an illustrator who had caught her eye, Robin Reikes, to work on custom images for each holiday. Here are partials from a couple of my personal favorites:

(Images courtesy of Robin Reikes.)
Contact her at kindheartedwoman@me.com with illustration inquiries.

Jane and I have spent hours and hours researching self-publishing, working on design and making sure the book will really work for those who will use it. We still have a lot of work to do, but we're getting close, so I couldn't help but share this little sneak peek. I myself can't wait to see the finished product. And, of course....try my hand at Matzah Balls, Jewish Apple Cake, Schnecken, Sweet & Sour Cabbage Rolls,  Mandelbrot....you get the idea.

Get your kitchen ready and stay tuned.

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