Jewish Cooking (And Reading) with Your Kids

Potato Latkes - Crispy and Delicious!My friend Risa doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen, but she loves to read cookbooks.

When she shared this fact with her 6-year-old granddaughter, the little one – her eyes wide with surprise – asked, “Grammy, you have cookbooks?!”

I’m with Risa.  Yes, I can hop online and find any kind of recipe I can think of. And I subscribe to some wonderful Jewish food blogs.

On October 3, we start 8 Weeks of Hanukkah Specials. Let your friends and family know to sign up at to get our free weekly ideas AND our weekly specials.

But I l still enjoy the look and feel of a beautiful cookbook. And I love cooking with my grandson.

So I couldn’t resist buying Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts, a Literary Cookbook, by Jane Yolen and her daughter, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, with heartwarming illustrations by Sima Elizabeth Shefrin. 

Even the inside covers are speckled with charming illustrations of hamentaschen, doughnuts, bags of flour, pears, tomatoes  – all rambling across the pages, enticing you to open the book.

Organized into four main categories – brunch, soup, main courses, and dessert – the book launches each recipe with a story and a delightful illustration with the warm, welcoming feel of folk art.

So as we head into fall, with Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coming at us at the same time, I had to check out how the authors introduced us to latkes.

Miracle of Hanukkah Latkes

Here we read about a different Hanukkah miracle — about latkes and the perennial wish for us as mothers to bring joy to our children.

The mom in this tale is a widow with seven children, all of whom crave latkes. But she has no money for flour. What can she do? As she rinses her pots in the river, she meets an old man . . . (I won’t give the ending away. But you can bet there were latkes that year for all the children.)

Like all the recipes, the latke recipe is beautifully laid out on a lighthearted, colorful page spread: ingredients list, equipment list, and directions, plus personal notes or fun facts.

Reading a Good Cookbook

If you like to read or cook with your children (ages 5-11 recommended on the book jacket), Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts might be a perfect addition to your bookshelf with its unique combination of folk tale, art, and clear how-tos.

Ellen saysWhat’s your favorite Jewish cookbook?   


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