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At Oma's Table by Doris Schechter
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At Oma's Table

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At Oma's Table by Doris Schechter
Aug 28, 2007 | ISBN 9781101215609

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  • Aug 28, 2007 | ISBN 9781101215609

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“Ostensibly a Jewish family cookbook, Schechter’s loving ode to her family, in particular her grandmother, achieves more than that, compiling in food and family lore a shining portrait of what it means to be an American. After fleeing Vienna for small-town Italy during the height of WWII, Grandma Schechter’s family made the trip to America by troop ship, dodging Nazi planes and submarines along the way. Each stop in her family’s pilgrimage influences the dishes Schecter offers in this nostalgic collection: traditional Jewish fare such as Cholent (a beef and bean stew) rests comfortably next to a classic Italian Pepper Ragout, Backhendl (a Viennese take on fried chicken) and a Turkey Pot Pie culled from Thanksgiving leftovers. Though her grandmother never wrote down a recipe in her life, Schechter dutifully recreates her most memorable dishes, ranging from Liptauer, a savory cheese spread so beloved it’s offered in four variations, to hearty classics like Beef Goulash with Carrots and Potatoes, Brisket and Stuffed Cabbage. Supplemented throughout with vivid anecdotes of the family’s pilgrimage and resettlement, this is a warm account of one family’s journey to America and how food kept them close long after their arrival.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
 “Schechter, who operates a New York eatery and has already established her reputation as a baker, turns her attention to the cooking passed down from her beloved Viennese grandmother. These recipes vary a bit from typical Ashkenazic examples due to a number of Italian-influenced dishes, which are still rigorously kosher. Schechter’s grandmother’s sojourn in Italy’s Abruzzi region during the war years brought her into close contact with her Italian neighbors, during which she had to mask her Jewish identity to protect her family from potential deportation to the camps. Schechter’s liberal use of toasted breadcrumbs on pasta or atop cauliflower would please any Italian chef. Such anomalies offer unique and delightful cultural comment as they sit side by side with gefilte fish and cholent. Schechter provides menus for Jewish holidays as well as everyday, unpretentious meals featuring borscht, roast chicken, various veal stews, or goulash.”

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