Update on The German-Jewish Cookbook
We have posted a lot of silence here since last spring, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been quiet. We’ve actually been quite busy, and a *lot* has happened in that time. We realize we’ve been negligent in terms of updating — here, finally, is an update to fill you in on everything! First, we extend our huge thanks and gratitude to everyone who supported our Kickstarter campaign! The funds raised will be very visible in the finished book, for they made the photographs and illustrations possible!
We are excited to say that The German-Jewish Cookbook: Recipes and History of a Cuisine is on schedule for a publication date in September, 2017, a mere seven months away! When we know the exact date, we’ll certainly announce it here.
To backtrack, we spent the summer finishing the book. In June, we were lucky enough to be invited to stay at the house of friends in Vermont where we had a 10-day work retreat. We spent the time working very long days, recipe testing and writing, albeit in very beautiful, green surroundings.
In late July/early August, we did the photo shoot for the book, shooting all the colour photographs of prepared dishes. There were three, sometimes four, of us crammed into the not-tiny-but-also-not-large kitchen at my parents’ (Gaby and Don) house. We wound up doing almost all of the photography in there, as well as all the cooking. We were literally shooting photos right next to the stove most of the time, which is where the window with the best light happens to be situated. Fortunately, we all soldiered through with good humor, and we all emerged unscathed, with no one having backed into a hot oven or some such calamity. I was the photographer, Gaby assisted with everything, Don washed many a dish*, and the final member of our team was the uber talented food stylist Catrine Kelty, who worked her beautiful magic on our food. She also happens to be amazingly fun and a joy to work with!
Gaby and I cooked all the food, with Catrine and Don assisting along the way. It was a veritable marathon of round-the-clock cooking at all hours of the day (before, during, and after the shoot day), and sometimes into the wee hours of the night. It was an exhilarating, exhausting, challenging, and very fun experience. And, we did get to eat – there was a ton of leftover food each day that we did our best to get through.
For the remainder of the summer, we toiled over the manuscript, getting it into finished form in order to submit it to our editor at University Press of New England/Brandeis University Press by our deadline in September. In late December we got the manuscript back from the copy editor and finished the editing phase, with a few more revisions back and forth. The book is now winding its way through the production process.
In the meantime, while all of the above was happening, Megan Piontkowski was working on her wonderful hand-drawn illustrations which will be seen throughout the book, in addition to the photos. We had lots of discussion with Megan thoughout the process of working with her about various foods and dishes, and what they should look like. A shout out to Megan for her fortitude in forging ahead with illustrations of some very meaty dishes, despite the fact that she is a vegetarian.
We thank everyone for your interest in our book and in the many comments you’ve left here. Apologies if it’s taken us a while to get back to you.
More soon! We’ll be back here in this space sooner rather than later.
*My parents’ dishwasher went kaput on the first day of the shoot. Fun times.
I grew up on 161 Street between Fort Washjngton Avenue and Riverside Drive, an only child raised by my ‘Oma’ (die Frau Bauer, aka ‘die eiserne Grossmutter’) .My parents worked in their dress store six days/week and got home at 9:00 every night. I attended PS 169 but then left the ‘hood for Junior High, High School, and College. I think I was always aware that our (mostly small town) German Jewish refugee background was unique. Thank you for posting this blog. It brings back good memories.
The photos are fabulous!
I loved seeing and hearing about your process, and am so happy you have a date for the cookbook!! I can’t wait to cook all the recipes!
Can not wait for the book to come out
Sorry to reply so late. Thanks, Barbara. Have you gotten the book? It is on Amazon.
My aunt, who lived in Washington Heights, was an accomplished chef. She made the most exquisite Kartoffel (Charlett)?
Being a young girl, I never got the recipe. Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks
We do have a potato schalet in the book, though it is probably somewhat different than your aunt’s because it is twice baked. But the spirit of the dish is there, and you might reminisce on it. Thanks for your comment.