Saturday, August 21, 2010

Review: The Jewish Princess Cookbook by Georgie Tarn and Tracey Fine

This book was a review book received from LibraryThing and McBooks Press. I have no idea why I requested this book, other than that I have a slight obsession with cookbooks. I own probably two and a half shelves full of them, but I cook from them very rarely. I'm hoping to get back to cooking from them now that we have a little more money coming in, so hopefully, I'll get to try some of the recipes in The Jewish Princess Cookbook soon. Now, I should preface this review by saying that I am not Jewish, and I certainly do not consider myself a princess, so it feels a little disingenuous that I should be reviewing this particular cookbook. The women who wrote it ARE Jewish and, apparently, are also princesses. I'm not really sure what makes a Jewish princess, other than, it appears, a certain traditional take on homemaking (the woman does it), and a yen for designer goods (cited in this cookbook are Gucci, Prada, Dior, D&G...and this is not an exclusive list). The authors state, however, that "every woman has a little bit of a JP [Jewish Princess] in her - or if she doesn't, she certainly should" (pg. 13).

Although the text in the book seems a little fluffy for my taste, the food sounds DELICIOUS. Since I am not Jewish, I do not keep kosher, but this book would be great for those folks who do and need new ideas for the Sabbath dinner, for entertaining, or for every day. My good friend from law school is a non-Jew marrying into a Jewish family, so it might be good for someone in her situation, too, who is just learning kosher laws and wants to impress the in-laws with a dietarily-proper Jewish meal. The book is divided into eight sections: Appetizers, Salads, Soups, Meat, Fish, Desserts, Cakes, and the Ultimate Dinner. Some of the appetizers are things that I would love to try, like Pink Grapefruit with Brown Sugar, Watermelon and Feta Cheese, and Sesame Chicken Balls. I'd also love to make the Ultimate Dinner's Chicken Soup, as well as many of the desserts (Chocolate Refrigerator Cake?!).

While the constant references in the text to Jewish Princesses, shoes, handbags, and getting one's hair done grated on my nerves after a bit, someone a little more girly than I might appreciate it more. The book is what I might call a "chick lit cookbook." But the recipes sound great.

Overall, I'd give the book three out of five Whatevers. I hope I get a chance to use some of these recipes soon!

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