The Holocaust Survivor's Cookbook

Holocaust Survivor Cookbook by Joanne Caras - 350 pages
Book Blurb:
After Joanne Caras visited the Carmei Ha’ir Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem she came home to America determined to raise money to help them feed poor Israelis. For two years the Caras family worked tirelessly to collect recipes and stories from Holocaust Survivors all over the world. Joanne then compiled them into an unforgettable Holocaust Survivor Cookbook.
My Review: 5 stars
I’ve been known to read cookbooks before as I find them completely relaxing while simultaneously inspiring. This cookbook however, is so much more. It’s not the recipes that kept me turning the pages but instead the stories that accompany them. Each recipe(s) is submitted from a survivor or family member of a survivor from the Holocaust. These stories are so important in remembering this tragedy as well as honoring those that perished during this hideous time in history. The passing of these recipes through the generations will keep the survivor’s spirits alive. The author, who I was fortunate to meet suggested that when you cook one of the recipes you should also share the story of that survivor with your family. I love that idea. One story in particular touched me about a woman hidden in her father’s barracks in a dug-out hole, from the time she was 18 months old until she was 4 years old. She never cried, never felt fresh air and was only taken out during the night to see her mother who was at the same concentration camp. I am certain to try her recipe of Chakchooka which I’ve never heard of but will absolutely give it a go. There are a lot of kugel (noodle dish), cholent (traditional Jewish stew), brisket and cabbage dishes in here but if you make only one and share the story, you are remembering someone’s struggle and their ultimate survival.
All proceeds for this book are donated to Carmei Ha’ir, a soup kitchen in Israel.
Quotes I liked:
- “ I am often asked, and I ask myself, how it was possible for a toddler to survive such confines and to understand that crying meant death. Somehow I understood, and under impossible conditions I remained hidden.”

- “One time a small piece of saved bread was the only thing that kept us alive and another time we were given the the skin of a potato and a piece of black bread when all hope was lost. ...And from that one saved life there are now 35 grandchildren!”

- “In the Holocaust, I lost more than seventy family members; my mother, father, sisters, grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Of forty-one grandchildren on both sides of the family, my brother and I were among the six who survived.”

Tags: 2012, Non-Fiction, Cookbook, Holocaust

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