Cookbook Profile

Fast & Festive Meals
For The Jewish Holidays
Complete Menus, Rituals, and Party-Planning
Ideas for Every Holiday of the Year

By Marlene Sorosky

Fast & Festive Meals  
"This good-natured volume from a veteran cookbook writer delivers just what its title promises: traditional Jewish dishes prepared for special occasions but created with a minimum of fuss."...Publishers Weekly

If you think that the only way to prepare for the holidays and still be able to smile at your family and guests is to order in take-out, let Marlene Sorosky change your mind with her wonderful book Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays. Hers is a revolutionary collection of time-saving, delectable recipes for thirteen Jewish celebrations from Rosh Hashanah to Israel Independence Day. What!? Revolutionary? Yes, Sorosky has overthrown the traditional, heavy, tedious recipes of our past. In their place is great-tasting, easy-to-prepare Jewish holiday fare, like Bread Machine Challah and Crisp Potato Kugel.

For Hanukkah serve Brisket with Burgundy-Orange Sauce, it takes only ten minutes of preparation before you slip. it into the oven. Delight your mother-in-law with three different kinds of latkes. Traditional Potato Pancakes include a vitamin C tablet to keep the potatoes from turning brown. Sweet Potato Latkes are infused with ginger for a fresh twist, and Marlene assures you that "Once you taste them, you may begin a sweet new tradition." The Giant Potato-Carrot Pancake takes a lot less work than making many smaller latkes. It's finished in the oven and served in wedges.

The subtitle, "Complete Menus, Rituals, and Party-Planning Ideas for Every Holiday of the Year," tells you this is not your usual Jewish holiday cookbook. Heading up each chapter are the prayers said at the holiday table and explanations of Jewish laws and customs, plus the origins of many food traditions. Marlene answers many common questions about Jewish holidays. Do you know why challah dough is mixed with raisins and baked in a round for the New Year (Rosh Hashanah). Why eggs are eaten at Passover? Why dairy is eaten on Shavuot? Why fish is eaten as a typical first course?

Detailed game plans for holiday meals are Marlene's specialty, so included Fast & Festive Meals For The Jewish Holidays is a timetable for preparation and shopping, including what can be done ahead of time, what can be frozen, and when to defrost it. She suggests invitations, table settings, and meaningful but fun activities for children. For a Havdalah party (the ritual that ends Shabbat), children have a great time making spice boxes, which are passed around the table to be sniffed; the sweet smell is to help people get over their disappointment that the Sabbath has ended.

Sorosky's Fast & Festive Meals For The Jewish Holidays is a must-have for anyone who is looking to be converted from holiday-meal take-out, or who craves delicious menu ideas that fit into an active lifestyle. This book will quickly take its place as the Jewish holiday entertaining book and give the gift of time to spare.


Fast & Festive Meals For The Jewish Holidays
By Marlene Sorosky
William Morrow & Company
Publication date: September 1997
Hardback, $27.00
ISBN: 0-688-14570-1
Information provided by the publisher.


Fast & Festive Meals For The Jewish Holidays



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This page created March 1999