Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged Palate-Pleasers from the Women's Auxiliary Cookbook


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Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged Palate-Pleasers from the Women's Auxiliary Cookbook

Editado: Jul 5, 2020, 10:34 am

As part of the process of moving, I went through all of the cookbooks my mom had and took photos of the recipes I wanted. When I went through this cookbook, produced as a fundraising effort on behalf of the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged by their Women's Auxiliary, I was immediately struck by the idea that you all might find it interesting, so I took a bunch of extra photos so that I could share it with you.

Unfortunately, none of the photos I took show a date of publication, or even a year. I do know that we've had the cookbook for a very long time, to the point where I don't remember it ever not being in our kitchen, but nothing more specific than that.

However, a bit of internet searching tells me that the organization originally called The Hebrew Ladies Home for Aged, later the Hebrew Home for Aged, became known as the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center for Aged starting in 1963, and remained under that name until November of 2004, when the institution adopted the name they still use today, Hebrew SeniorLife.

That puts the year this cookbook was published somewhere between 1963 and November of 2004. I further narrowed it down when I found what appears to be the same cookbook on a University of Michigan library page detailing their library's special collection on American Foodways:The Jewish Contribution. The site puts the publication date in 1979.

Assuming that the University of Michigan's copy is, as my mom's appears to be, a first edition, then we can safely put the publication of my mom's copy in 1979, as well, and, as she was 19 in '79, I think we can also safely say she was given her copy at some point by my grandmother, who is far more likely to have bought something like this at that time. I will have to ask her about it the next time we speak.

I'll put the other introductory pages in this post, and then add more to go through the rest of the cookbook, so that none of the posts are too long or image-heavy. And if anyone knows how to rotate the images so that they're the right way up, please let me know so that I can edit.


Editado: Jul 5, 2020, 11:04 am

The recipe pages are littered with small, charming illustrations throughout the book. Recipes are attributed to either an individual, or to "the committee," which I take to mean either that the Women's Auxiliary came up with these recipes together, or that the contributors didn't want to be named, on a recipe by recipe basis.

The cookbook is broken up into chapters, each of which is started with an illustrated cover page.

The cookbook's first section is on "Appetizers and Hors d'oevres." I didn't take a photo of the chapter cover, an omission that I will rectify the next time I go to the house.

In the meantime, however, I did take photos of one few of the recipes presented in that section, which I can post now.

Page 9 gives us Rita Cooper's "Phyllo Ramekins with Ricotta, Feta, and Pine Nuts," which she touts as "a wonderful appetizer or luncheon entree" and which looks absolutely delicious to me:

The text, for those who can't read it in the image, is as follows*:

"350 degree oven, 4 ramekins, yield - 4 servings

8 oz low far Ricotta cheese
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 egg
3 tbs pine nuts
1/8 tbs white pepper
fresh crushed garlic, to taste (optional)

4 sheets phyllo dough
5 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Grease four 5 oz ovenproof ramekins. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Place sheet of phyllo dough on work surface and brush with melted butter. Top with another sheet until you have a stack of 4 sheets. Do not brush top with melted butter. (It is a good idea to keep phyllo covered with a damp towel while you are working with it. This prevents it from drying out). Keep stack covered until ready to use next sheet.

Using a seven inch saucer or cutter, press out circles of phyllo. Press each circle into a ramekin to line bottom and sides. Edges will extend about 1/2" above top of ramekin. Brush with butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Place ramekins on baking sheet and bake 375 degrees for 5*8 minutes or until pastry is golden.

Remove from oven and spoon cheese mixture into pastry lined ramekins. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Reduce to 350 degress and bake 20-30 minutes more, or until filling is firm to touch.

May be covered with a sheet for foil to prevent over browning at about the middle of the baking time. Serve hot.

This is a wonderful appetizer or luncheon entree."

*I won't be typing out the text of all of the recipe images I post in this thread, unless someone asks me to, but I will type out a few that look especially tasty to me, and any others upon request. Text in quotes is the exact text from the cookbook, without editing or correction by me. I have not even tried to reproduce the formatting.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:18 am

Nice- I have a number of my mother's cookbooks from the 1950's and 60's-the recipes used are on pages stained with ingredients!

Jul 5, 2020, 11:23 am

Chapter Two presents "Bars, Cakes and Cookies," and, lack or Oxford comma aside, is full of fun things to bake.

There is, inevitably, an apple cake - I've never encountered an Ashkenazi Jewish cookbook without at least one apple cake recipe in it - but in addition to the promised cookies, cakes, and bars, this chapter also provides such things as as strudels, homemade peanut butter cups and crescent roll-ups, a Passover-safe tart, and no less than two different recipes for the biscotti-like cookie mandelbrot, here translated as "mandel bread," which I can't imagine was enough of a translation to help anyone who didn't already know what mandelbrot are.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:46 am

The next chapter, the first for which I took a photo of the cover page, is "Breads and Muffins," with the tagline "We knead some bread." There are puns on nearly all of the chapter covers, which is the sort of delightful little detail that makes it such a fun book.

None of the breads in this chapter, if my memory serves, are the kind of bread that requires yeast and rising time. They're all quick-breads, made from a batter rather than a dough and relying on baking soda, baking powder, or some combination of both to get the rise they need, as are the muffins.

I've just, as I was typing this, had the thought that muffins are just quick-bread batter baked in a muffin tin, practically speaking. This is something to think about, but not the point of this post, though, so I digress.

Some of the ingredients, like the "sour milk" called for in Sylvia Goldberg's "Butter Pecan Bread," are unfamiliar to me, but most of these seem pretty doable, and dubious flavor combinations like "Pineapple Zucchini" aside, I'm excited tor try out a lot of them.

There's also one recipe for a spread called "strawberry butter" by the Committee, which is something I have never encountered before in all of my 29 years. Are any of you familiar with this spread? It looks pretty yummy, so I'm going to make a batch and try it out, but I'm curious if this was an existing spread or something the Women's Auxiliary came up with from whole cloth, which seems less likely.

Jul 5, 2020, 11:52 am

I have a very similar one called Cavalcade of Recipes, a 1951 offering from the Women's Zionist Society of Bulawayo (now Zimbabwe).

Jul 5, 2020, 12:20 pm

Chapter four, "Chefs and Celebrities," brings us recipes from professional chefs, restaurants, a radio station personality, and other celebrities, as well as the delightful rhyming tagline "maven haven."

The recipes we get in this chapter are diverse, connected by nothing except their celebrity sources. They include a recipe for beef wellington, which I have heard of but never actually had a chance to try, from the late restaurateur* and cookbook writer, Robert Carrier; a recipe for mulled cider from the late Gene Burns, talk radio host of the Dining Around program; and a mouth-watering recipe for a "no-crust cheese and spinach pie" called a "Pizza Ricotta E Spinaci" from a now-closed restaurant in Marblehead, MA called Rosalie's, whose owner, Rosalie Harrington, went on to share her recipes in a recipe column in The Daily Item's online version, The Item Live, until January 2019.

*why does this word not have an 'n' in it? WHY???

Jul 5, 2020, 12:28 pm

>6 hfglen: hfglen, I'm jealous! ;) I bet there's a ton of interesting recipes in there, and also lots of apple cakes. Where did you get your copy?

My mom also has a cookbook put out by the temple nursery I attended, which I plan to share photos from in a separate post. It's a different vibe, and the illustrations, which were done by the nursery students, are way more terrifying than the lovely ones in Palate-Pleasers, but it has a lot of fun and interesting stuff in it, as well. Also, lots of apple cakes.

Jul 5, 2020, 12:38 pm

>8 Julie_in_the_Library: Truly, I've long since forgotten. probably a thrift shop or a charity sale in Johannesburg, yonks ago. I made a surprised comment either here in cookbookers or in the Green Dragon that a used-book place in Johannesburg has a web site listing a number of similar ex-fundraiser productions for which they wanted a relatively phenomenal price (think about US$5 plus postage etc.) for. I could dig out the address for you if you want.

Jul 5, 2020, 12:44 pm

Chapter five may well be what induced my nana to buy this cookbook: "Chocoholics," no tagline needed. (Unless there is a tagline, and it's just beneath the bottom of my photo, in which case, tagline needed.)

Most of the recipes in this section look too rich and too chocolatey, if such a blasphemy can be said to exist, for me to enjoy, though I can see my nana eating nearly every single one of them. A bigger chocolate fiend I've never met. Apparently she actually stuck her head in a chocolate fountain at my cousin's bar mitzvah, though I didn't see it myself and I suspect some exaggeration may have been made in the telling.

I lean more toward the more balanced desserts found later in the book in the dessert section, but for true chocoholics, this chapter provides everything they could want. I only photographed one of the recipes, the one I thought I could actually possibly enjoy eating, in extremely small quantities: Solo Shiffman's "Heavenly Hash."

I do think I'll go back and take some photos of some of the other recipes from this chapter the next time I'm at the house, so you can all appreciate how extreme they are.

I also have one quibble with Ms. Schiffman, which is that marshmallows do, indeed, dry out in a tightly closed plastic bag, if you leave them in the cabinet for an entire year, as we discovered when we went to make s'mores last night. Luckily, we had also thought to buy a new bag, as well.

Jul 5, 2020, 1:10 pm

After the chapter full of chocolate comes the chapter with the rest of "Dessert," which is definitely one of, but certainly not the only, realm of food where "taste makes waist," I think we can all agree. I personally don't love the weight reference here, but the book came out in the '70s, at latest, so I really can't complain, and the pun itself is a good one.

This chapter has it all except the cookies, cakes, and bars found in the earlier chapter: tortes, bread puddings, pies, and a really weird recipe for alcoholic fruit in cream called "Strawberries Romanoff," which according to Wikipedia was popularized by California restaurant Romanoff's, but actually created by Carlton Hotel chef Escoffier under the name "strawberries Americaine Style."

Is Texas apple pie different than regular apple pie? I don't see how in the recipe, but I've also never made an apple pie before.

Jul 5, 2020, 1:34 pm

Next we get "Eggs, Cheese, Pasta," with the tagline "Quiche me once," which is so painful it's funny.

I'm not sure why the tagline is presented beside musical notes, though. Possibly the "catch me once, shame on you, catch me twice, shame on me" line was once in a song? A quick internet search yields no results, and that's about as much effort as I'm putting in on that, but if any of you know, let me know!

Along with quiches and pasta dishes and the like, this section also features roughly four million different lokshen or noodle kugels.

Jul 6, 2020, 11:30 pm

>5 Julie_in_the_Library: Sour milk is buttermilk, usually. It can also be "soured milk" -- meaning an acid has been added like lemon juice or vinegar.

Jul 7, 2020, 9:20 am

I have enjoyed reading the messages. Does the book have where the Auxiliary is located?

Jul 7, 2020, 10:49 am

>11 Julie_in_the_Library: You won't find sour cream, eggs or vanilla in a regular apple pie. My grandmothers apple pie filling is apples, sugar, butter and cinnamon or nutmeg or a bit of both.

Jul 7, 2020, 1:39 pm

>9 hfglen: Since I'm currently both unemployed and short many necessary things for the new condo, buying myself new cookbooks is off the menu for now, sadly, but thanks for offering!

>13 lesmel: buttermilk I've heard of. I didn't realize that they were the same thing. Thanks!

>14 mnleona: I'd have to check the book again to see if it's in there, but I've also done my own research, and the Hebrew Rehabilitation Home for Aged in question seems to have been the one in Roslindale, MA. I imagine the Women's Auxiliary was made up of women from the area around there. One of the recipes in the Celebrities and Chef's chapter comes from a restaurant in Marblehead, MA, and my nana, whom I have confirmed is the one who actually bought the cookbook, was living in Needham, MA at the time of publication, which also fits. I don't think the Women's Auxiliary still exists today, and the Rehabilitation Home has since changed its name again to Hebrew SeniorLife, which has facilities all over the state, I believe. I hope that helps!

>15 MrsLee: Thanks, Mrs. Lee. I was curious about that.

I'll have more sections up soon. Thanks!

Jul 7, 2020, 1:44 pm

>14 mnleona: I found the photo I took of the inside cover page, and it has the address of the Rehabilitation Home, which was in Boston, MA.

Jul 7, 2020, 2:08 pm

The next section is full of food deemed "ethnic" - "to each his own."

This section contains recipes both from the various Old Countries of Europe as well as some from the new country, relatively speaking, of Israel, including a "Chicken Israeli" recipe nearly identical to one once featured on the American Diabetes Association's webpage and every online list of Israeli chicken recipes I've ever found.

There are also, side by side with the Old Country Ashkenazi recipes like kreplach, recipes hailing from Sephardic communities in places like Morocco.

The section ends with a recipe for tabouleh, which I used to eat a lot when I was in Israel, followed by a recipe for the sticky sweet called tayglech. My mom made it with me once, when I was a kid, for a Hebrew School thing, but she's never made it again since. She says it's a pain to make, but I remember absolutely loving it that one time.

Jul 7, 2020, 3:28 pm


buttermilk I've heard of. I didn't realize that they were the same thing. Thanks!

Don't use buttermilk for "sour milk". Use milk with a bit of lemon or vinegar. Milk with a bit of acid is often suggested as a substitute for buttermilk, but that's based on a very old type of buttermilk - what was left after you made butter, a thin, slightly sour product - rather than modern buttermilk - a creamy, tangy, cultured dairy product. When my grandma (who lived most of her life on a farm including cows) used the term, "sour milk" was milk that was just starting to go off - it wouldn't hurt you, it smelled a little off, but it wasn't necessarily something you wanted to drink straight, so you'd use it for baking or cooking.

More than you want to know about good substitutes for modern buttermilk:


(My kid loves buttermilk. He'll drink it with a pinch each of salt and sugar, like a lassi that couldn't decide if it wanted to be salt or sweet.)

Jul 7, 2020, 6:57 pm

>11 Julie_in_the_Library: I lurv Strawberries Romanoff. La Madeleine serves it.

Jul 8, 2020, 10:12 am

>19 lorax: I always thought I hated buttermilk, the stuff from the cartons. Then I made my own butter and tasted the "buttermilk" left from the process. It was amazing! Much milder than the carton stuff with a liquid quality instead of a thick cream texture.

Jul 27, 2020, 9:31 am

I'm sorry it's been so long. For those who are still interested, I've got the rest of the cookbook to share with you all, starting with stuff from earlier sections that I didn't have photos of before.

Here's the chapter cover and table of contents for the first chapter, Appetizers and Hors d'Oevres, given the punny Torah subtitle "In the Beginning:

Chapter Two, Bars, Cakes, and Cookies, has an equally punny subtitle, Your Just Desserts, and a table of contents that makes the mouth water just reading it:

Jul 27, 2020, 9:57 am

I didn't get the table of contents for chapter four, Chefs and Celebrities: Maven Haven in >7 Julie_in_the_Library:, so here it is, for anyone curious:

The table of contents for chapter five, Chocoholics, discussed in post >10 Julie_in_the_Library:, has the word chocolate more times than I think I've ever seen it written down in one place before. As much as I love chocolate, and I do, I have a stomach ache just reading this list:

The table of contents for the next chapter, Desserts, covered in >11 Julie_in_the_Library:, has me hungry all over again, though, and itching to get into the kitchen and start baking:

Jul 27, 2020, 10:10 am

An examination of the table of contents for chapter seven, Eggs, Cheese, Pasta, covered in post >12 Julie_in_the_Library:, reveals that there are, in fact, seven (7) different lokshen kugel or noodle pudding recipes in this chapter alone:

The next chapter, Ethnic, as discussed in >18 Julie_in_the_Library:, contains yet another kugel, this one a potato kugel rather than lokshen or noodle:

Jul 27, 2020, 10:47 am

After the chapter on Ethnic food comes one I hadn't posted on yet: Fish, subtitled Fish Stories.

There are many yummy sounding fish recipes in this section, but there are also a disturbing number of fish loaves.

This might sound weird, coming from someone who actually quite enjoys gefilte fish, especially since I'm not entirely sure that gefilte fish and fish loaves aren't essentially the same thing, just in English translation, but I just can't get past the term 'fish loaf.' It's so off-putting! Here's one of the fish loaf recipes, along with a recipe for fish kebabs, which is a new concept to me:

Here are a few more of the interesting fish recipes in this section, including a mock lobster salad, the closest this cookbook gets to a recipe involving shellfish, which are, of course, treyf, or not Kosher. It's interesting to me that the pickling spices listed in the recipe for pickled fish are very similar to the pickling spices used to make classic Ashkenazi Kosher dills, which I have done twice now using this recipe by Jeffrey Yoskowitz of the Gefilteria.

Jul 27, 2020, 11:34 am

Next we have the chapter on food for Holidays, taglined simply "In Celebration."

This section begins, after the table of contents, with a brief overview of some Jewish holidays: Shabbat, or The Sabbath; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, or The High Holidays; Chanukah; Purim; Shavuot; and Pesach, or Passover.

Note the alternate spelling of Chanukah, Hanukkah, in the image. Even the editors of this cookbook can't decide on a spelling! Some things never change.

This Purim image scares me. Specifically, the masks. They're terrifying.

This is definitely coming from a very old-fashioned Reform Judaism perspective; some of the holiday entries, such as The Sabbath, don't even include the transliterated Hebrew name for the holiday. I grew up Reform, hung out in and attended services at a Hillel for all of college, attended a Masorti synagogue full of English-speaking ex-pats for six months in Tel Aviv, occasionally attend events at my cousin's Reconstructionist synagogue, and now attend a Conservative synagogue (when there isn't a pandemic, obviously), and I have never in my life heard other Jews refer to Shabbat by the name "the Sabbath" outside of an "explaining what it is to a gentile" context. I guess it's true what L. P. Hartley said: the past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. (i've never read the book. But the quote seems apt.)

It's also interesting to me that Sukkot, which is part of the High Holiday season and the celebration of which explicitly involves eating, is not included here.

I'll put the recipe images in the next post, since this one is pretty long already.

Jul 27, 2020, 11:44 am

Interesting recipes in this section include kichel, the Jewish take on fried dough, - I'm starting to get the idea that every culture has one, much like dumplings - a Kosher for Passover fruit compote that looks like it would smell amazing, and many other recipes that I haven't photographed, including yet more kugels, these ones carrot and potato, and a bunch of Passover safe desserts.

Jul 27, 2020, 12:50 pm

Next up is the section on Meat, subtitled "Beefing it Up," which is full of recipes for lamb, beef, and veal, aka a list of things which I've never tried to cook before. Well, I buy and cook ground beef a lot, actually. But other than that, I've basically stuck with fish and poultry when it comes to cooking animals. It's not so much that the cost is prohibitive, really, as much as the fact that it's a little more money than I'd be comfortable having wasted if what I attempt with it comes out inedible. And also that I have no idea what I'm looking for when it comes to choosing a good piece of meat at a store.

One of these days I'm going to have to give it a shot, though, because a lot of these recipes look delicious.

This section includes one of my favorite things in the book, a little picture of a grandmother next to a delightful poem about onions:

Here are a couple of the meat recipes. I've never had tongue, but I like chopped liver, so I wouldn't be averse to trying it. My mom, who also loves chopped liver, hates tongue, or so she tells me, but still, you never know until you try it yourself. I'm not spending the time in money to make it myself without trying it somewhere else first, though. Those stuffed peppers, on the other hand, look absolutely mouth-watering.

Jul 27, 2020, 1:05 pm

After the meat comes the Poultry, with the pun "Don't Chicken Out" as the subtitle. The recipes in this section include not just chicken and turkey, but also duck.

There's a lot in this section that I'd like to try, and even more that I'd like to eat!

...and then there's Chicken A La Hank:

I'm really at a loss with this one. I've never seen anything like this. I've never encountered chicken cooked in bananas before, let alone in a recipe that also includes both ketchup and white wine. Have any of you encountered a recipe like this before? It seems pretty out there to me.

Jul 27, 2020, 1:19 pm

The next section includes both salads, and that second half of the twentieth century staple, molds. The Salads and Molds section is subtitled "Delicious Nutritious. Light Dishes," but even setting aside the fact that that doesn't actually rhyme, I have my doubts.

Personally, I won't eat jello molds. They freak me out. Food shouldn't wiggle. But I digress. This chapter is a long one, and along with the aforementioned molds, there are plenty of recipes I would try, and plenty that are interesting curiosities.

I'll have to finish up this section later. I hope you enjoy what's posted so far.