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Cookbook features cherished memories

A Ta'am to remember (The Terraces of Baycrest)
A Ta'am to remember (The Terraces of Baycrest)

The Terraces of Baycrest has published a kosher cookbook of family recipes accompanied by anecdotes that reflect Jewish life in Canada and Europe from the turn of the 20th century to the present day.

More than 70 residents contributed to the Terrace’s cookbook, aptly named A Ta’am to Remember. Ta’am means taste in Yiddish and Hebrew and many of the recipes are accompanied by personal memories of shtetl life, the Great Depression, the Holocaust, the immigrant experience and/or raising families during the postwar years.

A Ta’ am to Remember, which was edited by CJN food columnist and author Norene Gilletz, will be launched on Nov. 29 at 2 p.m. in the assembly room of the Terraces.  Gilletz, who has written 12 kosher cookbooks, will be there along with Lorraine and David “Sonny” Langer, sponsors of the cookbook.

Langer, a popular Toronto caterer, was the first administrator of the Terraces, when it opened in April 1976. The party for the cookbook will kick off celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the Terraces.

Back in 2007 the late Rachel Orlan, a Terraces resident, set out to publish a cookbook of recipes and stories as a fundraiser for the Terraces. The staff began collecting recipes and they also asked Elaine Kaplan, the daughter of one of the residents (Dorothy Riegelhaupt), to assist them, because Kaplan had worked closely with Gilletz.

She in turn recruited Gilletz, and soon dozens of volunteers joined the team and began testing recipes. Many of the Terraces residents who contributed recipes to A Ta’am to Remember were intuitive cooks who learned to prepare the various dishes without written recipes, Gilletz said. “I often had to quantify and modify many ingredients and clarify the directions, but I always maintained the integrity of these recipes.”

Kaplan, the project director, noted with sadness that many of the contributors to the cookbook have died and did not have a chance to see their names, recipes and stories in print.

“We hope the families of the contributors will cherish their stories and treasure their recipes.” For more information about A Ta’am to Remember, call 416-785-2500 ext. 2267.

Red lentil soup

Submitted by  Jean Goldstein

o 1¼ cups red lentils

o ½ cup white rice

o warm water for soaking

o ¼ cup vegetable oil

o 1 large yellow onion, chopped

o 8 cups hot water

o 1½ tbsp. instant pareve chicken
soup mix

o 1 tsp. ground cumin

o 1 tbsp. olive oil

o salt to taste

o lemon wedges to garnish (optional)

Place lentils and rice in a medium bowl and add water to cover. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and rinse well. Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it turns golden about 5 minutes. Add hot water and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in drained lentils and rice. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes until lentils and rice are tender. Add soup mix, cumin, olive oil and salt. Stir well. If the soup is too thick, add water as needed. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Garnish each serving with a lemon wedge, if desired. Yield: 8 servings