by Sybil Ruth Kaplan
The paragraph was interesting. It was late summer and I noticed it in one of the Jewish papers that comes into our home, announcing a cookbook being prepared and recipes
That really sparked my interest because it had been about seven years since I had last
helped compile and edit a cookbook. I jotted a quick letter off to the publisher in
Chandler, Arizona, telling her I could supply her with whatever was lacking in her
cookbook from my immense recipe files.
It didn't take long for Linda Radke to pick up the phone and call me. We clicked
immediately. The more we talked, the more we realized we were absolutely on the same
wavelength as far as cookbooks were concerned. Before long I was offering to go through
my files and see what I could contribute.
My next letter yielded a list of 157 possibilities from people who had given me recipes
over the years and who were from all kinds of ethnic backgrounds. By fall we had a deal,
and I was going to actually compile and edit the cookbook. I was off and typing! Linda
was busy soliciting recipes from around the world also, and it became great fun to talk on
the phone and share experiences.
With each new idea, we saw again how closely we thought alike in the planning of the
By December we had set our deadlines. January has been a difficult time, getting all the
last-minute recipes in and getting the cookbook out of my hands and into the mail to
Arizona. One tends to get a mother bird-baby bird attachment to the manuscript, and the
more I looked at it, the more details I would think of to perfect.
It has really been a delightful fax/phone/letter experience for me to get to know Linda and
to try to fulfill her dream with this project. When she asked me how I felt about three
percent of the proceeds being donated to MAZON, the Jewish answer to hunger project, I
was even more touched by the kind of person Linda must be.
Please note, the recipes have only been tested by the contributors, although the publisher,
Linda Radke, and I have tested some in our own kitchens at random.
I hope readers will enjoy meeting the people who contributed the recipes for this book
and will "read" the cookbook. Linda knew some of the people and was related to others; I
knew some as my friends, relatives and acquaintances.
I want to thank Linda for having faith in me to let me try to fulfill her ideas with this
I want to thank my friend, Marilyn, in Jerusalem, for helping me "track down" a number
of my contributors in Israel.
I want to thank my daughters, Shara and Elissa, for listening to all my adventures as I
gathered the recipes and readied the cookbook and to say how pleased I am that they, too,
I want to thank my husband, Barry, for supporting my enthusiasm for this project by
receiving the faxes in his office and transmitting messages to me, for listening to the
stories and hearing about recipes, and for tasting some of the recipes as I was inspired to
try new ones.
We hope everyone will be as excited to use this kosher international cookbook as we are
to produce it.
Sybil Ruth Kaplan
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