Wholesome Ethnic Fast Food
Pennsylvania vegan author Jo Stepaniak and Tennessee based Book Publishing Company have done it again. This latest contribution to vegan literature puts plant based nutrition ideals and practicalities squarely and accessibly before the hungry public in a low cost book format which delivers appealing recipes that are quick and easy to prepare while being inexpensive and undemanding in terms of ingredients. Cover artist Linda Paul provides a mouth-watering homey kitchen table scene complete with blue checkered table cloth, vegetable and fruit filled salad bowls, braided garlic, pickles, basketed crusty bread loaves, and a comfortable chair just waiting for a ravenous householder to sit down and eat. Plain. Simple. Cozy. Clean, down to the scrubbed hardwood floor -- that is home and homestyle quick and easy food for real salt-of-the-earth working people who know what is good and how to live cheaply yet exquisitely, fully enjoying every bite.
"Fast food with heart and soul," declares Jo in her chapter on "The History of the Delicatessen." New York City. . . late 19th century. . . Jewish and other Eastern European immigrants. . . poverty. . . innovativeness. . . crowded-low-cost-overpriced-apartments. . . expensive fuel, if any kitchen appliances are available. . . ice boxes have not yet been displaced by refrigerators. . . every family member has several jobs. . . laborious and time consuming kosher food preparation standards not easily met in a closet-sized home kitchen. . . new names -- new language -- new schools -- new jobs -- new lives in ever new America. Study, work, keep traditions, and let the neighborhood deli do the cooking. Why not? Oy vey!
Run down to the deli and get your father a nice sandwich and some pickle. . . Tell them I'll come pay tomorrow and to have me two pounds of potato salad, one quart of beet soup, a loaf of dark rye bread, and one pound of stewed prunes for 11 o'clock. . . I'll get paid for my sewing at 10, so we'll have the money and feast at lunch. Selah! Nobody ever ate this good in Russia or Poland or Hungary, Morocco or Tunisia, Greece or Turkey. Imagine if Grandmother could see this. We got pecans and tofu here now. L'Chaim! These sturdy ethnic culinary roots have not perished; Jo Stepaniak has fertilized and pruned them for this new century in 2001. It's time for Vegan Deli.
What else but "Pickled & Marinated Vegetables" 11 recipes, "Vegetable Salads" 36 recipes, "Bean & Tofu Salads" 17 recipes, "Grain, Potato & Pasta Salads" 17 recipes, "Spreads" 13 recipes, "Dressings" 9 recipes, "Soups" 22 recipes, "Hot Specialties (Noodles, Grains & Vegetables)" 22 recipes, and "Fruit Dishes" 8 recipes. A delicatessen menu has to be uncomplicated; otherwise it's not really a deli. Not to worry.
Just buy the book. . . copies too for relatives, friends, neighbors, the neighborhood school dietitian, local libraries, maybe even the doctor. Hey, good food is medicine and Jo Stepaniak makes foods to chase diseases away. Try it. You'll like it. Pass the word. . .
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