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Marcy Goldman Strikes Gold

Dec 5, 2009 | From the kitchen of Rose

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Marcy Goldman is a cookbook author, major website presence, baker, poetess, and warm generous colleague. A visit to Montréal is not complete for me without a visit with her.

On this most recent visit we made an attempt to catch up over a breakfast of omelets and Montréal bagels (chewy but lighter than the NY version--see page 64 in Jewish Holiday Baking--the 10th Anniversary Edition). And we continued talking non-stop all the way to the airport.

Two life-changing things Marcy shared (yes I know they are small things but I will be using them to good purpose every day and therefore are important to me) are the necessity of a small notebook, preferably Moleskine, and the pleasure of disposable fountain pens. I had just about given up on my love for writing with fountain pens after many ink leaks especially on airplanes but Marcy said this disposable variety never leaks. As for the moleskin, made famous by Hemingway, there is a little stretchable band that keeps it closed and so much love and care is put into its production it has what few cookbooks can boast--a stitched binding!

Our conversation turned inevitably to blogs, websites, and cookbooks. Marcy was a pioneer of web recipes. Her website www.betterbaking.com launched in 1997 and has a significant following. We talked about Kindle-type devices and having an actual cookbook to hold versus reading it on line and agreed that there's a limit to 'virtuality.' a cookbook is more than a collection of recipes--it's the soul of the writer. I love Marcy's books for that very reason: she puts her heart and soul into them. Beyond enticing photos, there is contextual history, fascinating personal stories, and a plethora of invaluable tips.

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Marcy's book, the best of Better Baking.com, based on recipes from her site, has just been re-issued with the addition of many new recipes that evolved over the near decade since its first release.

Also just out is a reissue of her first cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking. This 10th Anniversary Edition contains an entire new chapter of holiday cooking recipes. At the time of this writing it already had 24 reviews on Amazon--all five star!

http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Jewish-Holiday-Baking/dp/1770500030/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1258227831&sr=1-1

"So why a Jewish baking book?" I couldn't help but ask with a slight Yiddish intonation. Here's Marcy's answer in her own words:


"It was more a case of being Jewish, and a baker ...and being frustrated when I did Jewish food features, there was no comprehensive source. And Jewish cookbooks only included a few baking recipes and not from a baker's perspective.
I figured someone should do that book. And then I realized it might as well be.....moi. But what a big book to do, espcially as my background was not so Jewish/typical, so it was lots of baking but a ton of research, and digging through recipe boxes of everyone's moms and bubbies to get definitive things and re-spin them with today's tastes, methods and ingredients, but mostly I had to invent from the ground up, keeping faithful to the recipes' soul--honey cake in particular: I was determined to make something luscious for even honey cake haters*.
Matzoh butter crunch was an inspiration: It was that old soda cracker recipe but in a light bulb moment. The new cooking section makes this a complete book."

*I'm one and I'm ready to be converted--I can't wait to try this recipe and many others.

Comments

Dearest Rose,

I just found this gorgeous write up of my cookbooks (and me) on your blog. What a lovely Hanukkah present! I am blown away. As always, and as everyone who knows you knows, you are over-the-top generous. I always say you are well-named for you are indeed a 'rose' in name and in spirit. We baker girls are bonded in more than flour. You must return to Montreal soon or else, I must get to New York so we can schmooz, bake, and eat but mostly, continue our non-stop babble that kindred souls do.

Warmest wishes and thank you,
Always,
Marcy

P.S. Now they'll know me, again thanks to you, for my honey cake, matzoh buttercrunch and my love of fountain pens AND Moleskines.
Again, thanks to you

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I bought the book, I bought the fountain pens. Thanks, Rose, for leading me back to one of my true loves: writing with a fountain pen. It's been years.They're not too available here - they come in a pack with one purple/one blue/one black. My local Staples keeps 2 packages of them in stock at a time. I've even been using them to grade papers, which is making the grading more enjoyable!

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The two recipes from Jewish Holiday Baking you mentioned here are some of my favorite of all time. This is a book no kitchen should be without, Jewish or not.

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I've always wanted to learn more about Jewish baking. Definitely adding this to my Amazon list.

Zach

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yes, the pilot brand!

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Your blog is super. So are your photographies. They make me hungry. I have spent a nice moment when seeing them. Thanks a lot.

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Do you use the Pilot brand?

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I love Marci, my Moleskins but not my fountain pen. Thanks for the tip. Her book on Jewish baking reminded me of another fabulous book I have on my shelve. It's The Classic Cooking of Italian Jews.
As for Kindle, well what can one say? I don't think I could ever look at a kindle as lovingly as those books of mine that line my bookshelve.

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What a truly lovely book... I look forward to seeing it in the bookstore!

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the office supply store on bleecker just off laguardia

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Where do you buy your disposable fountain pens

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