When Ilana-Davita mentioned Healthy Helpings in her reader interview, author Norene Gilletz came by to comment. She even joined my Facebook fan page. I wrote to Norene to let her know that I would be dedicating today’s post to her.
My mother loved gadgets. She wasn’t the first to get a microwave, but when she did she read every book and article on microwave cooking she could find.
My mother loved food processors best of all. She had three Cuisinarts: One fleishig (meaty), one pareve (neutral) and one for Passover. When she wanted to make cheesecake, she called the rabbi to approve using the pareve one. Her hand movements were so limited that chopping and mixing were painful. Food processors enabled her to continue to cook for the family. If she couldn’t make it in the food processor, she couldn’t make it at all.
One year my parents decided to spend Passover in my apartment in New York. My mother shipped me a mini-food processor along with basic new kitchen supplies. She couldn’t imagine making Passover without a food processor. (Somehow I did, because the box went back to Cincinnati. The elevator in my building was broken, and there was no one to bring the box up the stairs.) My mother also got me a copy of one of Norene’s earliest cookbooks, The Pleasures of Your Food Processor.
Food Processor Bible, is one of the best resources out there for efficient food processor techniques. Well, I admit I haven’t read any others, but I’m sure I don’t need to. Regular readers of this blog would surely recognize Norene’s techniques. Pleasures contains recipes for classic Jewish foods like potato kugel, pasta and kreplach, and stuffed cabbage. It has a whole section for Passover., later replaced by the
Many recipes in Pleasures are too rich for my taste or include processed ingredients. I haven’t read Norene’s newer books, but they are advertised as healthy and light. Either way, you can’t beat Norene when it comes to time-saving methods. When I make honey cake I keep two cookbooks open: Jewish Cookery for its lighter oil-based recipe, and Norene’s Pleasures for its cake-mixing technique.
One clever idea of Norene’s is to make a cardboard cutout the size of the opening of your processor’s feed tube. Keep it in your purse and when you go to the store, you can choose vegetables small enough to fit without extra cutting.
My teens know Pleasures too, since they have taken over the birthday cake baking. The book covers came off long ago, and the recipe for Pareve Chocolate Cake is dusted with cocoa.
In New York I came across Norene’s Microways (no longer in print). My mother was a microwave expert by then and the recipes were similar to Pleasures, so I only mentioned it to her shortly before her death in 1990. I’ll never forget the expression on her face, wondering how I could not have shared this information with her immediately.
Norene, I owe you a debt of thanks for inspiring my mother, who in turn inspired this blog. You are an inspiration to me as well. I’m so glad you stopped by.
Read my interview with Norene, too.