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Katish: Our Russian Cook (Modern Library Food)

Katish, round as a plum and neat as a pin, arrived in Los Angeles as a Russian emigre in the 1920s. As Wanda L. Frolov remembers, her house was brought to life by this humble genius of the kitchen, whose English was unpredictable and whose love of company (especially that of the downtrodden) was unstoppable. Soon Katish was nourishing the bellies and the souls of a happy throng with her blini and pilaf, her shashlik and borscht. On the side, she brokered marriages and started bank accounts for new emigres, presiding over all from her spotless pastry table.Katish offers deliciously simple Russian country cooking enveloped in a warm and cheering narrative, tender as the crust of Katish's own piroshky. It includes Katish's Cheesecake, one of the most beloved recipes ever published in Gourmet magazine.

Series: Modern Library Food

Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Modern Library; Modern Library Paperback Ed edition (June 26, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0375757619

ISBN-13: 978-3757576196

Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8 inches

Shipping Weight: 5.3 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,670,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #87 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Russian #137354 in Books > Literature & Fiction > United States

Katish is the nickname of the young Russian widow who is taken in by Wanda Frolov's mother as a cook in 1920's Los Angeles. Wanda, the author, and her brother lived with their widowed mom. As a middle-class California family, hiring a cook was an extravagance for them, but Wanda's aunt talked them into doing it. In the 1940s, when she was grown, Wanda wrote the chapters of this book as a series of articles in _Gourmet_ magazine. They were later gathered together as a book in 1947. Now the Modern Library Food Series has reprinted this delightful literary cookbook for a new generation of reader-cooks. Like many things culinary, these memoirs have improved with age.The story of the book revolves around the cultural differences created as Katish and her Russian immigrant friends interact with an American middle class family of the 1920s. It is a heart-warming story in which both sides profit from the relationship. _Katish_ is a delightfully amusing glimpse into the culture of the time and is populated with warmly portrayed friends, relatives and situations.As each food is discussed in the narrative, the recipe is listed. They are easy to follow and delicious. The recipes are a wonderful introduction to Russian family cooking. Breads and rolls, soups, desserts, side dishes, and main dishes are all well represented. Sadly, there is only one salad and one beverage (a delightfully rich hot chocolate). Thirty of the recipes contain meat or meat products. Thirty five are ovo-lacto vegetarian (many with butter and sour cream). Only nine are animal-free vegan recipes and six of these contain alcoholic beverages. An interesting aside is that, for a Prohibition-era story, there are surprisingly many recipes with alcoholic beverages.

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