Ear­li­er this week, Pni­na Jacob­son and Judy Kem­pler wrote about the aging Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, the Aus­tralian Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty, and about their deci­sion to self-pub­lish their cook­book One Egg Is A For­tune. They have been blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

Food has always been cen­tral to Jew­ish life – it holds both bib­li­cal and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance and often reflects our Jew­ish her­itage. One Egg Is A For­tune shows that food is a great equalis­er and, while con­sid­ered a Jew­ish” cook­book, appeals to the broad­er com­mu­ni­ty all over. That being said, with thou­sands of books pub­lished annu­al­ly, it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to rise to the top. Wikipedia quotes that in 2009 the U.S. alone pub­lished 288,355 new titles and edi­tions. There are also a pro­lif­ic num­ber of cook­books pub­lished with the pop­u­lar­i­ty of cook­ing TV shows. 

Book com­pe­ti­tions are a way to pro­mote aware­ness and sales. As self-pub­lish­ers we entered some inter­na­tion­al com­pe­ti­tions to increase the poten­tial for a suc­cess­ful prod­uct. And it worked! One Egg Is A For­tune has been recog­nised on the world stage. It has won 3 awards:

  • Win­ner at the Gour­mand World Cook­book Awards in the Australia/​Pacific fundrais­ing cat­e­go­ry (Paris, March 2012)
  • A sil­ver medal in the cook­book cat­e­go­ry in the World’s Largest Book Awards Con­test” for inde­pen­dent authors and pub­lish­ers in the Unit­ed States (May 2012)
  • An Indie Excel­lence Award also in the Unit­ed States (May 2012)

To be among the mul­ti-award Jew­ish cook­book win­ners, includ­ing Gil Marks, Clau­dia Roden, Joan Nathan, Ruth Reichl, Mar­lena Spiel­er and Faye Levy, is humbling.

Equal­ly hum­bling: being acknowl­edged by our non-Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. Iri­na Dunn, who runs the Aus­tralian Writ­ers Net­work, wrote: this is with­out doubt the most beau­ti­ful and orig­i­nal recipe book I have ever laid my eyes on…remarkable in its con­cep­tion, per­fect in its pro­duc­tion, beau­ti­ful in its execution.”

Zechari­ah Mehler, a wide­ly pub­lished food writer who spe­cial­izes in kosher cui­sine wrote: A buf­fet of sto­ries and recipes ben­e­fit elder care … one of the most inno­v­a­tive cook­books to be released in the kosher world.”

We’ll leave you now with a sum­mer recipe: 

Water­mel­on Salad

(Serves 8 – 10)

1 medi­um seed­less water­mel­on
1 small white onion, very fine­ly sliced
1 table­spoon fresh mint, fine­ly chopped

Remove the skin and any seeds from the water­mel­on and cut into 2cm cubes.

Toss water­mel­on and onion light­ly togeth­er in a large bowl and chill well. Sprin­kle with fresh mint before serving.