Foodie Lit

Foodie Lit: A genre of novel and memoirs filled with food stories and recipes

Susan Weintrob, our Foodie Lit writer, is a food blogger and reviewer on her website, Susan grew up around food and its prep. Her father owned a deli and catering business, which taught her the key components of the industry. "Writing food blogs is an amazing opportunity. Cooking and talking about food is simply fun and takes me back to memories of my Dad."                                                                                                                                              Join Susan as she shares her reviews and fantastic recipes-

Memories of the Deli-

Laurie Boris' Boychik Reading this book took me back to the tastes and smells of my Dad’s deli—the sour pickles, the corned beef sandwiches, the lox and the deli salads. Set for much of the novel in Brooklyn in two neighborhoods, Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg, both neighborhoods with which I am very familiar. Like main characters, cousins Eli and Artie Abramowitz, my dad was born in Williamsburg and was only 2 years younger than Eli. His dream was to own a deli, which he did many years later. In Brooklyn Heights, a wealthy neighborhood then and now, another main character grows up, Evelyn Rosenstein, daughter of Murder Incorporated mobster. What happens when these characters meet is an absorbing story, filled with romance, crime, and dreams, where Hollywood and life intertwine. Evelyn grows up in a wealthy but troubled family. Even at 17, she is chauffeured by a bodyguard everywhere and resents the lack of freedom she sees others have. She loves the Jewish traditions and thinks, “She liked lighting the menorah with her mother on Hanukkah. She liked the Seder dinner. They felt like invisible threads connecting her to Bubbe and Zayde, and all the family going back for generations.”…

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Ahh! Summer Reading & a Lovely Tomato Salad

Eagan Whitcombe gets up before dawn each day. He eats a thin watery gruel, often his only meal for the day, and goes out onto the streets to gain clients who need their chimneys cleaned. He negotiates his own prices and works alone, often in unsafe conditions. He eats if he can. He gives most of what he has earned to his master. He sleeps on the floor of a basement, in which he is locked in all night. Eagan is a chimney sweep. He is 6 years old. You won't be able to put down A.M.Watson's historical nove, Infants of the Brush. My mom is not a vegetable eater and I am always hiding veggies in puréed soups and stews. Yet my mom ate an entire tomato of my Summer Tomato Salad! This is a seriously delicious and easy salad, even more delicious with tomatoes from your garden, farmer’s market or local produce in your supermarket. Sliced tomatoes marinating in a simple Balsamic Vinaigrette with a little salt on top create this summer wonder. Use a variety of tomatoes for a pretty look. I used some from my garden and some from Costco. Wow!   Summer Tomato Salad ​ Serves…

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A Memorial Day Special!

We thank all the men and women who have served our country in the military, for keeping us free, protecting our Constitution and flag. Have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day. In one of my favorite scenes from The Surgeon, a Civil War novel, Dr. Abbey Kaplan confronts a disapproving male doctor. Not only won't Dr. Connolly work with her, he doesn’t allow her into the male wards, even though male doctors are allowed into female wards.  When Dr. Kaplan complains about this unequal treatment, he responds, “How dare you talk to be like that! You have no business being here in the first place. The very idea of a female doctor is abhorrent.” He then slaps her across the face. Abbey, 6’ tall and well trained by her father and brothers in self-defense, slams her right fist into the doctor’s face, then a left uppercut to his belly and a right to his jaw. She throws him out of the surgical tent.  Dr. Connolly never reports the incident as he couldn’t admit to slapping a woman nor that he was beaten up by one. He requests a transfer to another unit and Abbey is on the road to respect from…

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Delicious Savory Onion Pie is paired with this month’s Foodie Lit historical novel, Infants in the Brush.

Eagan Whitcombe gets up before dawn each day. He eats a thin watery gruel, often his only meal for the day, and goes out onto the streets to gain clients who need their chimneys cleaned. He negotiates his own prices and works alone, often in unsafe conditions. He eats if he can. He gives most of what he has earned to his master. He sleeps on the floor of a basement, in which he is locked in all night. Eagan is a chimney sweep. He is 6 years old. You won't be able to put down A. M.Watson's historical novel, Infants of the Brush. This delicious Savory Onion Pie is paired with this month’s Foodie Lit historical novel. This delicious Savory Onion Pie was typical fare for those in the 18th century lower class, who couldn’t afford much meat. Onions were substituted for meat, with potatoes for bulk and apples for a bit of sweetness. I modified this recipe from a wonderful website,, which collects recipes from 18th century cookbooks. The combination of onions, potatoes and apples is aromatic and hearty—a meal in itself. I have made onion and leek tarts and find this recipe modern in ways those…

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Sharing a wonderful romance book with friends – and a yummy Peach Cobbler!

  Olive Witkins was sure she had her days planned out. At 35, she was a spinster, worked at a Philadelphia library and took care of her parents’ house. She kept her hair in a tight bun, wore black clothes and kept herself all buttoned up. Then life intervened. With the death of her brother and his wife in 1891, Olive travels to the wilds of Spencer, Ohio to save their two children, fantasizing about the culture and family legacy she would bestow on Mary and John, how she would teach them and they would love her. Her dream shattered when she saw the hovel where her drunken brother had kept his family, not fit for human habitation. What her brother and his wife put their children through “rubbed raw all that she knew to be true…” With great difficulty, Olive rises to the occasion, mothers her niece and nephew with the help of her brother’s neighbor Jacob Butler. She begins to mother his 3 children as well. Despite her lack of experience and being used to Philadelphia life, “Olive felt more alive, more focused than she ever had before in her life…. I am done letting life go by.”…

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Grab a cup of tea, homemade raisin bread and a Mystery perfect for Valentine’s Day!

    A mystery with a romance, Aunt Bea’s Legacy combines what many readers love: a quaint English village, some friendly and not so friendly ghosts, twists and turns in the mystery and romance and a surprise ending. And I love a mystery whose ending I can’t guess! Main character, Lucy Dixon is a chef. I love reading about her baking and canning, living on a small working farm. Very inspirational for those of us who dream of orchards and berry patches and herb gardens. Lucy is an appealing character. While a confident chef, she is unsure of herself in terms of relationships and life’s choices.She decides to leave her London chef’s position to stay at her aunt’s house in order to find out how her aunt died. What are the noises that haunt the house, from footsteps to crying, from screams to eerie images? Is this why her aunt was found dead with a fireplace poker in hand? Her aunt’s will requires Lucy to live at River View for one year to inherit the house. Her love for her aunt, who helped raise her after her mother’s death, is part of the reason for her increasing love for River View. “In…

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Drift away to Montreal in the 1950’s and enjoy a French delight!

    Author David Riese was having coffee one morning in his usual café when Riva Weiss, an older woman author Dave Riese had spoken to from time to time came over, sharing a story about a passionate love she had when just 18. Building on what Riva had told him, Dave expanded the bones of her story to a novel of a wonderfully poignant romance. Being built on a true story adds to the depth and interest of this work. To this day, Dave is still in touch with Riva, who turned 88 this year. In 1951, the fictional Rebecca Wiseman meets and falls in love with Sol Gottesman at a YMHA dance. Despite coming from different social classes and families, the two are passionate in this first love. Based on a true-life romance, Dave writes a very romantic novel with a clear understanding of how both young men and women react to a first love. Sol woos Rebecca with beautiful flowers, fancy restaurants and whispered phone calls. Rebecca dreams of Sol, calls him frequently, quite forward for a young woman of that time, and even is the aggressive one romantically. Dave said that his ideas about romance did…

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Spend the day with Lavender Fantasy!

      Valerie Beil's Circle of Nine,: Beltany Adolescence is not an easy time for most. Brigit Quinn is bullied and excluded. She and her mother Celeste live alone, her father a mystery, and follow the old Celtic religion, thus not celebrating holidays the way others at school do. Brigit finds her confidence and strength as she learns to use her magical powers. I asked Valerie why magic is so appealing in young adult novels. She told me, “I love writing for this age group. (I love reading young adult novels, too.) Teens are at a jumping off point and there’s so much potential and hope, but they’re also not completely in control of their destiny. Adults in their lives still have a lot of power. Inserting magic into a story gives my teen characters some independence and the power they desire—which is appealing really to any age group.” The story opens on Brigit’s 15th birthday, a day that starts a new phase of her life. Her mother gives her 3 significant gifts. One is a large leather bound book written by the women in her family, beginning on Sept. 19, 1324. But this journal is not written the way other…

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Yummy Spinach-Cheese Pockets – without all the trauma Mirra had to go through!

      “I am Uru Ana, privy to men’s darkest secrets, witness to the memories that haunt and the memories that comfort.” Mirra and her brother Kel are from a people who mind-travel, who can see into others’ memories and thoughts. They are feared and they are used for their abilities. Their country has been destroyed, they have been exiled and are in hiding, many hunted and enslaved. heir original home, where they truly belong, is gone. Author Claire Merle told me, “Mirra holds a deep sense of being unable to ever get ‘home’, even before she starts her journey and this is shown through the lost island of the Uru Ana. To me, it’s as much an internal sense of something missing as an external one. There have been periods in my life where I’ve had the sense that ‘home’, where I truly belong, is somehow inaccessible. As though it lies in another time and place, perhaps childhood, or elsewhere.” Like many before them, Kel is kidnapped, the glittering eyes of the young shadow weavers giving Kel away. He is to be taken to the Pit and sold into slavery.  This transaction is interrupted by Mirra, who leaves…

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