2008-09-19 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

Former BH Resident Authors 'Cooking Jewish'

By Kizzy Thompson

Judy Bart Kancigor, a former Belle Harbor resident, authored "Cooking Jewish: 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family," a cook book filled with traditional-heirloom recipes that were passed down through the generations.

Being a member of a family with a long line of legendary cooks, the Rabinowitzes, one could easily learn to love food. At the age of 19, Kancigor armed herself with a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and developed a gamut of dishes, including stuffed peppers, spaghetti and meat sauce, veal parmigiana, chicken tetrazzini and Chinese pepper steak over Minute Rice. She's been cooking since.

Through the years, she's raised children and changed several careers: high school English teacher, court reported and editor of a Southern California Weight Watchers newspaper but never shied away from cooking. With a passion for food and love for entertaining, cooking became her profession.

With her favorite aunt dying and the expectation of her first grandchild, both in 1996, Kancigor was reminded of the fascinating stories with which she grew up. These events, which narrowed one generation and created a new one, encouraged her to propose to relatives the idea of gathering and combining all of those family recipes to create a family cookbook, a legacy that contained the family's history and could be passed on the future generations.

Judy Bart Judy Bart Within three year, she self-published Melting Pot Memories, a

spiral-bound, 342 page collection of 600 recipes from 159 Rabinowitz family members; printed 500 copies and found herself in the book business. Eight printings and 11,000 copies later, Workman Publishing offered to publish a new Rabinowitz family cookbook, Cooking Jewish. The new family inspired cookbook includes 532 recipes from more than 300 contributors (extended family mem-

bers) including current and former Belle Harbor residents, more than 160 stories and more than 500 family photos dating back to the 19th century.

This book offer its users recipes for Gramma Sera Fritkin's Russian Brisket, her mother Lillian Bart's Chicken Soup, Aunt Irene's traditional matzoh balls, and numerous recipes from five generations of legendary cooks. "You don't have to be Jewish to cook

Jewish," said Kancigor, on KRON-4 TV with Henry Tenebaum. "Cooking Jewish is cooking with love, cooking with memories and cooking with tradition."

Kancigor, the grandmother of four, lives in California with her husband Barry, who has always been with her on her journey to success. She will appear at the Yeshiva of Belle Harbor located at 134-01 Rockaway Beach Boulevard on September 23 at 7:30 p.m. for a discussion and sampling. For a sneak peek at some of these legendary family recipes, visit www.cook ingjewish.com.

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