Miriam's Kitchen:
A Memoir

by Elizabeth Ehrlich

Penguin Books, 1997. ISBN 014026759X.
Reviewed by Susan Wittig Albert
Posted on 01/08/2001

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Food/Cooking/Kitchen; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration; Nonfiction: Cultural/Gender Focus; Nonfiction: Relationships

Elizabeth Ehrlich is a Jewish American woman who rejected, for many years, her connection to the practices of her Jewish faith. It is only through her discovery of her mother-in-law Miriam's kitchen and the foods prepared there that she learns to value the traditions that shaped her own family, traditions brought from the Old World and translated into the New. Through entries in her journal, through letters, memories, stories, and above all, through Miriam's recipes, Ehrlich recreates for us the story of one woman's spiritual awakening and her self-guided journey into the lives of her foremothers, who nourished their faith and kept it alive and growing in difficult times, difficult places, through pain, separation, and even despair. This often funny, often heart-rending, always beautifully-evocative book is a powerful testimony to the importance of women's domestic contributions to the survival of their families, their communities, and their faith.

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