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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Like its soul sister Clémentine in the Kitchen, Wanda Frolov's memoir is a happy recollection of the years that a talented foreign cook brought warmth, cheer, and delicious food to her family's home. Frolov's cook, Katish, was a Russian émigré who came to Los Angeles in the 1920s. Described as "round as a plum and neat as a pin," Katish presided over their table, serving Russian country dishes to friends and fellow êmigrés alike. Her language difficulties in the market and at the post office are charming, and her signature dishes sound wonderful. Woven into the chapters are her instructions for Mushrooms in Sour Cream, Blini, Shashlik, Eggplant Caviar, and the light and tender Katish's Cheesecake, apparently one of the most beloved recipes ever published in Gourmet magazine.
Although this book was first published in 1947, this is its first reappearance in years. In some ways it is pure nostalgia with its happy memories, delicious food, and the innocent pranks of the children, but it took me quite a while to figure out what really dates the book -- and please take a seat for this revelation: Meal after meal, year after year, one celebration after another, the family, their friends, and Katish's friends all enjoyed their food. There's no hint of holding back, dieting, poor body image, or food police: They just enjoyed the meals as a high point in their days and delighted in the presence of a talented cook. It's refreshing, possibly instructive.
Katish: Our Russian Cook is another volume in the Modern Library Food Series. (Ginger Curwen)