Once upon a time, Jewish home cooks planning a holiday meal swapped recipes over the kitchen table, scribbled down Grandma’s secret ingredients on index cards, or simply paged through cherished (and often food-stained) cookbooks.
Today, they’re more likely to check the Internet. And thanks to Tamar Genger, a new site, JoyOfKosher.com, enables kosher cooks not only to share recipes, but to plan menus and read about kosher restaurants around the world.
“Jewish people are all about community and connecting with each other,” said Genger, executive editor and founder of the site — combination of social media and community cookbook.
“I used to use Recipezaar and Epicurious,” she said, naming two popular recipe sites. “But there was never anything really geared towards kosher people, where I could also connect to kosher people.”
While Genger acknowledges that there are other kosher food websites out there, such as Kosher.com and the kosher message board on Chow.com — “there was no one that had everything.” So she designed her own.
Though the site has been running quietly since March, the official launch was last week, just in time for one of the biggest kosher cooking seasons of the year. It’s 300-members, can upload their own recipes, rate other people’s recipes, create menus for Shabbat or upcoming holidays, and read kosher travel guides to major cities. The proposed menu for this weekend, Shabbat Shuvah, includes apple-jicama salad and grilled chicken with mango ginger chutney there are also recipes and menus created by people like Ronnie Fein, author of “Hip Kosher”; Abigael’s chef Jeff Nathan and Laura Frankel, the executive chef for Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering in Chicago.
Other features on the site include a guide to kosher symbols and a forum where users can ask and answer questions.
Genger, who works as a dietician and nutritionist, is also the mother of three children — ages 2, 4 and 6.
“They all love to cook,” she said. “My oldest: Indian food and sushi are his favorite foods … plus whatever he makes he also eats, which is great.”
Genger also started out in the kitchen at a young age — when she and her siblings would be in charge of dinner. And that didn’t stop when she left the house. “I remember in college I was always the one cooking dinner, making stir frys.”