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Recipes from The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook

June 22, 2021

Generations of American Jewish women grew up with Hadassah cookbooks. Plastic-covered and spiral-bound, with recipes contributed by many of our moms, these books were (and still are) produced as fundraisers by regional chapters of the Zionist women’s organization. But now there’s a new Hadassah cookbook, professionally written and edited by the national organization—only the second such cookbook in its history. But the publication of The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook made me want to explore its less-polished predecessors, and so I went to the Center for Jewish History to see what Hadassah’s archive of cookbooks could tell me about the interplay between Jewishness and Americanness, about regional differences, and about what Jewish women were cooking in kitchens from Maine to Oregon and from the 1920s to today.

Featured in: I Am Charlotte’s Tsimmes


For the sago cream pudding

  • 2tablespoons sago
  • 1pint milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup sugar

For the Graham Wafer and Apple Pudding

  • 1½ lbs graham wafers
  • ½ peck apples (approximately 5 lbs)
  • ½ pound butter
  • The juice of 1 lemon
  • Sugar to taste

For the Mrs. L Coles’ Norway Spread from Mrs. David Resnick

  • 1can boneless sardines
  • 1teaspoon lemon juice
  • cup sour cream
  • 2tablespoons prepared mustard
  • ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • ¼ cup chopped celery.

For the Portland Mist

  • 1pint bourbon
  • 1quart black coffee (double strength)
  • 1pint bulk ice cream or sherbert
  • 1quart brick vanilla ice cream or sherbet

For the Shakshuka

  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1small onion, chopped
  • 1red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled plum tomatoes
  • 5cloves garlic, diced
  • 2teaspoons salt
  • 1teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 2heaping teaspoons tomato paste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4-6large eggs
  • Red pepper flakes and za’atar for garnish (optional)


To make the sago cream pudding

From Naomi Cook Book (1928), Toronto chapter

  • Step 1

    Wash sago. Scald milk.

  • Step 2

    Add sago and let cook on slow fire until sago is soft and forms a thick mixture.

  • Step 3

    Cream yolks and sugar well, and add slowly to sago. Cook a few minutes longer, add vanilla and remove from stove.

  • Step 4

    Fold sago gradually into stiffly beaten egg whites. Serve cold.

To make the Graham Wafer and Apple Pudding

From Naomi Cook Book (1928), Toronto chapter

  • Step 1

    Roll wafers into fine crumbs. Melt butter and rub into crumbs.

  • Step 2

    Spread half of mixture into baking pan. Boil apples for applesauce, using very little water. Add lemon juice.

  • Step 3

    Spread applesauce on crumb mixture, then cover with balance of crumbs.

  • Step 4

    Bake in moderate oven until brown, about 20 minutes.

To make the Mrs. L Coles’ Norway Spread from Mrs. David Resnick

From Ess Gezunterhayt (late ‘40s or early ‘50s), Greenwich Connecticut chapter

  • Step 1

    Drain sardines and chop fine. Mix with remaining ingredients. Serve with crackers, Melba toast or potato chips.

To make the Portland Mist

From Hadassah Gives a Party (1974), Portland, Ore., chapter

  • Step 1

    Chill coffee and add bourbon. Mix well.

  • Step 2

    Pour carefully over quart brick ice cream placed in punch bowl.

  • Step 3

    Scoop ice cream pint or sherbet into balls and place around top of bowl.

  • Serves 30

To make the Shakshuka

From The Hadassah Everyday Cookbook (2011)

  • Step 1

    Heat oil in a 12-inch sauté pan or cast-iron skillet. Add onions and pepper and sauté until softened, about 6 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Pour tomatoes and juice into a bowl and squeeze gently with your hands to break them up. Add crushed tomatoes (with juice) to the pan along with garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne powder, tomato paste and vegetable oil; cover. Bring to a simmer, uncovered and stir occasionally until mixture thickens slightly, 25-30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Break desired number of eggs directly into pan, over the tomatoes. Cover and continue to cook until eggs are set, 5-6 minutes, carefully basting the eggs once or twice with sauce. Serve hot, sprinkled with red pepper flakes and za’atar, if desired.

  • Serves 2-3

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