Review: “Bonnie’s Kitchen: A Different Kind of Cookbook” - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Review: “Bonnie’s Kitchen: A Different Kind of Cookbook”

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By: Michelle Smith

Bonnie’s Kitchen: A Different Kind of Cookbook is an out-of-the-box culinary creative experience.  Equal parts informative and entertaining.  It’s a page turner.  The recipes are simple and yummy.  As the title promises, it’s … A Different Kind of Cookbook … a recipe for laughter from unexpected sources.   Who better equipped to write this most delightful cookbook, than someone who can’t cook?

“Those who can, do, those who can’t, teach” – George Bernhard Shaw

“He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” – Proverbs 15:15

Phyllis Blackman’s latest book, Bonnie’s Kitchen: A Different Kind of Cookbook grew out of her attempt to remain sane (relatively) during the pandemic of 2020 by creating something that she hoped could bring a little joy back into the world.

This unusual cookbook begins with Ms. Blackman admitting that she’s a terrible cook.  She often enjoys delicious, home-cooked meals, but only at other people’s homes … Bonnie’s in particular!  Bonnie agreed to give Phyllis all of her recipes to one day put in a book for others to enjoy too!  Bonnie began taking pictures of her meals as she made them until suddenly, she and her family was called to leave for Israel.  Phyllis’ angel friends, who cooked the remaining recipes, appear with their photos in the book.

The illustrations are lovely, large and clear and the recipes are easy to follow for both accomplished chefs or beginners.  There are explanations of terms, inserts to find products, measurement guides, cooking tips, and a surprise at every turn to make you smile.  While you are cooking these simple recipes, you’ll have time to peruse its esoteric information – tidbits you’d want to know or didn’t know you’d want to know.

Unlike conventional cookbooks, her book is chock full of interesting, totally unexpected offerings.  Phyllis lists her food categories in order of importance, beginning with “Desserts.”  You will find sections including: “Things To Do While You are Waiting for the Food to Cook,” “Things to Do While Eating Alone,” “How to Clean Leather” …

I couldn’t wait to read what was in Phyllis’ own chapter, which was indeed so creative and funny.  She speaks directly to you throughout this amusing and clever book, injecting her personality and laugh-out-loud humor that gives the book a personal, homey feel.  Her comments and quotes of famous people appear through her avatar.

Even Phyllis, who clearly prefers being a well-seasoned guest, can master these simple recipes, which is living proof that if there’s a will and good insurance coverage, anything is possible.  This cookbook is a keeper!  It’s earned a prominent spot on my book shelf.  I highly recommend it for yours.

About the author: Phyllis Blackman is the composer of six children’s music Torah based CDS and 2 books available on iTunes and Amazon.com

Michelle Smith retired from a diverse career spanning from Madison Avenue to Wall Street.  En route, she met world-class chefs for work and as she dined at many amazing restaurants.  During the pandemic years, as she culled all but the classics from her once-vast cookbook collection, she invited her son to travel with her through these shelves to sample native cuisines from regions and countries around the world – from Albania to Zimbabwe.   Today, only the classics remain on her bookshelves alongside Phyllis Blackman’s new Bonnie’s Kitchen: A Different Kind of Cookbook, because it makes her smile!  Michelle currently resides and writes on Main Street USA.

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