Book on Jewish food features intro by Joan Rivers

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Joan Rivers Funeral - New York - 9/07/2014
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Book on Jewish food features intro by Joan Rivers
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Whoopi Goldberg attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Howard Stern (center R) and wife Beth Ostrosky Stern attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Billy Bush (center L) and Hoda Kotb (center R) attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Donald Trump Jr. (R) and wife Vanessa Trump attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kathie Lee Gifford (L) and Hoda Kotb attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Charlie Rose (R) attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Matthew Broderick (R) and son James Wilkie Broderick attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Matthew Broderick (C) attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Terrence Jenkins attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Diane Sawyer attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Howard Stern and Beth Stern attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Howard Stern and Beth Stern attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Barbara Walters attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Whoopi Goldberg attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sarah Jessica Parker and James Wilkie Broderick (R) attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sarah Jessica Parker (R), Matthew Broderick (L) and their son James Wilkie Broderick attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sarah Jessica Parker and James Wilkie Broderick (R) attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Sarah Jessica Parker (R), Matthew Broderick (L) and their son James Wilkie Broderick attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Diane Sawyer attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by GWR/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: The Emerald Society performs at the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Sarah Jessica Parker, center right, speaks with attendees after a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Barbara Walters arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Kelly Osbourne arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Attendees gather after a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Whoopi Goldberg arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Kelly Osbourne, center, arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Rosie O'Donnell speaks with attendees as she leaves a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Cooper Endicott and Melissa Rivers depart the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Deborah Norville is embraced after a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Howard Stern, center, arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Dr. Memhet Oz, left, and his wife Lisa Oz, arrive at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Donald Trump (center L) and wife Melania Trump attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Donald Trump arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Donald Trump Jr. attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Geraldo Rivera, center, arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Television news anchor Diane Sawyer, upper right, arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Radio personality Robin Quivers, right, arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Mourners embrace as they arrive at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Carolina Herrera arrives at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb attend the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by GWR/Star Max/GC Images)
Melissa Rivers and her son Cooper Endicott walk to a waiting car after the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Actor Matthew Broderick departs a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Melissa Rivers and her son Cooper Endicott look out the window of a car as they leave the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Melissa Rivers looks out the window of a car at a group of bagpipers as they leave the funeral service for her mother, comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at age 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Bagpipers march out the doors of Temple Emanu-El after the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Bagpipers march from the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Bagpipers march out the doors of Temple Emanu-El onto Fifth Avenue after the funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday at 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
People in a horse and carriage pass as attendees arrive at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
People watch as guests arrive at a funeral service for comedian Joan Rivers at Temple Emanu-El in New York Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Rivers died Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. She was 81. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Press Photographers take photos of guests arriving at the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by GWR/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Charlotte, a cousin of the late Joan Rivers attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Michael Musto attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Joy Behar attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Clive Davis attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Melissa Rivers attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Mario Cantone attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Judge Judy attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: John Waters attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. Rivers passed away on September 4, 2014 after suffering respiratory and cardiac arrest during vocal cord surgery on August 28, 2014. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Steve Forbes attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) - A few months before she died, Joan Rivers agreed to contribute to a book about Jewish food.

She began with some old family stories and some old Jewish jokes.

"What does a Jewish woman make for dinner? Reservations."

"You know how they butcher kosher meat, right? The cows aren't slaughtered. They're nagged to death."

Rivers, who died Sept. 4 at age 81, is the opening act for "Eating Delancey: A Celebration of Jewish Food." Set to be published in December by powerHouse Books, "Eating Delancey" is a tribute to knishes, bagels, pickles and other staples of the Jewish immigrant community of Manhattan's Lower East Side. It features memories from Don Rickles, Isaac Mizrahi and Itzhak Perlman, among others.

When the publishers were putting together a wish list for the book, they quickly thought of Rivers, a legend among friends and family for her savory, sardonic Passover gatherings. PowerHouse press liaison Abbe Aronson, also a contributor to the book, says she spoke to Rivers in April. The conversation was supposed to last just a few minutes, but ran for nearly an hour. They ended up with so much material that powerHouse decided to use it for the introduction.

"The more we chatted about Jewish food, the more animated and nostalgic she became," Aronson says, "telling us stories about the food she enjoyed growing up and what dishes she craved as an adult, the few times she would actually indulge in such rich food. What was absolutely clear as well was the fact that she was enjoying recounting these stories as a way to keep these memories alive, for not only herself but for her family."

The gateway to great Jewish food, Rivers told Aronson, was not through her mother - "a very chic woman, very well read, a great hostess, and a horrible cook." Rivers, a native and lifelong resident of New York City, credited her father, a doctor who had a "huge ethnic practice" in Brooklyn.

"Obviously, most patients paid him but some could not afford to, and so they'd bring food in exchange for medical services," she explained. "We got soups, blintzes ... you name it. Stuffed derma was a big one for fixing a burst appendix. Oh my God, the food ... it was just terrific and this is how I grew up - eating such food cooked with love and delivered by infirm and dying patients."

Rivers dropped all the right names: kasha varnishkes, eggele (or eyerlekh, which is Yiddish for "little eggs," she noted) and gribenes. She worried that her grandson, Cooper, "looks at Jewish food and doesn't really get it."

And she contemplated the menu for an imagined last meal, starting with "a good piece of gefilte fish with some fantastic freshly grated horseradish on it."

Or perhaps noodle kugel. Definitely kreplach. Just don't go out for Chinese.

"I'm not happy at a Chinese restaurant. I want kreplach! Jewish food makes Italian food seem like Lean Cuisine," she said. "The amazing thing is, believe it or not, I only had so-so Jewish food in Israel. Maybe it's because my hostess' daughter was a vegan."


This article originally appeared on AP at http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2014/Eat-your-kreplach!-Book-celebrating-Jewish-food-features-intro-by-Joan-Rivers/id-bfdf00bad420404e9ebab186fe145f55
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