2017, Interlink 978-1-56656-069-6, $35 hb.
Though it lingered deeply within her biological, and cultural, DNA, Jodie Kalla’s Palestinian heritage didn’t bubble to the surface until she was in her 20s and living in Paris, where she first experienced a “yearning for home” that drove her directly back to the Arab cuisine of her youth. “I called my mother every day to ask her how to make different dishes,” she recalls in this ode to Palestinian home cooking. Among those requested recipes were warak inab (stuffed vine leaves), makloubeh (an upside-down rice dish with eggplant and lamb), molokhia (jute mallow leaves turned into a soup with chicken) and more, which feature in this fond food memoir/cookbook. The book features a comprehensive review of traditional ingredients from basic baharat spice mix to exotic rose water, as well as colorful illustrations and informative headnotes that blend Kalla’s personal memories with her tactical knowledge of the outcomes of each dish. In addition, the publisher is donating 50 percent of the title’s sale proceeds to the Palestinian House of Friendship, a Nablus-based nonprofit organization that offers support to at-risk Palestinian youth, with an emphasis on culture and the arts.