Cooking for Family and Friends, Monday Morning Cooking Club Style
We love nothing more than cooking for family and friends, whether it’s a Friday night dinner, Sunday lunch or even a mid week quickie for the family. And we’ve all been inspired by the recipes and stories from the Monday Morning Cooking Club books.
For those of you who have not yet met us, here’s a bit of background about the girls of the Monday Morning Cooking Club.
I am what we call the chief pot stirrer of the group of six women (all from Sydney) who have been cooking together on Monday mornings since 2006. We started out with a seed of an idea to write a cookbook for charity by collecting the best recipes from some of the best cooks in Sydney’s Jewish community.
We are all nurturers and passionate cooks with varied backgrounds, from business to teaching and from law to charity work. Our combined heritage spans Poland, Hungary, Shanghai, Russia, England and South Africa. We first met through Sydney’s Jewish community, where our shared passion for food brought us together and cemented a lasting bond.
The girls and I have made it our mission to share the stories of our wonderful and diverse food-obsessed community, preserving recipes from past generations for our generation, and preserving recipes from our generation for the future.
With our goal ’to produce a book that could sit beside any great chef’s cookbook in any bookstore’, we published our first book ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club – the food, the stories, the sisterhood’ in April 2011 (2nd edition, March 2013). As at July 2014, we have sold 25,000+ books in Australia and overseas and helped raise $400,000+ along the way for charity.
The book is full of recipes and stories from Sydney’s Jewish community – heartwarming stories such as Raie’s below.
One of my favourite family-style recipes in the book is ‘Aunty Raie’s Meatloaf’ on page 65. Not only for the AMAZING (best ever!) meatloaf, but for the story that goes with it.
The late Raie Rosenberg, a close friend of my family, was sixteen when her father moved the family to Sydney. She had already begun to develop a strong interest in food and cooking. She happily settled into life in a new city, married Ron and started a family of her own.
When Raie and Ron opened Aunty Raie’s Deli in Woollahra in the eighties, she lovingly cooked all the house dishes herself. Her specialties included chopped liver, egg and onion, a huge variety of frittatas and, of course, her meatloaf. With her chatty personality and sense of humour, she adored the local customers and thrived on the camaraderie that existed in the area. Raie passed away in 1997. She is remembered not only for her exceptional cooking but also for being an integral Woollahra village personality.
Raie’s best-known specialty was her incredible meatloaf. She sold it across Sydney to many cafes and sandwich bars, and customers would queue outside her deli at lunchtime to buy one of her famous meatloaf sandwiches.
I always remembered visiting Raie in her deli many years ago and tasting her meatloaf for the first time. When I was thinking of all the recipes that ‘just needed’ to be in the book, this was one of them. I managed to track it down through Raie’s sisters, although no-one had an exact recipe recorded. So I guess this is the MMCC version of Aunty Raie’s meatloaf and I am so pleased it has now become part of my repertoire.
It is served here with Marny’s potato salad (page 217) and works equally well with chicken or turkey mince.
This post was originally written as part of Let’s Lunch (#LetsLunch), a twitter-based virtual lunch club where anyone interested can join this monthly ‘lunch date’. A topic is posted at the beginning of the month, everyone now takes it in turns, and all posts are made on the same day by this random but lovely group of food bloggers, writers and people who just love cooking from all around the world. Anyone can join at any time – just join us on twitter by searching and adding the hashtag #LetsLunch. And check out the others’ posts – they are wonderful! This month’s topic was food for sharing with friends and family in honour of the launch of our first book in the USA in September 2013.
Eleanor’s Surf and Turf at Wok Star
Linda’s Pumpkin Pie at Spice Box Travels
Anne Marie’s Almond Cheesecake Sammy Bites at Sandwich Surprise
Grace’s Zha Jiang Mien at Hapa Mama
Jill’s Homemade Corned Beef at Eating My Words
Lucy’s Sweet Potatoes with Cane Syrup at A Cook and Her Books
Pat’s Red Curry Noodles at The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook
Betty Ann’s Sisig Rice at Asianin America
Lisa’s No Ordinary Meatloaf at Monday Morning Cooking Club