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About Monday Morning Cooking Club
We formed our sisterhood, the Monday Morning Cooking Club, in 2006 to collect the recipes and stories from the best cooks we could find in Sydney’s Jewish community, culminating in our first cookbook, ‘Monday Morning Cooking Club - the food, the stories, the sisterhood’ in 2011. We journeyed Australia-wide to deliver our next book ‘The Feast Goes On’ in 2014 and the trifecta was completed in 2017 with ‘It’s Always About the Food’, a culturally interesting collection from across the world.
We’ve searched for Sydney’s best, looked for Australia’s heirloom masterpieces and explored the dishes of the global Jewish diaspora. We’ve been on a mission, a quest, a non-stop search, to uncover, to persistently test and tweak and to preserve all the many recipes entrusted to us over our years of collecting. And we fried more onions than we could count.
It has become our custom, our trademark and our greatest pride, to tell honest, heartwarming and poignant stories alongside the recipes. Tales of old lands and new beginnings, accounts of trauma and sorrow, lessons of love and joy. Stories of cooking from memory to rekindle the warmth of a time gone by, memoirs telling of kitchen secrets learnt at a grandmother’s side, discoveries of the joy to feed and nurture a young family.
And each and every story reveals the universal connection to, and honouring of, tradition.
Over the years we’ve mastered challah with egg and onion and chicken soup with matzo balls. We’ve explored Sephardi chicken curry and Ashekenazi cholent. We’ve slow cooked Hungarian goulash and Roman lamb.We devoured Israeli shakshouka and Algerian couscous.
And now, with the release of our fourth book - Now For Something Sweet (2020), it’s time for something sweet.
These are the sweet recipes we will make and re-make. The biscuits we must package up and give to a friend in need. The cakes we need to nibble, sliver after sliver after sliver. The warm buns we gently cradle like newborn babies to inhale the intoxicating yeasty aroma. The desserts we truly long for after we’ve eaten the last spoonful. And one completely irresistible savoury chapter at the end, for some salty relief.
With this book, we continue to weave the tapestry of a culturally diverse, uniquely food-obsessed community who loves to cook, and most importantly, to nurture those we love through food. We give you, with our collective heart and soul, recipes that we will all pass on to the next generation, and stories to tell as we slice just one more piece of cake.
LISA GOLDBERG, Chief Pot Stirrer
I embrace the part of Jewish culture which embodies the saying ‘it’s always about the food’. I am a fresser with an unbridled passion for eating, cooking and nurturing those around me with food. My legal background has given me a great foundation to help guide - and work side by side with - this truly amazing bunch of kind, funny and enlightening women to produce and publish four extraordinary cookbooks. I feel incredibly grateful to have had (and still have) the opportunity - since 2006 - to spend so much of my time dedicated to, and fully immersed in, such a delicious, inspiring and worthwhile project.
I pinch myself to think I’ve been sharing my Mondays with this special group of women for 14 years. I love sharing cooking tips and techniques, teaching unconfident cooks that cooking can be fun and talking about food till forever. I have a pedantic respect for punctuation and well measured ingredients, and I just adore the precision of my digital scales and a freshly sharpened cook’s knife. I have inherited my mother’s passion for searching out elusive ingredients, believing I can cure any of my family’s ills with food, and endless cups of tea.
I have always been happiest in my kitchen, cooking and baking for my family, and have developed a strong passion for uncovering and preserving recipes. I could talk sweet recipes all day long, especially those that come from the older generations from whom I have learnt so much. And even after so many years in the MMCC kitchen with the girls - our sisterhood - I love nothing more than a good debate on a Monday morning about what or how to cook. Through much laughter, lots of sharing and many hours, we work hard as a team to create something special for generations to come.
I joined MMCC for a ‘one year project’ in 2006 and I’m still here. I brought my schoolteacher-perfect handwriting, my need to colour code pretty much everything and an organisational determination that I still try to insist on. When I think back to how I felt in those early years, with little cooking confidence, it was unfathomable that I would be part of a project producing the most beautiful cookbooks sold in bookstores around the world. I am so pleased and proud to be part of a project such as this, to discover the incredibly diverse traditions in people’s kitchens and to unearth a cooking heritage that I had never taken the time to explore.