When Leah Karbatznick died, she left barely any money but she did leave the love of home cooking that most Jewish women embraced in those days. When you had eight children and hardly any money, you soon learnt how to make a little food go a very long way.

None of her recipes survive but it’s likely that the recipes which her daughters continued using were based on Leah’s. Sadly, Leah’s daughters in turn didn’t leave any recipes written down, but luckily some of them were handed down to the next generation and are reproduced here.

Most of the family agree that Dora was the best cook, but even if you copy her recipes exactly, you’ll still be missing the one ingredient that she added – love. Dora cooked and baked with a passion, with every kneidlach precisely the same size, every jam biscuit identical in constituency and filling, and every kichel cut to precise measurements.

If you can bake for your family with the love that Dora added to her food, you too will make food that gets talked about for generations to come.

Click on the thumbnails below to read recipes handed down by the sisters to the next generation, including one in Dora’s own handwriting.

auntie Dora's biscuits

auntie Freda's playve