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Kugels and Collards

Stories of Food, Family, and Tradition in Jewish South Carolina

Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey



Published: Aug 29 2023


Published: Aug 29 2023

OA Ebook
Published: Aug 29 2023


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

Garden & Gun fall cookbooks pick. The Nosher Best Jewish Cookbooks of 2023. The Local Palate Best Cookbooks of 2023. Food Network 35 Best Jewish-Authored Cookbooks. A poignant—and delicious—compendium of South Carolina Jewish life revealed through food and story

Where people go, so goes their food. In Kugels & Collards: Stories of Food, Family, and Tradition in Jewish South Carolina, Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey celebrate the unique and diverse food history of Jewish South Carolina. They gather stories and recipes from diverse Jewish sources—Sephardic and Ashkenazi families who have been in the state for hundreds of years, descendants of Holocaust survivors, and more recent immigrants from Russia and Israel—and explore how cherished dishes were influenced by available ingredients and complemented by African American and regional culinary traditions. These stories are a vital part of the South's "Jewish geography" and foodways, stretching across state lines to shape southern culture. On the southern Jewish table, many cultures are savored. Extensively illustrated with original and archival photographs, Kugels & Collards collects includes more than eighty recipes from seventy contributors. Barnett and Harvey draw on family cookbooks and troves of personal recipes and highlight Jewish staples like kreplach dumplings and stuffed cabbage as well as adaptations of southern favorites such as peach cobbler, plus modern fusions like grits and lox casserole, and of course kugels and collards. Kugels & Collards invites readers into family homes, businesses, and community centers to share meals and memories.

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Listen to Rachel Gordon Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey on the Steel Magnolias podcast

Listen to Rachel Gordon Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey on the Not Your Bubbe's Nosh podcast

Listen to Rachel Gordon Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey on South Carolina Public Radio's Walter Edgar's Journal

Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey are lifelong South Carolinians who have been instrumental in preserving Jewish history across the state. They are founding members of the Historic Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative and creators of the Kugels & Collards blog. Rachel is a past president and current executive director of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina (JHSSC). Lyssa is a teacher, therapist and artist. Her life work has been dedicated to helping children and impacting her community by creating the Columbia Holocaust Education Commission, the Jewish Cultural Arts and serving on arts and environmental boards. They live in Columbia, South Carolina.

"Southern Jews revealed who they were and what they believed through the foods they ate—and did not eat."—Marcie Cohen Ferris

"The best cookbooks weave an evocative personal narrative with a treasure trove of irresistible recipes, in the process deepening our understanding of a culture and its food. Kugels and Collards more than delivers on this formula, opening a new window into South Carolina Jewry and its rich, delicious history."—Adeena Sussman, author of Shabbat: Recipes and Rituals From My Table To Yours

"This brilliant book has made me terribly sorry I wasn't raised Jewish in South Carolina. From challah and cheesecake, peach cobbler and pickles you can make in a day, collards simmered down with onions and tomatoes to kugel baked with raisins and apricot jam, the recipes in this book tell important stories of Southern Jewish foodways, give thanks to the African American cooks who worked in Jewish home kitchens, and remind us how food connects us all."—Anne Byrn, food writer and author of American Cake

"Kugels and Collards is a book we've been waiting for. Through first-person accounts and family recipes, Rachel Barnett and Lyssa Harvey reveal the expressive power of food to speak as well as to nourish. Here the history of South Carolina is told in stories that hark back to first-generation Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Germany, England, Holland, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies, and to descendants of Africans who worked in Jewish kitchens and groceries, bakeries and butcher shops. Region and religion clash as observant Jews strive to keep kosher in the land of shrimp and pork. Every page, every photograph, every "long-loved recipe" is charged with memories and a determination to honor the cooks by passing their legacies to the next generation."—Dale Rosengarten, founding director of the Jewish Heritage Collection, College of Charleston, and curator and coeditor of A Portion of the People: Three Hundred Years of Southern Jewish Life

"Kugels & Collards doesn't read like most new cookbooks; instead, it feels closer to a family photo album, gathering snapshots of several generations of Jewish South Carolinians, their historic businesses, stories of immigration and assimilation, as well as plenty of recipes."—Southern Living

"A surprisingly cohesive network of small-town shopkeepers and big-city restaurateurs, peach farmers and Holocaust survivors, bringing the past into the present through food."—USA Today

"A multicultural story of food and history."—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Jewish history runs deep in the South, and the authors of this new cookbook thought of a genius way to share and celebrate that legacy."—Garden & Gun

"Kugels & Collards celebrates the tastes, smells and emotions connected to Southern Jewish food."—Jewish Journal

"Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey have laced together a historical and delicious compendium of southern Jewish recipes."—The Local Palate

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