Seeking Recipes and Tales From Home Cooks

Two cookbook authors issue a challenge: share your family's food traditions.

After co-writing a book on Turkish home cooking, Joy E. Stocke and Angie Brennan wanted to hear other people’s stories of food and family.

Stocke, co-founder and senior editor of Wild River Review, an online magazine, and the site’s co-editor, Brennan, wrote Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking, a book with more than 100 recipes that tell a variety of stories about Turkish culture and people.

The Jersey authors are challenging home cooks to submit a recipe and accompanying essay about their own families, cultures and roots. The contest, Every Recipe Has a Story, has a special prize: publication in the fall issue of Wild River Review. Three finalists will receive a signed copy of Tree of Life.

Essays should be no longer than 500 words and can be about anything related to cooking, from “your grandmother or grandfather stirring a pot in the kitchen, or maybe a recipe you love that makes you feel right at home,” say the authors. It might also include how you learned to cook or why you love to eat food cooked by those you love.

The deadline for submitting recipe and essay is June 1. Send by e-mail, with Recipe Contest in the subject line, to: [email protected]. Meanwhile, reading Tree of Life may inspire you to get into the kitchen—and to write that essay.

Stocke and Brenner say they “traveled across Turkey kitchen by kitchen” to research the book. Recipes include butter lettuce salad with yogurt-tahini dressing and Weeknight Lamb Manti, in which the traditional dumplings are made with wonton wrappers.

In other food-reading news:

Sickles Market, located at One Harrison Avenue in Little Silver, is launching Farm & Table magazine. The premier 76-page issue is available at the market and will be mailed to homes in the Little Silver area. The magazine will focus on food and cooking, gardening, planning parties and events. For more information, call 732-741-9563 or visit

Secrets of Skinny Cooking (Artscroll/Shaar Press; $34.99) is out this month. Written by Victoria Dwek of Deal and Shani Taub of Lakewood, the cookbook focuses on creating flavorful, filling meals while being mindful of calories.

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