As with most good things, we learned about “Fish Stories” by chance, while randomly walking around New York City on a sunny Sunday morning. This new community cookbook was presented at a Lower East Side community event run by Paths to Pier 42. While working on Leftovers, we learned that community cookbooks used to be pretty common in 19th– and early 20th-century America, and were often used for fundraising, community building, and even commemoration. Fish Stories is a more recent attempt to create a community cookbook as part of neighborhood advocacy and as a celebration of diversity in this increasingly gentrified part of town.
This lovely little book holds so many wonderful local histories, recipes, anecdotes, and illustrations that we just had to share some of them with you:
“Fish Stories Community Cookbook celebrates cultural histories tied to New York City’s dynamic harbor and embraces cooking and eating as central everyday spaces through which we can envision a sustainable future for our city’s estuary.
In the process of soliciting recipes and stories from people in the Lower East Side we have held workshops or shown up to talk with people at the Hamilton-Madison House Senior Center, the fishing clinic at the Lower East Side Ecology Center, the P.S. 184 Shuang Wen School Summer Carnival Fundraiser, the Loisaida Festival, the after school program 2 Bridges Kids! at Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, Family Day at the Vladeck Houses, Weinberg Center for Balanced Living at the Manny Cantor Center, a performance at Pier 42 by Arm of the Sea Theater and, most recently, held a seafood recipe exchange at the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library.”
Fish Stories project website:
For questions and recipe contributions: firstname.lastname@example.org