Did you read part 1? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In my last post, I unveiled my fun new sticker from the fictional Morty’s Deli in my upcoming middle-grade book, SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT, on sale October 10, 2023. The sticker and a signed book is available to those who preorder the book from my local independent bookstore, Politics & Prose. Do that now! I’ll wait.
The sticker’s origin is a quote from the book:
A sign on the door says best knishes in idylldale. What? It’s not bragging if it’s the truth—and if there’s one thing you want from a deli man, it’s the truth.Morty in SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT by Anna E. Jordan
But where is Idylldale and what is a knish? For the first question, I don’t want to steal my narrator’s thunder. I’ll simply say that Idylldale is the setting in the novel. It’s part Manhattan’s Lower East Side and part Catskill Mountains Borscht Belt resort (see below for a map of vintage Jewish Resorts and Hotels).
Jewish food and culture tie these two geographical regions together. Every culture has its filled pastry: dumplings, bao, meat pies, and Jewish culture has the knish. As Morty, the deli owner, says in my book:
Kinder. You already know that when you are very, very hungry, almost anything—with the exception of liverwurst with onions—tastes good. But Morty’s knish is not just anything. Did I already say they are the best in Idylldale? What? You never had a knish? Imagine the lightest, fluffiest mashed potatoes wrapped in a piecrust and baked to perfection. You got it? Yes? No. It’s not like that at all. A knish is better than a fluffy biscuit, better than a melt-in-your-mouth donut, a knish is love.Morty in SHIRA AND ESTHER’S DOUBLE DREAM DEBUT by Anna E. Jordan