Cookbook author discovers hidden family recipes in an old suitcase following the Holocaust.

February 26, 2024

Kitty Morse shares her French great-grandparents’ story in a cookbook titled Bitter Sweet.

VISTA, Calif. — A Vista cookbook author is sharing her French family recipes that survived a Nazi invasion during World War II. 

In this Zevely Zone, I met the 11-time cookbook author. In the world of cooking, is a big deal and so is her great-grandmother’s famous carrot cake. 

I watched Kitty Morse make the carrot cake from an old family recipe and you won’t believe where she found it. “I was stunned,” said Kitty.


Tucked away inside a battered family suitcase in a closet, Kitty found her great-grandfather’s journal from World War II. “That documented the advance of the Germans between April and December 1940,” said Kitty. 

Her great-grandparents, Prosper and Blanche lived in France where they also hid away inside that suitcase more than 100 handwritten recipes. “Family documents and photos,” said Kitty. “I sat down on my haunches, and I couldn’t believe it.”


Kitty’s great-grandmother, Blanche, was taken to Auschwitz and killed, and her great-grandfather, Prosper died in France. 

“He had dementia, so the Nazis left him to die in the hospital,” said Kitty. This is why the discovery of the war journal, and these recipes mean so much to Kitty. 

“I feel compelled to tell this story,” said Kitty. Last year, Kitty traveled to France to follow in her family’s footsteps. She went to the same tunnel where her great-grandfather hid from the Nazis. 

“I was so satisfied, I am not saying happy too, I was so fulfilled to be there where he sat,” said Kitty. “You know I said Prosper I am doing this for you.”


According to his diary, after hiding in that tunnel, some nice women fed her great-grandfather rabbit stew, a recipe Kitty included in her latest cookbook: . 

Along with the tears, Kitty hopes you’ll share in her joy of recovering these recipes, so her family’s meals and desserts can live forever including the star of them all.” I made Blanche’s carrot cake,” said Kitty.


The recipe has been shared in newspapers and magazines. A cake that’s as moist as my eyes after hearing Kitty’s story. “Thank you, Blanche,” said Kitty who was born in Casablanca, Morocco, to a French mother and British father, and emigrated to the United States in 1964. 

Kitty’s career as a food writer, cooking instructor, and public speaker spans more than three decades. She has published 11 cookbooks and contributed articles in French and English.

For more information about Kitty and her cookbook, . 

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