Usually when we talk about creating mealtime memories, it is about in the present to carry us forward. However, for me this last week I have been mindful of the memories I carry with me from friends and family members who have passed away. My mother, for example, was not the best of cooks, but she was an amazing baker and the smell of cinnamon reminds me of her rugelach and I can feel her presence with me whenever I make them. Sometimes I wake up and I can smell them baking in the oven even though there is nothing there.
Every year on her birthday, my friend Laura would ask me to make my lasagna and orange brownies. That is all she ever wanted for her birthday. I can not make either of those dishes without thinking about her and my heart is filled with memories of our time together and the love I still hold for her. I also remember the look on her face as she savored every bite and had this glow of glee when I told her I would pack up the leftovers for her to bring home. I know she savored those leftovers and waited in anticipation for her next birthday. It was the last meal I made for her before she died. I am so grateful for the joy it bought her during a dark time in her life. Read More
If you have been keeping up with my working my way through the alphabet, you know I just wrote my R blog last week (R is for Risotto). Today, however, was my mother’s birthday. She left this world in 2001 and is the one who in numerous ways fed my love of cooking and baking. So today, I just want to celebrate my mother and the gifts she gave me in our kitchen growing up on Kingsland St in Nutley, NJ
My mother inherited a legacy for baking from her mother. While cooking was not her forte, baking was. The two things I remember her baking the most were her rugelach, which I made a few weeks ago. Read More
I had a rather eclectic upbringing. My mother believed in the importance of making sure I knew how to make some of the basics in Jewish cuisine. At the time, she was trying to teach me these recipes, I am not sure that I fully appreciated that what she was teaching me with these recipes was a story, not just about the food, but about Jewish culture, how the dishes came into being, and how the legacy of preparing food made with love was part of the legacy she had gotten from her mother and was passing on to me.
Yesterday, I gathered with a few friends and decided to make my mother’s noodle kugel. Read More