Despite amassing a rather ridiculously large cookbook collection over the past decade, I rarely follow any of the recipes in them. I read them — over and over again — and then I cook something something new-ish. A technique from one and flavor profile from another; the method of one with just-in-season-today veggie that I saw at work — which happens to be ground zero for local produce in The Bay.
I'm also hoping to create my own California Jew-ish cooking rituals — dishes that are fresh and grounded in place, but also Jewish tradition and stories. My grandparents were all straight from the Pale and our (relatively few) family recipes are all classic Ashkenazi fare. I will always prize my grandmother's matzo ball soup and kugel, but I want to add to the family culinary pantheon with diaspora Jewish cooking that chronicles the terroirs and traditions of Jews across the world.
I've been keeping a notebook on-and-off for a while, now it's going digital.