It would not be an exaggeration to say that Food52, that catch all for recipes, products, cooking hacks and wonderful food-related essays, has helped get me through the pandemic (really). So I am beyond thrilled to have an essay and recipe (!!) up on the site today.
This one is about the homemade cookbook my sister made me when I graduated from college, the book that helped make me a mother. Somehow *everyone* ended up in this one — my sister, parents, aunts, uncles, friends in Vienna and Brooklyn, which feels especially sweet. I miss them all so, so much.
Hello! In these weirdo times, The Forward has relaunched A Bintel Brief, which was its original advice column from 100 years ago. Now, Abby Sher and I are dishing out advice about, well, everything: love, family, living in a Christian world, Judaism, anti-semitism — and, of course, Covid-19 (ugh). This is us, drawn by the amazing Liana Fink (I’m on the right, obvs):
Send us your Jewey questions! We will answer them! Email email@example.com.
Oh, hi! I totally forgot to mention to you all here that I’ve started a newsletter — or as I’ve been calling it, a letter from me to you. Really, it’s a love letter.
So far I’ve been sending out weekly dispatches about life, love, food, politics, books, TV, podcasts (so many podcasts!), motherhood, and I’d be delighted if you wanted to sign up. My mom wrote me a long email with all the questions: Why a tiny letter? Why not do it here, on your website? Can I write you back there? Are my replies public? Do I need to go find your gmail? Do you think people will find it and sign up!?
So: The reason it’s a Tiny Letter and not here, on my website, is because, as you can read in the first email, I love letters. Love them. It’s how I’ve always communicated with my friends and family, it’s how I met and fell in love with my husband. It’s how I think through problems and work out essays. There’s something intimate, precious and private about them, even when they are not written out by hand. When I found Tiny Letter I thought: what a quaint and lovely pocket of the internet. (Rare thought.)
And to answer the more practical questions: Yes, you can write me back directly on Tiny Letter. No, your replies aren’t public. Yes, I do write everyone back!
Is there a chance in hell that I could be more excited to have my first piece up on Epicurious(!)? No fucking way.
It is not an understatement to say that baking kept me from going nuts when my baby was born. And as anyone who’s had my banana bread/chocolate chip cookies/scones/granola thrust upon them–and I do mean thrust–already knows, it still does, and my baby is no longer a baby (sobsobsobsobsob). What is it about baking that is so soothing, so life-affirming, so, well, joyful?
Read on to find out. Then please, please share your favorite recipes with me.