Mainly we are trying to add a little structure to our culinary adventures. Gordon and I love cooking, food shopping and talking about cooking, so we though we would combine our passion with food with our freakish knowledge of Jewish stuff. BTW – Gordon’s knowledge is significantly more freaky than my own so beware of any future post categorized as “Gordonopedia“. You have been warned. We also realized that fewer and fewer Jews (especially on the West Coast) have experience with traditional Jewish food. I was lucky to have experienced some of the traditional foods from my atheist-Jewish father, my lapsed Roman-Catholic mother and my extraordinary still-practicing Aunt Debbie. Let me tell you that lack of a religious structure means that most of my Jewish identity growing up was constructed around food and meals. Sunday at my dad’s meant bagels from the Bagel King or matzo brei, Hanukkah was latkes and Passover was the whole seder, but I don’t think I set food in a synagogue until my little cousins bar mitzvah when I was in high school. Despite the fact that my Jewish education expanded significantly as I got older and now borders on scary due to spending almost four of the last five years working in the Jewish community (and listening to Gordon on the subject almost daily during that time), nothing makes me feel more Jewish than cooking a traditional Jewish food and serving it to my friends and family.
I have a particular fondness for certain kitchen gadgets and techniques so I may occasional wax-on about those. .. and another word of warning… I don’t keep kosher and this is not a guide to kosher cooking. In fact, I love bacon, pork in pretty much all of it’s magical forms, shellfish, and dairy with my meat. This is what makes me a heathen. So please don’t bug me when I eat a Rueben sandwich or add bacon to a potato pancake. Some recipes will be totally suitable for a kosher kitchen and others won’t be. If you care about Kashrut, I have a strong suspicion you will be able to tell the difference. In fact, just this morning, I completed Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for curing your own bacon from his cookbook Charcuterie. So cue the first pork interlude:
Anyway, we will really begin with the ultimate Jewish baked good… Challah. Stayed tuned for the Great Challah Bake-off between the heathens.