These days I expend most of my creative energy on this blog. Whether I’m dreaming up recipes, writing about them, or learning to photograph food, Mother Would Know takes up most of the space on the right side of my brain’s hard drive. Still, I enjoy occasionally spreading my creative wings (so to speak) a bit.
This summer, I took time away from the blog to research and write a story for the Washington Post about Nick Vaccaro and how he operates the 100+ year old family cannoli-making business started by his great-grandfather. It was a delightful assignment and I learned a tremendous amount about cannoli, the Vaccaro family, and the values that guide the business. Someday I hope to make cannoli at home. But if I never do, I can still say that I’ve tasted freshly made ricotta cream (out of this world!) and helped to chocolate dip pastry shells.
More recently, I became a contributor to the Jewish Food Experience, a project that “brings people together through the universal language of Jewish food.” I’m doing a series for the JFE website on the diversity of the Jewish community and members’ food traditions.
My first post for the Jewish Food Experience, just published today, is about a couple might seem like an unlikely pair for a number of reasons, including their food traditions and inclinations.
Of course, as with much else in life, the chemistry of attraction is not about fitting into stereotypes or staying within narrow and familiar confines. Without skipping a beat, Gerry Castillo and Laura Pomerance have merged their Mexican-American and European-Jewish-American heritages in many ways. But as I’m all about food, the most striking example of the blending to me was in their kitchen, where guacamole and latkes make regular appearances – together – at their shabbat dinners in all seasons, not just at Chanukah.
Gerry and Laura’s story reminded me that just as our communities change, so do our foods and the ways that we eat them. I look forward to exploring more stories of new and re-invented new food traditions in the Jewish community. But for now, I’m simply going to take a few potatoes and avocados, their guacamole recipe and mine for latkes, and get to work.