There are unphotogenic foods, and there are unphotogenic foods. It’s tough to make a mushy bowl of legumes look appetizing, no matter how delicious it might be off the screen; it’s even tougher when after being cooked, said lentils form an amorphous mass that’s just about the exact color and texture of fresh vomit. And I’m a parent now, so trust me when I say that I know a thing or two about vomit.
Still, let it be known: there’s something undeniably comforting about split pea soup with ham, even to this avowed Jew. I have no fuzzy childhood memories of slurping down a bowl of this rib-sticking soup on a blustery fall day; I only ate the stuff for the first time when I made it myself. When I did, though, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the soup was a lot tastier than it was beautiful—warm and toothsome and pleasingly salty, the kind of dish a food magazine might describe as an “umami bomb.” (Personally, I don’t believe “umami” is a real flavor; I will not be accepting questions at this time.) Continue reading
I started this blog four years ago, as a way to celebrate the life and legacy of my mother’s mother. I’ve neglected it for the past nine-ish months because I was busy focusing on another life: that of my daughter, who was born on an unseasonably warm September morning 17 days ago. (Although: in These Troubled Times, can we really claim weather to be “unseasonably” anything anymore?)
She’s tiny; she’s adorable; she’s the love of our lives, even when she’s blissfully smiling while shooting a projectile poop clear across the room. Perhaps best of all, she’s already proven herself to be a robust and enthusiastic eater—key if she hopes to fit in on either side of her family.
Annie should be on track to start eating solid foods not long before Passover 2020, at which point I might be able to introduce her to a nontraditional but appropriately soft and gum-able baby food: the humble matzo ball. And when she’s old enough to understand it, I’m going to take great pleasure in telling her the story I’m about to tell you—a tale of rivalry, legacy, and matzo meal.