"Bacon is the candy of meat."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Just Like Mama Used to Make

My kitchen mentors, my mother, Amy, and my grandmother, Mary. They're probably two seconds from telling me to get the hair out of my face when this picture was taken.

You could walk into my house today and instantly detect that A Jewish Mother Lives Here. Rafe woke up feeling sick and had to stay home from school, so I knew that homemade chicken soup was called for. I headed to our good local butcher, West Broadway Meat Co., who carries only gorgeous organic and free-range products, and paid a small ransom for a chicken, and picked up the necessary vegetables from Young's up the street, which has amazingly plentiful and inexpensive produce.

While that was bubbling away, I was hit with an urge to really go all the way and make a batch of my grandmother's rightfully celebrated Mandelbrot. I'd published the recipe here right after she died, because it was a signature of hers, and I am often asked by friends and relatives for the recipe. Well, folks, never mind that nobody else seemed to have the genius and foresight to collect it from her, you can get it any time you want.

Here is a confession: I'd never actually made it myself before. It was, as she'd always insisted, supremely easy to do, and now I have a good four dozen delicious cookies on hand. She always told me they freeze well so it's easy to have a cookie on hand when someone shows up for a cup of tea.

With the house redolent with both garlicky chicken soup and cinnamon-dusted cookies, I feel like I did my part today to make something nourishing, warm, and homey.

Tomorrow I'll probably order in.

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