Baking for The Jewish Holidays
Contrary to the conviviality of television cooking and the group enthusiasm portrayed by much of the new food world (organic raspberry-picking food tours, team hog butchery, department store cooking demos, etc.), the fact is that much of cooking is solitary.
As is writing.
And so it has been an unexpected and gratifying reward of editing The City Cook to meet and get to know some extraordinary people. It's as if the computer screen is a backyard fence over which men and women who are food merchants or passionate home cooks have become friendly neighbors. Many have become colleagues in my mission to bring practical, accessible, and aspirational information to home cooks.
And these relationships are not just virtual or managed through a social network. Some of you let me visit your kitchens as you became recipe testers for my upcoming book. Several New York food merchants have become trusted friends that I can turn to for candid advice. And some have become my inspiration when I get discouraged by all the food noise out there and I worry I'm not adding any clarity or help or worse, minus any glamour or tweet, I'm not relevant.
Claire Sauerhoff is an example. Claire was the founder and owner of The Exceptional Brownie, a kosher bakery that specialized in Jewish baked goods. She no longer has the bakery but shared with The City Cook her recipes for a Passover apple cake and also how to make a kosher for Passover brownie.
We spent some time with Claire to talk about the sweet traditions of Jewish home cooking, and specifically, baking. You can listen to that conversation in our Interview section.
Whenever we celebrate the start of the Jewish new year, regardless of our beliefs, who among us wouldn't hope for renewed patience, tolerance, and community. A little more lighthearted fun wouldn't hurt, either. Maybe we all should just eat dessert together more often. If that's a place to begin, here's something to make and bring to any dinner table. From Claire Sauerhoff and The Exceptional Brownie, see our link to her recipe for honey cake.
Happy New Year!