I know it has been a long time since I posted any news or essays to this web site. Mea Culpa. But what is more important is that the site has been redesigned and cleansed after it had been attacked by malware. Took a while but the problems are cleared up and we move on.
Since last I wrote, my latest cookbook The New Mediterranean Jewish Kitchen: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home has been published by University of California Press and has received wonderful reviews. I had written about the food of the Sephardic Jews and the Maghrebi Jews of North Africa before, but this new book has lots of recipes from the Misrahi Jews of Arabic lands, Syria, Iran ,Iraq, and Lebanon. Middle Eastern food is now on everyone’s radar. Timing is everything in life. We were cooking this food at Square One Restaurant in the 80’s and 90’s, well before the newly fashionable focus on Israeli food. There is now zaatar and sumac on everything. Too much of a good thing.
On the plus side, today Mediterranean food is getting renewed attention because it is considered to be the healthiest diet you could eat. Not really a “diet” but a way of life with fresh ingredients, lots of fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, whole grains and less animal protein. Food with flavor, accompanied by a glass of wine and a relaxed atmosphere at the dining table. What’s not to like.
I am also in the middle of completing a book on fruit preserving for Ten Speed Press that will be published in the spring of 2018. Preserving has been my passion since 1968. My jam cellar is overflowing and friends and family have been stopping by for samples. After years of drought the fruit this season has been spectacular. I was even able to get my hands on black raspberries and red currants. Both have been in short supply for years. Even made black raspberry ice cream, one of my family’s favorites.
Of course, I’ve been busy with projects other than books. I am consulting for a restaurant in a new hotel under construction in Menlo Park that will be opening in the new year., They want a Mediterranean menu and I am happy to create one for them and their future guests.
That’s all for now. More to come.