When I was a kid, if my mom’s friend Harriette Tilzer heard that someone close had passed or was ailing she would whip up a batch of her tart yet sweet like summer lemon bars for their family. My mom would make mondel brot or herring with sour cream, apples and red onions and deliver them to the family personally. And they weren’t the only ones. Aunt Leah would make a carrot mold as sweet as it was savory. Grandma Rose would whip up Angel food cake (Duncan Hines… Rose’s little secret) as white and fluffy as new fallen snow. Aunt Golda would do a big pot of steaming chicken soup. Our friend Thelma would bring by her secret recipe of chocolate candy with raisins and nuts. Grandma Lee would stuff and roll cabbage baked for hours until tender with tomato sauce and brown sugar. It was food made with tradition and love. Two hands working the dough, stirring the stock…Kitchens filled with the sweet smells of generations past.
(Sound effect of record scratch here….)
Now welcome to the Costco generation. Thaw out the cheese puffs and mini quiches. Pick up a tray of pre-sliced cold cuts. Swing by Brueggers for bagels and cream cheese. Go online and order some smoked white fish. You want chicken, there must be a Boston Market in the neighborhood. And do they deliver?
When did we stop cooking!?
People appreciate having meals prepared when the fresh wounds of a recent loss are most painful. Make an old family recipe that will bring back good memories for you and for them. Deliver it personally. It says, “I spent time in the kitchen cooking, thinking about you and how much you mean to me.” Are we that busy that we don’t have time to roast and slice a turkey breast? Add a nice challah and spicy mustard, and who needs a deli tray? Even if you don’t follow Harriette’s recipe for lemon bars and use a mix, no one cares because you made them with love and that’s what it’s all about.
(Click the image above to see a magnified recipe)
Check out Andy’s youtube channel for more recipes, tips and tricks.