What makes a kitchen wiser?
When you’re talking about food, flavor comes first, then comes ease and how enticing it smells is as important as how pretty a dish can be. We eat it after all, not wear it. I start from scratch with every single recipe. I am unwilling to compromise on taste or integrity. Eating encompasses each of the five senses, and I design food to charm them all, but they do have an order, for goodness sake.
I come up with ideas from my obsessions. Some people call them hobbies, or call someone nerdy. That’s fine, but I am fine with the obsessive label too. The truth is I am a storyteller. Yes, I wake up and wonder about things like food’s relationship to and in life. I think about how it defines who you were, who you are and even who you want to be. I wake up thinking about how fun it would be to eat-along with my latest binge watch or my musical obsession. I wake up with ideas from studying cultures—especially hidden Jewish cultures from around the globe and back in time. I dream about what meal I would serve great artists from every medium, and what we could talk about. I am not kidding; I dream about literally feeding my obsessions. I live it every day and it inspires me and I hope it inspires you. My husband would like me to stop getting up in the middle of the night. My dog, however, is totally into my midnight meandering.
All recipes work, everytime. All of my recipes are fully tested by professional test kitchen staff. They are predominately original, although some are directly inspired or adapted with full attribution to the source. Our testers have worked for magazines like Saveur and Fine Cooking and sites like Leite’s Culinaria. They have graduated from culinary schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, the Institute of Culinary Education, and the French Culinary Institute; studied under great chefs; owned and ran bakeries; teach at culinary schools and cooked with their grandmothers. Yes, our testing is that damn good. I pay for it because it matters to me.
Reliable information. I research and provide an ever-growing glossary of culinary terms and ingredients. You won’t have to don’t spend your day googling. You can actually get to the cutting board.
Labeling every recipe clearly for dietary needs and lifestyle preferences allows you to make well informed choices. A smarter cook is a a wiser cook. I am an information nerd. It’s not just food history and food anthropology—it’s music and movies and TV and lowbrow and highbrow culture, too, so that stuff is woven in. I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s my many years in school and teaching, but frankly, it’s just who I am. When it comes to informing you, I am grounded in science, a motherly (over)abundance of caution, an education in food safety regulations (thank you, culinary school) and laws (thank you law school) and I know I have a tendency to be (overly) dramatic (thank you, drama training). I am a believer that plain old common sense is learned, gleaned over time, and it’s always evolving in me too. I am always open to new ideas and discoveries. There is always more to learn and that excites me. The health professionals that write for me follow conventional allopathic Western medical ideology, but I’m not opposed to anyone’s beliefs. I do however, strongly suggest that you discuss all issues with your health-care professionals. This is a food, recipe, and story site, that’s it.
- I pay guests writers occasionally because I realize that I actually do not know everything on earth. Yes, the guests are also friends too. And I value their time and efforts like I value all readers.
- The test kitchen is a pseudo-Kosher-style kitchen. This site—and all my work—reflects the mixed bag that is real life and the freedom we all have to do what we want in our own homes and own own lives, literally and metaphorically, from soup to nuts. If a recipe does not conform to your particular Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist,Reform or Ethical Jewish custom, check the kitchen tips for suggestions, ask your spiritual advisors or of course, feel free to write to me with your concerns. Being Jewish does not singularly define me, but it is a part of who I am and who I chose to be and it is reflected in holidays.
- Cooking Authentically. If I could wave a magic wand, I would want everyone to feel connected to something through food. Food, especially the things you bother to cook -which takes time and effort and moolah- has meaning anyway, so why not make it have the meaning you want? Why not make bespoken food?
Real food. Real food, real taste. It’s that simple.
I care. Please leave a comment at the end of a recipe or a post or simply email me at TheWeiserKitchen@gmail.com. I always answer. (Just ask my kids.)
All the best,