Latkes, Pastitsio, and a Book

Why I'm actually looking forward to 2022

It’s November. Not just November, but middle November. December is already looming around the corner and we’re just heading to it like some idiot teenagers in a horror film.

The days here in Berlin are annoyingly short and the sun long packed its bags, heading for warmer climates. I try to remind myself it really hasn’t been that bad. On paper, it’s been perfectly tolerable! It’s only this past week that we’ve truly felt the blanket of a gray sky. Until this week, we’ve had sunny skies for a hint of optimism to combat the seemingly constant sunset.

But there’s just something about this gray. After one day, it feels like you’ve been trapped in purgatory for eternity. It turns my usually sensible brain into a fury of hyperbole. “IT’S ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THIS AND IT WILL NEVER CHANGE!”

To combat the idling dread, I’ve started looking ahead to 2022 with hopes of really taking advantage of remote work and traveling as much as the pandemic will allow. We’ve already booked a trip to Grand Canaria for a trail race in March with a pit stop in Barcelona on the way. And I’ve personally got my eye on some train trips, specifically to Budapest where I’m hoping to do some eating for a book proposal I’m working on.

Oh yeah, about that. The book proposal. I’m writing it here in hopes this somehow helps it become a reality. But I’ve spent a chunk of the past six months working on a book proposal for a food memoir tracing my journey through Ashkenazi cuisine, family memories, and looking at the evolution of the cuisine through chefs and cookbook authors who know far more than I do. That’s partly why you may have seen me popping up in more food publications, like Food52 and Fifth Season. If you’re a Delicious Magazine subscriber, you’ll see a story from me next month on celebrating Hanukkah for the first time complete with a recipe I developed to honor new traditions.

By the time you read this, the proposal should be just about finished and off to an agent. I’d greatly appreciate it if you could partake in any superstition of your choice, wishing me luck. Cross your fingers, press your thumbs, knock on wood––whatever gets the job done. Just don’t spit at me. We’re still in a pandemic.


Writing

A lot. I’m honestly not sure what’s come out since I last wrote, so forgive any repetition. At Food52, I’ve published recipes and stories on Matzo Ball Ramen and Vegetarian Pastitsio. I did a feature for Tablet on the state of Jewish farming. Most recently, Fifth Season published my recipe for kasha varnishkes, perhaps my favorite weeknight Ashkenazi dish. Next up, I’ve got a recipe for Latacones (latkes + patacones) and a Pletzel Sabich coming out for Food52, Sufganimades (sufganiyot + Greek loukoumades) for Delicious Magazine, and Holishkes (vegetarian stuffed cabbage rolls) for Fifth Season.

Reading

I recently blew through Musa Okwonga's "In The End, It Was All About Love." I’d easily put it on my list of books to read if you’re moving to Germany. Or just, you know, if you like a really good book.

Watching

Squid Game. Yikes. But also, finished “Only Murders in the Building,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” and just about done with the first season of “Reservation Dogs.” All good stuff. But what you should watch is this reel of me making Aranygaluska Hungarian Coffee Cake so that it gets more views, likes, and I can keep doing this stuff. Thanks!