Like a lot of Yidden today, I’m tearing through my kitchen in a hot streak. I have the great fortune of not being responsible for any early Pesach cooking, so it’s just about cleaning, wiping, re-arranging, kashering (boiling certain utensils so that they’re kosher for Pesach), laying down tin foil everywhere until the place looks like we’re playing UFOs or Andy Warhol’s Factory. I’ve gotten a bit of a start on the cleaning generally, so I just have to worry about the floors and carpet later.

Anyway, I just found the envelope of recipes I’ve been carting around with me for years, and managed to ditch a bunch of the magazine clippings and pages ripped out of some old synagogue Sisterhood cookbook that I for some reason felt compelled to have–those recipes that start, “take one box Tam-Tams and one envelope Lipton’s Onion Soup Mix….” (shudder). Thanks to the Internet, I can now rest assured that, in the event that I do need to make a kugel in the style of a 1950’s housewife bent on convenience, I can still find instructions on how to do so.

In the category of “things I can’t let go” include recipes for the incredible chocolate chip cookies invented by my childhood babysitter, three different recipes for mandelbrot, my mother’s gazpacho recipe and the vegetarian version of her chicken soup, kugel, challah, hamentaschen, latkes, baker’s clay dough, lentil soup, vegan brisket (aka my doctored version of my mother’s best friend’s recipe–thanks, Janet!) and a bunch of vegetarian Persian recipes gacked from Iranian friends I lived with in college.

I’m sure that I could find a mandelbrot recipe online, but there are some things that simply can’t be substituted with instructions from the vox populi. Particularly when the versions I have are carefully written out by hand on little recipe index cards. Nothing baked from some online recipe could ever taste like the care packages I got after I went away to college.

Hag Kasher v’Sameach, everyone! May this be a season for joy.

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