Rivky Kleiman just came out with a new cookbook, and I’m beyond excited. You have to understand, Rivky and I have been working together for over ten years. She was the first contributor I brought on board to Family Table. And in ten years, nothing’s changed. Here’s how we operate:
Me: Rivky, I’d love the following things for the following upcoming set.
Rivky: Hmmm, how about we do a version of this?
Me: Wait, wait, add that and it will be different and exciting.
Rivky: Ooohhh, I’m imagining this with a little of that and some of that great crunch on top.
Me: You totally got it.
Rivky: We create magic together every time.
It’s been the same conversation for literally the hundreds of recipes she’s created in the last decade plus. The crazy thing is, creating still sparks the same joy and adrenaline rush for Rivky. She calls it “playing in the kitchen.”
A few short weeks after her book was sent to print, we were discussing recipes for this Chanukah season. We had a version of the conversation above, and then Rivky ended the call with “I’m so excited to go play!”
I said, “Rivky, how do you do it? If I ever write a book, the day I send it to print is the day I take a kitchen hiatus.” She just has that ability to always stay excited.
In her cookbook, Rivky focused on creating recipes that were as delicious and gourmet as those in her first cookbook, but with a strong focus on getting the food to the table faster. Most of us are strapped for time, so we can appreciate that focus. Rivky also ensured that the result would be just as good, as well as novel and exciting. You get the idea; now go play in the kitchen.
Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com
Freeze Your Chips (Yes, Really)
We’re amazing at opening 10-ounce bags of chips and then forgetting about the remaining half in the back of the pantry. Prevent this wastage by repackaging the chips into smaller ziplocks or place the whole thing into a larger ziplock and place it in the freezer. Your chips will retain freshness perfectly.
Don’t Scratch That Teflon
Okay, this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. If you scratch the bottom of a Teflon pan, the chemicals in the Teflon start to release into the food in the pot. Not the greatest for consumption. Side note, the more scratched the pan, the less effective the nonstick. In order to avoid this, use only wooden and rubber spatulas when mixing and flipping!
Instead of risking a finger when cutting a squash in half, place the entire whole squash in the oven until slightly softened. Once it loses its firmness, you’ll be able to easily halve or slice the squash as you wish.
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 766)
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