Q Rivky, we feel like we’ve watched this process morph so organically over the past seven years. It’s so exciting that so much of your creative talent will finally have a home in this absolutely breathtaking book. What made you finally realize you wanted to jump in and write your own book?
A Writing my own cookbook has always been at the top of my bucket list, but I really needed a push to get started! My amazing support system gave me just the right amount of nudging until I knew I was ready to do it. And I’m so glad I did!
Q You’re the quintessential “cooking with love” mother in the kitchen. I know that from all your messages about how much each of your children loved your food, and how much pleasure that gives you. What recipe(s) in this book would you say is your family’s fave?
A That’s such a hard question. I’m happy (relieved?) that so many of the cookbook recipes appealed to my whole family. If I had to pick,
though, my family is 100 percent meat lovers, so they were excited to taste-test the recipes in that section. They also love the ceviche, which I started making every Shabbos. Truthfully, my goal with the book was to include recipes I want to make again and again, so I’m cooking a lot of the recipes from its pages right now.
Q A book is such a huge deal! What was the most enjoyable part for you? What was the most challenging?
A I agree, a book is a huge deal. There’s a reason industry people compare it to having a baby! (Not that I had a full nine months to prepare for this labor of love.) It was a joy working with ArtScroll. My editor and graphic designer were both amazing, and the support of the whole team made the process go super smoothly, something I’m so grateful for. The most challenging part for me was the intensity of all the work that I needed to cover: from writing recipes and blurbs to preparing for and overseeing the photo shoots and checking the
layouts, it was intense. Also, not all recipes are perfect on the first try, and tweaking and retesting the same recipe over and over can
be overwhelming too. But overall the experience was positive and amazing.
Q How was the process similar to or different from creating recipes for the magazine — or, as you like to call it, playing around in the kitchen?
A The process was similar to what I do for Family Table; I worked closely with my super-supportive editor, I came up with a concept
and made it work perfectly and taste amazing — that’s something I care about deeply, regardless of whether it’s a magazine recipe or
a cookbook recipe. The biggest difference is if there’s a (Hashem yishmor) print error, in the magazine we can print a correction the next week and it’s not a big deal. In a book, a typo is a typo forever! But I’m definitely not thinking about that.
Q If someone would make you a meal right out of your book, just as a “Let’s Celebrate Rivky Day,” what would they make for you?
A If you know me, you know that I love being treated to something special — dairy, meat, I’m not picky. I love cooking for others, but I love
when people cook for me too!
(Originally featured in Family Table Issue 641)