It’s a beautiful sunny day and yet I am voluntarily staying in my house today cooking. Why cooking you might ask? Because I found fresh leeks and juicy peaches on this morning’s trip to the local farm market.
I feel compelled to purchase beautiful produce. Anyone who knows me or has ever been to my home is impressed with the amount and kinds of ingredients and foods ready to be transformed into some wonderful dish in my kitchen, a dish that in its entirety is more delicious than the sum of its parts.
I am a middle aged, trying very hard to be a little hip and technosavy, Beverly Hills housewife (is that an oxymoron?)-realtor. I love to dye my hair, keep up the Botox, travel, and eat at great restaurants. Most of all I love to cook and instruct. I say this all with a smile on my face since I grew up very poor and still love to eat rice and beans. My children are out of the house well on their way to being independent adults, my husband is occupied at whatever it is that he does at work and I finally have time to bring my gift of creating food and menus to the blogosphere.
My full name is Linda Louisa Capeloto Sendowski, an ethnic mouthful. I am an American Sephardic Jew. My grandparents came from the Greek Island of Rhodes and the turquoise coast of Turkey. I started cooking in my teens, barbequing on a tiny hibachi in the covered patio in our yard, pretending we had good weather in Seattle. My favorite food growing up and still today, is a cheese boreka, crispy dough encasing a cheesy filling of feta and parmesan. Out of necessity, I learned how to make them and other dishes from my family.
When my children started school, I started teaching cooking at PTA fundraisers and continue until this day for other groups. I also create recipes, archive recipes by writing them down, and recreate things I have eaten that intrigue me. I sometimes go to an older person’s home in the Sephardic or Jewish community at large and observe how to make a dish. I actually measure the ingredients, quantify and codify. My husband of the last 29 years is Polish and Czech, a dutiful son of Holocaust survivors. I have learned many wonderful recipes from his side of the family as well.
I believe that a kitchen is the center of a home, and filling it with great food makes people happy. In my blog, I plan to share recipes, and dinner menus, give helpful hints, talk about seasonal ingredients, countdown for holiday preparation, lighten up some recipes, and make them healthier, and share my restaurant dining with you. Food is an ever-changing frontier and I will talk about, overlooked humble ingredients, fancy stuff like veal chops, healthy stuff like brown rice or farro. My emphasis is on American Sephardic recipes like cheese borekas, or bamya (okra) with koobeh (stuffed dumplings) but also just my favorites regardless of origin. All my recipes in this blog can be made using kosher ingredients. I will include a list of kosher sources when I can.