It’s been a while since I have written here about food. Life, surprisingly the pleasant part of it, gets in the way and we are almost in the middle of winter with the cold penetrating my body and wind hauling outside my window. This is not the weather I like. I feel frozen inside and out. Thank Gd the warm thoughts from a dear person are making me a tiny bit warmer tonight.
Of course, I decided to make bread hoping to warm my apartment and myself with the smell of freshly baked challah. For now, the dough is proofing.
Meanwhile, I am trying to start assembling something I’ve been thinking for a while now – a family cookbook with recipes and stories of my multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-continental family. Now, when my dad is gone, the urgency and importance of this project seem as timely as ever. Neither myself nor our girls want to lose something as precious as culinary memories of the family that is a big part of our joint history.
I went to my mom to press her about writing at least some of the recipes that I remember from my childhood. Among other memorabilia, she pulled out a tiny book.
Her version is from 1988 and has only 192 pages, but has a trove of recipes that made me immediately nostalgic – no pictures, no glossy pages, but still. Looking at preservation pages, I had a strong pull to make “lecho” – essentially bell peppers in the thick tomato sauce. The version from the book is the closest to the one I remember – just peppers, no other vegetables.
I took one each of red, yellow and green peppers and sauteed them cut into bite-size pieces in the thick tomato sauce adding some salt, pepper and dried oregano. I put it in the jar while hot, and in the refrigerator, once it cooled off.
We really enjoyed it on Shabbat – turned out great! This is a dish for a winter day, for sure.