Introduction to the Cookbook
“Mother, how do you make Sirkaniz? And what about Osh Palov and Jarid chicken?” So my daughters would ask me after they got married. And while teaching them, I thought of writing down all the Bukharan recipes and the knowledge that I had acquired during all the many years of my marriage, in which I had the honor of working and cooking together with my mother-in-law, Grandmother Frida, may she rest in peace. This way I could be sure that all our family traditions and the Bukharan dishes would be passed on to the next generation.
Grandmother Frida would carefully prepare every meal and bake every pastry. She had a little black notebook in which she wrote all her recipes in Russian, with exact measurements and cooking instructions. For 23 years we lived together lovingly as mother- and daughter-in-law. When preparing for Shabbats and Holidays, memorial services and parties, I helped my mother-in-law with the cooking, baking and preparing of the table. When all this responsibility proved to be too much for her, it was passed on to me, and grandmother Frida would come to my apartment upstairs, sit in my kitchen, and help me any way she could. She peeled vegetables, washed rice, made dough balls for the Goshgidja... We had great fun together, and while we worked I listened to her many stories of her past, stories from which I learned of her wisdom. During those years, as a woman, wife, and mother, the term “home maker” was my whole world. For me, working in the kitchen was like the creation of art: it stemmed from great love and freedom of choice. After grandmother Frida passed away, I began writing the book.
Writing down recipes, cooking, and tasting carried me far away to the past. From my childhood days in my parents’ house in Florentine neighborhood in Tel Aviv, where I lived with my father Gavriel, may he rest in peace, and my mother Ktzia, to the first days of my marriage to my husband Baruch – me, a young bride in my parents- in-law’s house, Frida and Levi Ben Baruch, may they rest in peace. This book combines both recipes and personal stories: stories about my parents-in-law’s life, recipes from my mother and mother-in-law’s kitchens, and some selected and delicious recipes from my own kitchen.
In 2004, as I turned 50, I published my cookbook, Generation to Generation – the Tastes of Tradition. The book gained great publicity in the newspapers, on television, and on the radio. That same year, I also exhibited my sculptures and jewelry in a solo exhibition
Working together with the Congress of Bukharan Jews, led by Mr. Lev Leviev, I currently hold the position of a Member in the Executive Committee of the Congress. Every week a recipe from my book is published in the food section of Menorah newspaper. Moreover, as part of my work as a volunteer in the B’lev Echad Matchmaking Department, I teach single men and women cooking classes; and in the beginning of every month I arrange special evening Hafrashat Challah events for young single women, in which a piece of dough from unbanked bread is symbolically separated and considered a blessing for marriage. In the past, I used to teach cooking and baking Bukharan cuisine workshops in Spices Center in Hadar Yosef and in Bilu Center. This creating and sharing fills me with great satisfaction.
The book Generation to Generation – the Tastes of Tradition, not yet translated to English, is an impressive hard-cover book, printed on glossy paper. The book offers beautiful photos of dishes and pastries made by myself. The recipes are accurate and clearly written with step-by-step instructions, and tips and cooking secrets that add to the special tastes.