The Jewish Kitchen is a love story. About food, family, and yes, bagels.
I'm Jodi Luber. A mother, wife, professor, entrepreneur, and a baker's daughter.
My dad opened the first certified-Kosher bagel bakery in Borough Park, Brooklyn and I spent my childhood and teenage years soaking up the sounds and smells of the bakery, working side by side with him and loving every minute of it. I also grew up watching my mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother cook traditional Jewish foods for the holidays, Sunday breakfasts, and simply because someone was stopping by for a little nosh. No matter what the occasion, the food was incredible and the table always looked beautiful--sparkling, set with fine linens and gorgeous dishes that were mix of things that had been passed down and incorporated with newer pieces.
When I moved out on my own and tried to create my own pretty tables for holidays and Shabbat, I was disheartened to find very little in the way of decor that captured Jewish culture. Sure, I could find a menorah or mezuzah, but why were there dozens of Christmas china patterns and linens but nothing at all for Chanukah or the High Holidays in any of the the mainstream stores?
Instead I would find one tiny end cap or shelf with dreidels, a few bags of gelt, and paper (of course) Chanukah napkins and plates. On occasion, there'd be a cheap-looking knick-knack, covered with Stars of David. How could there be so little available? It drove me crazy, but mostly it made me sad.
I was determined to create a collection in my own home of beautiful dishes, textiles, and accessories that I could use not just for Jewish holidays and special occasions, but for everyday that made me feel as if every meal I put on the table was special and that was a reflection of an authentic Jewish home.
A girl can't live on ramen noodles forever.
Like many young women, I didn’t learn to cook until I was living on my own. When I needed to pull together a meal, I was at a total loss. No one in my family had ever written down a recipe! When I'd call my grandmother in Florida for help, her instructions included tips such as “Don’t be shy with the onions!” and “When it’s ready, you’ll know!”
I realized that generations of Jewish cooks had more than just recipes, they had backstories to their recipes: family histories that needed to be recorded, preserved, and cherished for all-time. So I created www.thejewishkitchen.com to collect recipes, and later decided it was time to make good on my promise of fine goods for the home. Which brings us to the present.
I hope the things you find on ShopTheJewishKitchen bring joy and love to your table (or someone else's). That's the whole idea.
All my love,