Our kitchen is the center of our house the place we all gather at the beginning and end of each day. The smells, the sounds, the laughter as we all talk and eat and catch up – these are memories I’ll forever hold dear.
Since Tabatchnick is synonymous with food and family, due to our hundred year history of providing delicious food, I’m often asked the secret to making it. I’m pleased to share some ‘trade’ secrets here!
Great food is more than a meal – Think about the memories made at the family dinner table or the holiday buffet. Food has so many connections to our history, no matter how small or large your family, no matter your ethnic background. I’ll never forget how my siblings and I ate all the Latkes (potato pancakes) one Chanukah before they even made it to the table! Needless to say, we had our fill of potato pancakes. Our recipe has been passed down for generations, so you know it must be delicious.
It’s okay to play with your food – I remember my dad, Ben, always experimenting with different textures and tastes in our family kitchen. Recipe development is more than adding a bunch of ingredients and standing back to see what happens. It’s trial-and-error, and tweaking this or that. Just like many great creations, sometimes a wonderful new recipe is a surprise. Enjoy the process!
If at first you don’t succeed, try again and again and again – Just like the composer whose first symphony gets less-than-stellar reviews, a good cook understands that not every attempt ends with success. What seems like a terrific idea at the time turns out to be not so terrific – so don’t be discouraged! Keep trying and you’ll hit on a new combination or cooking technique that will be a surefire hit! There is always someone around who will eat your experiment.
Build on others’ success – I reference multiple recipes and add my own touches to make it my own. Perhaps that stew just needed a little kick with another spice, or that cake would have turned out much better with a different frosting. You can be inspired by others – I am! I learn techniques from my mother who is more than willing to help me achieve cooking greatness. I can’t eat soup for every meal…or can I?
I suppose my final advice is simple: enjoy your time in the kitchen with friends and family. Food is what draws us together, what feeds us, body and soul. Your kitchen is the center of the house and your little universe, so settle in and make it your own!