Cooking in Jennie’s Kitchen

…with lots of people milling about no less: not the time to deep fry.

As you all know, food is my window on the world. Professionally, I have just transitioned from one food-justice job to an even better one. After 20 months as the Director of the Hunger Initiative of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, I am now the Director of Development of L.A. Kitchen. After 18 years in at the very fabulous Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, I found my way to food, and L.A. Kitchen is by far the most exciting organization I have been involved with since making that life-change. Check us out!

Looking back at 2013, it turns out that my Potato Cakes with Goat Cheese started this year too and now they are helping to wrap it up. I did a little fiddling with the recipe – I squeezed out the water from the potatoes and left out the milk as the batter had always seemed a little watery, especially the 3rd of the 3 cakes that this quantity makes.

My friend, writer Jennie Webb, and her husband James throw two for-sure parties each year. Jim is in charge of Super Bowl, with food themed to the teams playing or the city hosting – 2010 was gumbo and 2012 was a chowdah cook-off! Of course there were crab cakes this year. 2014 will be played in East Rutherford NJ; I hope the teams provide inspiration for the menu! Sometimes there is a smaller gathering on Memorial Day or the Fourth of July – an All-American BBQ; I’ll generally make potato salad for that.

But, it’s Jennie’s Christmas party that I enjoy the most. Being short, it’s hard for me to be in a crush, and this party is a feat of packing the house – with people, food and high spirits. I always see some people that I hadn’t seen since last year’s party and meet new ones, but being basically very shy I need a prop. For me, as always, that’s food. I make sure that Jennie has a burner available for me and do all my prep ahead at home. This is the second time I’ve done the Potato Cakes, and the lesson from the first time was to make double the recipe! They cook slowly, so I mostly hang out at or within sight of the stove – someone always comes along when I’ve stepped away and thinks the pan needs tending. My kids will tell you that lifting the lid on a pot on my stove might turn out to be a capital crime (if it’s rice you could ruin it!).

I didn’t get any photos last night so check them out from New Year’s Day breakfast.

About floricooks

I cook; I feed; I eat
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