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I had so much fun working with Ricca to make this book. It’s about her grandparents, Jack + Rita. Or Popoo and Bubbie, to family. Bubbie is still alive, so she contributed lots of her stories through interviews with Ricca. And more importantly, she got to enjoy this lovely tribute to their lives and their love.
There were a couple of stories that just resonated with me in this book. I think they appeal to my old-fashioned family self. Ricca’s family is Sephardic Jewish, from the island of Rhodes. They immigrated to Seattle where they lived among extended family and a tight-knit community of fellow Sephardic Jews. The kind of tight-knit we don’t know today.
Every Sunday during the summer, the family would drive to a mountain lake and picnic together. There were lots of them. It was an all-day adventure, with the drive being as important as the eating. I am sure the ladies spent hours preparing the food. And their menus were Greek gourmet. Here’s an excerpt:
“We joined together, spreading out a cornucopia of Sephardic food on a blanket: spinach frittata, meat-filled pastilicos, potato/cheese borekas, eggplant quajado, artichoke salad, rosca with feta cheese, yaprakis, leek prassa, green and black olives, and even fish roe tarama.”
I cannot claim to know all these dishes, but my mouth is watering anyways.
I also loved the story about how people were invited to weddings. Since everyone lived in the same neighborhood, they just hired a man to go up and down the street like a town crier and announce the wedding date and invite everyone to attend. So much for letterpress invitations!
Anyway, you can tell this was a fun one for me. Here are some more photos to enjoy.