Kitchen Stories

Meyer Lemon Turshi Batch #76
Handcrafted on June 24, 2011
Dedicated to Auntie Affi

Last summer my mother and I rented a 15-person van, loaded it up with my 3 kids, my cousin+her 2 kids, my brother+friend, and 3 boxes of Mason Jars. We headed up to Northern California to visit Auntie Affi's Farm and stopped at every farm/fruit stand along the way, only to load up our van with as much fresh picked produce as possible. I have always had a thing for fresh fruit stands and pick-your-own farms. So much so that I was nicknamed "The Urban Fruit Hunter" and still to this day, I point out any edible plant I find everywhere I go. So, we finally arrived in Fair Oaks around midnight and woke up to the sound of rosters calling at sunrise and 8 kids too excited to sleep in any later than 5:30 a.m. But, as tired as I was, it was awesome. There was something magical in that early morning air on the farm and being able to envelop the glorious colors of the sunrise sky; to experience nature unfold and to breath in the scent of fresh Meyer Lemon Trees. This beautiful morning was celebrated with the love and laughter of family who sat around Auntie Affi's table spread in which she hosted with heartfelt grace. Truly, an unforgettable journey which included Auntie Affi showing us her cellar and sharing with us her recipe for Meyer Lemon Turshi. Before our stay ended, everyone there helped make Turshi and we filled up all our Mason Jars to bring back home. We can't wait till the next time we visit again.


Grace and I


Mango Turshi Batch #97
Handcrafted May 14, 2011
In honor of my grandmother

In the summer of '97, my grandmother came to visit us as she had always done every summer. That summer was different. I really spent time with her and watched her with sweet admiration as she gracefully shared our family's traditions. One of which was spending three weeks making Mango Turshi. I loved every minute of it: starting at the produce market at 6 a.m., then to three different markets, then washing, peeling, chopping, and mixing gallons of Mango Turshi. There would be enough Turshi for the whole family to enjoy until the following year when she would visit again. Except, my grandmother passed away that winter on February 6th and the sweet memory of her remains. The following summer my mother and I made another batch of Mango Turshi just as my grandmother had taught us over the years, except my mother had a new idea. She added one extra ingredient: one cup of the Mango Turshi that we had made with my grandmother the summer before. This became our ritual, our way of staying connected, our way of remembering and we have done it every summer since. Mango Turshi has become one of our family recipes and shared with others.


Grace and I