On January 23, 2006 Renée Israel, my mother, lost her life to a long, hard-fought battle against breast cancer. She lived her life with such class and devotion to her family and friends that she left us with huge shoes to fill.
During her lifetime, my mother with the help of her beloved family and friends, created two cookbooks entitled "Whip Me, Beat Me, Eat Me". The origin of Whip Me, Beat Me, Eat Me started in my mother's kitchen. She would cook dinner Monday through Thursday for just her family.
Each and every Sunday night my mother would prepare a multiple course home cooked meal for our "family". While our immediate family only consisted of five people, the Sunday "family" included at least fifteen and sometimes up to fifty people on any random Sunday. After our constant requests for her recipes, she together with her friends, compiled recipes and created the two cookbooks.
Thankfully my mother wrote all of her recipes down and now I can pass them along from generation to generation. But what are recipes without the Bittersweet Memories behind them?
"I was serving my husband "Monday Night Spaghetti" when it hit me like a ton of bricks: the delicious smell of spaghetti bolognese with a hint of sugar, the taste of the crispy topping and the old dish that my mother used to serve it in. My mother's presence was so strong through her recipes. I tasted, smelled, and saw Monday Night dinners at my childhood home". This is in honor of our loved ones, especially my mother, Renée.