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Sandra Levine

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About Me

Charlie Brown and Linus are lying on the grass, looking up at the sky. Linus asks Charlie Brown what he sees in the clouds, and offers as an example, "the stoning of St. Stephen and the profile of the painter Thomas Eakins." Charlie Brown replies, "I was going to say I saw a duckie and a horsie."

I feel a little like Charlie Brown on eGullet.

I thought I knew something about food until I started reading this website, but I'm really enjoying "meeting" people who know so much more than I do and are so generous with their knowledge.

Professionally, I am in historic preservation, which, as I've said on a post, may explain my interest in traditional foods. (not really) Historic preservation represents a later life career change for me: I earned by master's in that field in 1998, when I was 50-something.

While I was looking for an actual job in historic preservation, I earned a few dollars behind the coffee, candy, fruit and nuts department at Dean & DeLuca -- probably the most fun I've ever had at work. My only other "professional" food experience took place 25 years ago. I baked, on order, kosher-style cakes and pastries for the various Jewish holidays. I did this for a few months, quite successfully, but realized that I did not want to turn it into a full-time business. At the appropriate time of year, I'll be happy to post my recipes for hamantaschen and Aunt Ida's You'd Never Know It Was Passover Cake.

Cooking skipped a generation in my family. My maternal grandmother operated a little grocery and was a highly regarded cook in her circle. She lived with us; consequently, my mother did not cook at all. My grandmother's repetoire was limited, but our beloeved Italian next door neighbor taught her (and me) about olive oil and everthing that goes with it. In other words, I was almost as familiar with Italian food as I was with Jewish Eastern European.

Food is a major component of travel for me, as it is for all of us. I've traveled in Canada, Europe, Israel and the Caribbean. India is very high on my wish list.

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