In December, we received—and then shared—the sad news that our longtime community member and friend, Kukla (née Anna Galper), had passed. We were so heartened by your reception of the news, and so was Kukla’s family: They, in turn, reached out to tell us how much the Food52 meant to Kukla—and then explained that they wanted to make sure her huge love of cooking and learning and eating would still exist vibrantly on the site.
We’re very excited to announce our latest contest, Your Best Jewish-Inspired Recipe. The theme was decided on by the editorial team and Kukla’s granddaughter, Ruth Madievsky, who shared that her grandmother was always riffing on the Eastern European-Jewish recipes she’d learned from her mother and aunts. Her family reaped the benefits of her experimentation, as would we: Many of these recipes she shared on Food52.
My grandmother, Anna Galper, who went by Kukla in the Food52 community, was the best cook in our family. She experimented with new dishes nearly every day, which gave my family a beautiful excuse to get together frequently. Jewish holidays with her were a particular joy. Her Jewish-style potato moussaka, many variations on kugel (both savory and sweet), and hamantash cookies were instant hits among all of my college friends, Jewish and otherwise.
Kukla was inspired by both the Jewish-Eastern European recipes passed down in our family and the more contemporary dishes her children and grandchildren loved. She was famous for adding a twist to traditional recipes, as evidenced by her Deep Fried Matzo, Mushroom, and Veggie Balls recipe. This Passover—our first without Kukla—my brother and I will be making her Passover Puffs. This is both to honor her memory, and because they, like all of her dishes, are incredible.
The winner of the contest will receive credit from Kukla’s family towards a cooking class of the winner’s choice.