Certain dishes remain with me from my childhood and teenage years. For the most part, those dishes sprung from Mama Vamp's recipe box, and lately I've been reminiscing about those recipes -- longing to revisit them in my own kitchen.
A couple of years ago, a forgotten recipe from Mama Vamp's vault was finally located and several luscious Plum Cakes have been lovingly baked in my home ever since.
Recently, after paying call on a Brighton Beach bakery chock-full of freshly-made Rugelach, I've been feeling the need to break out Mama Vamp's own recipe, whipping up a batch filled with apricot jam and toasted walnuts. I'm equally drawn to her recipe for Cheesecake, a hauntingly rich version that combines cream cheese and whipped cream with flecks of bright orange and lemon zests.
On the savory side, I conjure up memories of her Greek Pastitsio, baked pasta in a hearty tomato-meat sauce tinged with cinnamon, and topped with a creamy bechamel.
Yup. Thinking it's about time to dig up some of Mama Vamp's old favorites on well-worn index cards and head to my kitchen. Anyone care to come over to sample the results?