When we started thinking about a Mitzvah Project we were posed with two main questions: who did we want to help and how? The first thing that came to mind was to raise money for a cause that was close to home or had affected our lives. After days of brainstorming, two things became evident:
My brother Marco had a passion for cooking beyond remark and our lives were changed forever when my grandmother (Nona Yolanda) succumbed to brain cancer.
My brother Marco, who is a year younger than me (12), has a love for cooking like that is remarkable. He spends most afternoons cooking, inventing recipes or watching the Food Network. He has already created several recipes of his own which have become favorites among several of my mother’s friends. During Israel’s recent border security issues with Lebanon, he and I raised money for the Israeli Defense Forces by selling his famous “Rougales”. However, this time we wanted to do something that would remain with people for a longer time, something that would ensure our remembrance of Nona Yolanda forever.
This is how this recipe book was born. In it we compile most of my brother’s best recipes (I say “most” because he says that some are “secret”) and recipes he loves that were passed down from my grandmother. All the recipes were written by him and in some cases translated from Spanish by my mother who has given us much support, love and infinite patience throughout this process.
Nona Yolanda passed away six years ago from Brain Cancer, she was 62 and I was 7. She was treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York. My father tells me that it is a remarkable place. We hope that nobody ever has to go there, but we also know that by contributing the money that we receive from the sales of our recipe book to this institution we are going to help other people get a better chance at life.
We hope you enjoy the book’s wonderful recipes and also know that your purchase will go a long way to help others.