Sonya Sanford's Modern L.A. - Inspired Tzimmes
Shared by Sonya Sanford
Recipe Roots: Soviet Union (Ukraine) > Seattle, WA > Los Angeles, CA
Sonya Sanford, a food writer and stylist living in L.A., grew up foraging for mushrooms, strawberries, plums, and apples. “My father knew every fruit-bearing tree in the Greater Seattle area,” she says. But, foraging “wasn’t cool then; it was weird.” As a kid, she was embarrassed by the skill her father had cultivated when her family lived in the Soviet Union before immigrating to the United States in 1977.
In their new home, her family made almost everything from scratch, drawing on their Russian and Ukrainian roots. Her mother’s mother, Baba Mira (Baba is the Russian word for grandmother), who also moved to Seattle, “would wake up at the crack of dawn to make her and my grandfather elaborate lunches… And, every holiday, every family dinner was a four- or five-course meal that she prepared by herself.” For Rosh Hashanah, that included homemade gefilte fish, homemade gravlax, chopped liver, a festive main dish, and tzimmes, or stewed carrots.
As Sonya became a strong cook in her own right and ultimately moved to Los Angeles, she borrowed from her grandmother’s recipe and updated her tzimmes adding fresh squeezed orange juice, tangy pomegranate molasses, spices, and fresh mint to roasted carrots. The resulting dish is bright and contemporary, as much a reflection of Sonya’s Ashkenazi roots as her American ones.