Welcome to NewKosher! So since there are a lot of new people coming by, I thought I might as well introduce myself personally:
My name is Reina Kutner, known to some as Reina Victoria, known to dad as just Victoria. I’m from a town called Thousand Oaks, which is so white that white bread is achingly jealous. I went to Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley, then escaped to Orange County to be at Cal State Fullerton. My Nony, Regina Amira, who hailed from a Sephardic family that relocated to New York from Turkey before she was born, was the best cook in the world. She taught me about food and love, and although she is gone, I miss her every day.
I am a bit of a punk Jew – I do things my way, right down to my red-and-black checkered Vans. I keep kosher, but I’m not super-religious. Instead of living in Pico-Robertson, the Jewish area of Los Angeles, I keep kosher in an obscure part of Long Beach, about 30 miles south. Here, I don’t have to keep up with the Schwartzes or Goldbergs. Instead, I can be me, kosher and happy. Long Beach is really the first place that I have ever considered home.
When I got married, I began to teach myself about cooking. I could cook before, but I wanted to learn it all. In my unemployment right after I got married, I started watching Food Network shows and started teaching myself. I learned a lot by being intuitive, going to farmer’s markets and talking to others. I then decided to write a memoir/cookbook, “Young, Broke and Kosher.”
Eventually, I would find work at a national newspaper syndicate, but then my husband would be laid off. We had a hard time, but we made do. Then came Six – the nickname I gave to the sixth blood clot I had. The first five came in 2004, at the age of 21. Despite this life-threatening condition, I continued to go to work. The result? Two weeks later I was laid off from my job, and my husband and I were left with no jobs and a pile of medical bills.
Six months after the blood clot, I decided that I shouldn’t just sit around on my butt and wait for something to happen. I made “Young, Broke and Kosher” into a blog, and hence this site was born. With recipes and stories, I was going to let people in. I didn’t want to hide from people – rather, it was time to show them who I was and what I did. I even have a Facebook fan page for the blog and Twitter account! (On Twitter, you can find us @youngbrokekosh) We can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, I’m trying to develop video, which we will post onto YouTube, and launch our actual site, youngbrokeandkosher.com (still looking for cheap hosting for this broke lady).
Less than a year after Six, I’m healthy and moving on with my life, complete with full control over my medical condition. I feel like I have no limits. Yes, I may be broke, and I may be odd, but I’m not afraid.
In the meantime, here is one of my favorite recipes, which I made the other night. It’s been posted before, but it’s worth doing again. P’tayavon!