Appreciate Everything! by honey

MODifamily LOVES Aunt Ruth.
Modify Watches is feeling the love! They are offering a 20% discount on the Appreciate Everything watch available to anyone who has purchased Loving Aunt Ruth; Recipes for a Life Well-Lived.

Pretty cool, huh?

We created this watch as our reward in Modify’s Kickstarter program.
We don’t make them or have any affiliation with Modify Watches, other than we love their stuff.
Because they also love Aunt Ruth, here’s what they said:

1. After you buy the book, email for a 20% off code

2. Go to, select "send money" to send a payment of 47.99 + 3.99 for shipping to which is 20% off their 59.99 price

3. Go to to select the size and TWO strap colors

4. Email, tell him you just bought the “Appreciate Everything” watch, give him the code, your mailing address, the size and band colors

5. Watch for your MOD in the mail 


Make A Wish by honey

I asked Aunt Ruth how she would like to be remembered.  
She said, “I would like to be remembered as a nice, generous, and loving person.”  
I am remembering her exactly as she wished I would. 

Today, May 10, is Aunt Ruth’s 95th birthday, and thanks to all of you who have followed our blog these last 4+ years until the release of our book, I know there is a heavenly celebration. As Aunt Ruth said, 

“Every birthday is important!
I believe you should share them with as many people as you can afford to feed.” 

So, put on your party hat.  
Toot a horn.  
Make a wish.  

Be Aunt Ruth today and fill your house with friends, because “Everything tastes better shared.”

Mazel Tov! Hooray, It's Finally Here! by honey

There are no secrets on the Internet, and I am so glad.
You already know the book is available!!

I am beyond thrilled to share the joy I had creating Loving Aunt Ruth: Recipes for a Life Well-Lived, so I made this video with the help of terrific videographers, Bob and Lauren Sammon.  Pull up a chair.  Pour some tea or coffee.  Thank you for loving Aunt Ruth.

Get your copy in time for Mother’s Day: Atlas Books or Amazon

“Always make sure you have love in your life.  It’s the greatest gift of all.”
- Aunt Ruth

It's About Time! by honey

Loving Aunt Ruth: Recipes for a Life Well-Lived is days away from being available!  It’s about time!  Speaking of time, it’s TIME for a contest to celebrate the book, love, and YOU.

If you sign up on before midnight this Friday, April 25, to receive updates, you will be eligible to WIN a Loving Aunt Ruth Watch designed in the book’s colors featuring one of Aunt Ruth’s mantras.  The watch face says, “Appreciate Everything,” and the amazing team at made it.  It comes with TWO bands too!

Please Hurry Up and Sign Up!  Don’t waste time!

We will announce the winner on April 30th on the blog!

There’s no time like NOW to thank you!

Thank you for loving Aunt Ruth.

When You Have Friends Who Knew You Since Kindergarten, They Remember What You Looked Like! by honey

I don't have any friends from my kindergarten class!  Do you?  As our book release date draws closer, it is really fun to listen to Aunt Ruth remember.  Please join us for some sweetness by clicking on the link below:

(please sign up for book release information at thanks!)

Remembering.... by honey

Aunt Ruth and I talked a lot about being generous, kind, and loving.  Now that Loving Aunt Ruth: Recipes for a Well-Lived Life is close to being released, I wanted to share some of my conversations with Aunt Ruth.  

Aunt Ruth's love transcends time. 

(Please visit to sign up for book and book talk updates.  As Aunt Ruth says, "Always make sure to have love in your life.  It is the greatest gift of all.")

Giving Has No Season by honey

This is the season for holiday mail.  Catalogues stuff my rural box, while cyber reminders of deals and sales stack my in box with temptations. This year, I get Aunt Ruth’s mail.  She doesn’t get Williams Sonoma or Neiman Marcus.  She gets letters from Sloan-Kettering, Hadassah, The Policeman's Fund, The Free Clinic, Catholic Charities, The Jewish Community Center, and organizations I didn’t know existed.

Aunt Ruth believed that helping people, loving people was simple to do.  She gave something to everyone who wrote to her from a dollar to ten, because she thought that this was the right thing to do.  “Imagine how many mouths the Salvation Army could feed or new research for cancer could be funded, if everyone gave something?” she would ask off-handedly.  She’d add, “If you don’t have money, then give your time.”  She talked like this as if the lessons were filling space like commas, because she wasn’t preaching.  She was narrating her daily life.

I get her mail now.  I stack the envelopes and watch the Giving Tower grow.  Her goodness shines light on everything she taught me, everything she did, and everything she hoped others would do. 

Aunt Ruth said, “Everything is better shared.”  Little by little adds up to a lot, and a lot surely makes for better.  I know it is trite, but Aunt Ruth didn’t have a Giving Season, and my hope is that her Giving Tower inspires me towards kindness, because opportunity is always right in front of me.  It can be as easy as answering the phone with a happy voice.

My dad’s photographic legacy taught me that a camera is a key to open doors or hearts.  Aunt Ruth opened the door to her apartment and let me photograph her life, and my heart has been full ever since

May her Giving Tower inspire you to start yours, but most of all, thank YOU for Loving Aunt Ruth.

Happy Holidays.  

My Country 'Tis of Thee by honey

Loving Aunt Ruth is looking good for a spring 2014 release!  

Today is Veteran's Day, and there were no prouder veterans in our family than Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bob. He was a Captain, and she drove and repaired staff cars for the Red Cross.  He served in Europe, and she drove on the army base in Richmond, Virginia.

Ruth was a great driver and skilled mechanic, and she was asked to consider pilot training!  Uncle Bob didn't want his sweetheart in harm's way, so she stayed grounded and kept her eyes on the road.  

As far as I can remember, each of them talked about their pride of service and love of country, and I am grateful to both of them.

Thank you, Ruth and Bob.  I salute you both.  

I Don't Want to be Alone... by honey

We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.
Jonathan Safran Foer

Speaking of story….memory….and love, I am happy to say that Loving Aunt Ruth is looking like it will have a 2014 release.

More later! 

Meanwhile, please know that Aunt Ruth and I treasured every blog visit, every comment, and your appreciation for her recipes both for living well and eating well!

Aunt Ruth told me to appreciate everything, and while details evolve, I wanted you to know that she and I appreciate you.

We never felt alone.  Thank you.

thanks to tanya shteinfeld, photographer, for this lovely image

Aunt Ruth's Love Has No Boundaries! by honey

(click on image to enlarge)

How do you stay determined in the face of so much loss?
I accept that life isn’t easy.  I have my faith…but I have a will to live, and that will comes from loving people.  

If you have followed this blog, you know that Aunt Ruth’s answer to my question changed how I viewed my life.  Loving people was Aunt Ruth’s anchor and her fuel.  Love energized her, gave her purpose, and got her into the kitchen to test recipes she’d share with family and friends.  Love was behind the wheel for her perpetual visits to the cemetery to manicure our family’s graves.  Love got her out of bed to answer the phone to offer support and unconditional love.

Love was behind every single thing Aunt Ruth thought about doing or did.  She inspired YOU too!

The ♥'s on the map are from EVERY place this blog has had a “hit” since it has been launched.  Love has NO BOUNDARIES.  Thank you for loving Aunt Ruth!  More exciting news:

As the book gets closer to becoming available, we are thrilled to announce that we will be donating from our sales to The Intergenerational School, a free, high-performing public charter school with locations in Cleveland, Ohio, that has been nationally recognized for their innovative, intergenerational approach to learning. Their mission is to connect, create, and guide multigenerational communities of lifelong learners and spirited citizens.  Aunt Ruth’s commitment to education and loving all people has found a wonderful partnership in 

Here’s to Love and Aunt Ruth’s ingredients for a life well-lived!

Miss, Ms. or Mrs.? by honey

I don’t think there’s one thing more important you can do for your kids than have family dinner.”
Ruth Reichl, former Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet

If you follow this blog, you know that Aunt Ruth never stopped collecting and testing recipes. Preparing delicious food was only half of the reason Aunt Ruth was in her kitchen; the other half was imagining the smiles from sharing whatever came from her oven(s).  Initially, I thought this post would include a lesson from Aunt Ruth or even a new recipe, but I surprised myself.

In photographing Aunt Ruth’s cookbook collection, I was startled by the authors’ names listed as Mrs. David So-and-So or Mrs. Robert Such-and-Such.  Whoa, I was right back in the late 60’s when Gloria introduced women to the option of Ms., and we stopped using Mr.’s name as identification!  One of Aunt Ruth’s favorite cookbooks featuring many of her tested recipes lists the cook’s names as Mrs. Irving, Mrs. Noah, and Mrs. Milton…

Pictured in this blog is The way to a man’s heart, The Settlement Cook Book, a compilation of recipes by (drum roll, please) Mrs. Simon Kander. The book has a chapter devoted to kuchen, another for breakfast cereals, and one for campfire building with instructions on broiling rabbit.  Cool, right?  I only wish that Mrs. Kander's first name appeared in the book.

I don’t want to belabor feminism or even criticize the incredible cookbook authors who predated Julia Child, Ruth Riechl, or one of my current favorites, Tamar Adler, but I think it is worth remembering how nice it is that we can now choose what name we would like to use in any context.

Which brings me back to Mrs. Robert D. Moss, the name stamped into so many of my aunt’s cookbooks.  Aunt Ruth told me that if she could go back in time, she would have finished college and become a teacher.  Her annotated cookbooks have taught many of her friends and our family about which recipes were the best, saving us from endless flop potential and keeping her close in our hearts.

Why not spend time with your mother’s recipe collection?  Or her cookbooks?  Share a day of baking and take what you make to someone who needs cheering.  Be a little Aunt Ruth!  There is so much to be learned from being in the kitchen.

Aunt Ruth, thanks for being such a great teacher!

Love, Virtually by honey

This is a blog post about You!

Writing about loving people enriched Aunt Ruth’s and my life beyond anything we imagined.

Our blog had hits from China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland, Ukraine, Thailand, Israel, Canada, Russia, and Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, and the United Kingdom. Virtual love inspired, sustained, and delighted us.

You know who you are.  You are the followers who comment, like us on Facebook, and most recently sent an actual mail surprise in Aunt Ruth’s favorite color, orange.  As much as I wonder about the difference between “liking” and “loving,” I want you All to be certain that your virtual love has made a big difference to Aunt Ruth and to me. 

Thank you for being touched by Aunt Ruth’s lessons and my photography.  Thank you for each“share” on Facebook.  Thanks to those who asked about attending an Aunt Ruth Seder!  Thanks for trying Aunt Ruth’s recipes and for appreciating her ingredients for living well.   Thanks for learning from Aunt Ruth’s lessons, enjoying her humor, and being inspired by her courage.   Thanks for cooking Aunt Ruth’s recipes and letting us know that you did.  Thanks for entering our first contest and making winning Aunt Ruth’s recipes a wonderful prize. 

Thanks for taking time out of your day to listen to Aunt Ruth’s story.

"Honey, what I know for sure is that love is the most important thing in your life.  It is the greatest gift. 

During some of our dark days, YOU inspired US.

I never dreamed that I would open my mailbox and find postcards and presents.  Thank you for being OUR greatest gift, virtually.

Leap of Faith by honey

Forty-five years ago, my older sister announced her engagement to a Methodist.  My mother wasn’t sure she would fund such a union let alone attend.  Aunt Ruth helped my mom put aside her concerns about an inter-faith marriage, and a lovely wedding resulted.  

I don’t want to suggest that Aunt Ruth was thrilled about my sister’s choice, but she put her feelings aside, and she wasn’t even invited to the small, immediate family affair!  For years, my mother and Aunt Ruth drove to visit my sister, Jane, and her husband in Connecticut with a trunk load of home cooking.  Brisket, Daddy Cake, Rugelah, and other delights of Jane’s childhood.  Those sisters never went anywhere without food…lots of food!  All worries about the mixed faith marriage were lost over dinner!

In the recent New York Times Book Review,‘Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage is Transforming America, by Naomi Schaefer Riley, was reviewed.  Aunt Ruth was way ahead of this comprehensive study, but she surely agreed with the result about whether or not interfaith marriages were good for America:  “To the extent that it dispels ignorance, punches holes in stereotypes and deflates bias, I would say it surely can be.”

Last year, Aunt Ruth and Jane came to see my youngest son get married.  He fell in love with the daughter of an Episcopalian priest.  Unlike Jane’s wedding or Aunt Ruth’s, my mother’s, or even mine, our son and his bride celebrated their love in front of over 100 guests.  All watched as a priest and a rabbi spoke from their respective religious texts.  It was a glorious day. 

Aunt Ruth’s will to live came from loving people.  All people.  She came from an orthodox Jewish home and was raised to keep an open mind and heart.  In her library was this collection of books that speak to Aunt Ruth’s desire to learn, to grow, and to accept.  Most of all, she believed that love was the greatest gift of all. 

This was a courageous leap of faith 45 years ago for Aunt Ruth and my mom.  As Aunt Ruth said, “Always make sure you have love in your life.”   

Thank you, Aunt Ruth.

Now There's An App For That! by honey

Before there were Apps, there was Aunt Ruth. 

If you wanted to know the conversion of 1 cup to its metric system equivalent, you could call Aunt Ruth, and she would go to her desk drawer, retrieve her Conversion Chart, and tell you, “It’s 230 milliliters.”

If you wanted to know what “earned surplus” meant, Aunt Ruth would say that it is “also known as income retained in the business.  The amount retained from year to year depends on both net income and dividend payments.” She handled her family’s bookkeeping and investments, worked during the war as an accountant for the Navy, and because she wanted fast facts at her fingertips, she kept a copy of How to Understand Financial Statements in her desk drawer. 

She had a United States map with time zones and area codes, Webster’s Thumb Indexed Dictionary, a pamphlet on treating the 15 most common household stains, and another that outlined the Kiddush service for Sabbath.

Aunt Ruth was smart and savvy.  As times changed, her pamphlets and charts did too.  She had data for everything before we knew we needed it.  She was remarkable.

She was fascinated by technology and learning and quite proud that she owned the very first generation of Kindle, and on hers was Thomas Friedman’s, Hot, Flat, Crowded :  Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America along with other selections ranging from current fiction to biographies. 

Aunt Ruth never stopped wanting to know, and one of her many lessons to me was to keep an insatiable Appetite for knowledge.

I wish there was an App for that!  

Sometimes, 1,000 Words are Better by honey

(Please click on image to enlarge)

When Aunt Ruth turned 90,  she didn’t want any gifts.   I sent a postcard asking her friends to choose 1-3 words that described her.  From those words, a cake and cupcakes were decorated with a life’s worth of words  (, and the words were saved in a wooden box.  

This blog is all about words...words of wisdom, hope, struggle, humor, love, and yes, ingredients for great food.  I love words as much as I love images, but most of all, I loved Aunt Ruth, and so did the 165 people who came to celebrate her 90th birthday!

This Mother’s Day, let Aunt Ruth inspire you to speak words of love to your own Mother, your friend’s mother, or those who have mothered you when you needed unconditional love.

Aunt Ruth said, “Always make sure you have love in your life,” but I would add that you let those you love hear those words. 

Have a Loving Mother’s Day…Happy 94th Birthday to Aunt Ruth….

(The words  used to make the I ♥ U are from Aunt Ruth's Birthday Collection)

And The Winner Is.... by honey

Aunt Ruth loved long dining room tables, the color orange, and sharing her recipes.  Thank you for visiting the blog, for leaving a comment to enter this giveaway, and most of all, thanks for Loving Aunt Ruth!

ACCORDing to Aunt Ruth... by honey

In the years of photographing, learning from, and eating with Aunt Ruth, I also documented her ingredients for a life well lived. 

ACCORDing to Aunt Ruth:

You must love with your whole heart.  Cooking for family and friends is one way I show love.  We had a big dining room table, and we loved to entertain.  It is a different world now.  People don’t seem to have lifelong friends like we did or even serve big dinners, but one thing I think should never change is that you must respect each other.

With respect to Aunt Ruth, the love she gave to so many, and the delicious food she served, we are offering an ACCORDion book with a selection of Aunt Ruth’s favorite recipes.

The book can be yours if you leave a comment on this blog until midnight, April 21, when I will print comments and drop them into a hat to randomly select the lucky recipient. Please sign your comment with a first name. The name doesn’t even have to be yours to keep your anonymity, but I need a way to recognize you as The Recipe Recipient!

You can leave as many comments as you want.  

Each one is a chance to get the ACCORDION BOOK!

On Monday, April 22, I will post the selected name on this blog, and you can send me a direct email with your address.  The ACCORDion and Aunt Ruth’s love will be yours.  Remember, ACCORDing to Aunt Ruth, everything tastes better shared!

 Every Comment Counts!  Don't forget to share.

The Sweet Taste of Hope by honey

(click on image to enlarge)

Aunt Ruth’s kitchen desk had 2 trays filled with recipes awaiting her test kitchen’s rating!   
I asked her about them, and she said:

I am still collecting recipes.  I like to create and eat food, but the best part of cooking is sharing.

This is true for most things in life.

Aunt Ruth served up optimism; everything she made was topped with love.   This blog continues to offer Aunt Ruth’s ingredients for a life well-lived, and today’s entry comes in the form of Apricot Noodle Pudding.

May this recipe be a “very good” addition to your recipe collection.

(please let me know when you make it!)