The American side of the project is a little bit easier, logistically: I have most of the family recipes I need, from a massive cookbook my mom made for me, five years ago. The one I use most is my Italian great-grandmother’s risotto recipe, which was typed out way before I was born and includes a note that “the best romano and gorgonzola can be bought at Pinelli’s on 15th Street” in Denver.

But I had a last-minute ticket to Prague (since my husband was going to be there on business for two weeks), and my goal was to get Jakub and his dad to talk about family recipes. The first week we arrived, there was a frenzied search for the two strawberry-container boxes of recipes I’d last seen when we moved out of the apartment Žižkov and which I was counting on having access to, for this project. Jakub’s dad managed to find the recipes, and we sat down, one night, to look over them. There are hundreds of recipe cards, some of which I was lucky to photograph and am excited to try, over here in New York.

Jakub's dad and the Big Recipe Night

Jakub's dad and the Big Recipe Night

Jakub's dad's kitchen, Žižkov

Jakub's dad's kitchen, Žižkov

Skořicové hvězdy (Cinnamon Stars)

Skořicové hvězdy (Cinnamon Stars)

The recipe above is Skořicové hvězdy, or Cinnamon Stars. Made with egg whites, powdered sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel, and almonds (among other ingredients), it sounds like the perfect Christmas cookie, doesn’t it? Maybe I should experiment, even though it’s July.

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