A recipe book and culinary tribute to loved ones collected and curated by my third cousin Nancy Cieplinski.
Coming from a blend of Eastern European Jewish, Mexican and Nova Scotian cultures, Nancy Cieplinski wanted to create a cookbook that would reflect her family’s rich heritage.
Nancy and her husband Menashe are both Jewish. While Nancy was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Menashe grew up in Mexico City. Mexico is akin to Nancy’s second home, as it is not only where she and Menashe met, but also where they lived and raised their children for 15 years.
Nancy and Menashe, as well as their daughter Adina and son David, have treated me as one of their own since I arrived in Halifax to study four years ago. I am humbled that Nancy entrusted this project with me, and helping Nancy realize this cookbook is a way of expressing gratitude for her kindness and hospitality over the years.
Knowing Nancy as a soft-spoken, warm person, I chose a colour palette of soft, mostly warm colours sourced from a Mexican basket and plates from her kitchen. To give it some Spanish flair, I chose the typeface Ibarra Real Nova, which is based on calligraphy from 18th century Spain.
The book is divided into six sections: Appetizers, Soups, Sweets, Main and Side Dishes, Jewish holiday cuisine, and Comida Mexicana/Mexican recipes. Digital illustrations of food are on most pages, sometimes alternating with birthday and holiday photos. The cover is a digital painting adapted from an oil painting based on one of those photographs, showing Nancy bringing in a cake with her father-in-law to celebrate Adina’s birthday. The off-kilter look to the layout was inspired by recipes, notes and decorative magnets stuck to a fridge.
Good Food, Good Memories has a coil binding which is hidden by a softcover exterior. The coil binding allows it to open flat, which is optimal when one is cooking. These images demonstrate the binding.