My name is Becca Gallick-Mitchell, aka InstaGrandma, and I’m a Holocaust educator and home cook with a passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients and a treasured arsenal of trusted recipes, some handed down through generations and others picked up along the way. I live in New Jersey with my extraordinarily loving and supportive husband, Paul, and our two beloved dogs, Mel Blanc and Yogi Bear (Mel and Yogi for short).
My tool belt of cooking tricks and techniques is the product of innumerable failures and triumphs (you can’t have success without failure!), as well as many hours in the kitchen with the female role models in my life, most notably my mom, Grandma Mala, Grandma Clara, and Jacinth Mitchell-Mark.
Grandma Mala, my ultimate inspiration for this blog, is a 97 year old Holocaust survivor who loves nothing more than to feed her family. Many of my most cherished recipes are the ones that I grew up enjoying when I’d visit my her and my Papa Henry. They are the precious recipes that her mother and grandmother cooked in Poland before they perished along with her father and 3 younger siblings (along with too many extended family members to count) in the Holocaust. My grandma was only 15 years old.
A substantial portion of my repertoire consists of the Jewish recipes that I grew up with as well as British recipes that I’ve learned from Paul (who is from the UK). That being said, I find that the best and most accessible way to explore new cultures and get to know new people is through food, as many of my recipes on here will reflect.
I strongly believe that when cooking, it is important to try to use as much of the food source at hand as possible, whether that means finding a use for a chicken carcass after roasting or a bunch of carrot tops that weren’t suitable for glazing. My beloved Grandma Clara, who helped raise me, taught me that one should never throw away food if it can at all be avoided. Having lived through the Great Depression, she felt strongly that one must not waste the resources at one’s disposal, but instead to treat them with the gratitude and respect that they inherently deserve.
In addition to sharing family recipes through InstaGrandma’s Kitchen, I also host cooking classes and demonstrations titled Once Tasted, Always Remembered in which I teach my family recipes that survived the Holocaust, as well as the stories of my grandma, Mala Dorfman, who survived, and my great-grandma, Ester Weintraub, who tragically perished in a gas chamber at Auschwitz-Birkenau. During the program, we go on a journey through time, emphasizing the importance of fighting hatred with loving kindness. My family’s precious family recipes nourish our bodies while the stories nourish our souls and inspire us all to be better versions of ourselves.
Additionally, I host Stories of Survival, a storytelling event in which I tell my Grandma Mala and Papa Henry’s individual stories of survival. Both stories are marked by the presence of a “righteous gentile,” or non-Jew who risked it all to save their lives. I pay special attention to these two individuals, framing their presence in the stories as a call to action. Stories of Survival serve as a cautionary tale outlining the horrors that can befall a society that has let hatred fester, but they are also a beacon of hope showcasing the resilience and magnificence of the human spirit.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for visiting my corner of the internet! I hope that one or more of my recipes will bring your home the joy and comfort that they have all brought to mine.
For inquiries and/or bookings, please email email@example.com.