Lubin, a retired bookkeeper, lives in North Bellmore with her husband, Barry. They have two sons and one daughter as well as two granddaughters and one grandson.
How would you describe your cooking?
It's what I've picked up through the years. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, and my son used to call me the "best cooker." We always had dinner hour together. Cooking was an important part of our world.
Who were your inspirations?
One was my mom. She always had a hot meal for us. When I left home, I didn't know the exact amounts she used, so my cooking was trial and error. But I played with the amounts and now, the things that my mother made are being passed down to the next generation. My fondest cooking memory, though, is of my grandma Gussie kneading dough for challah bread and then masterfully braiding it, setting it aside to rise. I marveled at those cooking hands. She didn't leave me any recipes, but her attitude, I've kept.
What are some of your most-loved dishes?
My spaghetti sauce, stuffed cabbage, broccoli souffle, flounder with crabmeat stuffing, mushroom barley soup, split pea soup and spaghetti and meatballs.
What's your family's favorite dish?
My chicken soup. And they all seem to love my chicken fricassee.
If you could invite anybody in the world to your table, who would that be and what would you make?
Whoopi Goldberg, for some fun conversation and a bowl of my chicken soup with matzo balls.
MAKE-AHEAD CHICKEN FRICASSEE
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided
1/3 cup matzo meal
12 chicken wings
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup water (may need more as it starts cooking)
1. In a bowl, mix flour with salt, pepper and paprika. Reserve.
2. In another bowl, mix ground beef with egg, half the chopped onion, matzo meal and salt and pepper to taste. Knead well and form into about 36 mini-meatballs.
3. Dredge meatballs, then chicken wings in flour. Set aside. Reserve dredging flour.
4. Heat oil in a Dutch oven, over high heat. Slowly add ½ cup water, being careful not to splatter. Saute remainder of onions in oil-water mixture about 1 to 2 minutes, or until translucent. Lower heat, add garlic and saute another minute. Remove and reserve.
5. Add meatballs to same pot, brown on all sides. Remove and reserve.
6. In same pot, brown wings. When they have browned on both sides, return meatballs to pot, carefully placing on top of wings.
7. Stir remainder of dredging flour into chicken stock; pour over meatballs and wings.
8. Bring to a slow boil, cover tightly and allow to simmer for an hour, checking frequently and adding water as needed to cover ingredients. Check for seasonings and adjust when finished.
9. Allow to cool; then refrigerate, covered up to two days. Before reheating, skim fat from top and reheat over low flame. Lubin likes to serve with cubes of challah, to dip in sauce. Makes about 12 appetizer servings or 6 main course servings.