Most locals are very familiar with the culinary empire known as Zingerman’s. Over the decades, it has woven itself into the fabric of the community, expanding from its beginnings as a humble deli to a constellation of businesses including its Bakehouse, Roadhouse, and even a venture into the publishing world. Among their latest contributions to the culinary landscape is a cookbook titled “Celebrate Every Day” released earlier this month.
The cookbook is an invitation to explore a spectrum of culinary creations that mark life’s milestones and the ordinary days in between. It caters to both the novice baker and the seasoned chef, embodying the spirit of celebration in every crumb.
The journey of “Celebrate Every Day” began with a meticulous selection of recipes, ranging from simple yet delightful to complex and rewarding, balancing customer favorites with unique, lesser-known culinary delights.
Amy Emberling, Managing Partner at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, shared, “We preferred to print recipes that are popular with our customers and are already being enjoyed for many celebrations…We also wanted to have a good balance in the book between relatively simple recipes, that the most novice cook or baker would execute successfully to more challenging projects that experienced bakers would enjoy.”
“Celebrate Every Day” isn’t merely a collection of recipes; it’s a narration of the culture, the tradition, and the stories interwoven into the Ann Arbor community. A prime example is the inclusion of several Christmas cookies. These recipes emerged from Zingerman’s annual Fancy Schmancy Holiday baking classes held every December.
Emberling recounts, “They have become an annual tradition for many families and friend groups… It’s heartwarming to see multigenerational family groups year after year and friend groups that now even book their own private class and make it a festive night with dinner and wine. We unknowingly created an event that serves an important social purpose that perhaps was no longer happening organically because of our busy lives.”
Sustainability and local sourcing
The pages also echo Zingerman’s commitment to sustainability and local sourcing.
From the choice of local ingredients like honey, maple syrup and apples, to the broader vision of supporting local food artisans and fostering a local organic grain shed, the cookbook is a testament to Zingerman’s local-centric philosophy.
Adapted for today’s home kitchen
An unexpected challenge in the creation process was the translation of bakery measurements to home kitchen standards.
“The most difficult part of writing recipes for home use is converting everything to volume measures,” Emberling said. “We use weight for everything at the bakery. Volume measures are very inconsistent! They drive us crazy.”
“Celebrate Every Day” showcases Zingerman’s adaptability to evolving dietary trends while retaining the essence of traditional baking. The cookbook reflects the changing dietary landscape through recipes catering to a myriad of dietary preferences while holding firm to time-honored baking techniques.
The book, priced at $30, is a perfect holiday gift. It can be ordered or picked up from various Zingerman’s locations and is also available at local bookstores like Literati, Booksweet and Schuler Books.
As the Bakehouse team fondly shares, it’s a labor of love from many hands, with hopes that the readers will find joy in celebrating the big and small moments through the recipes it holds.
It’s not just a book, but a journey with Zingerman’s, celebrating every day, one recipe at a time.