Guest Author: Miriam Green

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The Lost Kitchen: Reflections and Recipes from an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

By Miriam Green 

Reflections from Israel

I live in Beer Sheva, Israel, in the Negev Desert, a small city of about 220,000. My immediate community consists mostly of other English speakers. I am always proud to say that we practice Abraham’s Hospitality here, inviting into our homes and engaging with a diverse group of friends (especially on Shabbat!)

There are friends in university, and friends who are great-grandmothers, and friends of every age in between. My closest friends are also part of the Sandwich Generation, those in the middle of caring for children and parents. I think that when I give voice to issues about Alzheimer’s, I am also giving voice to the ways in which we can honor our parents. That is regardless of their situations and suggesting ways we can continue to learn from them, even as they fade away.

Blog: The Lost Kitchen

When I started my blog, The Lost Kitchen in 2014, I did not expect to attract or touch so many people. It was a way to spread my idea that there was/is still joy to be had in a relationship with someone who has Alzheimer’s. I learned “on the job” as my mom’s caregiver to be with her in her reality. Also, to distract her with humor and song whenever I could, and to change the way I behaved around her (there was no need for her to feed off my frustration or anger.)

What stands out are the comments people write on my posts, and the private emails I receive. We commiserate and support each other throughout this difficult journey. We find the love and the joy that is sometimes hidden in the absurdities of this disease.

And we move constantly forward. Together.

Book: The Lost Kitchen

the lost kitchen miriam green memory cafe directory

Available on Amazon

My book, The Lost Kitchen: Reflections and Recipes from an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, began as a joke between me and my dad. My mom’s Alzheimer’s had affected her ability to remember how to cook and he stepped in to cook for the two of them.

As he gained more confidence in the kitchen, we joked that we should write a cookbook that captured his cooking progress. We were going to call it, “The Man’s Emergency Cookbook.”

Except that I took the book idea seriously.

And as I continued to care for my mom, the book expanded exponentially. It is a compilation of recipes, poetry, and prose that tell my family’s story of how we’ve dealt with the disease. Writing helped me cope with the emotional roller coaster that is Alzheimer’s.

The Next Project?

Maybe we’ll still write Dad’s cookbook. But now that my dad lives near me (which is perhaps the next chapter), he joins me in my house for dinner every Shabbat. And meanwhile, I continue to spend time with my mom and coax her into connecting through music and love.


Recipe: Apricot Bars

the lost kitchen recipe miriam green memory cafe directoryAn except from the book: “There’s nothing to do in this situation but cry my eyes out, deep chest sobs that resound in the silence of my house. And when I’m done, I head for the kitchen to make dessert. It doesn’t matter much what I make, though I am partial to chocolate and peanut butter. It just has to be sweet thick batter that offers brief comfort while I regroup.

What I like about these apricot bars is how easy they are to make. A little sugar, a little chocolate, and the sweet taste of summer fruit. Just the thing to keep the tears at bay.


  • ¾ cup oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups oats
  • ½-1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup apricot preserves
  • ½ cup (or more) chocolate chips (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C
  • In a large bowl, mix oil and sugar then add flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chocolate chips
  • Blend until mixture is crumbly
  • Pat ¾ of mixture into a greased pan either round (9 x 2 inches / 23 x 5 cm) or rectangular (11 x 7 inches /  28 x 18 cm)
  • Spread apricot filling evenly on top
  • Sprinkle with remaining crumbly mixture
  • Bake for 35 minutes
  • Remove from oven, cool, and cut into squares


Miram Green at TEDx Shenkar College


Miriam Green

Miriam Green and her mother Naomi Cohen. Courtesy of Miriam Green.

Miriam is the author of The Lost Kitchen: Reflections and Recipes from an Alzheimer’s Caregiver (Black Opal Books, 2019). She writes a weekly blog at The Lost Kitchen, featuring anecdotes about her mother’s Alzheimer’s and related recipes. Her blog also appears on the Alzheimer’s Association blogsite.

Miriam’s poetry has been published in several journals, including Red Wolf Journal, Poet Lore, The Prose Poem Project, Ilanot Review, The Barefoot Review, and Poetica Magazine. Her poem, “Mercy of a Full Womb,” won the 2014 Jewish Literary Journal’s 1st anniversary competition. Her poem, “Questions My Mother Asked, Answers My Father Gave Her,” won the 2013 Reuben Rose Poetry prize.

Miriam holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bar Ilan University, and a BA from Oberlin College. She is a 28-year resident of Israel, and a mother of three. Miriam works hard to find the joy in Alzheimer’s, as evidenced by her recent TEDx Talk (shown above.)

Connect with Miriam


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