Religon & Food

One of my friends was complaining about her religion yesterday, so I told her to become Jewish, the food is great! And thinking about it, with the holidays coming up, I do enjoy the food.  And the celebration.  And the being with family.

I grew up the youngest, with the brother closest in age to me 6.5 years older. So holidays were important, because my brothers would be home, and my Mom cooked, and is was happy.  By junior high all my brothers were out of the house most of the time, so it was like being an only child.

I remember if Chanukah didn’t fall close to Christmas we’d celebrate it late, so my brothers could be home. My Mom would cook a big dinner, and we’d have yummy potato latkes with sour cream.  The sour cream is important, because they can be served with sour cream or with applesauce, and I’m sorry, but applesauce is wrong, and I won’t offer it in my house.  We’d light the menorah, enjoy dinner, and open gifts.  I liked it because we were all together, and eating good food.

Husband has learned to make amazing homemade latkes, wanting nothing to do with the box mix stuff I grew up on. And I make a great cake shaped like a dreidle.  Or cookies in the shape of a dreidles with blue frosting.  We eat the heck out of the latkes.  We introduced my in-laws to latkes a few years ago, and they loved them too.  I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t, because what’s not to like about fried potatoes with sour cream?

I also love Passover food, but done the right way. We once had a Passover with a whole lot of prunes in the food.  I have no idea what was going on there, but me, Husband and the girls did not like it.  Passover food does require not using leavened bread, but there are so many delicious recipes out there that doesn’t matter.  We didn’t go to a Seder last year, and I missed the fun of being with others, doing the whole Seder story, and eating all of the food.

I don’t recommend choosing or converting to a religion for the food. But, for me, food is a big part of being Jewish.  We eat at all the holidays, and if someone is sick, gets married, has a baby, or passes away food is involved.  When I was away at college, and came home for a weekend visit, my Mom always had a noodle kugel waiting for me.  It was wonderful.  And I’m getting hungry.  I wish we had some kugel, or matzo ball soup, or even some kimish bread, which was my Bubbe’s special treat she made me, in the house.  But we don’t.  So, a PB&J for me.  Definitely not on the Jewish food list, but still tasty!

December is Over

Well, I am fairly recovered from December.  Not that it was a bad month, but with Little One sick and passing it on to me, well, the last part was a bit rougher than I expected.  Nothing like getting violently ill at work!

My place of work closes from December 24th through January 1st, and I love getting time off when the girls are off too.  Husband also took time off.  But, as Husband said Monday, it was really time for me to get back into my routine.  I am absolutely a creature of habit, and I thrive on a predictable schedule.  There was no schedule at all with having no work and school going on.  I even lost track of if it was the 27th or 28th at one point.

We stayed up until the early morning and slept until the late morning.  I ate way too much chocolate (Oldest One bought me 3 boxes of chocolate covered cherries, and once the box is open they HAVE to be eaten before they go bad), watched way too much TV, and very much enjoyed most of my time off.  We caught up on several TV shows (love the Dish Hopper!) and I got to wear flannel pants around the house.

The girls were very happy with what they got, even though it was a scaled down gift season.  I had put together picture frames for the girls, some with pictures of friends, and some were family.  They loved these gifts, and Oldest One said she is taking hers to the dorm.  Husband thought they wouldn’t like framed pictures, but I think they thought those were some of the best gifts.  I always make them calendars; I spend a lot of time creating borders for each month, the calendar has birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, and then each border has a picture I print out and permanent tape on of the girls with friends and family.  I told Oldest One I wouldn’t be upset if this is the last year she wants one, and she looked at me like I was crazy and said of course she wants them, she is taking her calendar to college.  Absolutely makes all the time spent on making these worth it.

Oldest One and I also spent time doing all the “going to college” stuff the university needs done.  That takes quite a while.  Housing was the hard part.  Not because she didn’t have a dorm picked out, but because best friend wasn’t sure if that was the dorm she wants, but she isn’t even touring the campus until the end of January.  5 or 6 dorms are already full.  After several minutes of futile arguing with Oldest One I finally told her I was concerned about her, not her friend (although I really like her friend) and we needed to pick the dorm and make sure she was taken care of.  So she is reserved for the dorm she likes near all the places she needs to be.  This was the hardest part of my work break.

I saw my best friend from high school while she was in town, and couldn’t believe how big her girls are.  I saw one of my good friends and her boyfriend, and I swear her son gains 2 inches between every visit.  It was such a nice time, until I got completely out of sorts for no reason, and my family started in on how I was off schedule.  I’m pretty sure they are right.  But as of next week we are on the roller coaster again, and have 5 months packed with cheering basketball and cheer competitions, trying to do college scholarships, getting ready for graduation…wait, I don’t think I’m ready to end my mini vacation yet!