Wednesday, September 8, 2010

May your stove stay together...its Rosh Hashanah

When I married into the Jewish family I call my own, my cousin Michael sent me a pineapple for the New Year with a note that read may your stove stay together and your house stay sweet... blessings for the New Year. Leave it to Mike to be the philosopher, as he always seems to have the perfect toast or specific cultural wedding customs down. He was a teacher moonlighting as a caterer. I never really mentioned this but I have always treasured that gesture, even now 23 years later.

I grew up in an ethnically Polish Catholic extended family who were not to accepting at first of the fact that I was marrying a Jewish man, despite loving him all most as much as I did. The fact that I had a cousin who took it upon himself to wish me a sweet and happy new life on the Holidays was like an olive branch being extended from Heaven. It was wonderful.

Its 23 years later, 2 kids are in college and couldn't make it home, one kid is in the throws of a new job and will join us tomorrow. Chris, fearing that he will have to brave a holiday dinner alone has done the next best thing, invited some friends for dinner. The chicken is roasting, the kugel and tzimmes are baking and I am contemplating what it means to have a fairly empty nest. What I marvel at is how my kids seem to understand that sharing is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other. So whether the house is filled with friends who are just an extension of the family or there is a phone call for a kugel recipe so it can be shared with friends at school it shows me just how blessed we are?

Tomorrow I will send out my holiday wishes in the form of jelly to some friends ( a bit late). I have been meaning to get them out all week. This too is based on a memory of my first holiday with my husband, when my husband's grandmother sent me a package that contained a large container of Strawberry preserves for a sweet new year (and life).

So to all of you - dip your bread in honey tonight, slow down and enjoy your family... drink some wine and recall all the great things in your life that have happened this year (and beyond) and share them.

Kenny's Grandmother's Kugel recipe:

Grate 5-7 potatoes and one large onion
Salt and pepper
i clove of garlic
2 eggs
1/4 cup matza meal (bread crumbs will work too)
2 TBS of chicken fat (or oil)

place in greased pie plate and bake at 350 for about an hour (or until Golden)

***don't tell anyone, now that I am working full time I use the food processor with the grating blade to do all the shredding. I don't even peel the potatoes. It takes minutes.

שנה טובה shana tova!

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