Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shabbat Meals: Our College Table – By Blair Thornburgh

Shabbat Meals: Our College Table – Jew and the Carrot –

It all became a ritual: walking over at seven, arriving half an hour later, grateful for either a warm respite from the cold or a cool breeze in the heat of late spring, then eating, drinking, laughing and just being together. After dinner, as we lolled on the couch, playing Jenga or Scrabble or channel surfing on mute, we’d sometimes pause, just briefly, and reflect on the moment in time as if we were our older selves, writing each other’s wedding toasts or meeting each other’s kids. We called it future nostalgia, a preemptive look back to these humble moments made with food and friends.
Our last Shabbat together was May 25th, a week before finals and two weeks before we would all don our caps and gowns. We feasted on hearty lentils with tender, sweet onions; cucumbers and tomatoes in a classic Israeli salad; spicy chicken thighs crowned with creamy dollops of labneh, and — since it was always a favorite — roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar. Of course we drank lots of wine. Of course we listened to Vitamin C’s “Graduation.” Of course we knew we would miss not just each other but this meal, this wonderful, reliable succession of once-a-week moments that was suddenly over, ready to be wrapped up like all of our mismatched flatware and packed away into the past.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Magic of Shabbat Dinner

Linda Novick O'Keefe: The Magic of Shabbat Dinner:

Food has that magic.  There is much serenity to be found in predictability. Perhaps if we take the religion out of Shabbat dinner, what we have left is a very, very special weekly dinner ritual in which you can include friends and family -- anyone whom you love, for all are welcome. Friday nights can become more than the end of the week. They can be transformed into evenings dedicated to bringing people together, sharing meals and gratitudes, creating memories and community, savoring every bite, every minute together, around the table.

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