Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shabbat Shalom

I recently attended Vida Vegan - a conference for vegan bloggers, held for the first time ever this year.  I had the honor to be able to take a writing workshop with Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and this piece is born out of that class.  One of the exercises we did was to do a stream-of-conscious piece on the last meal someone prepared for us.  The result of that piece seemed like the perfect inaugural piece for my blog to show you a bit about who I am and where I come from, so ... here goes!

One Friday night in August, I went to my mom's house for Shabbat dinner, as I do many Friday evenings. My brother was heading out of town in a month, so this was one of the last Shabbat dinners we would all have together before he left. Makes me totally sad just writing that, and I teared up thinking about it that day. But that night it was a wonderful, relaxed Shabbat evening, which we don't always have as he and I often rush off to other places after dinner. Seems that when the time is growing short, we want to spend more time on the things that are important, and family is very important to us.

Is it funny that I don't even remember what she made? I'm sure I will shortly, but at the moment it's escaping my mind. As important as food is to me, it's not what's important about those times. The important thing is the time shared with family. Sitting around a table, talking, laughing, sharing stories. My brother had just come back from a long trip to Florida, a music festival, and Hawaii, so we couldn’t wait to hear about all of the adventures.  It never ceases to amaze me how food does can do that. Sharing a communal meal just brings people together. I'm so grateful that one of my parents cooked dinner every night, and we had family dinner together every single night. I would have to leave stage crew at high school to come home for dinner, and then go back later, while other people were busy ordering in takeout. My family was never vegan, or even kosher at the time, but I wonder if that priority that was placed on family dinner somehow led me to where I am today. Where food is important, and not something that just fuels you but can be largely ignored as long as you get the calories you need.

So last Friday my mom cooked us pasta, a recipe she found in the Post I think. A simple dish served on a beautiful ceramic pottery platter.  A tasty dish that used a huge pile of fresh tomatoes. She has trouble finding recipes that I can eat (she has not yet succumbed to the wonderful addiction of the vegan blog world), but she always finds something, or makes up something. I'm lucky it seems, having a supportive family. My brother is a total omnivore and has become such a foodie who will try anything and everything. But he also understands how important this is to me, and some of the best vegan dishes I've had have been ones he's researched and then cooked for me. Everything he's made I've had to have the recipe for later. I really am lucky.  I always know that, but putting it on paper reminds me how true it is.


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