As requested, here is my top 10 list of Shabbat meals from 2010 listed in approximate reverse chronological order. Absolutely no snubs intended, so if you think I’ve missed an important one, please comment and set the record straight!
10. Christmas Eve at Alex’s house – Just over a week ago, and I can still taste the unbelievable onion soup, chicken stew, and homemade crackers and dips.
9. Pajama Shabbats – In the first 3 months of pregnancy, I didn’t much feel like going out, especially on Friday nights, so I invited people over for a series of uber-casual Shabbat meals with a pajama dress code. We even had a read-aloud of “Where the Wild Things Are” at one of them.
8. Heymish reinvented – Heymish means something between home and comfy, and Heymish Minyan returned to its roots meeting in different people’s homes with inspiring, participatory davening (prayer) and a potluck of impressive culinary diversity.
7. Tikvah lunch in our rooftop sukkah – Marc and I built a sukkah together for the first time this year, and we seated 20+ people in it during Sukkot. The assembly line of people who helped get all the food to the roof was a true illustration of community. Plus, the taco salad was pretty darn good!
6. Salon/Shabbat dinners – Every 6-8 weeks, the Grad Network hosts a Shabbat dinner with a salon, which means we discuss some interesting article, usually connecting back to the essence of Jewish identity. There was a very lively discussion about Israel at our house at the end of the summer, and another in partnership with the Gershman Y and Shabbat Potluck Coalition (and more than 30 people!) in November. We keep reinventing the format, but the discussions are always invigorating.
5. Ilana’s going away/welcome back dinners – These are two separate events, but they bookended the summer very nicely. And one involved an entire bottle of scotch.
4. Independent Minyan conference meals – The Minyan Tikvah organizing committee traveled to New York to attend this conference run by Mechon Hadar. It was amazing to share meals with so many people from around the world committed to building communities!
3. Mix ’em up meals – The best thing about these 17 dinners that all happened all over Philly on the same night was that I didn’t go to any of them! I sat at home eating dinner with Marc while over 80 grad students had Shabbat meals together. I loved knowing that the Grad Network could help make this happen but that my actual presence isn’t always required.
2. Pesach Shabbat dinner with a broken finger – I broke my finger in March, and an incredible number of people stepped up to help me cook for the 20 people I had coming over for dinner 2 days later. The matzah lasagna turned out perfectly, and it was truly touching that the community that so many people were there for me when I needed help.
1. Not Shabbat, but two really special holiday meals – The Tikvah progressive Purim seudah (meal) took us throughout Philly in our costumes to four different themed courses. Warren’s Rosh Hashana dinner was an incredible example of actual fine dining that got the Jewish new year off to a strong culinary start.
Ok, there’s the list! Thanks for reading!