I tend to think blog posts are most successful when they stick to one subject. This will not be one of those posts. So, to help you find your way through, and in honor of all the recently-graduated law students about to take the bar, here’s an outline:
….A. Aliza as editorial assistant
….B. Party dresses and poop
….C. Moonshine and Hillbillies
II. Mazel tov!!
….C. Hot (it’s just implicit in this section)
III. Tikvah (two years of it, as a matter of fact)
….B. Then cold (for some people, myself not included)
….C. Freezepops and lunch
….D. Pictures of cups and freezepops
….E. Is anyone actually reading the post after reading this outline?!
As anyone reading this pretty much anywhere knows, this Shabbos was hot. Over 100 degrees hot. Lucky for me, I wasn’t cooking. And lucky for Aliza, temperatures don’t seem to affect her too much, so she let me put her in a fancy pink party dress (thanks Cousin Sandy!). (Note: Aliza and I are home alone right now, and I’m trying to keep her awake until Marc gets home and we can give her a bath, so I’m reading out loud to her as I type. If I devolve into babble, you’ll forgive me.).
The Minyan Tikvah Organizing Committee had a pre-Shabbos meeting at Ilana’s awesome new apartment. Aliza was very helpful at the meeting, especially if you consider crying to be helpful, and then she pooped all over her pretty new dress. (Food blog and poop stories don’t mix so well, but I have a two month old. Again, you’ll forgive me.) So we got her undressed, washed the dress in the sink, realized we’d forgotten wipes and a change of clothes, put her in her stroller (which made her cry), and then Marc carried her in her diaper the rest of the way to dinner.
The whole carrying a mostly-naked baby through the city streets in 100 degree weather felt very sepia-toned-Depression-era, like Marc should have had a jug of moonshine in the other hand. (You may have wondered about that part of the outline). I can’t mention moonshine without noting that my high school mascot, the Fredonia Hillbilly, had his moonshine taken away while I was in middle school to be more appropriate for teenagers (he kept his rifle). Upon google image searching to show you the creepy, wiry, not-at-all appropriate or intimidating mascot I grew up with, I learned that someone has remade the Hillbilly’s image. You never can go home again.)
II. Mazel tov!
After that ridiculous walk, it was quite a relief to arrive at Jonathan’s (not-at-all Depression-era) air-conditioned apartment. And this was no ordinary dinner, but a very special occasion celebrating Jonathan and Alex’s engagement. I am typically quite excited by engagements, but as I’m partially responsible for the two of them meeting in the first place, I’m even more excited than usual. My role in GradMatch has been on hold during maternity leave, so this was just the boost I needed to feel legit calling myself a matchmaker. But much more importantly, Alex and Jonathan are both wonderful people that I’ve known independently for several years, and seeing them make each other so happy honestly fills me with joy and, in this particular instance, really amazing food.
I first got to know both Alex and Jonathan because of their roles as leaders in the Grad Network. I got to know them better as friends, and, more recently, as cooks. Alex made dinner on Friday, and Jonathan said that, hands down, he thinks she’s a better cook. That comment speaks volumes about their compatibility, their love, and the undoubtedly delicious future they’ll share. Everything we ate was phenomenal, from the cold cucumber soup to the stone fruit cobbler, but the fact that Alex made crackers deserves a special mention. She made crackers. And they were awesome. Part of me wants to make a love/food pun, but the other part just wants to say, wow. My friends are getting married. They kind of met through me. I am so, so happy for them.
August 1 will be the 2 year anniversary of Minyan Tikvah, and we’re going strong and growing. On a 100 degree day to have such a spirited crowd, several new people, and celebrations for both the previously-mentioned engagement and Alicia’s birthday, bodes well for our future.
Beverly and Naomi hosted lunch, with an appetizer of freezepops. Speaking of which, I got a text message from Susan on Friday afternoon asking where to buy freezepops in bulk. I guess I really do talk about them that much! I think I had three at lunch, but I also had chana masala, sesame noodles, kale and tomatoes, and cabbage salad, plus some chocolate-y, buttery, yummy desserts. And then another round of freezepops.
I love Tikvah for lots of reasons, but one is our commitment to reducing waste. That translates into me washing cups and plates most months after services. The cups are pretty. So are freezepops. It was a really feel-good, feel-hot Shabbat. I’m finally starting to cool down.