One of the first chana masala recipes that Marc and I ever tried to make said that by cooking the chickpeas for a long time over low heat and gradually adding water, the chickpeas would become “toothsome.” We wondered what that meant, we joked about it, we quoted it, but we didn’t really understand the impact of “toothsome” until this Friday night, when, while 20+ people ate chana masala in our living room, we were upstairs comforting Aliza while she experienced her first teething pains. Toothsome indeed.
Friday was Heymish Minyan, and we volunteered to host, mostly so that we could be there (7:00 bedtime and all). I tried a second version of “cholent masala,” but worried all afternoon that it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to in the crockpot. (It wasn’t.)
I was really moved by the beauty of having services in our living room, and when I took Aliza upstairs to put her to bed, I thought about how incredibly lucky she is to have be born into such a truly wonderful community, and to be able to fall asleep to the sounds of friends davening downstairs.
The potluck fare was plentiful and varied, though I only really remember that my chana masala didn’t taste like I wanted it to. (Sleep deprivation = tunnel vision.) I’m not going to include a recipe, but I have three more weeks to perfect my craft, and I should remember to use tomato paste and ginger ale next time. I also recall eating some nutella tart yogurt off of a paper plate and ripping off a corner of the plate to use as a spoon. And I may have said something about my skill with opposable thumbs.
During dinner, Marc and I spent about 20 minutes in Aliza’s room while she screamed louder and scarier than I’ve ever heard out of her, and then spent the rest of the night taking turns going up and down the stairs to check on her/comfort her. I will also admit to calling my parents not once, but twice, during the fiasco, and then daydreaming about Aliza calling us in 30 years asking for similar advice.
With sincere apologies to anyone who wasn’t there, my favorite part of the night was the bitter end when only a few people were left, we started drinking peppermint mocha Kahlua, and Aliza was finally asleep.
That didn’t last long, though, and while we had a tough night, and didn’t clean up as much as we should have before going to sleep, I stumbled downstairs in the morning, found Oreos and Alex’s fig cake still on the coffee table where we left them, ate some of both, fell asleep on the couch with a baby on my chest, and was glad things are going the way they’re going. Sleep deprivation and all.
We must have eaten on Saturday, but I don’t recall. I do know I was in my pajamas until 5:00, that I sadly missed Ariel and Eric’s aufruf, and that Sara paid us a lovely visit. And, on Friday, I got this incredible picture of Aliza in her pink bearcub best.