It’s the End of the Blog as we know it…

And I feel fine!  Better than fine, in fact!  It’s been an amazing year, a crazy year, and a really, really exhausting year, but I turned 30, I had a baby, I made a lot of food and a lot of messes, I wrote about all my Shabbat meals for the whole year, and I lived to tell about it.

And now, it’s in your hands. Ok, our hands.  The blog is going to continue in 2012, but this year, a different person is going to write the post for each Shabbat.  I’m still going to be putting it all together, but other people are going to be sharing their experiences.

Here’s what I’m asking:

(You may have seen this before, and you may see it again.  We have 52 weeks to fill, after all.)

Click here to access the google doc of next year’s Shabbat dates.  Write your name next to one of them.  When that week comes…

1) Write about your Shabbat experience in 300-700 words.
2) Include a recipe (doesn’t have to be something you made that week – could just be something you like to eat!).
3) Include a photograph of food or something else related to your Shabbat experience.
4) Refer to people by first-name only, and try to ask their permission first.
5) Send me your piece by 10:00 p.m. Sunday night for posting.
And an addition since the last time I posted this:
6) This is a low pressure situation.  I want people to participate because I’ve had fun doing this and I think you will, too.  I want to demystify Shabbat, encourage people to cook more, and contribute to my friends and my community and my ever-enlarging circle of people taking care of themselves and each other.  You don’t have to be a gourmet cook or an accomplished writer.  You just have to have an openness that you’re willing to share.  Or be a curmudgeon and share.  That works, too.

My list of other thoughts about your participation is at this post if you want more context.

I’ve thought a lot about how to wrap this up, and I’ve come up with a lot of variations.  But here’s the one I like best: I don’t have to!  This past year’s project has set the stage for other things to happen, but I’m not totally bowing out, and even after all this writing, one of my favorite things about Shabbat continues to be the fact that it happens every. single. week.  It will after the blog is done, and even after I’m done.  I don’t need a conclusion about Shabbat because nothing is concluding.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for eating.  Thanks for putting up with me writing about you, the intricacies of various facets of the Philadelphia Jewish community, the complexities of making ice cream, and a lot of recipes including chickpeas.  Thanks for gushing at all the pictures of Aliza.  I hope you learned something.  I hope you felt inspired.  I hope you felt connected.  And I hope you’ll share your own Shabbat experiences in 2012!

Underneath the main chorus at the end of the afore-alluded-to song, there’s another phrase that gets repeated over and over again: “Time I had some time alone…”  That also resonates with me, and I’m considering a short hiatus from hosting meals.  It might not happen.  It probably won’t happen.  But I feel fine.


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