The moral(s) of the story

Naomi is our guest blogger this week.  You might remember her from, well, pretty much every meal I ate around the time Aliza was born, and many meals before and since, plus one notable time that I compared her to an angel.  She praises her friends many in times in the post, though I continue to think I’m the one who should be offering the praise for Naomi and all my  other friends who have been part of this project.  Speaking of which, click here to sign up for a week to blog!  And, speaking of projects, check out my new blog/advice column for the Jewish Exponent: Miriam’s Advice Well.  Please submit questions!!  And now, without further ado or self-promotion…Naomi’s post!

For my turn on this blog thing, I said I’d write when there was Heymish, because I knew that there would be lots of good food and company to talk about.  And so after several slightly confusing emails with Miriam and Warren and Beverly (while she was in Israel), we decided that Heymish, and therefore my blogging turn, should be this weekend.

Which all worked out beautifully except for one small issue: In a highly unusual turn of events, I didn’t cook one single solitary thing.

But that’s ok! Because Miriam said we didn’t have to cook to blog, and I did eat a lot.  Plus I have things to say, and you are here reading them. All of which is to say that you’re stuck with me, for this week anyway.

So. Like I said before, this was a Heymish week. Heymish, for the uninitiated, is a lovely minyan (prayer group) that meets around once a month in people’s houses for Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday night services) and a veggie potluck dinner. This month we met in Beverly’s and my living room. It was bitter cold. Perhaps the first (or arguably the second) really cold weekend we’ve had all year. There were also a couple of other fun things going on in the community that night. All of which gave us a cozy turnout, at around a dozen people. I led part of the singing, which was super fun even though I didn’t really have my voice back all the way from being sick and the singing promptly caused me to lose it again temporarily. And after that came food! Some highlights…

-Warren’s amazing vegan dish involving white beans and fennel
-Beverly’s famous Challah
-Rebecca’s (visiting from all the way up in MA) kasha and mushrooms
-Mattea’s veggies over rice. (Quote: “I couldn’t find hazelnuts, so I couldn’t make a dessert.” I love my friends.)

And remember how I said I didn’t cook? Well, my contribution to the potluck was paper goods to eat it all on. This is actually a very important ingredient to a successful meal. (At least usually, though I happen to have had a memorable meal without those things.) And also I cleaned my living room and set up chairs, so really I did help make eating happen.

And that was my evening. But Shabbat wasn’t over yet. Because it always keeps going till the stars come out on Saturday. But also the Shabbat fun wasn’t over yet, which is what I meant to say in the first place. And that is because it was also a Tikvah weekend.

And Tikvah, also for the uninitiated, is another minyan. But this one does Saturday shacharit (morning services) and lunch, as well as some other things. The lunch is sometimes a potluck and sometimes ‘catered’ by one of the organizing committee members. And guess what? I’m lucky enough to have a committee member for a fiancée.  (Did you know that in French, women get more e’s?) Beverly, with the help of Mattea and Joline, made a beautiful meal of DIY burritos, inspired in part by Marc’s having made that same meal last week. It was still bitter cold, so Tikvah also had a cozy crowd at about 25, and we all ate heartily. And I think that there are enough leftovers currently in my fridge to feed me well past the time in the not too distant future when I get tired of
eating burritos every night. Yum.

And that about wraps it up! [Miriam’s note: burrito pun intended?] I think the moral is that food and prayer are fun community activities. But the moral might be that I have awesome friends (and especially an awesome fiancée) who make it possible to have a hard week at work and not have to cook every week to have Shabbat meals. And the other moral might be that I love it when Heymish and Tikvah weeks line up just right. Although the moral could be that when it’s your turn to write on this blog you’ll get to ramble as much as you want, like I did. Take your pick.


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