Not bad for a fat girl

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I Need a Little Shabbat

Last Friday night at this time I was sitting in a synagogue breathing out the stress of the week and breathing in the peace of the Sabbath. It was calming and energizing at the same time. It gave me a fresh perspective and a positive outlook. I was able to enjoy my family and count my blessings, while I offered gratitude for both.shabbat-candles2

Fast forward a week and I’ve just walked in the door from an eleven hour workday at the end of a busy week. I could have easily stayed another three hours, but frankly I’m hungry and tired and not good for much more work today. Still, I have the work to do, so I lugged it all home in my full-to-overflowing L.L.Bean canvas tote bag. That thing is a workhorse.

I don’t feel the peace of the Sabbath tonight. I feel the stress of too much work, and I don’t like it. I have a writing deadline to meet, some lessons to plan, an important document to deliver, and a suitcase to unpack (from last week!) in my immediate future. Throw in some laundry, a trip to the credit union, a trip to the grocery store, and a couple of chapters of manuscripts to read and review, and there goes the weekend.

I think I have to make a choice. I think I have to prioritize. I think I can send off my work, light my Sabbath candles, and take some time for reflection. It’s not perfect. It’s not even technically correct, but I think it just might work for me. I’m pretty sure that it’s okay. Even a little bit of Shabbat is better than none.


Throwback Thursday – Dinnertime

There is something to be said for Mom’s home cooking, even if your mom isn’t the world’s best cook. Now I’m not saying my mom isn’t a good cook, but she does have an aversion to spices, and as far as I know, butter has never seen the inside of  her kitchen. Be that as it may, there are some family dinners that I recall from my childhood with a certain amount of nostalgia.

1. Shabbat dinner. This is the traditional Friday night sabbath meal that Jews the world over share. At our house it usually consisted of a piece of pan fried halibut (coated in Italian style breadcrumbs) served with carrot sticks and a baked potato. The potato was always topped with chip dip (sour cream and onion, of course). It was a long time before I realized that putting chip dip on a baked potato was considered weird by the rest of the world. It’s delicious.

416+9iv1itL2. Baked chicken breast. My mother would sprinkle Lawry’s Seasoned Salt all over chicken breasts, then bake them. Since this was the only time anything with any type of seasoning was ever served, it seemed like a real treat.

3. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. My mom made fantastic mashed potatoes, even if they were made with margarine. The meatloaf was pretty good too, when my mother stuck to the tried and true method. The various experiments with green peppers, oats, and Campbell’s alphabet soup weren’t as well received.

4. Dry, grey-brown roast beef. ‘Nuf said.

5. Dry, grey-brown steak. See number 4.

6. Hamburgers. These were small and pretty tasty. They were generally pan fried. They weren’t as grey as the other beef dishes.

7. Spaghetti with meatballs. No complaints here, it was quite tasty.

8. Liver and onions. My father loved it. My brother and I ate something else, probably cereal. Fortunately my mom didn’t make it often. I don’t think she liked it either.

What did your family eat when you were growing up?