the start of any great gathering ... the wine!when i was very little i attended lutheran services, and my stepfamily is jewish. but if you gave me a form to fill out, next to "religion?" i would check off "none". i don't follow or practice anything. but if you met me and had a discussion about what religion i feel the most affinity for, i would reply, judaism.
when i was an adolescent, rabbi davidson gave me a copy of a chaim potok book, and i felt like she was nearly the only one who understood my passion (and obsession) with creating art, and my struggle identifying as an artist, even if we didn't explicitly talk about it in that way. i would have loved to have her officiate at my wedding if it were permissible. we did celebrate the jewish tradition of breaking the glass; it's one of my favorite momentos of our wedding day.
when i got older, i was swooning over my philosophy professor (who doesn't fall in love with their college philosophy professor??!) but what really interested me was his philosophical and moral interpretation of judaism. i felt like it spoke to my perspective, moreso than any other organized religion.
and one of my fondest memories is celebrating the jewish holidays with nanny and pop-pop. hanukkah was always fun. who doesn't love receiving gifts? oh yeah, and eating latkes!! yumm. but passover was always a real favorite too. even though reading through the haggadah took f.o.r.e.v.e.r, i loved all the rituals and traditions. i loved bargaining to return the matzoh in exchange for some new nail polish (i think one year that is what i actually asked for!) and for being together with family. although pop-pop no longer presides over the seder prayers, i know that he was with us, in spirit and happiness, as we celebrated on saturday.
vegetables ready to be roasted
and of course, what's a family gathering without me trying to bring a baked goodie? i saw this recipe with an article on passover desserts in living last month and knew i really wanted to make it. the online recipe can be found here. i don't have any slice photos because everyone ate it up so quickly! but it came out absolutely delish. just the right balance of sweetness and juiciness. it would be a wonderful dessert, any time of the year.