May your new year be as sweet as the lips of our own little honeydrop. During these tumultuous times, it is so important to step back and reflect on what is truly important. For me, as always, it comes back to earth, family, all the wonderful people I love. We went to the children's service at our local synagogue and for the second time in two visits, I got so teary within 5 minutes of walking in. Maybe it has something to do with a spiritual construction of their brand new building??? More likely, it is the convergence for me of my ancestry, memory, tradition reflected back in the faces of my own two little ones. We're constructing our own family traditions, and Judaism is a part of our tapestry (along with Pagan-inspired seasonal celebrations, the Catholicism of papa's parents, the Hindu traditions that underpin the yoga I love so much, and the wisdom of Buddhist teachings, to name a few). In the house of worship, I am instantly connected with my departed grandparents and the raucous, festive, food-filled celebrations of my childhood. I also feel the sense of all those who came before in the Old World and how they helped give me this life I have right here and now. And I feel the distance that separates me from my tribe, both chosen and biological. Yet here we are, thousands of miles and a click away.
After some good encouragement to bloom where I've been planted, I dabbed my tears. Broke out Grandma Fay's china. Made some challah (along with stuffed cabbage, kugel, and applesauce) and even invited over a new friend. He's not exactly Jewish, but he's a dermatologist. That counts for something, right?
And here is our apple frangipane tart before heading into the oven. It wouldn't be a celebration at our house if the children and I weren't whisking the cream until it holds perfect soft peaks. . . traditions.