Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Simple Salad, Lots of Memories

I'll start by explaining that, growing up, my parents made an effort to have us all sit at the kitchen table for dinner. But due to one conflict or another, they were not always successful with this.

On Friday nights, however, we always ate together. This was when we'd have Shabbat dinner, which my mom spent most of the afternoon preparing; baking challah bread, roasting chicken, boiling the matzo balls. I’d sit in the kitchen with her, and she would go over different techniques for how to make each dish. As soon as something was finished, she’d give me a little taste and ask me how it was. “Need anything?” she’d ask. “Nope. It’s perfect!” I’d reply.

That evening, the four of us would gather around the dining room table for dinner, which had been decorated in a linen table cloth and beautiful pink Depression glass. Candles were lit, prayers were said, and a feast was had.

One of the dishes I distinctly remember eating at every Shabbat dinner was Israeli Salad, a combination of chopped cucumber, tomato, lemon juice, and parsley. It was served with a hard boiled egg on top which, when mixed with the lemon juice, would create a thick dressing. An utterly simple and incredibly refreshing dish.
But more important than this recipe, which I have included below, are the memories that I have sitting around the table with my family, laughing and telling stories from our week. It’s not the food that is necessarily memorable (though, in this case, it was), but the experience of eating with one another.

Brian S.
A Thought for Food

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