Secrets to a Super Shabbat

Whew! I just got done baking some challah I’m bringing for our oneg tonight…wanna take a sneak peek?

Before…

…and after!

Oh man, I just want to eat it all. Right now.

I did make a special dinner for FH last night, but alas, it was a simple one that really doesn’t require a recipe for you. You can look at our plates and clearly see what we had, and if you had any doubts, a quick Google search would be all you needed to figure out how to cook it:

 

I had wanted to make something fancy, but time was not on my side. I whipped this up, and FH loved it, despite it not taking long, nor involving anything exotic or labor-intensive. It was delicious, perfect… and simple. Isn’t it amazing how often all those things come together?

I was thinking about that as I was baking my challah. As the smell of fresh, eggy bread filled the air, I reflected on the few, simple things you can do in order to have an amazing Shabbat – or really, any day of rest! No fancy pants required:

  1. Eat good food
  2. Laugh loudly and without hesitation
  3. Reflect on the beauty in your life
  4. Hold the ones you love close
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 until your smile is permanent 🙂

Time to jump in the shower to get ready for tonight! I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful night, a peaceful rest, and a fantastic day tomorrow. May you laugh loudly and hug until your ribs hurt. Until Sunday!

Life to the Fullest

I’ve had this post written in the back of my mind for weeks. The one where I come back, enormously apologetic for not posting in ages, and I dazzle you with my wit, my humor, and a couple of out-of-this-world recipes to distract you from my glaring imperfections. Though I am enormously apologetic for being away as long as I have, last night showed my why I shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

You see, though I’ve worked hard throughout my life to curb it, I am by nature a perfectionist, your classic type A+ personality. Writing in a journal was stressful for me because I felt like I needed to write deep, soul-searching entries every single day in order to be “good” at journaling. Sometimes I have the same feeling about this blog: I need to have fancy recipes, artistic photography (ha!), laugh-out-loud prose, and constant, consistent updating in order to be “good” at it. It has to be perfect before I can enjoy it. Never mind what was actually going on in my life; never mind a hectic schedule, work to do, a cat to play with, family to call, or a BF to love.

Last night, I hosted the oneg (a sort of reception for after the shabbat service, for those of you not hip with the Jewish lingo – it’s okay, I’ve got your back) at our temple. I worked all day to bake challah, cut cantaloupe, wash and chop veggies, and plate everything so it looked pretty, perfect, and effortless. It went well: my rabbi and his wife couldn’t get over the challah, people loved the fresh fruit and veggies during winter, and we all had a great time. Everything was perfect, and so, I felt satisfied.

Time it took me to complain that one challah was lopsided? About 3 seconds after I pulled it out of the oven. I loved my mom's comment: "Slice it up first, and no one will know the difference!"

Then.

Then we learned a dear, dear friend of ours has colon cancer. The friend who’s always so happy, so giving, so…everything. And whatever BF and I had going on just stopped. We packed up the leftover food and went out with him and some other close friends. We ate, we laughed, we harassed our good-natured waiter and laughed more. We hugged and kissed and promised to be there, no matter what.

Since our friend doesn’t know yet what stage or how advanced his cancer is, there’s been a lot of praying up in here. But, at least on my part, there’s been a lot of thinking as well. Thinking about how delicate life is, how suddenly and quickly it can be snatched up, regardless of how messy, organized, imperfect, or even – gasp – how “perfect” it may be. I’ve become immensely grateful for the fact that I have life to enjoy.

With that, my dear readers, the ones who still come back and check to see if there’s anything new, even while I’m away (seriously, I can’t believe I’ve had any page views – I fully expected to login and see rows after rows of big fat zeros), I am sorry I haven’t posted. But, and this is a big but, I am not sorry for why. I was busy, I was crazy, the holidays were everywhere and so was I, but you know what? I was living my messy, imperfect life to the fullest. And it was wonderful.

My cantaloupe was also quite wonderful, if I do say so myself. Best excuse to buy a melon baller ever.

I hope to share some of my adventures over the next few days, and most definitely some new recipes, new adventures, and new musings, perfect or imperfect. Either way, this is my life – and I’m happy with it!