The first few months of blogging were a bit rough, as I had just finished planning our wedding and was in the process of finalizing arrangements for our honeymoon. My posts were short and not particularly focused. And the pictures… well, they weren’t much to look at (you’ll have to search through the site yourself to see them). It’s taken me the past year to find my voice and I think I’ve finally hit a groove.
One of the greatest gifts to come out of this experience has been that it has introduced me to foodies from around the world. Talking with these individuals (you know who you are) has been an inspiration and has forced me to challenge myself in ways I never expected.
What I relate to the most about the other food blogs I’ve read are the stories they share. I love hearing about how someone’s grandmother used to make pasta by hand or how someone else spent days working on their best friend’s wedding cake. These stories always conjure up old food memories from my childhood, the meals that my parents made for us and the experience of eating them together as a family.
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.
I hope that reading these blog entries has invoked similar memories. Thank you all for reading and coming on this journey with me.
Israeli Salad with Hard Boiled Egg
3 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium cucumber, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and cut into chunks
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley, loosely cut
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 hard boiled eggs (optional)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
While this is happening, place 4 eggs in a pot of boiling water. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Run eggs under cold water and allow to finish cooling in refrigerator. Slice the eggs with an egg slicer or cut with a knife. Serve in separate bowl for people to add to salad if they’d like.