As the return to normality begins, after four weeks of festivals, here are some of my personal highlights:
Davenning in shul, surrounded by family and friends. The fact that our children take the tefillos so seriously is always a source of great nachas.
Hosting so many congregants and other friends for the annual cooking/eating marathon. Favourite new dishes: Israeli Kitchen’s leek tart, Ottolenghi’s lamb and cannellini bean soup (I made it with beef, but it was delicious anyway!), Barefoot Contessa‘s chocolate brownies. Favourite old dishes: fake holishkes, based on a recipe in Classic Kosher Cookbook, Thai green chicken, chicken soup with kreplach.
Our middle son, asking before Simchas Torah, not if there would be lots of sweets, but if I thought he would have a chance to dance with a sefer Torah. He did!
Our youngest son, asking before Simchas Torah, if there would be lots of sweets. When I said yes, enthusiastically, he asked again, “Will they be throwing lots of sweets?” I reassured him, there would be lots of sweets. Then it turned out this was the wrong answer! He was worried that he would get hurt by a flying sweet, so we had to tell him there wouldn’t be lots of sweets after all! In the end it was fine – he stayed out of the way of the sweets, waved his flag and ate the contents of several peckalach.
One of the children, who was wearing a crown, when asked if they were a king, replying, “Yes, I am the King of Kings!” Good to know he doesn’t have a problem with self-esteem!