Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cramming It All In: Part III...Life Goes On

Awaiting the Rosh Hashanah Feast

Without much fanfare, Izzy began First Grade on September 2, 2009. As he was continuing at the same school, it didn't have the same significance it may have had, had he started at a new one. He had new teachers but many of his old friends were along with him so he was comfortable and calm, excited to just be back at school. The main difference would be that he was now part of a new room, the Earth Room, which unfortunately was not ready. Consequently, during the first month of school, he and his classmates were shuttled about from one room to another. Despite that glitch, for the most part, all was well and knowing Izzy was safe at school made it easier for me to go off and visit my grandpa on a daily basis.

Rosh Hashanah arrived on September 18 (before the bad news) and we went to my dad's house for dinner. Most years past, I cook for the holiday but this time all I could muster were the Rugelach and some Challah. When I asked my stepmother what she was preparing, she mentioned a brisket. I told her about a succulent recipe I had clipped a year ago and quickly sent it off to her, just in case she changed her mind. This recipe for Flanken with Pomegranate struck me as being an instant success and I longed to make it. Much to my surprise, L. made it and it was the star of the table, already laden with many other luscious holiday dishes. It may just reappear at my Hanukkah meal this year, just wait and see.

With the Jewish holidays upon us, it was also time to consider synagogue and Hebrew School for Izzy. For the moment Izzy is a Hebrew school dropout, as I search for a new way to continue Izzy's Jewish education. Which brings me to the Pickle Festival and Sukkot.

What better way to celebrate our Jewish heritage than to attend a Pickle Festival on the Lower East Side and then visit a Sukkah in the West Village? On October 4 (A's birthday but he was out of town), Izzy and I set out to sample pickles and who should we run into but my sister C., hawking wares at the Brooklyn Kitchen stand. Izzy and I made our rounds, toting home some Moroccan Green Beans from Brooklyn Brine and some Holy Chevre from the Adamah Dairy.

Our next stop was The New Shul in the West Village. I loved, loved, loved the vibe at their Sukkot gathering, met some lovely synagogue members, Hebrew school teachers and the rabbi. To top it off, Izzy and I thoroughly enjoyed the 100 mile meal that was created for the occasion. A synagogue that celebrates local, organic produce?? What more could I ask for!! On the downside, Izzy is not too keen on Hebrew school given his less than stellar experience last year so we may just have to wait and continue to attend events at the Shul whenever we can.

Meanwhile, Izzy's class has finally been granted their very own Earth Room. To celebrate, some other moms and I planned an "Earth-Warming Party" where the kids planted herbs and we brought in some goodies to celebrate. There were bags of homemade popcorn and I baked some incredible Banana-Chocolate Chip Cake, along with two kinds of scones. More on those soon.

Oh and somewhere in between these occasions were simpler ones. A lovely meal spent with friends on a rooftop. Check out the grand Jersey City view!

Also of now is Izzy's leaps and bounds in reading. He is now immersed in Chapter Books! It is sometimes difficult to tear him away from the couch.

And this is only the half of it, as other milestones occurred, deserving of a separate post. For now I will leave you with a link to a recipe for some of the moistest, crustiest finger-licking spare-ribs you could ever imagine, from the now sadly defunct Gourmet Magazine (R.I.P.).

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