Remembrances of Teachers Past: A Thanksgiving Thank-You Note

Proust had his madeleines, the taste of which brought back multiple volumes of memories of his youth. Mamina, my grandmother-in-law, has Mother Soniat’s fudge. And she didn’t even need to taste it; just holding the recipe in her hand called up the sweet taste of her high school years, when she and her sister left […]

Take Back the Dead

My fourteen-month-old daughter’s favorite animals are turtles. So much so that it’s fairly common for her to wake up in the morning, open her eyes and say “tortuga” (that or “pizza”, another favorite). So when we saw a massive turtle in the courtyard at the gym where her father works out (because that’s what buildings […]

Comfort? Food.

Last week was the first since the inception of this blog in which I didn’t post. I could make some excuses about being preoccupied by traveling with the baby, spending time with family, meeting some article deadlines. But the truth is I was too busy eating. It started when we arrived at my parents’ house […]

America the Bootyfull, and Other 4th of July Musings

When I was 22 and visiting my parents in Grafton, Massachusetts, I trotted down the stairs the Friday before Fourth of July and announced, “I’m only going to wear red, white, and blue all weekend!” “OK, dork,” my cousin replied. She was right; it was a totally geeky thing to say. But it was the […]

Something Kinda Newish

  When I was a young girl, say 11 or so, growing up Greek Orthodox in Worcester, Massachusetts, my friend Maxine taught me a catchy little ditty she learned in Hebrew School. It went a little something like this: Wherever you go, there’s always someone…Jewish You’re never alone when you say you’re a Jew! So […]

When Holidays Attack

As is probably clear, given that this blog is devoted to rituals, traditions, and rites of passage, I thoroughly enjoy a good holiday. But I was just forced to acknowledge that there are certain holidays that cause some of us to run screaming in the other direction. I’m not talking about the holiday blues that […]

Saint Joseph and the Heavenly Hash

So, this weekend we were way down yonder in New Orleans. And I apologize in advance if I feel the need to quote any more cheesy old standard songs. Because if I do feel so inspired, I will go right ahead and quote them. Why? Cause I did it my way. OK, enough of that. […]

The Father of our Cocktail

Yesterday, in a shining example of ritualistic synchronicity, our nation celebrated both George Washington’s birthday and National Margarita Day. An able Revolutionary War general and America’s first president, George Washington is often referred to as the Father of our country. A tart mix of lime juice (and, often, other fruit juices), and tequila, the margarita […]