Tag Archives: matzah

The Comfort List

1 Jan

Happy Solar New Year (us Jews following the lunar calendar, we like to clarify). 🙂

We hope everyone had a safe and yummy New Year’s Eve.

The end of one year and the beginning of another always makes me think of things I’m grateful for; those warm and cozy things/places/events/people/memories that make a person happy. A lot of people work that ‘gratitude’ list. You know, that Oprah-fueled list that’s one part mushy and one part Diabetes-inducing sweet. I applaud those people who actually keep a physical gratitude list. I personally can’t be bothered to pick up a pen and paper before bed every night and write 5 things I’m grateful for—-not because I can’t think of 5 things I’m grateful for but because I’m that lazy. And also, one of the things I’m grateful for is my big comfy bed and I like to be present and in that bed when I’m finally there so no amount of writing anything down is going to take that away (I’m very serious about my bed).

So rather than a gratitude list, we at Jewhungry wrote our own Comfort list. The Comfort List is part expected item (i.e. partner, baby, etc.) and one part indulgent (i.e. sweet, sweet, Panther coffee) because we all can’t be Oprah, right?

P.S. We stuck with 5. We coulda gone on forever with the lists but 5 seems like a nice round number.

Jeremy’s List:

1. Sally Field, my dog

2. My husband

3. Chocolate covered matzah

4. Hillary Clinton

5. Hot baths


Sally Field, the Dog


Jeremy and Andy

Whitney’s List:

1. Siona and Yonz

2. Macaroni and Cheese (am I that obvious?)

3. Chocolate chip cookies

4. Coffee (starting at about 7PM every night I start getting excited about the next day’s coffee. I gotta work on that ‘being present’ thing)

5. My bestie, Jackie


Freshly baked


Those little girl things that are so sweet.


No surprise here.


We are so similar it’s a bit frightening and totally meant to be.


Yonz davens every morning. I find comfort in him, his blessings and his rituals

What’s on your comfort list?

A Word on Pesach

17 Apr

I wasn’t raised in a particularly observant household. I love my childhood connection to Judaism and appreciate the entire journey of life that has brought me to Pesach in Teaneck for the last several years. First night Seder goes well into the late night hours and four full glasses of wine are always enjoyed. I have incredibly fond memories of my mom’s perfectly boiled eggs sitting in just the right amount of salt water and that perfectly formed matzoh ball swimming in harmony with carrots and chicken. I carry these memories with me as I join the Seder at my in-law’s table and though observance level might be a bit stricter, I think I’m finding a comfortable place at each table.


Living a more observant life tends to naturally call for a stricter observance of holidays and really, well, everything. For the past 2.5 years, as Pesach looms nears, I get a little panicky at the thought of all the cleaning and prep our observance level calls for and don’t even get me started on the dread of saying good-bye to wheat, beans, peanuts, corn, etc. for a week.  It’s not just because my love for pasta rivals that of any full-blooded Italian or the fact that kosher for Pesach food is more expensive than regular kosher food (I’m saving my rant on the high cost of kosher food for another day), but it’s also the fact that I don’t have a cadre of kosher for Pesach recipes in my head like my mother-in-law or a woman who was raised in this kind of observance level.  It’s a bit intimidating actually.   But then my very thoughtful and thought-provoking brother-in-law said something that completely changed my mind about Pesach (and was also one more bit of proof as to why he is such a great Jewish educator).  See, we were talking about how folks run out and by some of the more disgusting,  laboratory-enhanced kosher for Pesach (heretofore known as KFP) foods like KFP Oreos or KFP soy sauce (which is imitation since soy isn’t eaten on Pesach) and fake cereals when he made the statement, “if only people could realize it’s not about what you’re limited to or what you can’t bring into the house but rather what you can bring into the house—fresh fruits, vegetables, pure, whole foods.”  Genius, right?  So while we remember that we were once slaves and now we are free, let’s really BE FREE, no?   Let’s free ourselves from overly processed imitation foods that have that ever-coveted P deeming it KFP.  Let’s free ourselves from the junk that we put in our body in the name of Pesach and instead choose to honor the memory of Moshe and our ancestors who were once slaves in Egypt by eating foods from the earth, not a lab, and allowing ourselves the privilege MOST of us have to be creative, think outside the culinary box and truly be free.




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