Hello, Beautiful People!

Today, when I transitioned from the kitchen to my computer (this is a Covid 19 jargon, Beautiful People; we don’t move – we transition), I found this:

4 Year Anniversary Achievement

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
It took me back to this day four years ago, the reason for starting this blog, and my very first post. It has been an amazing journey, full of unexpected exciting moments, wonderful blogofriends (some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person), and a wealth of valuable information. Here are excerpts from that first post:

That’s how I greet my students when I walk into a classroom. I teach college. I am now teaching only a couple of courses every semester because last year I retired in order to take care of my father who had started having various infirmities that come with advanced age. To my great sorrow, my father has just passed away, three days before Pesach (Passover). I am now in the middle of Shloshim (30-day mourning period), and I am faced with great gaping emptiness staring at me from every corner. Nowhere to run, nobody to call, nothing to arrange, get, bring, or fix.

I have always found solace in the kitchen. There is a concept in psychology: Food is comfort. For me, it’s not eating it that provides comfort, but cooking, planning, experimenting, even reading about food. My grandmother, who, with her equivalent of 4th grade education, had all the skills of a great educational psychologist, managed to make household chores not a burden for us kids, but rather a reward for good behavior. Helping in the kitchen was a higher reward, and baking – Oh! Baking! – that was the most special prize of all. One had to be extra careful, too, because in Russia, under the communist regime, in a tiny kitchen without running water, my grandmother was vigilant about keeping things kosher. Yes, I am that rarity: a Russian Jewish girl who is what in America is called Frum (observant) from Birth. Always hated labels, though, and this one is no exception. But it is from my grandmother that I learned how to be a true Balabuste (lady of the house).

When my grandmother passed away, I felt that emptiness for the first time. However, I was young, making a new  life for myself in a new country, raising a child, keeping busy with a myriad of new and exciting experiences. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I was the only one who knew most of my grandmother’s recipes, and she was a phenomenal cook. I decided to write them down. I thought I would organize them by holidays, starting, obviously, in the beginning – with Rosh haShana (Jewish New Year)Nechtiker Tog (an idiom: impossible, as night in the middle of a day)! As I started writing, I went off on such a distant tangent that not one single actual recipe found its way into a short novel about the post-war life of Odessa Jews. I kept the title My Grandmother’s Recipes, but you shouldn’t be fooled by it.

Now, this was the first Pesach in my life without my father sitting at the Seder (Passover Festive Meal) with me. My husband and I spent it with our son and his wonderful wife who is an exceptional Balabuste in her own right and who has rearranged the entire Pesach plan for her extended family in order to accommodate me on a moment’s notice. And trust me, having a bunch of Eineklach (grandchildren) around is the best grief therapy! Then I came home, un-foiled the kitchen, and was hit with a new wave: my father’s birthday is on the second day of Shavuos, and ever since my mother, Oleve Sholom (May she rest in peace), passed away, I’ve always made a special dairy lunch for him, with all his favorite Yom Tov (holiday) dishes that my grandmother used to make. From what I have seen in my almost 40 years in this country, our Shvuosdike menu is just as different from American Jewish tradition as our menus for all other Yomim Tovim.

So this is my way of celebrating my father’s birthday on Shavuos. I will cook and bake, and take pictures, and post recipes, and try to share with you, Beautiful People, some of those delicious white and green and golden creations that had originated in my grandmother’s miniature kosher kitchen. And if I tempt you to try any of them – and most of them are ridiculously easy! – think for a moment of Shimon ben Dov Ber, a beautiful person who was loved and respected by everyone, who was one of the kindest people I have ever met, a true son of his mother, my beloved grandmother.

splt-fltbr-5

I can’t leave you, Beautiful People, without a recipe, so here is one of my father’s favorites, Popalik.

Enjoy!

102 Comments Add yours

  1. So sorry for your loss. It is so hard when you lose your parents. I will send you good loving thoughts and prayers. he will always be with you though, watching over you. he is now one of God’s angels. he will always be in your heart.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Jeanne!

      Like

  2. You are most welcome. Yesterday would have been my mother’s 91st birthday, but she passed away 14 years ago and my father passed away 13 years ago. But I know they are always with me. Whenever I see butterflies or irises, I know my mom is around. My dad was in the Merchant marines his whole life, working primarily on tanker ships. So whenever I see one, I always wave and say hi to my daddy. We scattered his ashes at sea, so when I go scuba diving, I know Daddy is always there, watching over me. You will know your dad is there every time that special thing that he loved so much comes up. That will be his way of saying he is watching over you and that he loves you.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. You do understand it so well and express it beautifully, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you ever need someone to talk to or to listen, contact me via email at ljbjej@q.com and I will give you my phone number. In the mean time, a BIG HUG from me to you. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you, dear friend; I truly appreciate your kindness.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You are most welcome. I am sending some loving thoughts and prayers your way. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 15andmeowing says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your father. XO

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, darling.

      Like

  4. Parents are always missed, no matter how long it has been. Please accept my condolences, and my thanks for sharing all of your recipes.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mimi; I truly appreciate your kindness.

      Like

  5. Nabeela says:

    Keep blogging…. Inspire others….

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Nabeela!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. jonahzsong says:

    Dolly,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I hope you feel the love that surrounds you, now and always. Praying for your healing, comfort, strength and peace during this painful time

    L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I thank you so much for your kindness, darling!
      Your prayers and blessings are gratefully accepted – Amen!

      Like

  7. Your family is in our thoughts – all the blessings and best wishes to you & yours. Hoping in some small measure it eases the burden for even a moment.
    Shalom!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Kate!
      Sending blessings and best wishes your way!

      Like

  8. Doug Thomas says:

    The passing of a parent is that time when one realizes time waits for no one, that the last time the whole family all got together was, indeed the last time ever. When both parents had passed, I had that odd sense that one can be an orphan in one’s late sixties. Please accept my condolences on the passing of your father, Dolly. The empty chair at the table is one that tears at one’s heart, especially on holidays.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. How well you understand the “empty chair” feeling, Doug! I thank you you for your kindness, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right back to you…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. We’re so sorry for your loss dear Dolly, sending much love from our house to yours 💞💜💞

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, dear Xenia!
      My love to Elmer and Pearl, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Dolly 💗 xxx

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Always my pleasure, dear Xenia.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A most touching post, Dolly. It is 33 years since my father died – yet he is still with me.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Derrick. Yes, time, contrary to clichés, does not always heal.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. GP Cox says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and your loss. I know your friends here and I will always be around to help keep you company.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kindness, GP. Your wonderful company is always appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My heart aches for you. I understand your loss beyond words. You are a beautiful soul reflected in that love. May you continue to share it with others. It is a privilege to know you. Always. 🌟✨💫

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You brought tears of gratitude to my eyes with your kindness, dear Gail. Your empathy is greatly appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I meant every word. 🍃🌸

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know you did, darling, and it’s all the more precious to me!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. purpleslob says:

    Hello, Dolly, my favorite feline person!!
    Mazel Tov on your 4 year anniversary!!
    May your Grandmother, Mother, and Father’s memories be a blessing forever!
    Love, Melinda

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my favorite purple person! And thank you for using Hebrew (very appropriately, too)!
      All my love, 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        My definite pleasure!!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you, Beautiful Lady 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, darling!

      Like

  15. Catwoods says:

    Dolly I am so sorry for the loss of your father, I know it is difficult and my heart goes out to you and your family.
    Congratulations on four years of sharing recipes and history on your website!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Leah; your empathy is greatly appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry to hear of the loss of your father. It’s wonderful to carry on family traditions and recipes to celebrate his life. Take good care of yourself, keep writing!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Tiffany! Be well and stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Tabula Rasa says:

    I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Joëlle says:

    Happy WordPress anniversary, dear neighbor!
    I apologize for not having translated my latest pasta dough recipe into English yet. I have had to stay away from computer screens because of a muscular problem in one eye. I would need to see my eye doctor but he is closed — another inconvenience caused by the covid-19 situation. Oh well.
    Take care, Dolly!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Joelle! I hope your eye decides to improve on its own rather than to wait for the doctor, as it might be a rather long wait, unfortunately.
      Strangely, my eye doctor insisted on seeing me when I tried to cancel an appointment made six months ago. He refused to continue my meds without an examination. My dentist, however, is closed, and I do have a dental emergency, so I I’ve been trying to find another one with no luck so far. We’ll survive, I am sure!
      Be well and stay safe, dear Joelle!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joëlle says:

        Not being able to see your dentist is no fun at all! As for my eye, this is a problem I have had in the past, and that is fixed with eye therapy. The muscle needs a good workout, but who doesn’t after confinement 😄!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am sure we will survive this crisis, dear Joelle – eyes and teeth and everything else!
        Be well and stay safe!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m sad to learn what you have been going through. You are very strong Dolly!🙏❤️🌺

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your kind words, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You never expressed any stress. That is pretty amazing. I am not the one either to express changes and challenges either. You just hang in there tough!

        Like

      2. I am just a very private person, darling. My challenges are for me to deal with, and nobody’s business. I am tough; life has made me so. Thank you for understanding, dear friend! You be well and stay safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Understood! I like that! Have an enjoyable weekend!🌺❤️🌺. Big Hugs to you Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hugs right back to you, darling!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. My condolences on the loss of your Dad. Like you, the kitchen eases my mind. As the eldest granddaughter, i too, have the best recipes written down. Especially from my late Aunts. She passed from cancer at 10.10 at night. We had just left the hospital and gotten word at home. I cooked throughout the entire night, all of her favourite meals, potted them. Dished them after the funeral. None of the expensive catered food was eaten. All of mine that remained over, was shared by her sisters. I had no rest, such was the need to remain busy so as to not cry. That night, i had my first panic attack.
    Its never easy to say goodbye to loved ones. They will always live in our hearts, minds, kitchen and love of good food, that generally comes with a story.
    Take care and cherish all the memories. No one can take that away from us. 🤗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, dear Kavitha, and thank you so much for sharing your precious memories and sad experience.
      Be well and stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I am so sorry for your losses, Dolly! But in our hearts people will never die.
    Looking at the picture during it loads i thought you are wearing a Stetson. 😉 Happy Anniversary, and thank you for beeing here. Best wishes, stay save! Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Just for you, Michael, I’ll have to take a selfie wearing one of my Stetsons. LOL
      Thank you so much, dear friend!
      Be well and stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow! Great, Dolly! May we see it? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You will, when I do it – just give me a couple of days.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Great! Thank you in advance, Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We’ll see how it comes out… I am not a great selfie-taker.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I am sure it will be fabulous. With a Stetson in FL. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi, moving post and to end it with a recipe is the icing on top of the cake. I have named my son Perke in Hebrew. Can’t get into the reasons otherwise it would be another blog post altogether.
    Thanks and much appreciated for sharing

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I thank you for your kind comment, and I am glad I have found your blog. Will follow and explore – very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Tutu says:

    Happy anniversary. you are a beautiful person you’re students are lucky to have you as a teacher

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for a lovely comment, dear Tutu! Be well and stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. theburningheart says:

    My condolences to you, and your family.
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so very much, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. K E Garland says:

    This is a beautiful story and also I’m sending my condolences ❤

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Dr Kathy.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. msw blog says:

    I am sadden for your lost, but happy you found a health way to grieve .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I thank you so much for your understanding and kindness, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. da-AL says:

    my condolences, dear. many thanks for sharing with us — you have touched many hearts, & for that I congratulate you ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your empathy, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. beetleypete says:

    Congratulations on your four years with WordPress. I am at eight years now, and would not change a thing. Becoming a blogger was the best thing I ever did. 🙂
    Many thanks for following my blog, which is appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Pete!
      Best wishes and many blessings to you, too.
      Be well and stay safe!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    YOWZA-SHALOM !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend – shalom!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. THECOZYCHIC says:

    You are a true inspiration!

    Would love if u checkout my posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, darling, but your blog is not available.

      Like

      1. THECOZYCHIC says:

        You just have to search THATCOZYCHIC

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I did, and it says that it doesn’t exist. It might be one of those WordPress glitches, darling.

        Like

      3. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Yeah…. that’s sad!🥀

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It happens – try to get in touch with WordPress and ask for help.

        Like

      5. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Yeah for sure

        Liked by 1 person

      6. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Btw…I’ve just made a new post and I’d love if you stop by it

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Sweetheart, your blog does not exist – talk to WordPress.

        Like

      8. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Yeah I’ve reported to them

        Liked by 1 person

      9. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Would you try searching again? please

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I just did – it still does not exist.

        Like

      11. THATCOZYCHIC says:

        Ohh!!

        Thanks for your patience ✨😀

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I am so sorry about your problem, darling! I hope it gets fixed soon.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s