Jewish Food Conversations

“Mom, did you have anything to eat yet?  It is almost 2:00 pm.”

“Coffee, don’t worry about me.  Did you eat?”

“You know me, I don’t ever go hungry. It easily could explain why you wear size 0 and ahem I wear a quite a larger size. “

“No, they just make 0 big, don’t be fooled. “

“Yeah, right.”

“Mom, do you really think you need to watch your weight?”

“You know I don’t really eat too much, and still you don’t see me getting any thinner – do you?  This is really all I should eat.  You, on the other hand, are eating for two and have so much on your plate with the kids.  You are burning so many more calories than I. Did you see the new cookbook that just came out?  I love to get it.”

“Why? Do you really try out the recipes?”

“No, not really, but it gives me ideas.  Listen I don’t really eat too much, but I love food; the colors, the textures, the different way the books present them.  If you ever want to borrow a book please take it, keep it if you like it.  You really make all this food, so you should enjoy it.”

“Mom, I think you must have unbelievable discipline not to eat when there is so much food all around, don’t you get hungry?”

“I love to watch others eat, but what I need it for, so then I can worry about the extra weight that I gained.  It won’t get me any pleasure from eating just seeing others enjoying it.”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“Mom, why do you like cookbooks so much?  You don’t seem to use them?”

“Remembering cookbooks is how we survived the war?”

“What do you mean? We were so hungry?  You know how you think when you are sick or out and can’t find anything kosher to eat, well at least I loose a little weight from this adventure, and well that is not how we thought in the camp.  Our hunger so far beyond thinking of losing weight, we were starving – the real starving.”

“So how did the cookbooks fit in? We would dream of food, talk food, remember recipes; the more descendant it was the more we would talk about it.  The creams, the butter, the layers of dough and apples and honey.  Each item we would talk and visualize, all the recipes we had learned from our mothers, that we would help prepare for Shabbos, would become the language that we would talk.  It was almost we could taste that food from before.”

“Didn’t it make you hungrier?”

“Nothing could make us hungrier we were dying of starvation.  But at least we could be satiated by our thoughts.  Do you know I know of some survivors who actually wrote up a cookbook with the recipes that we all talked about? “

“Could you cook from such a book?”

“No, I think the ingredients were so rich, that in today’s palate it would be outrageous, but that is how we survived.  Now we only worry about our waistline and not of that bitterness.”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“You like the food? Good have more. “

“No, thank you, Shiviger, I really can’t eat another thing.”

“What you should go home and be hungry, they’ll think I don’t know how to take care of my daughter-in-law.  Maybe you want some cauliflower, it is almost done the cooking, and I put it up a few hours ago.”

“Oh, Shiviger, no thanks.  Listen, Mom, I would really love to have more…”

“So, nu what’s stopping you?”

“You know why I don’t take some home for Sid; he for sure has missed your home cooking.”

“If you want I could teach you. “

“Oh thanks, mom, I am just not a cook.”

“So how is my son going to live?”

“You forget mom, he is a great cook by himself?”

“What you forget he is a dentist, when is he going to have time to cook? Besides what are you doing with all your time?  Once you finish college I hope you are planning to do something with yourself, like start having some grandchildren for me.”

“Mom, I told you, we are not quite ready.”

“And you think it is really up to you?”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

“What would you like to eat for dinner today?”


“Turkey burgers?”

“No, food.”

“Salad and Fish?”

“No, food.”

“Okay, what is ‘food’? Noodles and Cheese?”

“Forget it. I’ll go buy pizza.”

“That’s food?”

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞


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