Thursday, March 18, 2021

Ready for Passover?

Tropical Matzoh House

Passover begins at sundown on Saturday March 27th this year. Once again, Larry and I will be celebrating on our own and not with our extended family of 25-30 people. This pandemic has really halted our family celebrations. I'm sad to miss another family gathering.  Zoom Seders just aren't the same.

Following are some photos of our divine dinner from past family Seders.

We have our own, personalized family Haggadah

Matzoh Ball Soup
Gefilte Fish with Horse Radish

Passover is the 8 day observance commemorating the freedom and exodus of the Israelites (Jewish slaves) from Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramses II. This is a time of family gatherings and lavish meals called Seders. The story of Passover is retold through the reading of the Haggadah (prayer book). With its special foods, songs, and customs, the Seder is the focal point of the Passover celebration.

When I was a child, my grandfather, Sam Katz was the Chairman of the Seder at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles. We were required as a family to attend the huge second night seder in the basement Mirror Room of the Temple, Rabbi Pressman and Cantor Kelemar, presiding. I do love getting together with my family, but a huge banquet with long services full of squirming children is not always pleasant. I suppose I was one of those squirming children once, but the kids of my era seemed to have had more restraints and rules governing their behavior than the children of today!

My memories are of banquet food (bleah), the reading of the ENTIRE Hagaddah (prayer book for Passover) and singing more songs than was necessary. Maybe the purpose of this gathering was so that we, as a family, would have shared memories of suffering, like the Jewish slaves in the time of the Pharohs. Today, we speak with fondness of those long ago seders. Every few years my grandmother, Freda would declare that she was going to cook our Passover Seder dinner. That was an event! Grandma used to make her own gefilte fish! It was delicious. Grandpa didn't have as much control over our group as Rabbi Pressman did, so we usually cut the service short so we could get to our meal.

Family Passover Seder, 2013, Valencia, CA

In the past 25 years or so, my cousins Marilyn, Carolyn and I have made most of the food for our family Seder. Other cousins have assignments for decorations, wine, etc. The youngsters are in charge of serving the various courses and clearing the table.

Spinach Souffle, Fruit Compote

Chicken Marbella, Matzoh Kugel
Homemade Cherry and Chocolate Chip Macaroons
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Although I'm happy not to handle all of that food prep this year, I do miss our family gatherings. I'm hoping that everyone will be vaccinated by Thanksgiving so we can once again celebrate together. So, whether you're on your own or celebrating with a group, Chag Sameach!

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Thursday, March 04, 2021

Celebrating During the Pandemic

This past year has been a year of togetherness for me and Larry. Luckily, we still get along beautifully! We celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary yesterday, amid the rules of Covid-19. We couldn't do most of the things that we would have done, like travel, visit museums, go to the movies, attend an art show or other gathering. We managed to have a nice day though.

We started out the day with coffee for Larry and a Medicine Ball Beverage for me. The Medicine Ball at Starbucks consists of peach tea, citrus mint tea, steamed lemonade, honey and hot water. It's supposed to combat the flu, sniffles or any other virus! It was delicious. We drove over to the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax. The Farmers Market is very L.A. noir during the rain. It's an open-air market with many covered areas. We ducked into an alcove to enjoy our hot beverages and watch the rain. After some produce shopping, we headed back home.

This would have been the time for a visit to the museum. Hopefully, museums, etc. will re-open soon! Instead, we watched our wedding video from 29 years ago! It's a VHS tape, but Larry still has a few VCRs hanging around the house, so he hooked it up and we had a few laughs. Ahhh! To be young, handsome and beautiful!

We were married at the L.A. City Hall, March 3, 1992. Larry's buddies from the Photo Department at his aerospace job took the video and photos of our big day.
The fountain just outside of City Hall
We rode up to the Tower at City Hall. The skyline of Los Angeles certainly has 

changed during the past few decades!

We decided to have tacos for lunch. We didn't want a huge feast, because we'd planned to go out to dinner. We ended up at Bee Taqueria on Adams Blvd., just east of Fairfax. It was recommended to us by our friend, Emiko. 

The MOST delicious carne asada and seafood tacos!

This is the second time we've eaten at Bee, always in the rain! This is an unusual place. The property houses a few other shops and business, mostly in shipping container-like buildings. Bee Taqueria has the MOST delicious gourmet tacos! We shared the seafood/shrimp taco and a carne asada taco on a blue-corn tortilla with guacamole. The rain had let up, so we dined alfresco. It was chilly, but invigorating.

We managed to do things around the house, knit, read, practice ukulele and catch the news on TV before heading over to Sawtelle Blvd./Japantown for dinner. We ate at Midoh on the second level of Sawtelle Place, this mini-mall that houses a market, sushi place, Daiso, mochi place and Karaoke. Our friend, Sherry recommended Midoh. We were the only patrons on the back patio this cold and rainy night. They had heaters, so it was comfortable. The food is home-style Japanese. It was really wonderful. We each had little dinner salads. Larry ordered the Udon Carbonera which is a fusion of Japanese and Italian food, with bacon, cream, egg, parmesan cheese, black pepper, and baby spinach. It was rich, creamy and decadent! I ordered the Nabeyaki Udon Hot Pot which is chicken broth with chicken, udon noodles, shrimp tempura and soft-boiled egg. It was warm, filling and comforting. For dessert we shared this parfait of strawberry fluff with chunks of lemon chocolate brownie on top! They have a marvelous dessert menu. We will definitely return to Midoh. The food and service were great.

Mixed Greens Salad
Udon Carbonara

Nabeyaki Udon Hot Pot

Really, considering the world's circumstances, we managed to have a fine time celebrating our 29th anniversary! Next year, I hope we'll be in Palm Springs or Hawaii!

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Wednesday, March 03, 2021

29th Wedding Anniversary

Los Angeles City Hall, March 3, 1992

It was a cloudy, rainy day on March 3, 1992. Larry and I were married on that day.  We decided on a simple ceremony at L.A. City Hall, since our City meant so much to us. We married on Fat Tuesday because we met in New Orleans, 1990. We drove downtown with Larry's best man, Jon and my maid of honor, Ruth. It was a simple, quick ceremony by the County Clerk. Larry's camera crew from his aerospace job met us downtown and snapped a few photos after the clouds cleared. Afterwards, we headed over to Chinatown for a dim-sum feast. The following day we honeymooned on the beautiful Island of Catalina. The past 29 years has been the best part of my life. Happy Anniversary, my sweet Larry!

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