When I was young we used to go to my granny and grandpa every second Friday night for Shabbat. I remember a few times I wasn’t very hungry, and used to eat just a roast potato. Each time my gran used to ask me if I was unwell, because to her, not eating being sick, rather than just full or not feeling like eating.
You’re going to get asked that a lot growing up, and if you refuse food, you might get a guilt trip, or a question like “What, you don’t like my cooking?”. See, as Jewish people, food is often associated with guilt, feelings, reward and sickness. And while everywhere food is a source of comfort, somehow we take it up a notch.
This is what you can expect from growing up Jewish:
– No queuing up at buffet tables. It’s more like a run and grab what you want. Just remember that this rule doesn’t apply everywhere – you will have to queue politely at other events.
– The offer of food or treats when you do well at school
– The offer of food or treats when you don’t do well at school
– A mother who always has a small smorgasbord of snacks in her bag
– Overcatering. I think it’s an unwritten rule that if someone goes hungry at a Jewish simcha, or if there aren’t an abundance of choices, then it’s a shemzach (shame on you). While most people will have one starter, main and dessert option, we’ll have several. That’s how we roll (and this might explain my fat rolls too).
– If you don’t eat something, it might be read like you don’t like the food, and there could be a guilt trip inflicted on you. Usually in the form of silent treatment.
– There will always be more food than alcohol at an event. Always.
– There is usually very little waiting before eating at events. We are not very good at waiting for food, and there’s a global Jewish acknowledgement of this. Like we could faint.
– Happiness and nachas if you have second helpings. For a cook and Jewish mom, there is no greater joy at the table. In fact, seconds and thirds are encouraged. Appetite is applauded! (Read: eat your mom’s food).
And on that note, here are some pics that warm my heart, even though they didn’t come from my kitchen.
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