The High Holidays began Sunday night in Jewish homes around the world, ushered in with a feast to mark Rosh Hashanah, the “head of the year,” in the Judaic calendar. As I buzzed around that afternoon gathering the requisite honey and apples, choosing wine, baking a special round-shaped challah, and cooking dinner, I was reminded once again how essential food is to Jewish ritual. At every holiday, the dining table becomes a kind of altar and each cook a virtual priest who creates the spirit of the holiday through symbolic the foods. Sanctity is homemade.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Desperate times call for desperate measures, one of the few clichés I can actually tolerate, applies tonight. And I do mean desperate. It has been a completely manic week at the farm, with Spring showing up early and agriturismo guests following the season. Needless to say, tonight is una Notte di Blockbuster, accompanied by a local syrah (purchased Monday by my friend Teri Love of Gioia Wines in Santa Barbara, but sadly left behind for ME!) and some cheeses I bought this week and (gasp!) haven’t found the opportunity to open slowly, bleeding out the process of pairing and sampling at a snail’s pace. Anything less deliberate is a wasted opportunity fraught with the tastelessness of simply snacking and the oblivion of a half-cocked palate, and was thus omitted from this past week’s agenda.