Summertime and gorgeous fruit is plentiful. Bright colors and a garden of aromatic scents fill markets and farm stands. It is easy to go crazy and over purchase when the produce looks so good.
At its most basic level, the marriage of science and relationships has taught us that we find beauty in youthful traits (big eyes, shiny hair, lush lips); that bad boys are attractive because the same high testosterone levels that make them the alpha-male type also lends the promise of passing that on to their offspring and that men love curvy women because it shows higher levels of fertility.
One of my favorite preparations of eggplant is Caponata. Caponata is a Sicilian dish similar to a chopped and cooked vegetable salad. Sicilian cuisine is complex and owes its use of many flavors and influences to its diverse history and demographics. Many Sicilian dishes have Jewish roots and come from Jews taken as slaves after Israel’s destruction thousands of years ago.
I have been dating a woman for a few months now. I’m a substitute teacher seeking a full time job. I also work as a pet sitter and in a retail store part time. I barely make $30,000 a year. She is a pharmaceutical rep for 25 years making at least six figures. She thought she could get past my wages and not having my own place, but it eats her up inside. She is afraid she has fallen for me, and I have fallen for her. Now she is asking to just be friends.
The food in the fridge is to my liking. It’s all Trader Joes. He doesn’t cook much. He’s got the spice rack directly above the stove. One greasy hand reaching for the paprika, and yeow! you’ve got spice jars in the frying pan. I do cook. See, we enrich each other’s lives, F! And, I like his books. I like the tomato plant. I like so much about F’s house, I decide F and I are meant for each other.
All summer I wait for the start of tomato season. Ripe, juicy and in-season tomatoes taste like sunshine and summer. They are fruity and incomparably rich and refreshing. Supermarket tomatoes have no flavor and are starchy. I do not ever use them in recipes and just wait it out until the real thing comes in season. If you have never tried an in-season, fresh off the vine tomato, I insist that you find a farm stand or farmer’s market and pick some up. When you purchase fresh tomatoes, do not put them in the refrigerator. All that wonderful sugar that is a natural part of the tomato will convert to starch in the refrigerator. That is why store bought tomatoes have a grainy texture and are flavorless. The usually travel great distances in refrigerator trucks and then are store in the stores coolers. YUCK! Purchase fresh, off the vine tomatoes as close to the date you need them to insure the best flavor.
You want your wedding to be the event of the century, right? Your guests should regroup at the following Friday’s Shabbat oneg in the temple’s banquet hall and gush about what an affair the ___stein and ___berg wedding was, yes? Your mother’s mahjong group will hardly get to the game at hand because they’re so busy yenta-ing about the celebration of her daughter’s big day, isn’t that so? Well, all this can come true with a few things to think about when it comes to making the wedding of your dreams for you and avoiding all nightmares for your guests.
Mensch (which can also be spelled mentsh—the more correct romanization of the Yiddish) comes straight from German, where it means man or mankind. As the Yiddish saying goes, “a mentsh tracht und Gott lacht” [Man plans and God laughs]. Along the way, mensch picked up other meanings. A second meaning that has passed from usage is as a synonym for servant. To be somebody’s mensch was once used as a slur by Yiddish writers such as Sholem Aleichem and David Pinski.
With Labor Day just one month a way, it’s tempting to celebrate white wine while you still can. Perhaps you’ve got a refrigerator filled with half bottles from your last garden party, or your wine cellar is overflowing with Chardonnay specials from the local liquor store. Think of it, too, as a last hurrah. When the sandals, shorts, and skin go back in the closet, a little inhibition follows. Fall carries with it a sense of seriousness, not to mention the High Holidays – so get your kicks now while you’ve still got summer as an excuse.
Anytime we can’t find or achieve something we really want, it’s hard not to get discouraged. But try to keep some perspective. The average age of marriage for men today is 28 — which means half are older than 28. Also, the more education a person has, the later it is he or she will probably marry. You are still well within the “normal” range that life partnerships happen these days.