It feels weird to be back. I have been gone for ONE month, and it seems like everything is different. For years, my mother has been telling me and my three siblings that family is the most important thing. And now I fully see how true that is. For the majority of my trip, I didn’t even communicate with my friends at home because I was so busy cooking, looking at pictures, and hearing stories. I went days without even looking at my phone. It didn’t matter because I had the most important people in my life around me for the duration of my trip. Who you are related to will never change, and although we all may sometimes wish it did, it means the most to understand and appreciate what everyone has done in their lives and what they do for you. Each family member has a different story, different struggles, and a different outlook on how to be a better person.
The last time I left you, I was still in State College. The last couple of days I was there I was trying to talk to Mama Trudy about her childhood. That was a little bit of a failure; All she told me was that her father was an engineer and he lost a lot of property during The Depression. It was a little disappointing, but my mother told me that she had a very traumatic childhood. Mama Trudy’s mother passed away when she was 4 years old, leaving her father to raise nine children on his own. My mother said that her older siblings used to tell stories, but now a lot of them aren’t around to say them.
As we sprinted through the cooking this week, the past few days have been pretty mellow. My brother and mom had to drive out to Pittsburgh today for his follow-up doctor appointment. If you don’t know, that is about 2 and a half or 3 hours each way. That also meant I was fully responsible for the puppies today. Yesterday, we made chocolate chocolate cheesecake and my Mama Trudy’s brisket.
And in case you were curious, the Fader on Wednesday went really well. If you didn’t read my last blog, a Fader is a Fake Seder, a term I made up. It was quite delicious. And the dessert platter was beautiful.
I managed to finish the rest of the Petites Four Squares (because they are just beyond delicious), and we are thinking of repeating some of the recipes soon. This would definitely be one of them. On another note, tonight we are having chicken with my Mama Trudy’s stuffing and even more matzoh ball soup. She accidentally dropped all the leftover soup earlier today, but at least now I have a picture of it to show you!
I am going to try to talk to Mama Trudy about her family, but from what I have seen she is reluctant to talk in detail about her childhood. I will let you know how that goes. I have so far learned that her father was an engineer, but my mom gave me a signal to stop asking questions soon after. I have been taking a lot of pictures of photos of family members when they were young and/or alive. I am getting all the anecdotes to make a perfect cookbook! I will let you know in a couple of days how it goes, since my mom and I are planning to leave Sunday, Monday at the latest.