Showing posts from June, 2016

Songs My Father Taught Me

The education that my siblings and I received from my father was eclectic, to say the least.  We learned some dialect Italian words for a few things.  We learned that it is possible to wind spaghetti around a fork by holding it in the air and revolving it until no strand was hanging down.  We also learned how to shoot craps.
The lessons in shooting craps took place when we were on a family vacation in a beach town on the Oregon coast.  We were together every evening in the little cabin where we were staying, with no television.  This meant that we had to rely on family togetherness.  Dad took out a pair of dice and got us started shooting craps for pennies.  It was a real penny ante game.  Although the odds favor the house in games of chance, I don’t think Dad won any more than we did.  He never did have much luck with money, anyway.

My Dad was a friendly guy who would give his last dime, an arm and a leg and the shirt off his back to anyone he thought needed them, without expecting …

Pastries and Biblical Supervillains

It would be easy to pass by the little Jewish bakery if it were not for the deliciousness inside.  They also make the best coffee in the neighborhood.  Of course, I have become a regular customer for their coffee, their fresh-baked pita bread, their muffins and babkas and cinnamon Danish pastries, and their funny, square-shaped bagels.
I am a goy, but I have a fair amount of Jewish blood on my mother’s side, which came down from her father’s side.[1]  This must be why I like Jewish food so much.  Either that, or it’s because I like food and Jewish food is good.  I haven’t figured it out yet.
My latest finds at my favorite bakery are Hamantaschen.  These are triangle-shaped pieces of Heaven, stuffed with either chocolate or fruit preserves.  They are a Purim tradition, and they are named after Haman, who performed dastardly deeds and got his just comeuppance in a very dramatic way in the Book of Esther.  What attempted genocide has to do with pastries is a mystery, but Haman’s name has b…