Saturday morning. Week 9 is ending and our city is slowly opening. I see and hear the fast blur of traffic returning to the same level of the time before. I don’t know about shopping or other activities; I’m remaining with my pattern of the grocery store(s) and home and the occasional walk. That’s getting difficult for only the strongest as we are nearing our summer heats even in the early morning and the feared “Rainy Season” will begin at the end of next week.
For the past two months, I’ve joined a friend at a local church one morning a week to receive food handouts. Actually, about two years ago I had met and worked with the priest in charge of this effort to provide food for those in need; he invited me to partake. Now, of course, a special effort during very special times.
The “giveaway,” as my friend and I call it is from 9:00 am til 11:00 am or til there is no more food. It is organized in “cooking” and “non-cooking.” The first week we got there about 8:15 and were nearly the first in line. Each successive week, we’ve gotten there earlier and earlier as the numbers of people grow. This week, at 6:30 am we were still at about the same place, about 40 people back in line.
And the pickings are slimmer and slimmer. Eggs are few and far between. For the first time in three weeks, my friend got some meat. A thing called Candy Sushi was included, a novel arrangement of gummies and fruit roll-ups, for about the fourth time. At first, Daughter and I enjoyed this treat. Now, I do my best to give it away. But it reminded me of Daughter’s bat mitzvah a while ago.
Hers was a fall bat mitzvah. I spent the summer baking cakes, putting them into what I thought was the synagogue freezer (that’s another story in my repertoire of bittersweet reminiscences). My goal was to cut the costs of what could be a very expensive event. It was great; she did great.
I found a recipe for Swedish sushi in some magazine I was perusing and decided to make some for the kids. In essence, it’s rice krispie treats (who doesn’t like those?) topped with gummy Swedish fish! The plate of this treat was the first to disappear during the bat mitzvah lunch.
You might have read a few weeks ago when I wrote about an experiment with a recipe somewhat similar to the Candy Sushi – juice and prosecco gummies (see 4-27 post). I tried it again, this time with an old and beautiful bottle of mead from Lithuania. I tasted the potable before starting and decided not to add any sugar. I dissolved three packets of gelatin in a ¼ cup of the liquid, then added it to rest of the heating mead. The glistening, golden end result is a delightful, slightly firmer treat. Yum.
You may ask what was the source of this mead? A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a conference on Historic Preservation in Kiev. Also in attendance was an American professor who was teaching in Lithuania. The mead was one of the gifts he brought to distribute. I was the lucky recipient; it was neglected much too long in our wine cellar. Constant Companion and I are enjoying the batch of mead gummies.
As we begin the return to life, how long will we remember or be reminded of memorable tidbits from the “time before?” As we now approach the great re-opening how will our lives change? I tend to enjoy recalling the past and know that I would like to continue doing so.