This week I wrote about how to handle a planned electricity outage. My preparations were irrelevant because the outage never happened, and the electric company didn’t tell anyone. Sigh.
In Wednesday’s update I was concerned about not having enough chicken. I was a little embarrassed when I realized that one of my guests has been following this blog! I told her that I decided not to cook more chicken. My daughter (bless her) said, “You have enough chicken!” It’s possible that if I cooked more it would get eaten, but most likely not. And even if we run out of chicken, there is plenty of other food.
The problem is that observant Jews don’t cook on the Sabbath. So whatever we have prepared, is what there is. And it’s embarrassing to run out of food. And that’s separate from the Jewish “tradition” of having loaded tables.
I’ll give another example. When I mentioned to another guest that I plan to serve leftovers from the synagogue kiddush for the late Saturday meal, she was concerned. What if it all gets eaten? So she offered to bring egg salad. I agreed. Then I began to get nervous, and thought of making pasta salad until my caterer neighbor talked me out of it. She assured me that there will be leftovers, and if not, she’ll make a salad from cans in her pantry.
Extra food will not be wasted. We can freeze it, distribute it to the family, and one guest is involved several needy families. But much of the food is more expensive and less healthy than I would usually make, so I don’t like the idea of having excess “just in case.” Serving, storing and distributing it afterward takes time and planning.
That is what I admire so much about my mother. There was always enough for seconds, but not much more. The only thing she miscalculated was soup. She had to serve it boiling hot, so some would boil away and I had to give up my portion. My mother never ate soup.
I’m not serving soup, but I hope I won’t have to tell my kids not to take something because there isn’t enough to go around.