P is for Patience



My inspiration for patience actually came from thinking about how some foods require patience in making them. My wife, who does not cook, discovered once that it takes patience to make something as simple as a quesadilla. Until she had to make one for herself, she did not realize how I patiently waited for each side to be the perfect level of “doneness” for her. Quesadillas are not the only food that requires patience in its preparation. When I am making my own gravlax, I have to patiently wait for three days while it undergoes it’s transformation in the refrigerator.

Last week, I began thinking about some of the foods we grew up eating. Growing up in a Jewish household, many of the foods people get in Jewish delicatessens today are things I used to make at home with my mother. She would patiently sit with me and teach me how to make foods such as gefilte fish, kugels, kishka, kasha, halvah, rugelach, chicken soup with matzo balls, cabbage rolls, and so much more. However, there was one thing my mother never taught me how to make and I wish she had – pastrami. Instead, every few months we would take the subway to New York City and take a family trip to Katz’s delicatessen. There we would buy pounds of food to bring home. To fuel us up on the way home, my parents would always treat us to corned beef or pastrami sandwiches. Pastrami was always my favorite.

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