22 February 2019
Daily Dozen Gratitude List #33
1. Being gifted a vintage 1946 set of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass (see DDGL #7:5 and #14:10.). Bought new by the giver’s grandmother, a librarian who lived into her 90s. The John Tenniel illustrations are soooo much nicer than the bad photocopy of a photocopy version I have (undated). And they’re colorized! Don’t like it in film so much, but I do like it here. The detail is finer and clearer.
2. Having seen the Northern Lights.
The summer I was 21, I was an art counselor at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. One night, we came out of the building that housed the evening activity, and there were all these streaks of light dancing through the sky and treetops and touching the ground and sifting through our fingers, and we all just danced among the star beams in awe, whooping joyfully. Unlike anything I’d seen before, or since. Magical, mystical, momentous.
3. The flexibility and strength I’ve acquired after doing yoga for 1,769 consecutive days.
Does a body good. A fellow yogi once said to me, “I never went to bed at night and said to myself, “Damn, I wish I hadn’t done yoga today!”
4. The ability to find moments of gratitude when things like a car breaking down in the middle of nowhere on a Friday afternoon are happening. At least… at least…
5. That the car running but not moving forward anymore decided to do so on a quiet country road with little traffic rather than on a multilane highway teaming with cars or the middle of a city street during rush hour. That the driver was able to pull over and no one was hurt. No one was hurt.
Even with telephone wires and rooftops and street signs, they’re still beautiful.
7. Online banking.
Oh the convenience of phone deposits! Tho I miss the regular interactions with the tellers I know.
8. My challah.
About 16 years ago, my daughter requested that we make challah for Shabbat dinner. What I thought was a one-time thing, oh look, we made challah, been there, done that, turned out to be The Thing that We Do Every Shabbat. When I wrote my book How to Keep Kosher, I included the challah recipe that I had developed from that first Challah Shabbat. When the book was published, when Shoshi was 7, and I did local talks about the book, she’d be up there beside me, expertly demoing how to do a four-strand braided challah. Over the decade plus since the book came out I’ve honed the recipe further. Right now I include vanilla beans rather than vanilla extract, because I got a huge stash for cheap before the prices skyrocketed (see DDGL #16:12). I supposed I could sell them on ebay for the big bucks… but then I couldn’t savor the deliciousness they add to the loaves.
Last summer, at the Havurah Institute, I took a class on the mitzvah of challah, taught by Jonathan Rubenstein. The last day, we made challah, enough for every table to have two loaves that night at Shabbat dinner (for over 300 people). He makes a vegan version using ground flax seeds rather than eggs, and sugar; I use eggs and honey. But the vegan version was delicious, with a great texture, so I might try that sometime. Variations.
9. When things are Things.
I know this is close to getting overused, but right now I’m having fun with it.
10. AAA Plus.
Includes 100 miles of towing. Versus 3.
11. Homemade chocolate shell for ice cream: 2 parts chocolate chips to 1 part salted butter. Melt in microwave, stir until smooth, drizzle over ice cream. So good, so good!
12. A smooth-rolling ball-point pen.