This program has been pre-recorded and scheduled to post on the second day of ראש השנה.
It has become a tradition of mine to make lox (cured salmon) for some of the major Jewish holidays, such as ראש השנה (Rosh Hashanah), פסח (Passover), and שבועות (Shavuot). And it seems that fish is associated with holiday meals, as well as שבת dinners in more traditional settings.
Before talking about fish, I wanted to show the lox in progress!
When I was younger, I never liked the taste of fish of any kind. Well, excluding fish sticks because they somewhat tasted like chicken strips. Once I got to college, however, I realized the need to branch out my choices of foods. During the summer of 2007, when we went to Boston, we started an “adventure rating” of restaurants and foods that we ate, on a zero-to-ten scale. One of those experiences was an 11: dim sum in Chinatown.
During one of those mornings, we went to one of my cousin’s houses and breakfast included bagels and lox. Because I had decided to become more adventurous in eating, I included the lox with the bagel. Previously, I would have only eaten the bagel straight up–no cream cheese, no lox, no nothing. But I discovered that the taste of lox was quite appetizing with the smoky and deep flavor. In some sense, it made me think: “Why didn’t I try this when I was younger?”
I had several other types of fish when I was in Boston that week.
That vacation was not coincident with any Jewish holidays, but because I mentioned the Jewish holidays, I might as well mention something about them. So, when I was younger, I noticed that we always had gefilte fish at our Passover seders, but I, of course, was not adventurous enough to try it. Fast forward to 2008, and I thought that the taste was weird but tolerable. It wasn’t until I moved to Chicago that I realized something…
…In larger Jewish communities, many of the meals on Jewish holidays (including Shabbat) include gefilte fish, and/or a fish entree. I enjoy eating salmon on at least one of the days of ראש השנה, and have bagels and lox at break-the-fast on יום כיפור. Although there is never gefilte fish at Hillel dinners, there is at Chabad dinners.
My impetus for making lox by myself came during my second year in Chicago. There was a large list of recipes on my computer that Mom and Dad had compiled over the years, and one of them was for lox. The recipe was very easy, and so I decided to try it on my own. It turned out very well, and the price is SO MUCH LESS, given that I can get the salmon for seven to nine dollars per pound, and the remaining ingredients are kitchen staples that I have anyway. When buying lox at the store (hmm… throwback to a previous post!) , it often will set you back fifteen or more dollars per pound. And plus, there’s the satisfaction of homemade goods!
Though I KNOW that this hypothesis is not the reason why fish is big at Jewish holiday dinners, my claim is that it is symbolic of ensuring that the day goes swimmingly.
(Waits for a chorus of boos.)
Today is the two-hundred and sixty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V. That makes thirty-eight weeks and three days.
Today is the seventy-fourth day of the Character Building Trial. That makes ten weeks and four days.