Where have I been?

I did it! It’s over, and I feel pretty wrung out. I was hired to cater a party for thirty people by a close friend from Israel, and thankfully everything is finished! The party was tonight at 5pm and Mo and I left just as guests were arriving. I think everything came out fine, it looked nice and I hope everyone enjoyed the food.

The party was a ninetieth birthday celebration for our friend Judy’s mother, who lives in Miami Beach. We know Judy and her husband Reb Sholom from the neighborhood where Mo and I lived in Israel. They are like family to Mo and I, filling in as parents when ours were thousands of miles away. I worked as an office assistant for R.Sholom and edited countless pages of his writing in the hope of eventually creating a book. Judy helped me prepare for my wedding and Ben’s birth, and was my coach throughout a twenty-one hour difficult labor. I have always felt like I couldn’t have done it without her, at least not in the drug free way I wanted to. When the nurses wanted to give me pitocin and an epidural because things weren’t progressing “fast enough,” she took me in the bathroom, locked the door and held a shower of hot water on my lower back for an hour and half. By the time we came out I had progressed “enough” that they let me continue to labor. When I was so exhausted I was falling asleep in the two minutes between contractions and I said, “I can’t do it!” Judy said, “You ARE doing it!” Where there is Judy’s will, there is a way, and that is why when she asked me to cater her mother’s ninetieth birthday party I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t and I didn’t want to. Judy and R.Sholom open their home to the entire neighborhood, hosting classes and Shabbat meals in their living/dining area. In her office upstairs Judy counsels women on marriage and birth, as well as doing massage therapy and amazing interior design jobs. Not only that, she is a labor coach for almost every woman in the neighborhood, sometimes spending days at a mother’s side. She is one of the tiniest, strongest women I have ever met. I have always been amazed at all that she does and I want to help whenever she asks. Did I mention that Judy is an amazing cook? I was honestly flattered that she asked me to make the food for her mother’s party. She is also a very discerning customer. I have heard her stand her ground with Israeli builders insisting that she did not give them the wrong specifications on a bathroom installation. She got them to destroy and rebuild the entire bathroom for no extra cost because they had made a mistake in the layout. This is no small feat! Aside from knowing that Judy knows what she wants, I also love and admire her, and I know how much she loves and admires her mother. Therefore I had created a perfect storm of pressure for myself to get everything just right. Add to the equation being home full time with a baby who is a total homebody, and not having a car, and I had actually signed on for something that was nearly impossible.

To make things even more exciting, I am in the midst of working through a lifetime of perfectionism, so all my “stuff” is up. I have spent the entire past week on a roller coaster of emotions, and physical side effects from those emotions. I am going to spend this coming week writing out and working through what happened and what I’m getting out of it. I’ll even include some recipes along the way! I hope you’ll come along as I share some of my struggles with perfection and vulnerability (did I mention I’m reading Daring Greatly?).

For now, here are a few quick photos. More to come as the week goes on.

Image

Super caterer on his way out the door

Image

Spinach salad with beets and goat cheese

Image

Colorful green salad

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s