Tag: Bruce Springsteen

put on your yarmulke.

Fresh Scratch, Menorah, HanukkahI didn’t grow up celebrating Hanukkah. It’s one of those things I’ve created space for in my life as an adult. I was drawn to it years ago when I noticed on my family tree that my great-oma’s last name was Morowetz. I pieced together a story somehow, and that story led me to purchase the gorgeous menorah in this picture, hand-forged in Vermont by some blacksmith in his barn. Because – come on! – this is my menorah we are talking about. It simply had to be folksy.

Long, long ago, somewhere up my family tree – maybe past what I can see – these eight nights were a big deal. I don’t want to forget that. I want to remember it and honor it. A lot was lost for these celebrations to continue. It feels more right each year that I should make space for these flames.

It’s funny what we come to know about ourselves. Some of it takes so long to rise up to the surface. When my girls and I light these candles at sundown during this season of hustle and bustle, it’s like my soul sighs a sigh of great relief. Everything goes quiet and still inside of me. It is indeed a holy time for a girl whose idea of “holy” is generally pretty unconventional. It feels right.

These candles and this ritual that we hold for just a hair over a week center me somehow. They pull me into myself. They pull me out of myself. The stillness makes me feel a gratitude that moves me. When the shamash is lit each night, I almost feel a memory that is not mine. It exists further back. I feel tethered to something that’s hard to explain. It’s the weird deja vu feeling I get when I am in eastern Europe; it somehow feels connected to the way I love the grittiness of those cities and towns because the grittiness makes the beauty sparkle all the more. It’s kind of like life, isn’t it?

So this is my menorah in my new front window. I think it looks best here of all the homes it’s been in. I will take that as a bit of holiness, as well. Look what happens when we just feel our way through everything – we stumble sometimes into the divine.

The runner-up to lighting these candles every night of Hanukkah? Hanukkah dinner. I do not even know if this is a thing. But I have made it quite the thing, so let’s just go with it. I just finished up the dishes from tonight’s big feast {dish duty was accompanied by a dog at my feet and this! podcast! with! bruce!}. My cousin Evie and her family were over earlier, and kids were running around, we were drinking wine, I burned my hand in the oil… and we still managed to feast on brisket, noodle kugel, and latkes with applesauce. If you could scratch and sniff that photo for the smells all around that menorah, you’d want to write home about it.

There is absolutely zero I change in these recipes when I make them, so we will call them “borrowed.” Just click on the links above – the brisket goes in the crock pot all day and couldn’t be easier, the noodle kugel isn’t much more than mixing some stuff with some par-boiled noodles and throwing it in the oven, and the latkes aren’t too scary to make, even if they are from a Martha recipe.

There’s one more night left, homies. To quote Adam Sandler, “have a happy, happy, happy, happy Hanukkah.”

Or whatever it is that brings you quiet deep down in the places that matter.


ms. fresh scratch



hello, birthday cake!

36th Birthday cake

Hello to 36. Otherwise known as “halfway to 72.” Did I really just type that?

Hello to a weekend of all-John Mayer from my car’s speakers as I drove hither and yon. What you’re doing with Katy Perry, Johnny, I’ll never know, but you are a lovely poet.

acqua via menu

Hello to a delightful dinner at one of my favorite restaurants with my hubster, my favorite brother-in-law {and my only one! haha!}, and his delightful lady friend.

Hello to a bag o’ fun from my bff and a day spent relaxing at the spa. Hello to celebrating 18 birthdays with her! Wow.

Hello to tea, reading, and reflection. I don’t know about you, but birthdays are a time of serious…repose? Is that the word I want? I think about all the little – and big – doors I have closed and wonder for a while about what would be different had I not.

Hello to the clearest, most bright starry night I’ve seen in a long time. Hello to being reminded of half a lifetime ago, when I turned nineteen on a night just like that in Charleston – my first time out at a bar. Not legally. I was so amazed at how effortless it was to get in! My life is at once nothing like I thought it was going to be if you’d asked me that night, and, yet, everything like it.

Hello to a fresh dye job, just in time for everyone to think I’m actually Irish! I am not ashamed that I was born with the wrong hair color.

36th birthday decor

Hello to my little family, who decorated the house like it was my most special birthday ever — streamers and all! And isn’t every birthday the most special? Having a birthday is so much better than the alternative, I always say!

Hello to the playlist they made “Mom’s favorite songs”for their party planning. There’s a little Bruce, a little Mr. Joel, a dash of The Supremes and of the Beach Boys, some Ms. Swift, Adele….it’s fun to see how they see me.

Hello to brunch with those near and dear.

Fish Tale Ale Oatmeal Stout

Hello to the big ol’ stout that wrapped up the big day and to my old friend Marie and my new friend Kat, the lovely ladies who joined me. And hi to the lady who could not believe I was, in fact, only Scottish!

Hello to an awesome year ahead in this big juggling act. It’s going to be amazing!