The meal reminds me in some ways of a medieval feast. There are story-tellers, singers, a court jester, knights clashing from time to time in a joust. A dog wakes up from its long nap beneath the table to lap up flakes of matzah from the chairs and floor.
chef de cuisine
All day she's in the kitchen cooking, and here and there we jump in and help her, though for the most part she wants it to be a solo operation. She takes pride in her ability to single-handedly cater multiple feasts. There's chicken, lamb, beef with yams, and turkey, potatoes with prunes, matzah ball soup, glazed carrots, broccoli, beets, and Brussels sprouts. Charoset too (apples, bananas, nuts, wine, cinnamon, and a little honey mixed together in a blender). Am I leaving anything out? Salads, can't forget those. Anything else? Probably.
Many streets in downtown Philly have become gardens. The narrower ones have a roof of pink blossoms. Daffodils grow from windowboxes, and cherry trees spread their branches over brick courtyards. By the side of an unpaved parking lot tulips have sprung up.
Matzah balls made from scratch with a family recipe are addictive, full of fluffy doughy goodness.
A dog noses through fallen magnolia blossoms.
In a battle of Lego figurines, my knees are a part of the terrain. Opposing forces stand on them and lob incendiary Lego weapons at each other.
They're real flowers, but in their surroundings they seem fake. Planted next to racks of designer purses and sunglasses and aisles that smell of perfume and new shoes, their tropical colors have the luster of plastic.