To A Sweet New Year And A Sweet Kugel

By Rebecca Brown

Rosh Hashanah is my favorite Jewish holiday. For all of the obvious reasons. And for one not so obvious reason.

Mah’s Sweet Kugel.

Deb Z. — affectionately known as “Mah” to an endless stream of daughters and grandchildren — is my sister-in-law’s mom.

It’s hands down the best kugel ever. But that’s not why I love it so. I love it because it reminds me of, well, everything else I love. Like pasta. And dessert. All rolled into one. Like the first Jewish holiday that I spent with Steve’s extended family when I first tasted it. Exactly one year after Steve asked me out on our first date. It reminds me of a house bursting with family. And of my oldest niece Dylan who requests that “Mah” make it for every birthday. And it especially reminds me of Rosh Hashanah, particularly last year’s when Rabbi Talve gave me the opportunity to share my own experience with the congregation during the high holiday service. An opportunity that made my family and me stronger. And ultimately led to our Year of Shabbats.

Years ago I asked Deb for her sweet kugel recipe. It went something like “a dash of this, a dab of that” as she rattled it off the top of her head. I gave it a try, but my rendition didn’t hold a candle to hers. Just as well. I’d much prefer her original, the anticipation of whether I’ll find it on the table at the next holiday event and all of the sweet memories that will follow.

Happy New Year!