Posts Tagged: Isabella Freedman Results 9
Many of us raising families and managing full time jobs have ideals about family time, environmental responsibility and Jewish engagement. These are things we know are really important both for the cohesion of our families and for the long term viability of our communities. Truly though, in trying to get it all done, these values get pushed aside as we attend to the immediate needs of scheduling and then living the rat race that we so carefully planned for ourselves. I know that we need more down time, that we need to cherish food and family, and work towards meaningful spiritual engagement, but I have difficulty making those ideals fit into the teetering Jenga structure that is my work / life / family / community balance.
My family gets together regularly with a group of dedicated carnivore friends for a feast including some combination of roast beef, schnitzel, sausages, and sometimes a roast goose. My contributions tend toward accessories like wine, vegetables and desserts, important but less glamorous. So I was excited when friends at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center recently offered me a quarter of a sustainably raised and humanely slaughtered goat: rib cage and a foreleg, in two large, bony pieces - a new food for me, and an adventure in ambitious meat eating.
I don’t often get the opportunity to read books about people I know in real life. Something about the written word is a distant and surreal fantasy world sandwiched between two hard covers. Even if I was reading about real characters, they were never real to me.
This year it seemed that even the Sugar Maple Trees at Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, CT celebrated Purim. We’ve been tapping about 30 trees over the last three weeks, during this short late-winter maple syrup tapping season. On the day before Purim, unlike any other day until now, some of the buckets were bone dry. Maybe the trees were reminding me to fast? Purim night, conditions were terrible for sap flow; the temperature stayed above freezing all night and by nine in the morning it was already over fifty degrees. The trees flow best when it dips below freezing at night and reaches forty degrees during the day, so I would never have predicted that by eleven o’clock on Thursday morning most of the buckets would be full to the brim with cool sweet sap.