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Chicken katsu and dreams of a post-pandemic Shabbat

#tweetyourshabbat is a global movement founded by Carly Pildis, celebrating the struggle and joy of getting Shabbat on the table every week. This is a place for real dinners and real conversations about Jewish life. Join us at Forward in sharing what you’ll be eating and how your feeling this week at #TweetYourShabbat

I have one shot. My husband is fully vaccinated. I want to getaway. I want a pineapple margarita in my hand and turquoise waves and white sand between my toes. Don’t you?

I dream of a trip to Hawaii, I picture us strolling along, safe and happy and normal. I glance at ticket prices. I remember CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s emotional plea to please hold on a little longer. I remember all of those who are struggling to get vaccinated and the deep inequity this pandemic has laid bare. I remember that there were over 450,000 cases of COVID in America reported last week. I remember that so many people would kill for just one more stressful day with the family member they lost. I shut my computer, put on my mask, and take the same walk I’ve been taking for months.

Escapist fantasies are healthy and it’s motivating to look forward to a hopeful future, as long as we don’t lose sight of where we actually are. A recent North Carolina University found that formulating post-pandemic plans is a healthy coping mechanism. Uncertainty and powerlessness are terrifying – but planning, or at least daydreaming, of future days, can fill us with hope, empowerment, and a sense of control over our lives.

Shabbat helps. This week I decided to cook as I might eat on vacation. Dreaming of an evening in Hawaii, where I’ve never been, and the sound of waves in the background as we eat. Unplugged, at my desk/kitchen table, eating chicken katsu and sticky rice with furikake and hoisin pineapple, focused on creating difference, space and ultimately a place to rest. I close my eyes and pretend to smell the ocean. The smell of fried chicken is good enough for now.

Click here for my Chicken Katsu recipe.

How was your week? How are you spending Shabbat? Let us know at #tweetyourshabbat! Everyone is welcome at this table! Come hungry.

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