Hanukiot you can build, smell, and eat.
Worried that the food you thought was kosher, or at least kosher style, has some hidden pork?
I don’t mean the kind of miracles we often think of, in a biblical sense: an event that defies all laws of nature, and happens only once-in-a-lifetime (or only once-in-history, and only a very long time ago). In fact, the miracles I’ve come to see around me are the exact opposite: they ARE the laws of nature, and they are happening every day. I have held a seed in my hand, a TINY tiny seed, that has everything inside it needed to turn into an onion. A whole onion! That I will eat! Inside that tiny tiny seed! Honestly, I may not even believe such a thing if I didn’t get to see it happen in front of me, and help this miracle occur day after day over the course of a farming season.
As Emily Matchar pointed out in her book “Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity,” a growing number of women have been taking up old-school activities like canning, baking, sewing and whatever else their mothers used to pay people to do.
Been wondering what’s behind all those artisanal chocolate bars cluttering check-out lanes and tattooed women knitting booties for the babies permanently strapped to their chests? Or, as the show “Portlandia” so acutely captured in one of its most hilarious skits, the undeniable urge that crafty young folks have to put a bird on it?
Pickling cucumbers, cultivating yeast for Challah, sewing tallit, or making your own family tree. These are just a few of the fun Jewish projects you can do yourself.
I recently discovered, and promptly became obsessed with, Emily Matchar’s blog New Domesticity. On the blog and in her upcoming book due out next year, Matchar explores the recent-ish explosion of “lost” domestic arts like bread-baking, bee-keeping and serious DIY laundry (handmade washboard, anyone?). I’d been noticing the popularity of this return to the ways of yore for quite a while — in the steady stream of beautiful food blogs and online crafting tutorials and magazine articles about topics like urban gardening. When I belatedly acquired a Pinterest account, I saw that millions of people were spending their waking hours on virtual bulletin boards, collecting recipes and home improvement projects.
Our family moved from Roslyn, Long Island to Portland, Oregon in 1993. That spring, while standing on the sidelines on a soggy soccer field another mother asked me: “Have you done your canning yet?”