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Think Fast

September 18, 2018

Yesterday I was thinking about gorging on donuts. Today is different, and that is because tomorrow is Yom Kippur.

It’s the Jewish Day of Atonement, and one of the High Holy Days. That means that Jews around the world who may never step foot into a synagogue all year, will be in the pews asking for forgiveness.

And yes, we will be fasting.

Well, most of us anyway. Small kids won’t. The elderly should not. Those who are sick are excused from the task. The fast isn’t long. Technically, it’s from sunset to sunset. But as a Reform Jew, I’ll be going from after dinner tonight to the break-fast at the end of the closing service tomorrow. Dinner will end after sunset, and for the past few years, the closing services have ended before sundown.

There will always be members of any orthodoxy who will say that everyone else is doing it wrong. I say we shouldn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. But there is one thing that I always take away from this experience.

Going without food sucks.

I used to skip meals all the time. I’d blow past breakfast on the way out the door in the morning. Sometimes work would be so crazy that I wouldn’t take a break for lunch. And it was no big deal. But I’d never skip both, nor would I dream of attempting to get through the day without coffee.

Skipping a meal isn’t the same as going without food for the day. Not only is it exhausting, but it takes a physical and emotional toll. Headaches and grumpiness are the two major symptoms. But there are related ones too like irritability and fatigue.

The thing Yom Kippur always helps me remember is that there are people who go through their lives like this every day.

Food insecurity is a real thing. It exists everywhere, even in middle class and upper middle class communities. And it’s likely that someone you know is experiencing it right now. However, it’s something that people don’t talk about, so the extent of the problem is largely hidden from plain sight.

I am very lucky to be able to do what I do. To live my life around food, and the pursuit of culinary experiences. Which is why I’m always glad to help support local organizations that work tirelessly to help those who are not as lucky.

The Food Pantries For The Capital District is a perfect example.  The 7th Annual Harvest Evening Celebration on October 4. Mark your calendar. Even better, click here and buy a ticket. This is always an amazing event where local chefs compete against each other to create tasty, simple dishes that use a staple ingredient from the food pantry.

While I will be one of the official judges for the event, everyone who attends gets to cast a ballot for The People’s Choice award. And it’s always fun to see if the judges and the crowd agree.

If you do come, please make sure to find me and say hi. I’d love to compare notes on the samples. Among the competitors this year are Tipsy Moose, The Point, Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen, and Field Notes. It was at this event last year that I first met Joan and Kyle of Field Notes, and it was the first taste I ever had of the Lansing Farm cider donut.

Speaking of Field Notes, I’m also going to be at one of their Saturday night dinners in a few days with a couple friends from Yelp. If you are Yelp-curious and want to join us, it’s an open invitation. The details for that can be found here, and I just know it’s going to be fantastic.

Tomorrow the blog will be on holiday. But I look forward to returning on Thursday with a post-fast post.

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