White Fish

Twenty or more of us are squeezed in around two tables that have been opened to fill my grandmother’s tiny living room, already crowded with overstuffed furniture. We children sit on an ironing board laid across two chairs, dangling our legs. I haven’t understood a word of the lengthy Hebrew ceremony, but the food emerging from the kitchen is a language unto itself.

“Your grandma’s matzo balls are like cannonballs,” Uncle Dave hollers. “They blow up in your stomach!”

My aunts bustle in and out of the kitchen with pans and platters. “More chicken?” “A bisel kugel?” “Pass the pflummen tzimmes!”

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