In mid-March my husband was supposed to head off for a week of snowboarding in the French Alps with his best friend, as they’ve done every year since we first met.
And then coronavirus hit.
Just a few days before their flight, the WHO declared a pandemic, and quarantine regulations were put into place. So long, ski vacation.
He was obviously bummed. If he couldn’t get to the (literal) mountain, maybe I could bring the (proverbial) mountain to us?
So, I did the only thing I could think of in such a situation: a (very loosely) ski-themed Shabbat dinner for the day they were due to fly out.
Invitations: Once the ski vacation was off the calendar and our dinner was on, I started out by surprising the travelers (my husband and his best friend, along with his wife) with a text-message invitation whipped together on Canva, featuring a snow-capped mountain.
Décor: Our urban apartment is no log cabin, but a wood slice centerpiece, dimmed lights and candles around the room helped set the mood. And while the nonstop rain was no snow, it definitely upped the coziness.
Menu: On the menu was a cozy (but inauthentic) French-inspired dinner: an easy boeuf bourgignon (sans bacon and butter) and crusty bread to sop it up, roasted potatoes and a sort-of Niçoise salad. For dessert we shared chocolate soufflé, made dairy free and family style. Our friends were tasked with bringing French wine.
Was it the same as traveling? Of course not. There was no snow outside when he woke up the next day, and instead of a week of breathtaking Alps views, that dinner marked the end of socializing with friends and the beginning of many, many weeks at home.
Travel by table
Summer is usually when most of us travel—to the beach, a lake house, a long-awaited European vacation or a family tour of Israel. Not this year, though. Summer, it feels, has been canceled.
While food doesn’t replace travel, it can transport us briefly, carrying us away from the daily grind and monotony of the past few months, whether through dishes we hoped to try or favorites we always look forward to on vacation.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing menus and ideas for meals that’ll whisk you away—a starlit New England beach dinner, a late-night tapas spread, an over-the-top Israeli breakfast, to name a few—even if you can’t leave your house.
Stay tuned and join us on this journey!
Photo by Capturing the human heart. on Unsplash