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Fridays with French Fries

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It’s a system I have just about down, and R. knows it.

Fridays, particularly when school is in session at the college where she advises the Jewish student group, are frankly epic. By the time she stumbles out of our bedroom at what most people would describe as a normal hour, I have inevitably brewed some coffee, cranked up my Rachel Maddow podcast, rolled up my sleeves and started chopping onions as though we’re going to have to feed an army. And, well, sometimes, close enough.

R. launders the tablecloths and sets the table, unfolding the plastic chairs we’ve borrowed from the college. We estimate the number of student dinner guests in intervals of a half-dozen. I proceed from chopping veggies to rubbing down chicken with herbs, roasting homemade spicy French fries, setting the slow cooker with beans, garlic, onion, root veggies, kosher meat—tonight will be yet another night of explaining what cholent is to wary-looking teens.

Maine is, as you might know, pretty far north. This means that in the summer months, R. and I have a leisurely day of cooking that will still result in us bringing in an early shabbos. In the winter months, which are incidentally the months when we’re most likely to have twenty hungry students over for dinner, and another ten lined up for Shabbat lunch, our prep time shrinks precipitously. The week Shabbat rolled on in before 4pm—well, I won’t admit to frustrated crying. I might admit to a frustrated early cocktail hour.