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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The Friday Night Roasted Chicken

chickenIt started long ago when Benedetto and I were semi-newlyweds living in Israel.  We had been married for just over a year when we moved back to where we first met.  Far from our families, we learned to establish traditions of our own.

The first one was the Friday night chicken.

This is not an unusual practice in Jewish families, who commence to welcome a day of rest on Friday night, starting with a special meal and prayers.  Challah, a braided, yeasty bread for Shabbat, and a roasted chicken feature prominently in many homes.  Only we raised it to a new level, arranging to have a chicken against all odds.

For a couple of months, we lived and worked in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee.  We were doing an chicken3archaeological excavation on a site destined to be a fancy hotel.  The two of us lived in a small guesthouse and had breakfast at a café.  A young grad student stayed during the week for free at our apartment in Jerusalem, vacating on the one-day weekend when we would return.

Working Sunday through Friday in another city made shopping for a chicken difficult at best.  By the time we would reach Jerusalem, 99% of the stores and shops were closed, and would remain closed, until late on Saturday night.  What to do?

chicken4We began buying a frozen chicken on Friday, just after noon, on our way to the inter-city bus.  Driving through the Jordan Valley in hotter than hot weather, the bird rested on the bus floorboards and was fully defrosted by the time we got home and could pop it in the oven.

And here we are, thirty-some years later, with the tradition continuing.  Early Friday mornings, I rise and begin to prep for that evening’s meal.  There’s a rhythm, and a reason, and a resonance with which even our children relate.

We have survived, we have thrived, we are healthy and moving forward.  The savory chicken is on the table, the family is gathered around, and our hearts are filled with gratefulness.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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