Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter treats: all half off at Pomegranate

Fill up your baskets and set the table with our adorable Easter goodies, from crazy fuzzy chicks to felted hens and toadstools... all at half off today through Saturday at Pomegranate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A little Passover story ... and why I like staying in the background

Years ago, in another life (maybe on another planet?), I lived in San Francisco and loved to plan and design events. I was lucky enough to be able to do some of it as part of my corporate work life, and some on weekends for friends (parties, weddings, etc.). I love it all: thinking about the flow and look of the party, the music, the flowers, the food. Making everyone happy with the things they're eating (I'm such an Italian mama that way), with the setting, the special little details.

But if you do the planning, sometimes you're too spent to attend the actual party. Which is very bad form if it's for a friend. Think about one of those fashion shows where all the models come prancing out in these hot designs, and at the end of it, the designer pops out from behind the curtain for a second, waves, and disappears. And you can't believe how sort of frazzled or even dowdy the designer looks. Because they are frazzled from all the behind-the-scenes racing around. {And, they don't design clothes for themselves – they're designed for some sort of otherworldly race of tall, thin, perfect people.} Anyway, I identify with them because you can't spend hours running and schlepping and pinning things and putting out fires and then suddenly smooth yourself down and walk out all calm and collected.

One time my friend and neighbor Marcia asked me to help set up a Seder dinner for a Passover celebration she was planning. I happily agreed, and we spent the day setting up a gorgeous table with all the requisite special dishes and accoutrements. We made a place setting for Elijah, who would be a special guest indeed, if he came to dinner. So far, he has not attended, but by tradition a setting (and wine cup) is reserved for him, just in case. Towards the end of the dinner, someone (usually a child) gets up and opens the front door briefly to welcome him. But no one is there.

I was invited to join the Seder, but preferred to simply take part in the setup, and not be a bumbling guest who didn't know anyone (see additional reasons above). So Marcia came up with a brilliant idea: she would surreptitiously give me a call during dinner to let me know they were getting near the end of the meal, and I would run downstairs to her door and wait for the kids to open it. Yep, those kids shrieked and jumped about three feet when they opened the door and saw me there. The looks on their faces were priceless. And I got to join in on my first Passover Seder for one of the best parts of any dinner: dessert. And stories and conversation. I didn't sit in Elijah's place. Maybe he'll show up tonight on your doorstep!