My Bubby’s Favorite Friday

I was fortunate to have grown up within walking distance from all four of my grandparents. While we visited all of them regularly, my paternal grandmother, aleha ha-shalom, provided a special incentive for us to visit: she was an awesome cook. She lived on the second floor of an apartment building, and we could tell what she was making as soon as we entered the lobby. It was the best-smelling apartment building in the world.

At some point around my bar mitzvah, I discovered that my father's Friday visits to her after work were timed so that he could sample the food she had cooked for Shabbat, and soon I was in the habit of visiting each Friday as well. My younger siblings eventually caught on as well, at which point the portions began to get smaller.

At some point, I think my Bubby became nervous that we were coming for the food, not for her. Sure, we’d chat with her, but it was always Friday afternoon, when we knew we'd be able to sample that delicious Shabbat food. So we made sure to always visit Bubby on the Friday before Tisha Be-Av, Erev Shabbat Chazon. This was the one Friday of the year that we’d be unable to sample the fleishig food. The apartment smelled as tantalizing as ever, mocking our dairy-fueled doldrums. And this is what reassured my Bubby that our weekly visits were really primarily to see her, and that the food was simply a really, really good incentive.

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