Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jewish Grandma Syndrome

Jewish Grandma Syndrome, also known as JGS, can strike at any age. One day you're going about your un-grandma-like business, the next day you find yourself frantically running the streets, in hot pursuit of a brisket. JGS struck me tonight, and I'm still trying to process how it all went down.

You see, Rosh Hashanah a.k.a. the Jewish New Year, starts tomorrow. And after being totally checked out on vacation all of last week, it dawned on me today that we didn't have any plans. Usually we're with family in Cleveland or New Jersey, or joining Jewish forces with friends in the area. However, we all seemed to have dropped the (matzo) ball this year. Although I'm no super jew, I couldn't imagine this holiday without the smell of brisket or noodle kugel in the house. So, I rounded up a small crew, and told them to be over for dinner tomorrow night.

After work, I booked it to Safeway to stock up on my ingredients. Considering their inventory usually consists of expired Pedialyte and loose baby carrots, I shouldn't have been surprised when there was no brisket to be found. Disheartened, I decided to trek 10 blocks over to Whole Foods for something expensive and grass fed. But, it was raining. And I was wearing flip flops. And I had a bag of noodle kugel ingredients that I didn't want to schlep. (See, I really have JGS --  I'm complaining a lot and saying things in Yiddish. I'm also planning to order a velour pantsuit online.)

So, I walked home and frantically ate cheese doodles while I pondered what to do next. This brisket wasn't going to come out of thin air, no matter how much I prayed. I decided to go to another grocery store -- a good 15 minute walk away. I partially changed into workout clothes, and briskly walked to Harris Teeter, thinking positive thoughts about brisket. The whole time, I was stewing over people who had cars, people who take brisket shopping for granted. They didn't have to do it on foot, in the rain, wearing a combination of half workout/half work clothes. They didn't see a dead mouse on the sidewalk or get briefly attacked by a moth (my most feared insect). They didn't have to battle an urban jungle for a slab of meat.

Exhausted, I arrived at HT, and considered asking a stranger to push me around in one of the carts shaped as a car for small children. I slowly walked to the meat counter. There was a row of London Broil. It looked just like brisket. But was it? Who knew? Oy Vey! I called my mother (who promised to be on call in case of any questions) but she didn't answer. I called my aunt. Nothing. I called my friend. Voicemail. Biatch.I actually didn't call my Jewish grandmothers, because who has time to be stuck on the phone for 2 hours?

In a last ditch effort, I called my dad who immediately told me London Broil was most definitely not brisket. It's a different cut. Don't even think about it. My heart sank deeper. No brisket? I suck at making chicken. I hate chicken.What the heck would I cook for dinner tomorrow night?

And then I saw it.

NEXT to the meat counter was a row of briskets galore. I practically shed tears of joy.

MAZEL freakin' TOV.

Happy New Year.

Love, Bubbie.

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