There are friends who transform your life. They may not be the friends you see regularly. They may not be the friends that are your neighbors or even part of your community . They are people who have entered your orbit and make you see the world differently. They are people who live their life and transform others with the enormity of who they are. Our friends, Dorothy, Patrick and Aimee McCarthy are precisely those type of friends.
Dorothy and Patrick are parents like no one else. They have met life’s challenges with great courage, tenacity and good humor. They have raised Aimee, their daughter, with the greatest spirit of empowerment and positive energy. Although Aimee has faced so many medical hurdles, she is one of the most inspirational women we have met. Aimee is a young woman who embodies optimism, strength and spirit and someone who leads others by example.
Dorothy and Patrick have shown us how to show appreciation to those who have impacted their lives. Dorothy and Patrick have gone above and beyond the call of duty to celebrate life’s joys and sadnesses with us. At Aimee’s twenty-first birthday party, Dorothy and Patrick invited us and ordered catered glatt kosher food for us and their other kosher guests. When my mother-in-law passed away, the McCarthys planted a gorgeous lilac tree on our property in Mom’s memory. Over the years, these wonderful friends have made generous donations to the Yad Eliezer soup kitchen in Tzfat, Israel in memory of my in-laws. They are so appreciative of the small measure of friendship that we have shown them and are friends that we admire so immensely.
Yesterday, Patrick dropped off an enormous box of vegetables and herbs from their garden. The idea of sharing the bounty of one’s hard work in planting and tending to a garden is divinely inspired. It is reminiscent of the bekurim (first fruits) that were dedicated to G-d and given to the Cohanim (Priests) in the Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple).at Shavuos (Jewish Holiday celebrated 7 weeks after Passover) : Bekurim: First Fruits from Hollister.
This bounty speaks to the munificent spirit of these wonderful friends and the enormity of appreciation that defines them.
With the generous selection of vegetables and herbs shared with us by the McCarthy family, I decided to make a fresh and delicious salad. Here it is:
2 small heads of lettuce, torn or cut into small bits
mixed peppers, cut into thin sticks
2 zucchini, scrubbed and shredded or spiralized
new onions or scallions, thinly sliced
heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
parsley, soaked and rinsed (see kosher notes)
Prepare all of the vegetables and the dressing. Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette on top. Toss right before serving. Enjoy!
Toss sliced tofu and zucchini with olive oil and kosher salt and roast in a 450 degree F oven for 40 minutes. Serve on top of the salad.
Kosher laws disallow the eating of any whole insects and therefore most herbs require a process of soaking and rinsing. Kashrut authorities differ somewhat on the proper checking of herbs. This blog was not designed to be your kosher authority, so please consult your local rabbinic authority regarding using herbs such as parsley.