Sabbath dinner isn’t an accident. On Friday nights in the Jewish faith when families sit down to a stuff fest of meats, chicken soup, salads, starches and desserts there is a grand design afoot. When a group of relations is in one place long enough it will not be long before the temperature rises and old wounds like where Aunt Rose was forced to sit at the wedding and why Uncle Sol didn’t come to cousin Lilli’s funeral will surface. God looked down at the first Sabbath dinner and in his infinite wisdom figured out that the more carbs he stuffs into his people the less strength they will have for bloodshed. And so the tradition was born. Not just in Jewish homes, but all religions where food is a necessity at family gatherings. Granted the Jews and Italians have elevated over feeding to an art form, but it has definitely caught on in a big way. It has thus occurred to me at numerous times in my life the way world leaders look when they sit down to negotiate. Hungry and cranky like a small baby whose bottle is a few minutes late in arriving. Sitting in their high chair with cross little looks on their faces, lips quivering and pouting close to tears as they await feeding. Perhaps little Vladimir needs his borscht fix. Would a big boiled potato and some sour cream make it all better for little Vlad? If he is stuffing his face perhaps he will stop attacking other countries. I am never more aware that there is world hunger than when I see world leaders sit down to “talk.” Honestly Boris, I know the British are not big foodies, but maybe a good meal of fish and chips before chatting about terrorism? Of course the Chinese are a challenge. By the time they finish eating and walk to the bargaining table they are hungry again. No wonder Xi made such a deal about the chocolate cake. Angela Angela, maybe lay off so much sauerbraten at lunchtime. A nice green salad and fruit perhaps? If you look at some of these meetings you will see that of everyone, Bibi Netanyahu is usually the most smiley, which is truly ironic since not a day goes by that Israel is not condemned, maligned, attacked or threatened. So why should Bibi smile? Simply, because he is probably the most well fed of the bunch. I am sure the Mossad has a special detail to ensure that he is never without a hot meal, a snack and some of his grandmother’s mandal bread. If you look at Congress today you can tell in one minute who is not eating. Obviously no one from California as eating anything but micro greens is against state law. If Nancy Pelosi would spend as much time stuffing her face with chocolate as she does Botox the country would be a far better place. Chuck Chuck Chuckala. You’re a New York Jew. Stop with the crying and kvetching and EAT!!! Mitch you’re looking thin, how about a nice Filet Mignon with garlic-mashed potatoes and green beans? Elizabeth Warren, oh Lord where do I begin? Perhaps some corn chowder and Maine Lobster. Nope, I think a roll in the hay is required when someone is that damn sour. Marco before you vote try the flan, it’s to die for. Bernie Bernie Bernie. I know you’re not a Jew anymore, but maybe a taste of your mother’s chicken soup with kreplach will put a smile on that miserable puss. It is important to remember that when someone is hungry their blood sugar drops. If you don’t believe that physical circumstances can affect a person’s personality perhaps you’ve never met a woman PMSing and driving to a 7/11 at two in the morning for a Hershey bar. Oh that’s right, that was me. In order for the world to be a safer place we need better catering. I have seen pictures of leaders in discussion and when there is a plate of food on the table it’s usually only cookies or donuts. This is nourishment? I think not. Sugar rush, blood levels peak and fall. Not good for a long time peace process. Bust out a basket of bagels, lox, cream cheese and cut up veggies. A platter of cheeses and some scrambled eggs and then we’ll talk. Tough to say hostile things when you’re chewing an everything bagel wit a schmear. I guarantee the state of the world would alter immediately if the meals improved. There is no doubt in my mind that if President Biden invited Chuck and Mitch to the White House and they sat down to a big Sabbath dinner, unbuttoned their pants and had an extra piece of rugalach, much more would get done. Many believe the Jewish people have survived because of their senses of humor. Perhaps that’s a big part, but I claim it’s the food. The family that eats together grows together in more ways than one. If the world would only take my advice I guarantee the conversation would go like this: Biden and Vlad stuffed to the gills on brisket, borscht, bobka and cheesecake all catered by New York’s famous Katz’s Deli. Biden, unbuttoning his pants. “ Come on Vlad, I’m so over Assad. He is causing such problems in the Middle East. Do me a solid here and let’s find a new guy who’ll work with both of us, and dump the butcher.” Vlad, loosening the tie on his sweat pants “ But I need that port, you know I can’t be without such a strategic waterway. Joe, you know I love the power.” “Vlad Vlad Vlad, I’ve got a guy, a cousin of my baker says he knows a guy in Syria that will let you keep the port and also work with our partners in the Middle East. You give a little, we give a little; we can do this. More strawberries on your cheesecake?” “Just a spoonful. You think this guy knows what he’s talking about?” “You’ve had three pieces of his cheesecake, would he lie?” “No, this guy knows his stuff. Tell you what, I’ll meet with him, but I need this recipe?” “I can make that happen. Now lets talk about little rocket man.” “Please Joe, I’m eating, don’t ruin my meal here. We’ll discuss him tomorrow at brunch. Maybe you’ll serve those delicious cronuts?” Peace for our time so much better than Chamberlain. But of course the British have never gotten the whole food thing.
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Award-winning journalist and star Jude of Baking It on NBC with Maya Rudolph and Andy Sandburg Norma Zager combines her years of stand-up comedy with her writing skills, to create an offbeat, hilarious take on Baby Boomer life and growing older in today's world that touches the chocolate-coated soul of everyone. One of the stars of the Food Network’s Clash of the Grandmas, Zager had returned to journalism after a 14-year stint as a stand up comic, playing Vegas regularly and opening for the biggest names in laughter. She created Norma’s 14 Karat Cookies after moving to Los Angeles and was the first comedian to have her own comedy/cooking show in Las Vegas. Her numerous television and radio appearances including Home and Family and appearances on the Food Network made her a favorite with audiences. Her cooking show on Beverly Hills Cable Network can also be seen on Youtube. In 1999, Zager returned to her journalistic roots when she accepted a reporter position at the Beverly Hills Courier newspaper and became editor after nationally scooping all other media and breaking the story about Laura Schlessinger’s mother’s death. When Erin Brockovich sued the city of Beverly Hills alleging an oil well on on high school grounds was the cause of numerous cancers in former students, Zager’s coverage garnered national attention. In 2003 she was named Los Angeles Journalist of the Year and Best Investigative Reporter by the Los Angeles Press Club. The Wall Street Journal and The Columbia Journalism Review both featured articles about her work on the Brockovich story. Zager’s book about the Brockovich/Beverly Hills lawsuit entitled Erin Brockovich and the Beverly Hills Greenscam, is currently available on Amazon and bookstores everywhere. Lila Luminosity and the Lipstick Murders and Lila Luminosity and the Planet Christmas Murders combine her love of comedy, cooking and reporting to create a crazy, zany, fun-filled ride through the universe armed with chocolate, shoes and every woman’s perfect boyfriend. They are also available on Amazon. Zager and her family reside in Los Angeles, where she is a journalist, radio show host, author, speaker and part-time journalism professor at California State University. View all posts by normazagercom