I was reminiscing with my family recently, about how much I miss the fall season in America. The pumpkin spice lattes, and the jacket weather. The smell that permeates the air after all those early morning rains, and the crisp air at night. The leaves changing colors and falling from the tree. The browns, oranges and auburns in every corner. Fall was always my favorite season. And I get a little sad every year when I realize I moved to a part of the world that skips over the fall season entirely. I miss it.
This is a weird and crazy time. I know everyone around the world is feeling it. But here in Israel, it is particularly weird. Lockdown for the Yamim Noraim, outside davening that felt a bit distanced, kids still at home for the foreseeable future…There is so much unknown currently, and it is so unsettling. What makes me feel at ease through it all is familiarity. The people, the smell, the tastes, the feelings that make me feel at home and warm inside. This lockdown we decided to move in with my family in Efrat. We’ve been really enjoying the family time and the bonding our kids are getting with their cousins. Though it is obviously hard to be away from home and not have our normal routine. In an eerie way though, I feel like G-d had my back. Here in Efrat, the fall feeling is very prevalent. That fall “breeze” flew in at the perfect time.
I first felt it the Thursday night before Yom Kippur. I was out on my run, and this slight cool breeze drafted over the sky. I knew it was time to make fall come alive in the kitchen. These flavors, along with big comfy sweaters and soft cozy leggings, with a slight cool in the air, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I used my sister in-law’s can of pumpkin that she got at her local supermarket, that of course carries all of the American products (because Efrat is mini America isn’t it?) And I developed the recipe with the kids running around in the background, with both my mom and daugthers next to me watching me do what I love best. The cinnamon and pumpkin flavor filled the air. It was just such a perfect scene. I got to set up the picture with my family watching, and share the recipe with my whole extended family. I may not have been in my childhood home or my adult home, but it sure felt like home.The first bite just felt so warm and cozy.
I’ll be making it again with a big pumpkin spice latte to accompany it. And I’ll sit in our family sukkah tasting the fall flavors and reminiscing on all those cold fall Sukkot mornings I spent in my childhood sukkah.
I know it’s a stretch to say that this recipe will bring some comfort to all this chaos, but I hope that it might. Every situation in life turns out to what we make it to be. So this Sukkot you may not be surrounded by all your loved ones, or in the setting you hoped to have been in, but you can bring some sort of familiarity into your sukkah. Whether that be family traditions, or familiar smells and tastes, feelings, or sentiments. I hope this recipe brings back some fall nostalgia for those who need it. Chag Sameach!