Both sides of the family have a long relationship with bialies.
My dad's family came from or through Bialystok on their way to the new world. He and his brother, Uncle George were bar mitzvah'ed at the Bialystok Synagogue. They all ate bialies.
Florence grew up over Kossar's, the bialy store when it was still on Hester Street. It moved around the corner when Dana's husband, George convinced everyone to trade the tenements for nice high-rises that had hot water and plumbing inside the apartments. They all ate bialies too.
Kossars always closed for Shabbos. So, during summertime, me, Cindy and B. would wait until sunset and then some, and then stroll down to the store on Grand and Essex and get the first hot, fresh bialies straight from the ovens. It was, pre-breasts and boys, the highlight of our Saturday nights.
Come to think of it, it was, post-breasts and boys, still the highlight of our Saturday nights .
The store changed hands but the bialies didn't. Ok, maybe a bit more doughy but the one time I complained to the counter guy they weren't cooked as much as they used to be, he yelled at me to toast them if I wanted them crunchier.
Then one day someone suggested I give up gluten. Everything ailing me sounded more like gluten was an issue rather than early dementia, laziness or inferior genes. I reluctantly said goodbye to most of the things I ate and things improved. Bread, bread and butter, bread and gravy, bread and anything, pasta, more bread, cake, bagels and with everything on bread became more and more relegated to the past. However, so did all those annoying problems I thought were due to dementia, laziness or inferior genes.
But, there are several ways to connect to one's health and one of them is the spiritual reunion with one's people and past. And one night, braving cold and late and tired, a trip to Kossar's procured a bialy.
And even though the next day was hell, that night was the highlight of many, many meals over many, many months.
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Sunday Memories: From That Moment On The World Was Different
Guest Artist Dana: The Gift That Kept On Giving
Sunday Memories: His New New York His California His Home-Part Three