Mah Jongg is not just a game. It has become a part of my life that allows me to entertain my Mah Jongg-playing friends, cook great meals to serve to them and test my mental skills during our game play (which, hopefully, is often).
TOBY SALK JUST EMAILED ME – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING FROM THE AWFUL STORMS PLAGUING THE BAY AREA AT THIS TIME. WE ARE THINKING OF ALL OF YOU AND HOPE YOU ARE OKAY…
I know this is very last minute but for those of you living in Northern California, there is a terrific Mah Jongg event happening today. Heartfelt is hosting a Mah Jongg night at 6:30PM featuring our dear friend, Mah Jongg expert and teacher extraordinaire, Toby Salk. It will be held at the Heartfelt pop-up store at 301 Cortland Avenue. Toby will talk about the history of the game, the community it has brought her, and some basics for learning how to play. As Heartfelt wrote in their announcement, “There is a magic that happens when folks sit down at a table together.”
For those of you not familiar with Heartfelt, here is their blurb: Heartfelt is located in the neighborhood of Bernal Heights in the southern part of San Francisco. We think of ourselves as an old fashioned general store with a modern twist. It truly is a store like no other. We are proud of our customer service, free gift wrapping and a large array of gifts for all ages. We also sell a variety of local grown fresh flowers.
Heartfelt also wrote: See you Thursday…there will be cookies.
LOVE THIS – is there anything better than cookies?!!!!
Several people have requested the recipes for the holiday cookies. Although not the prettiest cookies I have ever seen, I think these would be perfect not only for Rosh Hashanah but also for breaking the fast on Yom Kippur as they are not terribly sweet. And they also would be good for any Mah Jongg table!
According to The Classic Cuisine of the Italian Jews by Edda Servi Machlin, “There was a time when the law that prevailed was the ‘law of the stick.’ When landlords could not collect from poor tenants, they would evict them with the persuasive aid of a stick. The same treatment was applied to the Jews when they were no longer wanted in a community.”
“The Jewish fascination with depressing desserts in general, can be interpreted either as an attempt to dust a little sugar over bad memories–or to immortalize the centuries of oppression and scorn as if to say, ‘Even in the good times, we must remember the bad.’ Consuming a dessert that represents a negative experience inherently implies that the Jewish people have not only survived through the era of hardships, but thrived enough to have a little dessert. In other words, sfratti–like hamantaschen or haroset–are a tasty embodiment of the celebratory phrase: ‘They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!'”
Yesterday was my turn to host again and, although three people from the OMs (Original Mahjettes) were unable to attend, we still pulled together our weekly game. X and S2 (we have an S1 and an S2, in no particular order) were able to play but we were missing J (meetings interfered!), K (on safari!), and S1 (still enjoying sunny California). Our good friends D and G joined us for lunch and lots of games.