Anticipating a birthday

Soup, pate, baked fish, roast turkey… the household is bustling with preparations for Ephraim’s big birthday celebration later this month. He’ll be seventeen and Grandfather Shimon Ziml Epstein will travel all the way from Warsaw to bestow his blessing! Mama has her married daughters Chashe and Chevah readying the best table linens, silver, crystal and china. In the kitchen she’s set the middling daughters, Eva, Pauline and Kathy, to help with potatoes, carrots, onions, winter radish, dumplings, nuts, apples, raisins. Meanwhile the young ones skitter underfoot hoping for treats and begging their big brother to play with them — before he’s too old, they tease.

‘There was no lack of good food, raiment and shelter in my parents’ house,’ Ephraim wrote in the account of his life, ‘Why do I live so long.’ His details, and those of his sister Pauline Wengeroff, greatly enrich the flavour (dare I say) of Ephraim’s early life. Go meet her on Ephraim’s people page. Anyone have any delicious ancestral family recipes to share?

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