I can always count on my husband being late. Most of the time, it’s really not his fault, as I know he has absolutely no concept of time — unless it has to do with his beloved New York Giants’ games (he is always on time, in front of the TV, for that). If we have a conflicting affair to attend, I DVR it for him and have to warn anyone we will come into contact with not to mention the score. And not just mention it to them, I mean the minute they say hello to us, it’s, “Don’t mention the score, Jerry is going to watch it later in its entirety. Or if I’m in the car with Jerry, and I answer my phone, and it’s on the loudspeaker connected to the car’s audio system, he screams, “Whoever you are, don’t mention the Giants score.”
Another pet peeve of mine is when he’s late coming home before Shabbat. He’s usually on the train that gets in within minutes of Shabbos and then he takes his time sauntering to the car. This past Shabbat I had sleepover company and an additional three couples for lunch the next day. I was rushing to finish my last minute preparations before our guests came, when he called. He said the LIRR train — the one that was added especially for the Orthodox Jews on the short Fridays — was 3 minutes late coming into Jamaica, and the connecting train to Woodmere left without them. Jerry was frightened for his life, because I had explicitly warned him not to be late or I would kill him.
Meanwhile, all the other Orthodox men and women called their spouses as well. They also called the LIRR to scream, or found officials at the station to voice their outrage, that the train had left without them. After all, the train was specifically added to accommodate those who have to be home before sundown. I asked if he knew anyone else on the train, because there was no way I was driving to Jamaica. Thankfully our friend Arlen Zwickler was there as well. I told him to stick with Arlen and try to get Uber, because there were hundreds of people there and they would never all fit in the taxis at Jamaica. The entire hoard of Orthodox Jews figured out if they switch platforms they can catch a train to Valley Stream and get picked up from there, and still make it home in time for Shabbat. Arlen’s daughter Stacey was kind enough to pick them up.
While they were walking to meet her at Valley Stream, Jerry saw his friend Michael Rosenbloom and his son, who also needed a ride. So there they were, all in the car glancing out at the large remaining group who were desperately trying to figure out how to get home on time. Suddenly, Jerry experienced a profound Holocaust moment (he always does!) and he said, “We’re saving ourselves and leaving the others behind. We’re riding on the infamous Kastner train.”
Everyone else in the car, not being children of Holocaust survivors, reasonably concluded, as I often do, that he was out of his mind. The next day, at lunch, however, many were children of holocaust survivors, and they were able to relate to Jerry’s Holocaust affected feelings.
And then, yet again, Jerry was late Saturday night. We were attending the Emunah dinner in the city. Jerry dropped me off in front of the hotel and went to park the car in a designated lot, but of course went MIA and showed up an hour later. While roaming around the smorgasbord, Marian David stopped me, and told me how much she enjoyed my column in The Jewish Star, but more importantly, that her mom was my biggest fan. She went on to say that her mom turned 102 that day and not only did she always read my articles, but she would know when I played hooky and skipped a week. I was beyond touched.
I explained to Marian that just last week I was thinking of telling my editor that I just might have exhausted all the stories I had to tell. But, standing there and hearing about a 102 year old woman that looked forward to reading my article every week, I suddenly didn’t want to give up my writing career just yet. So, Mrs. Irene Twersky, thank you so much for being an avid fan and reading my column every week, this article is for you!
Your daughter informed me that you still read the newspaper every day and complete the crossword puzzle as well. I’d love to meet you in person, so that we can swap stories. If you like, I can even bring Jerry, though he will probably be late.
Talking about fans…
Fanned Baked Potatoes
8 large sized baking potatoes
8 Tbs of butter
Crushed garlic – 4 cloves or 4 cubes of Dorit crushed garlic
2 tsp of salt
1 Tbs pepper
1. Scrub scrub the potatoes, and pat them dry.
2. Use a very sharp knife to make several vertical cuts from the top of the potatoes most of the way through, stopping about ¼ inch from the bottom. Put a wooden mixing spoon or large wooden salad servers along the vertical length of the potato, then, when slicing it through, they will help prevent your cutting the potatoes all the way through the bottom; when the knife touches the edges you can stop.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Place the potato on a baking tray
4. Add the crushed garlic to butter and heat it on low heat stirring constantly. Make sure the butter just melts and doesn’t brown.
5. Brush the melted garlic butter all over the potatoes including the bottom side. Brush generously, and make sure to put garlic pieces from the butter over the potatoes.
6. Roast the potatoes in pre-heated oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven brush garlic butter again and pop into oven again and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the skin of the potatoes turn crisp.
7. Remove potatoes from oven, if you like, You can add some finely chopped rosemary or any other herb at this time. Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes.
8. Once done, remove potatoes from oven and immediately brush them with some more garlic butter. Serve immediately.
Judy Joszef is a columnist for The Jewish Star.