Let's play a little game. If you're atoning chances are you will not be reading this post anyway. When I say religion, what's the first thing you think of? If church, temple or services came to mind, you and I are different (and that's ok). If matzoh balls, Christmas cookies or kugel popped into your head, give me a virtual high five. For us, religion is pretty much all about the food. We're secular but connected to our roots enough to carry on, in my opinion, the most important traditions of all and that's the food. I grew up in a house devoid of organized religion. Though I didn't think it possible, I married someone even less religious and on this day of atonement, my boys are playing ice hockey. I read a fantastic post on my friend Rebecca's blog that summed up all of this in a far more eloquent manner that I ever could have. Read "finding my religion in a bowl of matzoh ball soup" and enjoy or don't enjoy because today is solemn. She's deserves the credit for "Culinary Jew" though I don't think this is limited to any one religion.
On another related note, I spoke to many clients this week who will fast and then break fast at the end of the day. These are not Culinary Jews what I"ll call Level 2 (or above) Jews. Anyway, it's easy to go overboard after not eating all day. I asked one client about this meal and he said "I think it defeats the purpose to gorge at break fast." I asked him to explain and he said, and I paraphrase, after spending the day reflecting on my sins, some of which have to do with my health, it makes no sense to splurge in an unhealthy manner the second it is over. Just a little food for thought today, this type of food is allowed, I think.