Ending Yom Kippur with something sweet

Bread pudding, with cinnamon, is served well with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. - stu_spivack/flickr
Bread pudding, with cinnamon, is served well with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
— image credit: stu_spivack/flickr

Going to the first home football game at Mercer Island High School, I noticed a beautiful new tradition for this season, honoring Andrea Bucklin. Andrea, wife, mother and loyal friend to all who knew her, lost her life to a very private battle with cancer. I unfortunately did not know Andrea personally, but only through her legacy and sterling reputation within the Mercer Island community.

Sitting in the stands waiting to watch the cheerleaders come out with the football players, I listened as the announcer, choking for words, began his very eloquent speech about Andrea and her legacy that she leaves behind with the MIHS football program. He stated how she changed the fundraising efforts for the MI booster club; he spoke about her tireless efforts to help build parent support for the football program, all while never seeking any extra attention for herself or her family. The announcer told the community of fans that this season at every home game there would be a moment of tribute to Andrea. Each game would be something different. One game there was a moment of silence.

The announcer was choked up for words; mothers and fathers in the stadium were wiping their tear-filled eyes; even the football players were not afraid to show their emotions. There was not a dry eye in the stadium. Not only has the MI football team shown their pride, but the entire MI community has exhibited such pride for a woman of valor.

Three weeks ago, we celebrated the holiest holiday in the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

On this day, we fast from dinner the night before until sunset the following day. There is no drinking water or sipping beverages. It is a day to ask g-d for forgiveness and start the year fresh. It is also a day to remember those who are no longer with us.

Many Jews will sit in synagogue and pray through a service called “Yizkor.” This is a part of the Yom Kippur service, a set of prayers to honor those who are deceased. I have never sat through the Yizkor portion of the Yom Kippur service, since I am very fortunate to have my family still with me. This year I stayed for Yizkor to support my husband and his family.

I also reflected on those community heroes like Andrea Bucklin and the great contributions that she made unselfishly to our community.

I hope that each and every one of you had a safe and easy fast.

I have enclosed a recipe for bread pudding. On the breaking of the fast, one should always start with something a little sweet, such as a taste of honey or a piece of candy followed by a light meal. Most of us are ravenous and all we want to do is eat everything but the kitchen sink. I generally bring this bread pudding on request. I use challah for the bread. You can use any of your favorite breads.

Bread Pudding

2-3 Challahs torn into 2-inch to 3-inch pieces

1 quart whole milk

1 quart half-and-half

12 eggs, beaten

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

2 sticks salted butter

1 cup raisins

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Vanilla ice cream as needed.

Combine sugars and divide in half. Add cinnamon, eggs, vanilla and salt to half of the sugar.

In a sauce pan, combine milk, half-and-half and butter with the other half of the sugar and bring to a boil. Whisk milk mix into egg mix, add raisins and bread pieces.

Let stand until soaked. Stir in a few raisins from the bottom and sprinkle a few on the top. Pour into a buttered baking dish. (10-by-13-by-3 inches) and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


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