City Suppers in Upper Canal
by Molly Senders When I saw that Harrison Center for the Arts was hosting a City Suppers Indy event, I immediately signed up. Nothing makes me happier or makes me feel more connected to my friends than having them gathered around a table, enjoying good food, good wine, and great stories. Though it’s not necessary to do so for City Suppers Indy, I chose to theme my dinner “A Taste of Israel in Indy”, inspired by my recent trip to Israel in August. Israel is a complex and beautiful country, and as such, their food is a reflection of that culture. I was thrilled to eat falafel, fresh hummus, and Israeli salad every day, and upon my arrival home, I was inspired to re-create what was no longer readily available to me.
There’s an old joke in Jewish circles about Jewish holiday celebrations- “they tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat!” While that’s a lighthearted look at most Jewish holidays, there’s something to be said for how food-centric Jewish religion and culture is. Sharing my Jewish heritage as well as the life-changing trip I had in Israel isn’t an easy thing to do. My experience is hard to share for those who weren’t there to experience it next to me.
But food? That’s one thing that I can do.
By recreating my Israel experience in my own humble Indy kitchen, thousands of miles away from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, I was able to show my friends, in a delicious way, how much my trip meant to me. But more than that, I was able to show them how important it is to share with them my experience and my culture right here in Indy, in order to keep expanding our horizons within the city we love. Cesar Chavez once famously said “If you want to make a really good friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him. The people who give you their food give you their heart.” I learned about the culinary heart of Israel through my travels and experiences there. And just as my friends have all given me pieces of their hearts through their beautiful friendships, I hope that those who sat around my table last Sunday night felt they received my heart in return.