Monday, September 7, 2015

The Bittersweetness of Honeycake

Every Rosh Hashanah, we could always count on Mom to make us all honey cake - and her honey cakes were delicious. Last year she sent some in a care package to my daughter, who had just started her freshman year at college and wasn't able to come home for the holidays.

It's almost six months since we lost Mom so suddenly and unexpectedly, and although we are carrying on, working, surviving, doing the things we need to do,  and trying every day to honor her memory, there is still such an enormous hole. As I told her when we were together at StoryCorps:   (see podcast episode 421, end "remembering Susan Silverstone Darer") "If our family is a wheel, you are the hub."

This weekend, it hit me all over again that Mom isn't here to make the honey cake. Like taking over the responsibility for hosting the seder, which made me feel like I really was a grown up who would never again sit at the kiddie table (the place from which I always wanted to be promoted and suddenly longed for again) it's time to make the honey cake. 

I knew I had the recipe somewhere, because I have made it one or two times before. After a bit of digging I found it, still on the fax roll (anyone remember thermal paper?) from when Mom faxed it to me in 1997, when my son was four and my daughter was one. Because it's on thermal paper, both the recipe and Mom's handwriting are fading. My written notes in pen are still clear, as I made my own marks on the recipe. 

The honey cake recipe - still on original  fax paper, which is now fading. 

And so we pass on the traditions from generation to generation: L'dor v'dor.  Someday, G-d willing,  I hope my children will make this honey cake for their children, and remember their grandmother as they eat it. And me, too, after I am gone. 

Wishing you all a L'Shanah Tovah - and may all the people of the world experience the sweet blessing of peace. 


  1. Sending many good thoughts your way.

  2. Thank you. Good friends are like honey - they add sweetness to life xoxo

  3. you help me to remember the time - although a sad time when our mothers leave - the memories from before are wonderful