The 50-day period between Passover and Shavouth holidays is almost over, and it's time to start thinking about Shavouth, my favorite holiday.
I usually fall asleep before the traditional all-night learning takes place, but the idea is wonderful, and I love hearing people walk up and down the street on their way to classes, and hearing my own kids coming in late after learning a bit. I enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the day, and particularly enjoy the dairy meals. No one expects meat on Shavouth, so I can let my imagination go wild organizing dairy meals. Of course, this also means a bit of extra effort, both in the planning (thinking of creative dairy meals that everyone will like is a challenge) and execution (dairy takes more time, I think). Nice cheeses are also not cheap. But, as I said, it's my favorite time, and anyway, now that the kids have found a great cheesecake recipe, that's one less thing that I need to think about.
I'm always amazed at how women (let's be honest, it is the women) get everything ready for the holidays on time and with such creativity. One lady who has made a successful career of helping her colleagues-in-preparations is Rivka Slatkin, who has taken Jewish household organization to a new level. The rest of us can only wonder at her skill.