As a child Harry was a picky eater who would eat only a narrow range of foods, despite having parents who loved good food and made it the heart of family life. Macaroni with cheese and hot dogs were his basics. Little by little his mom and dad managed to coax him to try new things. By the time he went away to college in Texas he was an avid cook who prepared many of his own meals, improvising with basic recipes and trying new dishes. As much as he loves cooking and eating different kinds of food now, he has also come to see it as an expression of his Jewish heritage and a connection to his extended family.

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It was so hot on the prairie that 9-year-old Benjamin’s leather chaps stuck to his legs as the horse trotted around on the dry earth. It was the first time he’d worn a genuine cowboy outfit and rode a horse on a real working ranch, so he ignored the flip-flops in his stomach as he bounced along. At lunch he still felt queasy. He drank the ice cold glass of dark red juice his friend’s mother gave him to settle his stomach but it had just the opposite effect. He decided then and there he would be very, very cautious about trying unknown foods in the future and he would never drink currant juice ever again.

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Late on a steamy summer night Estella’s mother and father went to the shed and took out their spears. Quietly making their way down to the footbridge by the stream, they stopped just below it and stepped into the water. They took turns as one of them held a flashlight while the other deftly wielded the three-pronged implement, bringing out four eels in just a couple of minutes and dropping them into a canvas bag. As they made their way back home, they imagined how delighted little Estella and the other two children would be when mother put tomorrow’s fried eel dinner on the table.

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