I’m a bit late in posting for the month of Av which includes the day of mourning, Tisha b’Av, and Tu b’Av, often called the Jewish Valentines Day. The dichotomous holidays take us through a range of emotions from sadness and sorrow moving towards comfort and joy, as we start to prepare for the high holidays. In fact the month is often called Menachem Av, which means comforter or consoler. Literally, as we move through the day of Tisha b’Av, we gradually move to a more hopeful emotional state and towards one of more comfort. We go from sitting on the floor, as is customary with mourners to sitting in chairs. Emotionally, despite the pain of Tisha b’Av, we also have hope. In Judaism, because of our history we always carry narrative of pain and sorrow but are never defeated by it and always look for redemption in even the darkest places. We are steadfast in our optimism.
Traditionally the final meal for the Tisha b’Av fast, one would eat an egg and bread dipped in ashes. Using the month’s themes of comfort and nourishment, I wanted to create a recipe that conveys them. I am visiting family in Chicago where fresh summer corn is readily available and delicious. I used the ingredients from the Angelic Organics CSA box, run by the famous Farmer John. I sprinkled a tiny bit of corn husk ash on each bowl of soup, as a reminder of the ash eaten before Tisha b’Av. The recipe is adapted from one I found on the Minimalist Baker.