By Jamie Leeds
I know I’m not alone in being traditionally untraditional. I was born into a blended family. Both my mother and father had children from previous marriages. I have two half sisters, but I am the only child of my parents. It is at this time of the year that I’m reminded of my family’s culture and traditions and the ones I’ve created for myself. I come from a Jewish home, though we held to few of the religious traditions. And when my parents divorced I was very young and my mother dated non-Jewish men, so we often celebrated Christmas.
Over the years I’ve developed my own beliefs and traditions. To create my own traditions I draw on my Jewish roots, the gay community, and my created family. From my Jewish heritage, I celebrate my sense of the importance of community, a higher purpose in business, and a responsibility to support those in need. From the gay community, I’ve learned the deep value of friendship and the need to celebrate outside our families of origin and to build a new home and new world together. And with my son, my created family who I co-parent with my former partner, we make up our own rituals as we go – like visiting his favorite Italian restaurant after skateboarding. Then there’s hockey followed by cooking together – pasta Bolognese – his favorite dish! And for myself, I’m creating a new tradition that includes lots of travel over the holidays. (Ask me about cooking a turkey on a boat for Thanksgiving!)
Through Hank’s Oyster Bars, I’m creating community and traditions by nourishing, supporting, and celebrating the people of Hanks and the community of Washington, DC. In the coming year, let’s keep adding more love, generosity, and kindness into our everyday rituals and life we share together.
And now, here’s my gift to you this year. Here’s the delicious recipe for stuffing straight from my dear mother’s kitchen. Friends, please enjoy – Mitzi’s Mushroom Stuffing. Happy Holidays!!
Check out Chef and Owner Jamie Leeds conducting a cooking demo for her infamous porchetta! Do you have your tickets to Sips & Suppers yet!? http://bit.ly/1y8QnAR