I grew up in a family of many religions, where Jewish and Catholic faith was blended accordingly. On top of that, my father is a surgeon and a researcher in the medical field, which allows him to find escape and comfort in alien-driven evolutionary theories, Aztec and Mayan end-of-the-world predictions, with a very peculiar result: Our calendar is a real mess!
I have always celebrated religious holidays with the utmost respect and truly profound conviction, even when Passover really messed up with Easter; if dad was on Passover there were no cakes or bread in the house, but if Easter overlapped, how could I enjoy a slice of colomba cake?
It was not always easy.
Yes, our family calendar growing up was a real exercise in faith, patience and culinary gymnastics for my mother, trying to fit ingredients, as different faiths had different necessities and expectations.
However, there has always been a common denominator in our calendar of festivities — something that is communal to us as a family but that also includes friends and neighbors, something that always required and received the biggest celebrations. That was, and still is, the olive harvest. It happens sometimes during the month of November, when olives are …read more