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An Angel Imprint

(by Sigal Erez)

It was a week before the major coronavirus panic was about to hit. I went to the market, before the lines, before everyone believed that toilet paper would be so much needed. I was on the phone with my mother. "It’s good to have lots of pasta and tomato sauce,” she advised. “It’s easy to store, and it’s a filling meal, and maybe gas and water won’t be working.” Hah, good idea, Mom: My cart was already full of pasta, all kinds of pasta. A week later, there were lines at every market, with empty shelves, and I was home making, you guessed it, pasta. I got rather creative with the shapes and flavors.

My mom is now in the north of Israel, a beautiful and peaceful place called Migdal by the Sea of Galilee. Her five daughters are all over the world—one in Chile, one in England, one in Israel, one more with me in Los Angeles. My mother is a clean freak, and I inherited that trait from her, although my four sisters did not, and we have varying degrees of interest and skills in cooking. But we often use the kitchen to coordinate our times so we can all Zoom together. Before Covid-19, there was no urgency to call or do video chats. But this new scenario created uncertainty, especially for older people. Mom sounded and looked very sad, but when she was able to be with us virtually, her face lit up. The “diversity” of my innovative pastas—green, black, curly, slim—made her laugh. They are a bit like people, aren’t they?