What could cause such a diversion from the norm (the norm being waking up on Friday morning to see a table decked out in all its Shabbos finery, whetting one's appetite for the menuchas Shabbos just around the corner)?
Guests arrived last night. Not just ANY guests. Close family from Israel that we haven't seen in nearly 30 years. We sat at the dining room table past midnight and the prep work just had to wait. A good thing too, because our cousins brought us the most lovely matching challah board and challah cover (& more) to further adorn the setting.
There's nothing a beautiful table and a delicious Shabbos meal needs more than family and friends to share it with.
And to all those people who requested a meal this week and were told that I would be completely fixated on my far flung family, rainchecks WILL be issued and honored all summer long ;)
An interesting aside - if you look carefully at the challah cover, it has the words of the Shalom Aleichem written around its borders, beginning with "Shalom Aleichem Malachei Hashalom", which happens to be the wording that is our minhag, but we found that interesting because we don't know anyone else who sings those words. Most people begin with "Malachei Hashares". I'm interested if any of my readers have information about these disparate wordings.