Imust have heard the word “heavenly” at least 40 times in two weeks. None of the references had anything to do with spiritual aspirations, celestial bodies, or the clouds above us. But the word was related to the Yom Tov that represents our highest aspirations and holiest desires.

They displayed them in rounds, in squares, and garnished with exquisite designs. Each ad and recipe was masterfully created to whet appetites, send readers into a wonderland of creamy goodness, and dispatch them to the freezer, where they stealthily pilfered goodies from the pans (that were labeled with untempting names like “cabbage noodles,” in the hope that enough would remain for the Shavuos kiddush).

But not me. The sight of cheesecake made me nauseous and sick. I recalled the last Shavuos when the milchig kiddush all but knocked me out for the rest of the Yom Tov. I forced myself to keep my head above the queasy feeling, trying valiantly to smile and be the Bubby-hostess I aim to be, but wanting to crawl into my bed and never taste a bite of cheesecake again.

I am just not a cheese person. It’s bad for my waistline, awful for my high cholesterol level, and I derive no enjoyment from it. Every year, I make do with a few butter cookies and a standard, light cheesecake. How happy my children were with this yearly treat, savoring each bite of their coveted slice. There was even stomach room to eat the fleishig seudah afterward.

But then I became a shvigger.

With each son I married off, there was a decadent creamy addition or two at my milchig meal. By the time son number five was joined by his wife at our table, my simple kiddush had turned into an elaborate affair, an elegant showcase of talent and what’s trending.

How I appreciated the pains that my darling daughters-in-law took to enhance my Yom Tov. I admired their handiwork, feeling pride in their accomplishments and love; they were so eager to give!

Dutifully, I’d taste each confection, oohing and ahhing over the blend of ingredients, trying to detect the subtle flavors, admiring their expertise. But after the cheese party, I was done for.

I can’t do it again this year, I thought as I marinated the meats. I’d learned by now to leave the dairy fare entirely in the capable hands of the younger generation and focus on the real foods.

Before I had a chance to think of a solution, it was Erev Shavuos.

Raizy walked in first, holding her cheesecake aloft. There was definitely a silver shimmer on her carefully formed whip flowers. (“Heavy cream,” my daughter later informed me. “No one uses whip anymore for dairy stuff.”) And silver pearls. I assumed they were not spray painted. I hoped.

“So I bought this silver edible spray and it really makes everything so much more attractive,” she said to my relief — and horror.

“Wow, unbelievable. It looks really professional!” I enthused.

In quick succession, the rest entered. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 544 – Shavuos 2017 Special Edition)