A Jewish family of four sharing a plate of sesame chicken on Christmas Day: It’s a holiday tradition for so many of this country's 5 million Jews. Indeed, it was a tradition throughout my own childhood.
Every year — without fail — we'd hop in the station wagon (in later years, the van) in Albany, New York, and make the 15-minute drive to Dumpling House. It was a bit like a mini-pilgrimage in the town nicknamed “Smallbany.” Dozens of Jews did the same thing at the same restaurant on Christmas Day. Walking into the place felt a bit like going to temple, but with pupu platters rather than prayer books.