In first person: A wartime groom earns a special dish

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I met my husband, Jack, in a blackout in Liverpool, England, on Nov. 8, 1944, which was, coincidentally, his birthday. He was an American soldier stationed at the 137th General Hospital. We seemed to hit it off right from the start, especially as I soon realized he was Jewish.

We dated steadily and became engaged Feb. 18, 1945. He came to our family home often, and it wasn't too long before I discovered his eating habits were not what we were used to. He didn't eat fish, cheese or salads. He ate only a few vegetables. In short, he was a real meat and potatoes man.

Despite this peculiarity, we were married on Lag B'Omer, May 1, 1945.

Although the luncheon would be kosher, I wasn't too concerned about the food since my parents were taking care of the arrangements. All I knew was that it would be dairy due to the war-time scarcity of meat.

Much to my surprise, the main course was steamed fresh salmon! Imagine the chagrin of the caterer when he came to the head table and saw Jack wasn't eating. When we explained that Jack didn't eat fish, the caterer said, "The chatan can't go hungry on his wedding day!" So off he went to the kitchen and cooked two fresh eggs for Jack — and this at a time when eggs were as scarce as meat.

Of course, all of this caused quite a chuckle with our guests. For years after, the story was repeated many times, always eliciting the same chuckles.

A year later, I arrived in the United States with our 12-week-old son Louis to join Jack, who had already been discharged from the service. We enjoyed 48-1/2 wonderful years until Jack passed away in 1993 during Sukkot.