After all the hard work, a party at the ballpark can hit a home run

“You need lots of games and prizes for a good celebration,” says bar mitzvah-party veteran Joshua Moser, who himself will become a bar mitzvah Saturday, Jan. 28. Popular games include limbo, basketball (using a portable hoop) and Mummy Wrap, which involves wrapping friends in layers of toilet tissue and competing for the fastest and neatest wraps.

Joshua is looking forward to his bar mitzvah. “I’ve worked a long time, and it was a lot of work. I had to write a speech, but the party is about celebrating what I’ve accomplished.”

His party will be at SBC Park. “I wanted something sports-related, and I’m a big Giants fan. My mom checked into it and it was available.”

Josh’s mother, San Francisco divorce attorney Barbara Moser, has a more profound view. “My husband, David, and I are so tremendously proud of the incredible effort Josh has expended to be called to the Torah as a Jewish adult. He has undertaken the process of studying Torah and performing mitzvot with intense dedication, sincerity and seriousness.”

That’s not to say that no one is excited about his party. The concessions at the ballpark will be open and serving up Josh’s and his friends’ favorite foods — hamburgers, pizza, Caesar salad and penne with marinara sauce. Dessert is an ice cream sundae bar.

Barbara admits attending to the many details that go along with celebrating a bar mitzvah in today’s world: selecting the right clothes for her husband and two sons, looking great in the photographs, choosing a fabulous DJ, and like many Jewish mothers, worrying about whether she ordered enough food for the Kiddush and the party.

Amidst the many details, the Mosers bring it all back to the reason for the celebrations. “In a few days, our son is going to take on the responsibility of being a Jewish adult. We are celebrating that he has not only the desire, but the freedom and opportunity to do this as well.”

Caesar Salad | Serves 6-8

2 heads romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and crisped
3 cloves garlic, through the press
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
1⁄2 tsp. black pepper
1⁄2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 eggs, at room temperature
3 oz. parmesan cheese, freshly grated
In a large wooden salad bowl, break the lettuce into pieces. Add the garlic and olive oil and toss well so that each leaf is coated. Add the croutons, salt, sugar, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Toss again. Break the eggs into the bowl; toss again and add the grated parmesan. Toss one last time and arrange on chilled plates.


8 oz. French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
4 Tbsp. olive oil
Put the bread cubes in a bowl, and add the melted butter and garlic olive oil. Toss well so that each piece of bread is coated. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until pale brown.

Penne with Marinara Sauce | Serves 6-8

1/3 cup olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 large cans (28 oz.) chopped tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt, sugar and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, until thick. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain the pasta and toss with the marinara sauce. Serve warm.

Rebecca Ets-Hokin is a Bay Area cooking teacher and food professional. Her columns alternate with those of Louise Fiszer. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected].