I was asked to write down this recipe, so here it is, more or less.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I was asked to write down this recipe, so here it is, more or less.
Monday, December 2, 2013
All of the recent buzz about Thanksgivingkah got me a little cranky. I guess all of the lists of food you could serve for both Thanksgiving and Chanukah sounded so completely obvious to me that I just couldn’t understand what the fuss was about.
Having grown up just outside of Boston, the food we ate anyway all fall was the sort of foods that normally end up on the Thanksgiving table. we ate orange squashes and sweet potatoes and cranberries all through the cold weather months.
I don’t love potato latkes. Yes, I’m Jewish. I also hate herring. About 20 years ago I began making sweet potato latkes. Of course they need to be served with cranberry sauce.
That’s what I made for dinner tonight. The latkes are baked and not fried. I’m not a big fan of fried foods.
Cranberry sauce cooks up in eight minutes in the microwave.
Here they are waiting for the gang to come home.
I already baked pita.
But I still have to make a green salad. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m wearing an apron as I type this.
And a view of last night candles reflected in our kitchen windows.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Last night was the first night of Chanukah. Amazingly, we were all together. There were so many years when one or another of my kids was away, it’s really nice to see all five Chanukiyot lit together.
I took photos while we were doing our usual post candle lighting singing.
We are serious about doing ritual and not so serious about how heads are covered, as long as they are. My boys are into wearing stupid hats. the squid hat is what my youngest usually wears during Shabbat dinner. The bunny hat I made for my youngest seems to have been taken over by my older son.
To remember the story of Judith and Holofernes and it’s connection to the Chanukah story I made cheese keplach . I put pureed collard greens into the noodle dough so my youngest would get some green vegetable into his body.
I’m slowly getting the hang of making filled pasta. I love how the vegetable matter makes the noodle dough easier to roll. I have added a refinement to my dough rolling technique.. I roll dough out on a floured tea towel. it makes both the rolling and the clean up much much easier. I highly recommend the technique. I added the second photos just because I’m so pleased with myself. The kreplach were filled with a mix of drained cottage cheese and halloumi cheese. I particularly used the salty halloumi because Holofernes ate lots of salty dairy which made him want to drink lot of wine which is how Judith was able to over power him.
Today I am in the odd for me position of not having to cook very much for the holiday.
A vegan pumpkin pie with a pecan crust. My kids won’t eat it on principle if it is vegan, but will if it is simply parev. So for them.. it’s parev.
Meringues, for our hostess who loves them and requested them.
Radish roses. Because our hostess grew up with them and knows that a meat platter is incomplete without them.
חג האורים שמח
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Several years ago I was in the local Salvation Army just before Chanukah and found what looked like a lovely etching of the city of Akko in Israel. The mat was discolored and the frame was a little ugly but it was a pretty piece.
It was done by Zvi Livni, a Polish born Israeli artist. When my husband cleaned out his parent’s house he found a portfolio of six prints of landscapes by Livni ,Livni Lithographs similar to this one. The prints in the portfolio had a sort of hairy quality to them there was a whole lot of muddy reds and greens that I didn’t find all that attractive.
I wondered if the print that we owned of Akko was in fact a tinted drawing rather than one of the hundreds if not thousands of prints available in the set.
We spent lots of time trying to figure it out.
The Livni portfolio is something that one can get inexpensively on eBay. You can often buy the entire set for $10.
The other night I decided to find out what we really had. I opened up the frame, removed the picture and saw that we had one of the prints from the portfolio. The previous owner had hung the print in a sunny spot. All of the muddy colors had been faded by the sun. I was left with a far simpler, cleaner image that was much more to my liking. Hurray for sun damage!
When I took apart the frame, I could see that both the mat and the cardboard spacer were really damaged. Given that relative low value of the piece, I didn’t want to invest a whole lot into reframing it.
I bought a ready made frame with a white mat and painted it to work better with the image.
I had hoped that my Salvation Army find was a treasure. It wasn’t.
Friday, November 22, 2013
This is tonight’s soup before. I bought three trays of chicken bones and squeezed all of them into the crock pot along with one giant parsnip, two gargantuan carrots a hand full of dried mushrooms and one medium onion. I also added a teal ball filled with coriander, juniper berries and cloves and a glug of white vinegar. I keep adding water to the pot as the bones break down.
This is the soup today. The bones melt in your mouth.
I know it’s ugly. I had a bowl for lunch. It’s really good.
I made chicken. The chicken is sort of a Middle Eastern/ New England mash up with onion apples dates and pomegranate molasses. I will add some fresh pomegranate seeds to the chicken before I heat it up.
The jasmine rice is made with chestnuts.
I made ginger custard for dessert.
I think I need to buy fresh berries to go with the custard.
I still have to make the vegetable, I think it will be a week for vaguely Asian Cole Slaw. I may also set up a mezze platter.
All of our guest tonight are people who have become more than friends and have slipped themselves into the family column. A nice evening awaits all of us.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
My parents bought me this nifty silk sweater a long time ago. I believe I was married, but I think they bought me this sweater before I had kids. I have been married since 1986, and my oldest was born in ‘88. I think that even my husband would admit that this is an old garment. Actually, maybe not, he still has a garment or two from High School, and he graduated during the early years of the first Nixon administration.
The sweater began life as a boxy pullover. A couple of years ago I turned the sweater into a cardigan. I’m really fond of the sweater, but it really is getting ragged.
It was time to replace the well worn silk sweater. I had a nice nubbly sweater knit in my stash.
I lay the silk sweater on top of the nubbly knit folded in 1/4.
If I were less lazy I would have cut the sleeves separately.
Now you see the nubbly knit cut into a sweater shape. I cut open the front on the fold. Then I sewed up the seams from wrist to hem on the serger. I serged around the hems.
And now I have a comfy sweater.
I was so happy with the results that I made another with a more stable slightly patterned rayon double knit.
Sharp-eyed Fabric Mart shoppers will recognize this knit from last week’s sale.
I also turned two pieces from the mystery bundle into coordinating pillowcases.
I can’t quite decide if these pillowcases are charming or ugly. I suspect that the others in my household will let me know.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I was doing finishing touches on a piece. I was waiting for the paint to dry and the making dresses itch had to be scratched.
I had done my version of retail therapy…buying a mystery bundle from Fabric Mart. This time about half of the fabrics that arrived in the bundle were fabrics that I never ever would have chosen. This green knit is one of those fabrics. It screams 1968 to me. ( not groovy hippie wear but the sort of dress that responsible adults wore)
Clearly I have been influenced by watching the later seasons of Mad Men. It is vaguely like what my cooler secular studies teachers might have worn when I was in elementary school ( but of course with sleeves).
I more or less used my easiest dress in the world diagram to make this dress. The yardage wias a bit shorter than I would have liked…so the cowl is less deep.
I was prepared to hate this dress. What is there to like? double knit? in a kind of ugly color? I have been won over. I like this dress. it looks and feels good on. As I type this… a visual memory floats before me. Miss Palmer, known in our school as Mean Miss Palmer, the regular substitute teacher wore a similar dress with a white acrylic sweater the first time she was our substitute teacher in first grade. Despite this memory of the sadistic Miss Palmer, I plan to wear this dress often.
And while still waiting for paint to dry…
A soft jersey knit from Kabbala Man is now a dress that reads as fancier than what it is.
I will play with them later…but the paint is now dry.