Food Friday and a bit more work

One of the many wonderful things about having my older son living home is that he likes to cook. This week he offered to make part of the meal. He claimed, or as those of us who grew up in Boston say, hosied the Challah.  The roasted broccoli was a joint effort. The chicken was made with flavor consultation with said son.


There are the chicken and the challah passing one another on the stove top. The challah is egged up and is waiting for the oven to hit 425.  Once the challah is in the oven I lower the temperature to 385. This is one of my father’s rules for excellent bread baking.  I take this teaching on faith. Actually, you end up with a really nice crust if you start the bread off with a high heat.

The chicken is made with Herbes de Provence  and some hefty squeezes of fresh lime. I had a tomato in the fridge so I chopped it up into the bottom of the chicken pan. I guess I could have done something fussier, but you don’t get much yummier than this.


I had an irrational yen for potato balls. Potato balls were the sign for fine dining when I was a little kid.


One of the nice thing about being the grown up is that I can satisfy those irrational food desires. The other nice thing about being a grown up is that I can ask one of my kids to help me out in my follies.  I figured that this was just goofy enough a job to appeal to my youngest, so he was my partner in crime.  My oldest wandered by to admire the cuteness of  the potato balls. They are spiced in a way that a 1950’s timid chef would be perfectly comfortable with, salt, pepper and parsley. Food does not have to be exotic to be good.

I baked dessert last night, a pear and cranberry tart in a pecan crust. One of our guests is gluten intolerant. While she can’t enjoy the challah, she can enjoy the dessert.


Here is the challah after it’s adventure in the oven.


And here is a baking cheat. For some weird reason, whenever my son bakes the challah the braids loose their definition.  I like a clearly defined braid on a challah. I may not have six pack abs, but I like clearly defined challah braids. Before I baked the challah I sliced along the indentations with a sharp knife. It worked. Now you can do this cheat the next time you bake challah.


The other nice thing about having a cooking partner is that I can do a bit of work on this short Friday.

The Klimty-book now looks like this.


I bound the edges of the cover with wide blue grosgrain ribbon and stitched it with two fat rows of gold machine embroidery. The ribbon is also a bit of a cheat. The cover needed to be a smidge wider than the pages. I was able to fake the additional width that I needed.


Here is a peek- a boo shot of the piece.

I’m thinking of painting the names of the bride and groom on the cover. This book is a very grand version of the Birkat ha mazon booklets that are so often given as party favors at weddings and bar- mitzvahs. Those booklets usually have the name of the bride and groom on the cover. I thought that I would make a design of their linked names.



I’m not posting my design of linked names to keep this piece a surprise for the bride and groom. I’m sure that you wouldn’t blab… but I can’t trust everyone.



For your pre- Shabbat enjoyment – the view from the Costco parking lot. The railroad bridge has the best views of Manhattan, and always makes me happy that I’m coming home from Boston.


And the jail at Riker’s island.


When my older son was in 10th grade he was beaten up by a kid in his school and needed to get stitches. The kid clearly had issues. He was 19 and a freshman. This was the kids sixth arrest that year. As a result of his assaulting my son he was sent to Riker’s. Every time we pass the jail we wave at my son’s attacker. Yeah, we assume that the is no longer there, but we still wave.



Shabbat Shalom!!!


  1. I really love the book! It was wonderful to start with and is getting more and more special as you go along!


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