Food Friday- side dish edition and a bit of a tallit

My husband is usually pretty neutral on the topic of food. My late mother in law was at best an anxious cook with a complicated relationship with food. My mother in law was deeply suspicious of things like spices which she approached with great trepidation.

In the early 1990's my sister joined us for a Thanksgiving at my in laws. My sister had brought one of the dishes and wanted to add a bit more flavor to what she was planning to serve. She reached into my mother in law's spice cabinet and pulled out a couple of dusty jars from the Eisenhower administration. 

My husband grew up thinking of food as fuel. One ate to keep from dying, but eating per se is not a source of pleasure.

And yet, despite growing up this way, occasionally my husband gets all soft eyed late in the week when I am starting to plan for Shabbat dinner and mention a food that appeals to him.

This week I my husband started talking about cauliflower puree. 

When my husband was little his mother sometimes used to boil a few potatoes and roughly mash them. Perhaps she added a tiny bit of butter or a speck of salt to the potatoes. My husband used to beg for his mother to make boxed flaked mashed potatoes. 

One summer when we were in New Hampshire we bought a box. My kids called them "blob-o-taters".  They are soft and bland and go down easily.

Lately I have occasionally made a cauliflower puree with lots of olive oil salt and pepper. it has the mouth feel of  mashed potato. I guess it reminds my husband of the boxed mashed potato of his youth. The taste and feel I am going for is the sort of completely pureed made with tons of butter mashed potatoes you can find in old fashioned New England restaurants.

I boiled a head of cauliflower with a few small parsnips. I salted and peppered the water.

When the vegetables were soft to the touch of my fork I pureed the vegetables with a bit of the cooking water, a few gluggs of olive oil in the food processor. When everything was smooth as silk I seasoned to taste.

I just received a call from one of tonight's guests. She had an emotionally difficult day. I think she will appreciate the comfort in the cauliflower puree.
Another view of the bowl of comfort.




Raw tomatoes creep me out. I hate the feel of a big chunk of tomato in my mouth. My kid have inherited my dislike of raw tomatoes.   Roasted tomatoes though allow me to enjoy the bounty of the season. My kids  (at least the ones that eat vegetables) enjoy them as well.

And now a bit of a challah baking lesson. When your dough looks like this, you can shape the loaves.


We are also eating vaguely Indian chicken and vaguely Middle Eastern Kofta.

I mentioned yesterday that I have been working on a tallit. The tallit is constructed out of a fairly complicated striped silk where the stripe pattern does not repeat along the length of the fabric.

Today I cut out the pinot/corner pieces and backed them
 I also embroidered a ribbon to edge the atara and the pinot.

I started out with a black ridged braid and then embroidered the cross stitch like stitch in ggold and then added the blue diamond. 


I love how it echos the design of the fabric.

 Shabbat Shalom!

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