Monday, February 27, 2006

Shabbat Shekalim- Follow Up -

Divine intervention. That's the only way to describe the chain of events that saved YS from being extremely embarrassed this morning. Here's how it went....

Hopefully, you've read my post about Half-Shekel foods for shabbat shekalim.

Step 1
On Friday night, before we ate, I gave a little parsha quiz. Considering the amount of day school tuition that was represented in the room, I felt entitled. I asked about the name of the parsha, and the reason. We had a little talk about it. Very nice.

Step 2
Yesterday, in CVS, OS asked me to buy him a Milky Way Easter Egg candy thing. Considering the amount of allowance I had just deposited in his wallet, I suggested he could buy it himself. He said "but it looks like a half - shekel" Don't I get it just for being so creative......

Step 3
Last night at dinner, OS recounts his attempts to sweet talk me into a sweet purchase. I asked what this week's parshah was, and if we could continue the connection of parsha to menu. OS & YS both said "terumah" and which point YS blanched white and asked to be excused. Next thing we knew, he had pulled out the tikkun and was learning the leyning for this morning.

So planning my meals around the parsha had saved YS from the embarrassment of having been assigned to layn at school, and having come to school unprepared.

Baruch hashem.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Parshat Mishpatim - Shabbat Shekalim - February 24-25

Hmmm.. Shabbat Shekalim. Counting the Jews with the half shekel. The only food thoughts that come to mind would be semi-circular food. Bourekas maybe? Not this week, I'm not up to it. Got it, meatloaf. Each slice looks (kind of) like a semi-circle. That will be for shabbat lunch. I make a spicy cajun meatloaf that goes into the oven to warm, and stays moist and yummy even if we eat lunch at 2:00. If anyone has any other suggestions for semi-circular food - please comment!

Friday night we have lots of company, should be at least 12 people, and happily (for us anyway), older son is staying home this shabbat (of course he is, I told him he had to. He's been away two shabbatot in a row for shabbbatons).

Friday Night:

Chicken Soup with Noodles (kreplach could be semi-circular, but I don't have time!)

Roast chicken with shallots
Spinach Loaf
Saffron Rice Pilaf
Cauliflower Popcorn (the best recipe from KBD2)
Corn Kugel (maybe - It's so easy and good)

Devil Dogs

I found the recipe online for devil dogs about six years ago. These are the best things. The only change I make is that I find they don't need to bake 10 minutes, maybe about 7. And don't use margarine for the filling - crisco is the way to go. To make the shells, put the batter in a ziploc bag, cut a corner, and squeeze out "fingers". You can make them small, medium or large that way. Just try to be consistent. Don't worry if the fingers don't look perfect. When they're done baking, they'll look just right. And the easiest way to fill the shells is to put the filling in a ziploc bag, close it up, cut a corner, and squeeze a line (generously) onto the flat side of one, then squeeze the other shell on. Goes 1-2-3.

As you might notice, I love ziploc bags. For baking shortcuts like this, using them instead of pastry bags, I buy the target brand ones. Very inexpensive, and you don't need such good quality for one shot use.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Parshat Yitro - 20 Shevat - February 17 & 18

This coming shabbat will be a quiet one again. Older son (OS) is away (again) at a shabbaton - NCSY this time. Lots of ruach and lousy food for him! Now, when younger son (YS) is in charge of helping to choose friday night dinner - there is always one answer- SUSHI! And since we will again be at a bar mitzvah on shabbat (in other words - no cooking lunch, huge, hot kiddush), Sushi it will be.

I prepare everything before we make kiddush, then we have a half standing/half sitting sushi dinner, while I keep rolling until everyone is full. I'll roast a chicken (more for that good smell than anything else), but mostly, we'll just eat sushi till we pop!

Monday, February 06, 2006

A week off - Parshat Beshalach

Mazal tov to Adam!

This shabbat we will help celebrate your bar mitzvah - and will be honored to join your family for meals. Hoorah for catering!

I have to admit, I love the caterer my friend is using (then again, it was my idea for her to use them!) Main Event. As far as I'm concerned, they are the best in the New York area. Their food is consistently great, and Steve Rubinfeld (201-894-8710 x120)is a pleasure to deal with - very creative, and doesn't spend more of your money than you want. Main Event did both of my son's bar mitzvah's, including a chinese banquet friday night (complete with lazy susan's on the tables).

So, all in all, it should be a great shabbat. A simcha, good catering and week off!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yahrtzeits Converge

Going a little off topic today. I got a phone call last night, my uncle died. My father's brother. Just five days before my father's yahrtzeit. So sad for the remaining brother who now has both brother's yahrtzeits the same week each year.

Also so sad for the whole family, but not in the usual way.

I read the obit this morning in the New York Times. My uncle leaves a wife, three children (my first cousins), many grandchildren (my kids' second cousins) and we know none of them. Maybe I met his daughter once, and when we sat shiva for my father my uncle was there (criticizing me, but that's another story).

A long time ago (about 40 years) there was a huge family argument - lawsuits even. No one ever healed. How sad.

So in my own way I mourn, not for a man I didn't know, but for opportunities lost.

Baruch Dayan Emet.

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