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Shabbos - Karen's Musings
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estherchaya
estherchaya
Shabbos
Shabbos was a little weird for me. We were planning on lunch guests and I wasn't feeling terribly well, and since psu_jedi and caryabend were not able to come (due to the new, exceedingly cute baby!), I decided I wasn't up for dinner guests Friday night. So it was just Seth and myself for dinner. We ate challah, curried tuna salad (SO YUM!), green beans, and saffron rice. I don't think we even had dessert, but I could be wrong. Oh, I think we each had a cookie.

Right.

Seth wasn't feeling well Friday night or Saturday so none of us made it to shul all shabbos since we were all under the weather. Well, Seth went long enough on Saturday to round up our guests and find someone coming who had grape juice, which we forgot to buy.

Saturday lunch was spectacular. I never host lunches because I find them difficult to plan for, but it was great. We had the Polonskys (2 adults, one four year old, two four month olds), Kanovskys (2 adults, 3 children, one newborn), and the Friedmans (2 adults, one four month old). So including us, we had 8 adults, 5 children, and 4 babies.

I served the adults on china, but let the kids have paper plates. My table was lovely (and set before company arrived since it was for lunch! go me!), if I do say so myself.

I served:
  • Challah
  • Fruit Salad
    (one person was allergic to fish, so no fish course. I had the fruit salad pre-plated in individual servings for the adults and a bowl of extra fruit salad for the kids since kids are pickier about what they'll eat.)
  • Chicken Schnitzel
  • Gluten-free, egg-free chicken schnitzel
  • Roasted Cauliflower (I added cumin to the recipe this time and it was TERRIFIC)
  • Green Beans tossed with caramelized onions.
  • Broccoli Kugel
  • Marinated Tomatoes
  • White Rice and Saffron Rice
  • Cold Cuts (corned beef, pastrami, turkey, and bologna for the kids) and assorted breads.
  • Dessert was cookies, more fruit salad (slightly different fruits used), and chocolate covered raisins.

I also had a chicken and rice goo in the crock pot, but it never got served. It was decent, but it wasn't missed.

For those of you who don't know, I cook by colors. I think about the colors on the table and how things will look on the plate, so this worked out really nicely... the green of the beans, the red of the tomatoes, and the yellow of the cauliflower offset the more bland colors.

We had a terrific time and the last folks left around 4pm. Since Julian had taken a very early nap (from 10:30 to about 2), he didn't take an afternoon nap, so neither did we, but nevertheless, we had a relaxing afternoon. Having lunch guests really does help to keep shabbos day from feeling like it's dragging.

I didn't make it to my normal shabbos shiur, but that's okay. I didn't want to bring my illness any further anyway. (yes, I checked with all the folks coming to make sure they were okay with me not feeling terrifically and I washed my hands a lot and made sure not to hold any babies for too long)

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Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

48 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: have_inner_lady Date: March 6th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
You cook by colors?!

Holy socks, I will just never be your equal. Never.

And that's okay. I'm good with that.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 6th, 2006 08:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the most ridiculous thing ever, really. But I like to think how things will look on the plate. This is one of the reasons I often serve marinated tomatoes. It gives a lovely color which offsets boring looking chicken and rice. A nice spinach salad, with its rich greens, also goes a long way toward offsetting boring, bland colors.
magid From: magid Date: March 6th, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
It isn't that bizarre; I think about color distribution, too. (Not that I always succeed, especially with the vegetable deliveries partially dictating what I make each week, but I do think about it.)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 6th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm just not sure why it is that it tastes better to me if the colors are pretty... That's the bizarre part.

Anyway, I'm glad I'm not the only one.
(Deleted comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 6th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I'm ever out there (hah!) I'll bring you some.
ailsaek From: ailsaek Date: March 6th, 2006 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
What goes into curried tuna salad? That soudsn interesting.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 6th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two cans of light tuna (NOT albacore...ick)
one diced apple
a handful each of raisins and sliced almonds
a big splash of curry powder (use more than you think you need)
a big dollop of mayonaisse to taste (I don't like a very mayonaissey tuna salad, so I don't use much)

Mix, let sit overnight and it will get a beautiful yellow color. Eat and enjoy! DELISH! (and super easy)
magid From: magid Date: March 6th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you have leftover chicken, you can make curried chicken salad.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 6th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
yes, that is my plan for this coming Shabbos lunch.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: March 7th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
wow. I think you've just described tomorrow's lunch with my chicken from the soup
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, chicken salad (and curried chicken salad especially!) is a great use for your chicken used to make your chicken broth.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: March 7th, 2006 02:24 am (UTC) (Link)
and too many times I end up not using it and it goes to waste. YEY! Thanks!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
A friend of mine uses the chicken to make chicken blintzes... she shreds the chicken and rolls it into a blintz and tops it with a mushroom sauce. It's DELISH. I'd give you the recipe, but I don't know it. Alas.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 6th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Cooking with color

I loved your post. Mostly because I can totally relate to it. Many times I also choose my menus based on the colors of the foods. I have a thing about symmetry also, but that's for another post! I can't always do it since everyone in my house likes and dislikes different vegetables (a little harmony in their culinary tastes is a fantasy of mine), but when it's possible I am greatly influenced by how the dishes will look and how the colors of the foods will look together. I also am constantly making lists of my Shabbos menus, either for my blog or just to post on the fridge so I can keep everything straight when I'm planning, so I guess I tend to gravitate towards other people's posts about their Sabbath menus. Your recipe for the curried tuna salad sounds good - I'm going to try it (and of course, I love it that it will have such a vibrant color!)
thoughts18 From: thoughts18 Date: March 6th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cooking with color

I loved your post. Mostly because I can totally relate to it. Many times I also choose my menus based on the colors of the foods. I have a thing about symmetry also, but that's for another post! I can't always do it since everyone in my house likes and dislikes different vegetables (a little harmony in their culinary tastes is a fantasy of mine), but when it's possible I am greatly influenced by how the dishes will look and how the colors of the foods will look together. I also am constantly making lists of my Shabbos menus, either for my blog or just to post on the fridge so I can keep everything straight when I'm planning, so I guess I tend to gravitate towards other people's posts about their Sabbath menus. Your recipe for the curried tuna salad sounds good - I'm going to try it (and of course, I love it that it will have such a vibrant color!)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cooking with color

The tuna won't have the vibrant color right away. You need to let it sit overnight, just FYI.

Also, I don't think I've seen you around before... welcome! (Do you mind if I ask how you found my journal?)
thoughts18 From: thoughts18 Date: March 7th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cooking with color

Hi, I am new to livejournal and I've seen your posts on Kressel's blog - she's the only person I know here! My "main" blog is at words.squarespace.com, but since I started corresponding with Kressel recently she asked me to make one on LJ so I update both at the same time most days.

My husband is converting - we started out with a Conservative conversion (I am Jewish, but was not observant) and after working for about a year with a Conservative Rabbi we have decided that his conversion will be Orthodox and we are both learning now about all the changes we need to make and how to follow the laws and customs. So mostly, my blog is a way of charting our progress. I think it will be interesting to look back one day and see how far we have come,

Except for Kressel's blog I haven't actually posted comments on anyone else's blog before yours today. But I do read some of Kressel's friends posts as I am very interested in reading anything about the day to day things associated with celebrating the Sabbath, or the other holidays, or following the different customs and traditions. Since my family wasn't overly religious I don't have many customs or traditions to gather from them so it's been so interesting for me to read everyone's posts!
mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: March 7th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Hi

You are welcome to check out my blog, too. I hope to get more into the blogging soon.
thoughts18 From: thoughts18 Date: March 7th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hi

Thanks - in between laundry and cleaning the kitchen I took a quick peek at your blog. No wonder you haven't had time to post - so many beautiful babies must keep you so busy! I have 3, but they are all 8 1/2 yrs apart so only one is still a baby - he just turned 1 yr. Good luck on your house - I live in NJ also. Tomorrow I'll take a peek at the rest of your blog after Mommy & Me!
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hi

Wow, 8 1/2 years apart! Just as you get used to not having any little ones... whammo! Actually my friends that have that kind of gap between their siblings and them are very close with their siblings, but for those of us (like me) with only two or three years between them and their siblings... it seems like they never see eye to eye. Interesting, that.
magid From: magid Date: March 8th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hi

I remember reading somewhere (years ago, no idea where) that for kids to get along more easily, they should be either really close (<18 months apart), or rather far apart (>4 years apart). In the first case they're naturally close together, and in the second they're obviously not competing. Or something like that.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Cooking with color

Welcome to LiveJournal! Good luck with your journey. I grew up completely unobservant, but attached to Judaism. I went to Hebrew School as a kid, but it didn't last long. My father wasn't Jewish and we always had a Christmas Tree (with a tiny menorah right next to it). When I got to college, I became more active in the Jewish community and eventually realized that my mother wasn't halachically Jewish. I had a conservative conversion while I was still figuring things out, and then 4 days before my wedding (ack!) I had an Orthodox conversion. So I've been down a similar path. My husband, of course, got dragged along for the ride.

As for family traditions... I don't have many either, and those that I did have are no longer relevant. I believe you make your own traditions along the way, and that's what we're doing. I honestly believe family is what you make of it and sometimes that means you pick and choose your extended "family" from your friends and other loved ones, and you grow your own traditions from that larger family you've built yourself.

Believe me, it won't take you long to have established your own traditions and someday somebody who's just finding their way in Judaism will be looking to you as their role model and you'll be thinking, "What are you looking at me for? It's all new to me too!" except that it won't be new, because you'll have been doing it for years.
mysticchyna From: mysticchyna Date: March 6th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
wow...you are amazing. i could never pull a big meal together like that.
my mother in law gave me a copy of California Kosher cookbook, I love it. I should make more stuff from it.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes, believe it or not, it's easier to cook for a large crowd than a small one. I help my friend who runs a Chabad house (she and her husband do) on a college campus cook for her shabbos dinners a fair bit. She feeds 150 students EVERY single shabbos. Truthfully, she uses bigger pans than me and has more ovens, but it's actually almost easier to cook for that many. The food becomes much more simple and the beauty is in the simplicity not in the plating or the variety. It's the fact that she makes fish and soup and an entree and sides and dessert every single week that makes it special.
mysticchyna From: mysticchyna Date: March 9th, 2006 03:50 am (UTC) (Link)
::nods:: i can totally understand that. i have issues with timing of getting everything done on time...and it's just two of us. i remember helping out in the kitchen at Shul for some of the dinners there, and it was smooth sailing.
mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: March 6th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

I loved this post too!

Nu, what's the recipe for the roasted cauliflower? can you roast other veggies, too?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

It's essentially the recipe for "cauliflower popcorn" from Susie Fishbein's Kosher by Design Entertains.

I don't have the recipe in front of me, but I think it's like so:
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets, stems and leaves discarded. Don't cut them too small because they shrink when cooking. Set aside.

Combine:
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (I use 1/2 teaspoon or more of minced onion instead)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon tumeric (I use 1/2)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
(I also add cumin and coriander now)
6-8 Tablespoons olive oil.

Toss the cauliflower in the oil/spice mixture and roast at 400 (or 450?) for 30-40 minutes.

The nice thing about cauliflower is that it has natural sugars in it, so the cauliflower caremelizes a little bit and it's DELISH. You can roast lots of different veggies, but some hold up better than others: eggplant, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes come to mind, but I'm sure I'm missing a zillion.

The cauliflower is really pretty and adds another dimension to the color palette on your plate. :) And it's DELISH!!!

mrn613 From: mrn613 Date: March 7th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC) (Link)

thanks

I'd be interested in knowing if you roast at 400 or 450. I'm going to try this recipe (vegetable yet to be determined) this shabbos. Unfortunately I've had to give up alot of the veggies we used to eat because they were too hard to check.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: thanks

You can use the frozen OU-checked kind of broccoli. I wouldn't cook it as long and it won't get quite as caramelized, but it will still be tasty.

Cauliflower is tedious to check, but not as difficult as some kinds of lettuce and nowhere near as difficult as broccoli.
thoughts18 From: thoughts18 Date: March 7th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Checking?

I'm confused - what do you mean by checking? Are you checking for insects? I never thought to really check broccoli or cauliiflower for anything because I didn't think anything could get between the florets and I soak them for 15 mins so I figured that would make anything get loose. Is there a special way that is recommended for cleaning fresh vegetables?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Checking?

It depends on your hashgafa. Broccoli is actually harder to check for insects than cauliflower, because little buggies CAN get into the looser florets of the broccoli, plus, they're harder to spot. Cauliflower is tedious, but easier because the florets are quite tightly bundled and little critters show up quite well against the white flesh.

I was originally taught not to ever use fresh broccoli or cauliflower, but my community standard is to be able to use it.

Star-K has pretty good kosher consumer guides on their website. Here is their page for vegetables, including broccoli/cauliflower:
http://www.star-k.org/cons-appr-vegetables.htm
thoughts18 From: thoughts18 Date: March 7th, 2006 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Checking?

Thanks very much for explaining about the vegetables. I had no idea that this was so important. I always checked out fruit and vegetables anyway just to make sure there was no dirt or anything else in there we didnt' want to eat, but I am sure my quick check or soak isn't at all what is expected when you are keeping kosher. Thanks for the link to the Star-K site. I will visit it today.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Checking?

No problem. Honestly what you're doing with broccoli probably isn't that far off. What the Star-K says to do is to rinse the florets under a heavy stream of water, then to soak them in a white bowl and agitate the water. Look at the water and see if you see any insects. If not, you're home free, if so, repeat up to three times.

There are lots of little details with kashrus, so don't expect to know or learn them all at once. Baby steps, baby steps.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: thanks

As for the oven, it doesn't really matter. I don't know what the recipe calls for (I don't look at the recipe much anymore), but I probably do it at 450, or maybe 425, but that's really not that big a difference. Just keep an eye on it and toss the cauliflower (or other veggie) halfway through if it looks like it's burning.
magid From: magid Date: March 7th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

Other things I've roasted include beets, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and parsnips. Oh, and good old white potatoes, too.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

I roast tomatoes a lot, but then I tend to turn them into soup. I've never had roasted beets, but I imagine I would like it better than boiled beets. I imagine beets also have plenty of natural sugars to caramelize. Do you toss them with anything or just pop them in plain?
magid From: magid Date: March 7th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

I'm too lazy to toss anything, but I do put a bit of olive oil on the sheet below, and add a bit more above. Also, I almost always include onion bits, and black pepper.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

Hrm. I wonder how it would be with a small sprinkle of kosher salt as well. I tend not to cook with salt, but I find a lot of roasted veggies (cauliflower excluded) work well with a small bit of kosher salt. Perhaps I will roast some beets for shabbos. (I love the color they bring to my plate! Good heavens, I'm weird!)
magid From: magid Date: March 8th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: I loved this post too!

I usually add some sea salt, but for some reason, not with beets.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: March 7th, 2006 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
this sounds like my shabbos with 5 times as much food as well as better food. You sound like an amazing cook. Is the broccoli cold? What's it like?
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not an amazing cook, but I am a good cook. Generally my food looks pretty once it's plated, so that goes a long way towards tricking people into thinking I'm an amazing cook. If I had my life to live over I would have gone to culinary school and then married a zillionaire so that I wouldn't have to work and I could just cook all day just for fun without the pressure of trying to make a LIVING as a chef.

Er. Then again, Seth would have to be that zillionaire.

Anyway, as for the broccoli kugel, I served it pretty much room temperature. I have a long complicated recipe for broccoli kugel which really isn't any better than this simplistic version:

Take a bag or two of frozen broccoli, depending on the size of the bag, (I hate checking broccoli and I don't trust that I can do it well enough) and cook it according to package directions (I just pop mine in the microwave, covered, for 5-7 minutes). Use a potato masher to mash the broccoli. Add 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons onion soup mix, 3 tablespoons of mayonaisse and mix together.

Spray a baking dish with pam and coat the bottom with cornflake crumbs (optional, but I think it helps), pour your broccoli mixture in and spread evenly in the pan). Sprinkle more cornflake crumbs on top.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until done. I'm not really sure how long I do it... maybe 30-40 minutes? It will be relatively firm to the touch (not rubbery, but you'll be able to tell the eggs are cooked and that it's holding together by poking it.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: March 7th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
bang head against keyboard. I meant the greenbeans and carmelied onions but this sounds good. DH won't eat it though.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 8th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Dice (or slice, but with the green beans, a dice or a mince works best) onions.
melt some margarine in a pan.
Add the onions.

Cook over low heat until the onions are a rich, golden brown. This will take a long time, but it's so worth it... it brings out the natural sweetness of the onions.

Season at will (salt, pepper, whatever... sometimes I use no seasonings, sometimes I use more).

Toss some green beans in the pan and cook until the green beans turn bright green, but then take immediately off the heat. Toss to coat evenly.

This keeps decently on a blech for Friday night dinner, but not on the hottest part of the blech or it will get mushy, overdone, and flavorless.

If I'm planning to serve them for lunch, I use olive oil and a little salt in place of the margarine so that I can serve them at room temperature without having congealed margarine (ick).

This really is best with butter, but obviously that only works for milchig meals.
zis770 From: zis770 Date: March 9th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC) (Link)
yum but could i used olive oil instead of margarine. And I have a favorite favorite milchig green bean recipe i got from my friend. Here it is.

http://www.armory.com/~ndege/recipes/veggies/spic_gr.html

It's from an indian vegetarian cookbook she has.

lately though I've been using olive oil or margarine. I'd love to do it right with real Ghee.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 9th, 2006 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the recipe. And yes, you can use olive oil instead of margarine. If you read closely, I think I said that towards the bottom. If I didn't, my mistake. :)
caryabend From: caryabend Date: March 7th, 2006 02:08 am (UTC) (Link)
I knew about the color thing, and it's not that odd at all. Presentation makes a big part of any meal.

I think the only way to top yourself might be to plan the meal based on texture. Or perhaps something only a synthesiac could determine, like all the foods having a similar sound when you taste them.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually do take texture into account. I'm highly sensitive to textures, which is why I don't care for a number of foods. But I like complimentary textures. I don't plan my whole meal around it, but I do take it into consideration.
(Screened comment)
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: March 7th, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks! This week is terrible for me, but I'll try to call and make arrangements regardless. I'll be out of town on Sunday, but maybe I can get Seth to swing by then.
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