Karen (estherchaya) wrote,

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shabbos etc.

Last week was a pretty cruddy week for almost everyone I know. Except the two women who had babies. They were pretty happy. And that's good, because with the cruddy weeks that so many people I know had, a little joy goes a long way. I haven't been so happy for Shabbos to come in a long time, so I guess that's my silver lining, right?

Work and Julian getting sick
I stayed up pretty late Thursday night cooking, longer than I have in a long time. But I was in a little bit of a panic over feeding 14 people Friday night, so I was running on adrenaline. I got a lot done, so I can't complain too much. I went to work Friday exhausted but ready for a productive day at work. Work's been busy (hectic busy, not necessarily good busy) with an audit, so I knew Friday would be no exception. I was right. Friday was replete with fires to put out, panicked clients to appease, and I'm happy to say that I rose (slowly and sleepily) to the task. Around 10 or 11am my nanny called to tell me that Julian was running a fever and really wasn't "himself" (I could hear him screaming unhappily in the background). Since his fever was low-grade (99.9), we decided to just keep an eye on it. She laid down with him and let him sleep a bit. Around 12:30pm she called me to tell me that he'd woken up and was still running a fever (now 100.7) but that I didn't need to come home. She did say, however, that he was having kind of sporadic screaming fits, so we decided she should give him tylenol and see what happened. I wouldn't normally suggest tylenol for a fever that low... a low-grade fever means his body is doing what it's supposed to do to fight off whatever's going on. But he was clearly miserable and we'd waited it out a few hours, so it was time to give him some relief. At 3pm she called to say he'd just thrown up and he was now sleeping. No, she said, I didn't need to come home, she just wanted to let me know. At that point I just said, "You know, we've been dancing around this all day, it's time for me to just come home." Of course, when I got home, he was napping and I saw no point in waking him up, so we just let him sleep until he woke up on his own around 5:30. Poor baby. Seth, meanwhile, took the opportunity to run to BJ's since he didn't need to rush home to get Julian (normally I'm not home in time to do that). At 5:30 or so I gave Julian an ounce of Pedialyte, which normally helps him when he can't otherwise eat or drink. But at 6 o'clock, while I was snapping the ends off of green beans for dinner, he threw up. All over me. Well, all over himself too, but frankly at that point, I was so disgusted that it didn't matter which one of us was filthy. Just ick. I'm only slightly ashamed to admit that I disrobed in my dining room (and took his clothes off too, of course). I took him into my bedroom, changed his diaper, cleaned him off, and turned Thomas and his Friends Help Out on to distract him for a bit. Poor baby.

I called Amy, our neighbor who is an ER pediatrician, who said to keep giving him Tylenol and to give him pedialyte one teaspoon every 10-15 minutes. "It's going to really piss him off," she warned, "but that way you know he'll keep something down." She was right. He sure didn't appreciate being deprived. Meanwhile, I called the women who were coming for shabbos who were pregnant or nursing to give them a heads up. Not a big deal, I said, since he'll be in bed by dinner time, but I just wanted to give them a heads-up. Julian tends to be a throw-uppy kid anyway, so the throwing up in and of itself didn't worry me. It was just that he was clearly miserable. By 7:30, he appeared to have made a full recovery. Bouncy and happy, and demanding food. I gave him little fish-shaped crackers and pedialyte and he was fine. I did, however, cancel my lunch plans for Saturday, since our hosts have a one-year-old. I told them Seth would love to join them, but that Julian and I would be staying home.

Getting ready for Shabbos
Once Seth got home and unloaded the car, I sent him out for a couple of things (more tylenol chief on the list) and when he got home, he brought down our two folding tables from the attic. We'd never had 14 people for a sit-down meal before, so we weren't even sure how we were going to seat them, but it worked well, and I don't think anyone felt overly cramped. We, of course, extended into the living room but we do that anytime we have more than 8 people seated. Somehow, despite the 9 days**, we had three white table cloths of sufficient size, and enough cloth napkins. I despise paper napkins, and I avoid them whenever possible. We also had a guest coming who doesn't believe in paper plates/napkins particularly on Shabbos. I'd already determined that I didn't have enough china place settings for 14 people, so we were already resorting to paper goods for the table, but no way was I putting paper napkins on the table. Thankfully, my tendency to buy cloth napkins in ridiculously large quantities paid off this time. Hah!

Friday Dinner
We had psu_jedi, caryabend, osewalrus, beckyfeld, Aaron (who didn't eat, really, he rested on the couch most of the evening), Nigel, Stevie & Daniel, Ellen, Ruth (E's mom), Liora (E's daughter), Yael & Benyamin (E's daughter and son-in-law) and Yael's 3 month old baby, Mordechai. Yael & Family are visiting from Israel, their first trip back since their wedding last year (June 2004, the week after we moved into our house, which is why we didn't go to the wedding). It was a very nice crowd, and despite my panic, it was a beautiful night.

Julian went to sleep without incident, which is fantabulous. Jo and Stevie got the table set. I laid out covered bowls of garlic-tofu dip and bagel crisps at intervals along the tables. It was a nice effect, because it was violet-colored plastic wrap on the bowls, which was a nice contrast against the white tablecloths. I know that's a ridiculous thing to notice, but, well, I did notice it. Before Shabbos, I had plated the cucumber salad and marinated tomatoes, which made life a bit easier than usual. The first course was a sweet-ginger baked salmon (with the tofu tip and bagel crisps, and challah, of course). I put one plate of salmon on each table, which worked very well. Several people had seconds of the salmon. Note to self: I had too much salmon. I bought two sides of salmon which amounted to a little over five pounds. One side of salmon would have been too little, though, so I'm not sorry. Plus, it makes good leftovers. I could have gotten by with four pounds of salmon.

Main Course/Dessert
For the main course, I put out two bowls of everything that I could so that everything could start at each end of the table, rather than having to wait to get through the mass of people. This worked well and I'm trying to remember to keep a mental note of it. I served:
  • Rice (I didn't forget it this time!) (I made 8 cups... I had about 2 cups leftover... this is fine as it will be good with the leftover fish)
  • Chicken in three marinades: Teriyaki, Fajita, and Cherryaki. For the sake of expediency, I used the World Harbors marinades. WIth that many people and that much chicken I really didn't need to be bothered any more by it. (I used 26 pieces of chicken total. I had 8 leftover)
  • Potato Kugel (1/3 left of a 9 x 13 kugel... very, very thick pieces though)
  • Sauteed mushrooms & leeks (none left, to speak of)
  • Cucumber Salad (I did four cucumbers because last week 3 cucumbers for 10 people yielded no leftovers...this week I probably had a whole cucumber leftover)
  • Marinated Tomatoes (No idea how many I started with, but I did have some leftovers, but not significant amounts)
  • Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges, mango, raspberries, avocado, cucumber, green onion and a sweet balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, mandarin orange juice from the oranges, balsamic vinegar, a little bit of sugar, salt, pepper, dry mustard...quite good). I used two bags of mixed baby arugula greens. None leftover, but I don't think more would have been necessary.

For dessert, Ellen brought an angel food cake and Stevie brought fruit. It was perfect.

Harold, Becky, Aaron, Ellen & Co. all left pretty much right after dinner. Jo, Cary, Stevie, Daniel, and Nigel stuck around a bit longer. Daniel is fabulous because he helps clean everything up. There are very few people that I allow in my kitchen for post-shabbos chaos, but he doesn't give me a choice. And he makes sure that everything is taken care of, so it's kind of hard to argue with him! :) Stevie is a lucky lady! I think around 1am, everyone made their way home and Seth and I called it a night.

More Julian Sick
Julian woke up Saturday with a fever. So I'm glad I'd already told the Greens that Seth would be flying solo. Julian and I had a very lazy day in the house. We read books for a while on the couch and I accidentally dozed off. I woke up in a panic because I didn't see or hear him. Upon further investigation, he had gotten a pillow off my bed and was curled up in the corner of the couch with me, fast asleep. A sure sign that he was really sick. He and I spent the rest of the day sort of dozing in and out. Around 4pm, after he'd been awake for a bit and had refused lunch for the four hundred and eleventh time and was rubbing his eyes, I asked if he would lay down with Eema for a nap. No problem. He took my hand, led me to my room, and curled up in bed with me. He asked for TV and I said "not today" and he said "Shabbos." That's right! That's my boy. So good. So we fell asleep until Seth got hom around 5 and completely reinforced the fact that I'm glad I didn't go. It was disgustingly hot outside ICK and it's about a 45 minute walk back from the Greens' house. Ick. Julian was sitll sleeping, so Seth laid down with him for a while and fell fast asleep. Julian woke up later and ate dinner (finally). He finally seemed to be back to normal. When I looked at the clock and realized Seth had better eat something soon, I said to Julian "let's go wake Abba so he can eat." And Julian scurried out of the dining room and into bed with Seth, put his face right over Abba's face and said "hiiiiiii!" And poked Seth until he woke up. Abba, I'm sure, was less amused then I was, but it was pretty funny.

Sunday in Brief
Today was a fast day, Julian was feeling mostly better but took a FOUR AND A HALF HOUR nap today. I wouldn't normally let him sleep that long, but clearly he's still fighting something off. He still went to sleep without argument at 8:30, so I am not worried. I suspect there's more to say about today, but frankly I'm tired now!

**The 9 days are the first 9 days of the month of Av on the Jewish calendar. They are a period of intense mourning leading up to the 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av), which is the saddest day in Jewish history, on which both Temples were destroyed, the Jews were expelled from Spain, the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto happened (I think), and a variety of other atrocities/tragedies. During the 9 days, we don't eat meat, listen to live music, wear new clothes, or a variety of other things, including doing laundry. This was problemmatic for us with regards to table linens, which is why I pointed out that "despite the 9 days," we had enough linens for the table.
Tags: menus, shabbos, weekend

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