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Shabbos - Karen's Musings
Random Rambling
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.
(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)
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!)
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.
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!!!

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.
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.
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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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