gnomi: (challahback (shoegal-icons))
So as I mentioned yesterday, we observed Second Thanksgiving on Shabbat. But that wasn't the only cooking I did this weekend. Starting with Wednesday night, I cooked the following:

To bring to our hosts on Thanksgiving Day:

-- Wheat-free (though not gluten-free) pumpkin bread (adapted from recipe from [ profile] oracne)
-- Cranberry-apricot chutney (recipe from [ profile] scarlettina, years ago)

For Shabbat:

-- Challah (with assistance from Squeaker, who proved excellent at keeping track of how many cups of flour I'd put into the mixing bowl and who proved herself an excellent counter of eggs)
-- Roasted turkey (spiced with garlic powder, pepper, paprika, roasted at 350 until it was 160 degrees at the breast and the juices ran clear in the legs)
-- Roasted chicken (spiced same as turkey, above; cooked until it looked like Shabbat chicken)
-- Herbed stuffing (combination of a number of recipes; ended up using bread, boxed vegetable broth from Trader Joe's, chopped onion, chopped celery, sage, thyme, rosemary. Cooked outside the bird, so technically dressing not stuffing. Baked about 30 minutes covered and then about 10 uncovered.)
-- Roasted butternut squash (I made up my own recipe after looking at a number of recipes online. Drizzled with vegetable oil and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, then roasted at 350 degrees until I remembered it was still in the oven).
gnomi: (cooking-whisk (shoegal-icons))
Yesterday we hosted for Shabbat lunch. I made the following:
-- Roasted turkey
-- Herbed stuffing
-- Mashed potatoes
-- Roasted squash

([personal profile] mabfan is quite fond of Thanksgiving food, and we have a tradition of Shushan Thanksgiving/Thanksgiving Sheini/Sfeika d'Yoma) in our household.)

Our guests brought cookies that served as dessert. A fine time was had, five children (two of ours, three of our guests') ran around and were generally silly, and the adults had good conversation.

So now, even though we did not host actual Thanksgiving, we can still participate in the mitzvah of post-Thanksgiving turkey leftovers.
gnomi: (writer (celli))
In this week's The Brookline Parent, I discuss how I started having Muffin and Squeaker help me in the kitchen and the types of tasks they like to help me with. Click to read Cooking with Kids.
gnomi: (Default)
Busy weekend:

-- Made pizza for Shabbat dinner (well, pre-Shabbat dinner, since the girlies go to bed right after candle lighting this time of year).

-- Made chicken salad (recipe made up totally on the fly) for Shabbat lunch.

-- Made yummy, yummy potato salad to go with the aforementioned chicken salad.

-- Hosted new community member named Josh for lunch. Squeaker was heard to say later "I like new Josh!"

-- Lunch went long and segued into afternoon gathering with [profile] aunt_becca and her family. Her B and Muffin and Squeaker had a fun playdate in our living room since it was too hot to go out to the park.

-- Early-Sunday-morning wakeup by small girlies led to sleepiness for whole family but did not cancel...

-- Sunday morning playdate in the park with H, son of [personal profile] vettecat and [profile] sdavido.

-- Trip to Public Library of Brookline to take advantage of summer Sunday hours. Spent two hours in the library.

-- Stop for ice cream at JP Licks, at which we ran into a friend.

-- Extremely tired girls went to bed relatively smoothly. ***Note the ironic foreshadowing.

-- Finally gave in and joined Facebook.

-- Watched the season premiere of Leverage.

-- Neglected to either write or knit while watching TV.

-- Sleep interrupted by small girls. Awake 3:30-5:45 or so.

-- Saw sun rise for first time since Squeaker figured out sleeping through the night.
gnomi: (Default)
-- We're having what I've termed "snizzle": could be snow, could be drizzle.

-- Due to the weather, many of my coworkers chose to work from home. Because of them and the coworkers traveling for various reasons, the office is really quiet today, to the point that I was the first one in the office today.

-- I have discovered some games for my phone that are addictive (Ticket to Ride, Where's My Water?). I am now looking for people to play Ticket to Ride with.

-- A fanfic project I've been pondering for a while just became both easier and harder due to a casting spoiler. ::ponders some more::

-- We have achieved Purim costumes for Muffin and Squeaker. Tried them on last night, and they were adorable.

-- Speaking of Purim, this year I thought ahead and got mishloach manot items at BJ's when I last went. I just need a couple of items and we can assemble them.

-- Speaking of assembling, check out the new Avengers trailer from Marvel UK. It's really cool.

-- Today's date makes me think I should be humming Sousa music all day. So does Sunday's date.

-- It's 1 March and already my grocery store has put out Passover food. This is ridiculous.

-- With the warmer-than-usual weather we've been having, the trees are confused and some of them are budding. So, of course, I'm having my annual Spring allergy attack. Spring allergy attacks should *not* start in February.

-- It's Thursday, and I have no clue what I'm making for Shabbat.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
Is it nolad if I put frozen food on the platta on Shabbat?
gnomi: (cooking-whisk (shoegal-icons))
This week, we're home for dinner and out for lunch. Our original set of guests (new neighbors and their two-year-old son), for whom this menu was originally tailored, had to cancel on us, but by then [ profile] mabfan and I were in the mood for fleishigs (meat) (which I had planned due to the new people factor). And thus we have same menu but different guests. Our new guests are three folks with whom we've been friends for a while.

And the menu is:

-- Grape juice & challah
-- Gefilte Fish a la Jen (though she says it's Meir Green's recipe)
-- Brisket a la lcNlc with potatoes and carrots (but no onions due to guest allergy)
-- Pasta salad to be brought by guest
-- Broccoli-rice casserole from a recipe I mostly made up
-- Brownies (recipe from [ profile] dancingdeer but without the peppermint or cocoanut)
-- Cookies from the same bakery where I got the challah
-- Coffee and/or tea for those that want
gnomi: (frum_chick)
Is 46 degree weather too warm to serve cholent with Shabbat lunch?
gnomi: (cooking-whisk (shoegal-icons))
This one was specifically requested by one of our Shabbat dinner guests.

[Poll #1798908]
gnomi: (Default)

  • My phone's Home button ceased working on Friday afternoon. This does not make me happy.
  • Quiet Friday night, with girls going down to bed and then [personal profile] mabfan and I following suit not long thereafter.
  • Saturday morning at Minyan Kol Rinah.
  • Haftarah went smoothly. Note: the question, "Did you learn the right haftarah" should be asked earlier than while the Torah is being walked around the room before the Torah reading starts (I had); telling me that we're running late and therefore I should read quickly will *not* be appreciated when it's a long haftarah with complicated words and cantillation in parts.
  • Lunch for 14 (9 adults and 5 kids) became lunch for 15 with the last-minute invitation extended during kiddush to friend who was at the minyan.
  • Despite extra folks coming to eat, I still have tons of leftovers, again demonstrating that I default "cook for more than just the family" to "cook for a large army."
  • Weathered the odd weather fine. [profile] lcmlc and Abba lost power right before they did Havdalah and still don't have power (they're staying with a friend with power in the interim). Rain didn't start until right as we were starting lunch, and though our guests walked home in the rain, it still wasn't too disgusting.
  • Muffin and Squeaker woke us (well, Squeaker, followed by her waking Muffin) at 5:20 AM on Sunday morning. So we went into Sunday sleepy.
  • Spent part of Sunday at our shul's annual yard sale. Girlies came home with new stuffed friends.
  • [personal profile] mabfan ill in the evening after girls went to sleep.
  • I did some laundry Sunday night; clean socks are a Very Good Thing.
  • Nose decided life wasn't interesting enough and stuffed itself up. Throat colluded with nose, and now I am drinking many cups of warm drink.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
[ profile] mabfan has town-related commitments tonight, so after I got Muffin and Squeaker to finally go to bed*, I started getting ready for Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah,** which end the fall Jewish holiday sweep, and Shabbat. To that end, I have:

-- Cooked two pans of macaroni and cheese
-- Cooked a lasagna
-- Baked a pan of chocolate chip cookie bars
-- Made a thing of home-made whipped cream (in this household known as "splorp")
-- Set out the candles for yom tov, including the yahrtzeit lights*** and the candles for lighting things****
-- Cooked eggs for the eiruv tavshilin*****
-- Confirmed location of our Sukkot machzorim******
-- Checked the tires on our big stroller to confirm that they were full of air*******
-- Torn enough toilet paper to get us through yom tov and Shabbat********

And now I'm catching up on TV (some online, some on DVR) that I've missed (and that [ profile] mabfan doesn't watch) due to yom tov.

Notes back here )

OK, so the notes are almost as long as the post. :-)
gnomi: (mousie_with_bear (lanning))
-- I like being able to use technical skills I haven't used in a while. In the course of one project, I used my knowledge of UNIX, Emacs, and HTML.

-- It's Wednesday, and I'm not sure at all what to make for Shabbat. I shall ponder, because it would be ideal if I could shop tonight and cook tomorrow night.

-- Still pondering the next knitting project. I'm thinking socks, mostly since I haven't done any in a while and they're a good portable project. Also, sock season is approaching (for some values of "approaching," inasmuch as it's mid-September and still in the 80s F).

-- Still no velociraptor attacks in the office since the last (purported) one.

-- Construction season continues apace, as they've torn up the area in front of the main entrance to my work building. For the next few weeks, I'll have to walk around the corner to enter the far entrance.

-- How is it possible that Rosh Hashannah starts two weeks from tonight? Wasn't it just Tisha b'Av?

-- I've started wearing tichels to work (I'd been wearing berets/a baseball cap previous). I'm not 100% sure why I waited until I'd been here almost two months; I'm much more comfortable in the tichels than I was in the hats.

-- Muffin and Squeaker have started attending a playgroup four days a week. From all reports, they're enjoying themselves. We're hoping they'll make some friends who are less than 20 years older than them.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
So, as an explanation for why I had to run out and pick up lunch yesterday before the company-sponsored lunch (during a Day of Many Meetings), I said, "I keep kosher." And everyone seemed to perfectly understand what I meant. This is not an uncommon occurrence. It wasn't until today, however, that it occurred to me that it is a phrase that elides a lot of information, uses a word to mean something other than what it traditionally means, and includes a non-English word. Yet my coworkers were not at all confused.

The sentence seems simple. Three words. But only one of them -- "I" -- is straightforward. "Keep" does not usually mean "observe" in American English. "I keep kosher" is not like "I keep birds as pets" or even "I keep time for races" (though I guess it comes somewhat closer to the latter use of "keep").

And "kosher" is a concept that is first of all mostly unfamiliar, I would think, outside the Jewish world. I presume that if I had the same conversation with someone outside of an area that has a decent-sized Jewish community they might not recognize the word. The root means "appropriate"; Judaism 101 suggests "fit, proper, or correct" as definitions. Though "kosher" has made it colloquially outside the Jewish world, the actual details of what kashrut is are not widely familiar.

I'm not sure what specifically caused me to think about this, but there you have it.
gnomi: (Default)
-- This morning, when [personal profile] mabfan and I headed out to work (the first time I'd been out in daylight since Saturday afternoon), we saw a large tree in front of one of our across-the-street neighbors had been felled quite impressively by the storm. It didn't look like there was any damage to the house itself, which is good.

-- We have the best friends. During our power outage yesterday, friends who had power offered us the use of their home if we needed to decamp due to an extended power outage. Later (before the power was back), they brought us a pizza for dinner, since they live closer to the kosher pizza source and were able to get to us (we have no car and the T was offline all day, so we were stranded even after the storm had abated).

-- To their credit, the T was up and running this morning and the commute was straightforward. Those on the Green Line D were more out of luck, but that's not atypical due to the abundance of trees lining the D line tracks.

-- This morning, coworkers were greeting each other with queries of how they had weathered the storm. Some are still without power, but mostly folks seem to have come through the storm pretty well.

-- After a brief walk to the post office, I'm pondering a "historical plaques" photo essay based just on what I find walking within a couple blocks of my office.

-- Years ago, [personal profile] osewalrus shared his chemistry-based explanation of the kosher laws, using "milchigons," "fleishigons," and "treifons." Today I learned about something that fits perfectly into the schema: lardons. (Yeah, most people probably already knew about this; I'm kosher-from-birth, so what do I know from pig fat?)
gnomi: (count_omer_count (madmadharri))
Had a very productive last night-this morning. Thus:

-- Mexican lasagna: Done. Made last night.
-- H's cheese pie (recipe provided in comments from last night's post): In oven; will be done soon.
-- Quiche: Done. Made last night.
-- 2 Mac and Cheeses: In oven; will be done soon.
-- Blintzes to accompany one of the meals with guests: in oven; will be done soon.

I decided that (a) due to scheduling issues and (b) due to the projected heat, I would not bake challah and will buy it. That reduces my "amount time needed to cook everything" by three hours ([profile] lcmlc's challah is easy to make, but it has two one-hour rising periods plus about 60 total minutes of active prep).

Further refinement of menus:

-- Girlie Dinner I (that's tonight, pre-yom tov): Maybe eggs and sausages and roasted cauliflower.

-- Adult Dinner I: Like Girlie Dinner, but with dessert after kiddush/hamotzi

-- Lunch I: Mac and cheese (mostly pitched at kids), Mexican lasagna (mostly pitched at adults), side and dessert provided by guests

-- Girlie Dinner II: Quiche and/or cheese pie, blintzes, fresh sliced veggies

-- Adult Dinner II: Like Girlie Dinner, but with dessert after kiddush/hamotzi

-- Lunch II: at shul

Any leftovers will become Shabbat food.
gnomi: (cooking-whisk (shoegal-icons))
So today is the 48th day of the Omer (that's six Sylvester McCoys and a Colin Baker, for those of you counting along at home). Which means that the holiday of Shavuot starts tomorrow night. And thus, I have been planning food. Not *making* food yet, but at least planning:

We are in for three meals (two with guests, one just us) and out for one (all hail the shul luncheon).


-- Challah for three meals

Main dishes:

-- Mexican lasagna
-- H's cheese pie (an obvious Shavuot dish)
-- Quiche
-- 2 Mac and Cheeses (for the meal that will include four adults and five kids under the age of 10)

Other stuff:

-- Veggies for slicing
-- Blintzes to accompany one of the meals with guests


-- First dinner: no one

-- First lunch: two adults, three kids

-- Second dinner: two or possibly three adults

-- Second lunch: At the shul

All of the groceries are bought, and I will do cooking tonight and tomorrow.
gnomi: (Default)
As I was putting my challah dough together (it's Thursday night, which around here sometimes means the baking of challah), I noticed this flashy new declaration on the sugar bag:

Oh, Sugar!
Oh, Sugar!

C12H22O11 without the carbon? Neat trick!
gnomi: (cooking_pasta (shoegal-icons))
My father is driving down to Maryland in a couple of weeks, and he is looking for kosher restaurant recommendations in the area between the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Garden State Parkway. Any and all recommendations are appreciated.

gnomi: (Default)
[Poll #1659422]

*pareve: neither meat nor milk.

**cholent: explanation here.

August 2015

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