Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bon Voyage

it's 8:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i haven't been blogging because it's been too cold in my computer room. after awhile, i can't feel my fingers or toes. my guests just left. i threw a thanksgiving/farewell dinner fo a couple who are moving back to the states.

we have become good acquaintances lately. i've had them over for shavuot, rosh hashana, sukkot, assorted barbecues and my 60th birthday party. sarah and i share a passion/addiction for reality t.v. she predicted the breakup of kim kadarshian before anyone else. although she isn't observant yet, we have a good time together and we always keep it real.

they are heading back to florida. the economic situation here proved too much for them. thankfully, they have children and grandchildren back home in the same town. i am truly happy for them and hopeful that their new life there will be a bit easier. who would have believed that our golden years would be so unpredictable. i for one, cannot leave the country. i am way too settled here to even think about it. of course, while the kids are here, i'm not going anywhere.

i spent most of the day yesterday cooking a thanksgiving meal. i spent the entire week on the net looking up new recipes. last year, i made an elaborate, thanksgiving fantasy. this year, i went traditional but relied more on standard, comfort foods. last year, i made individual peanut butter and mashed sweet potato cups. this year, i made mashed potatoes. i even bought, non dairy cream to add for that extra smoothness.

i made a basil flavored mushroom and barley pilaf. i scooped out the bottom of a long pumpkin squash to use as a serving vessel for the pilaf but it was too small. i ended up making a small amount of sweet potato and carrot tsimmis with raisins and dried cranberries which was the perfect fit for the squash shell. i made a corn pudding instead of corn on the cob. actually, i read on a trivia site, that they never ate corn at the original thanksgiving. i did make my famous corn bread that everyone likes. you know, the one without flour.

i made a ground turkey sage dressing with chestnuts and dried cranberries. it was nothing more than a glorified meatloaf. i do have to admit, that it was, rather tastey. i baked pumpkin squash slices with a savory spice mix and topped it off with sesame seeds. i couldn't find fresh string beans so i settled for frozen. i didn't feel like spending extra money to buy the french cut ones. the short squat ones were on sale for only 10 shekels. i added a drizzle of olive oil and a generous amount of chopped almonds.

i made a small amount of basmati white rice for a friend who is on a really strange diet. i added a bit of tumeric for color. i didn't add any oil. i made a baked pumpkin pudding. it was supposed to be like pumpkin pie without the shell. it was awful! i substituted cooking cream for whipped cream and it was borderline disgusting. i gave the rest a way to one of the guests, who was probably, the only one who actually ate it. it was a tiny bit runny and eggy. it was nothing like pumpkin pie.

i made a really good cranberry relish. it was the first time ever, that i found frozen, whole cranberries in zefat. it was a small bag of gold but i had to quarter the recipe. it called for way, too much sugar. i actually, cut it down to 2 tablespoons of date syrup and 2 tablespoons of honey. it had cinnamon and cloves in it but you could only taste the cinnamon. i will definately, save this recipe for future use. i would add more celery next time.

i had nine turkey cutlets left in the freezer. i cut them in half and lightly dipped them in corn meal and slightly fried them in very little oil. i then cooked them for about 20 minutes in cranberry nectar and threw in a half a cup of raw cranberries. i added a bit of garlic and some allspice balls. they were a big hit. i wasn't all that excited. the fresh green salad was amazingly crisp and fresh. i made a lemon and olive oil dressing and served a bottle of thousand island dressing, too. it was also on sale for 10 shekels.

we ended up having a real treat. a good friend brought a box of after dinner chocolate mints. i haven't seen them in years. i tried hiding a few for tomorrow but i gave them up in the end. i made both a pumpkin cake and a banana bread. one friend made a pecan pumpkin cake and another made chocolate chip cookies. another friend brought some very weird looking fruit. they resemble a dinasaur or something prehistoric like that. i wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to eat them.

we had no shortage of wine. i made turkish coffee with shots of rum towards the end. i was going to do the dishes a little while ago but i finally feel the rum. i invited two friends to join me for shabbat dinner tomorrow. the kids are going out for night. i can make a simpler meal for night time and make a meat cholent for lunch. i'll just run out in the morning and buy some rolls.

it was a lovely evening. but it was a bit bitter sweet. i will miss my friends but i will try to communicate by email. i don't seem to be able to keep my eyes open. what a mess is left in the kitchen. i chose not to use plastic today. i wanted an elegant dinner party. i even put on a long evening type dress that was really a glorifed housecoat.

wishing you all a happy thanksgiving and a good shabbos! love, zelda

1 comment:

  1. Well sometimes SIMPLE is better than fancy.
    I know I enjoyed myself with the people there a d the food was yummy!