Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cooking With No Gas

it's 7:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. left the job at 2:30 p.m. got in at 9:30 a.m. that's another 5 hour day that i put in this week. i can't seem to beat this time. i didn't even want to go in this morning. i was really beat this morning. i didn't even walk the dogs. i simply, opened the front door and went back to bed. i may have fallen back to sleep. i can't remember.

i babysat for the kids for a short while last night. they needed to pick up some shoes that i store for them, in my downstairs apartment. my daughter-in-law tried her luck at selling them at the open air market place, today. it was boiling hot there. i stopped by after work to see how she was doing. as usual, i was made to feel like i didn't belong. i actually, made a sale for her. i chatted up a young american lady and explained that it was like a clearance sale. she ended up buying a pair of sandals. did i get any credit? of course not! my daughter-in-law thinks that i am a total incompetent, because i don't speak fluent hebrew.

why i'm still bothered by this i don't really know. i offered my help and i was rejected, as usual. i stopped off to visit my new friend. she lives on the next street. she actually lives across the street from my post office box. it's pretty convenient to drop in. we shmoozed for a couple of hours and i left.

i got a ride to town this morning. i was kind of, literally 'taken for a ride' if you get my drift. my neighbors down the block, stopped for me. they asked where i wanted to be dropped off and i told them obligingly, that the central bus station was good. they told me that after the husband got to the supermarket at the tail end of town, the wife would take me back up. i was too tired to ask to be let out of the car at the nearest bus stop.

i rode with them all the way to this supermarket and i was freaking out a bit. i should have taken the bus. i would have already been at my cooking staion by now. the wife dropped me off a good bit out of the way for me. i gerded my loins and advanced up to town. i was totally exhausted by the time i got to work. there was no gas. yesterday, the gas stopped and started up a bit, so i thought that we'd be okay today.

it was already too late to bake a kugel or cake for breakfast. luckily, i had some boiled eggs left over from yesterday. i made a huge chunky tomato and cucumber salad and opened up a can of tuna. the kids are not used to such simplicity anymore. i explained that i was out of gas. one of the guys had some natural peanut butter. he was a happy camper. i put out a fresh whole grain bread and cut up a watermelon. it was really a scorcher today. now we have a lovely cool breeze.

i decided to make instant couscous for lunch. all you need to do is pour boiling hot water over the grain and stir. the thing with couscous is that you need a spicy sauce or soup to pour over it. and you need gas to cook and make a sauce. i sliced and spiced up a couple of pumpkin squash and put it in the oven to bake. later on, i added some water to the pan to make a sauce. after that, i added some tomato paste to make it even more saucey. are we having fun yet? i decided in the end, to serve it for supper. the vegan who is fasting all day long, wouldn't go for kugel made with eggs. i am worried about him.

in the meanwhile, i took out the food processor, something, that i never do. i got one of the guys to show me how to use it and i proceeded to grate potatoes, onions, carrots and squash to make a kugel. i also baked up a sheet of fish sticks while the kugel was baking. i'm glad that i don't get bent out of shape in the kitchen when things go awry. the many years of watching julia child and other cook shows paid off. julia child was great about dealing with flopped dishes. she always said that it something fails you simply reinvent it. you give it another name. i take this to heart. instead of frittatas, i serve scrambled eggs with veggies.

i made further use of the food processor and made cole slaw. i refrained from adding mayo. one of the boys has a near like phobia and paranoia about it. he is always asking me if i put mayonnaise in things. i keep trying to reassure him that i am not trying to sneak any mayo into the dishes. today, some of the guys wanted to complain that i didn't add mayo to the tuna fish. they told me to set aside a plain portion for the anti mayo kid. it didn't matter that i put out a jar of mayo on the counter. they wanted 'mommy' to add the mayo. it is adorable.

the boys had a mini 'fabrangan' at lunch time. they say a bit of torah and have a few shots of liquor. they also have lots of goodies, too. i was a bit miffed. you know, slaving over a hot stove, or in this case, a hot oven and all. i wanted to scold them and tell them not to ruin their appetites by eating potato chips, but i refrained. as it turned out, they ate my lunch before they ate the junk food. as luck would have it, we ran out of fish sticks. i quickly put a few more into the oven. couldn't have my boys squabbling over food, could i? i served up a cantalope, which really went down well in this heat.

i decided that i didn't have enough food for supper. salad, sliced pumpkin and couscous wouldn't do. i baked them an eggless, wholewheat, banana, date and peanut butter cake. that's what i do. i can't help mself. the director of the yeshiva told me that he is loving my food. he told me that he has to let me know every day how great my food is. he wants me to stay inspired. why didn't i take the time to let him know that money talks? why didn't i ask for a raise? he fantasized about creating a state of the art kitchen for me. i told him that i wouldn't know what to do in one. i need more money not machinery. i am once again, quite over drawn at the bank.

the vegan kid, who is fasting during the day, for the entire three weeks, came in today, shivering. poor thing, he was cold. fasting will do that to you. i also felt cold on sunday, during the fast. he wanted us to turn off the air conditioners. he took the remote and turned them off. i told the rabbi that i couldn't possibly, survive the heat with the oven on all day long, and that if the vegan boy was cold, he could wear a sweater. i think it was a major coup for the rest of the boys. Zelda! zelda! zelda!

1 comment:

  1. Way to go Zelda! I hope if they don't give you more money, they will at least give you a bonus and Rosh HaShana time!