Saturday, January 18, 2014

An Easy Shabbat

it is 6:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat.  shabbat just ended.  it was a pretty easy shabbat.  it was very warm and sunny so we spent the morning in the backyard enjoying the heat.   preparations for shabbat seemed rather easy this week.  the house was already clean from tu b'shvat so there was no last minute running around to mop the floors.  what a pleasure!

i already had a freezer full of chicken so there was no last minute run to the super.  i was in pain so the daughter-in-law went out to buy the veggies and treats.  i had plenty of grape juice left over form tu'b'shvat so we didn't need to buy drinks, except for a few beers.  i made a chicken cholent because i didn't have any meat.  there was a lot of cooked wheat and barley left over from the seder so i threw it into the stew.  i was a bit  nervous about adding it because it had been flavored with Cinnamon and apple juice but i didn't feel like wasting it.

i actually worried about the cholent all night long.  silly me.   the kids loved it.  it had a caramelized quality to it and almost all of it was eaten.  score one for the zelda.  i also had a hit with the mango layer cake that i served.  i had half of a white cake from a few weeks ago in the freezer.  i had used mango juice for the liquid.  i had this great idea of turning it into a layer cake.  i cut it into 3 sections and cut each section into thirds.  i made up a frosting of fresh whipped cream and vanilla pudding.  it was too stiff to spread so i added a bit of juice from a tangerine.  it gave it a subtle fruity citrus taste but it was very delicate and creamy.  it was a perfect shabbat morning cake and a third of the price of making a cheesecake.  once again, hats off to the zelda.

i didn't dare let the kids know that they were eating leftovers.  heaven forbid, they should eat something from the freezer!  i made stewed chicken legs and chicken meatballs for the main course.  i fried a few chicken cutlets too.  i made a small amount of rice that mostly got eaten.  i made a small niles perch fish in spicy tomato sauce.   everyone seemed to like the food.  the grand kids were too busy playing in the next room to join us for a meal so i gave them each a chicken cutlet in a napkin.  i had a lovely box of strawberries left over form tu b'shvat, complements from a friend, so we had an easy dessert.  i simply whipped up some non dairy cream to accompany the fruit.

the kids nashed on left over dried fruit and nuts all day so we didn't need to buy a lot of junk for them.   everyone got along and there weren't any blow ups this shabbat.  the daughter-in-law did the dishes so once again, i had it easy.  .i do have to babysit this evening but i can lie on a sofa in the next room and watch the telly.  it was so heavenly being warm and comfortable this shabbat.  although i am suffering with pain in my lower back and leg, i can do the steps.  lifting the kids is out of the question.  i feel like i'm hobbling along like an old lady.  that's what it is.

i have an old acquaintance that is undergoing tests for a serious condition in haifa.  that seems to be the 'in thing' with my crowd.  thankfully, my body is clean of the cancer cells.  if this pain is a residual side effect of the radiation treatment there isn't much i can do about it.  the homeopathic remedy that i took this week didn't really alleviate it.   i'm thinking of trying a thai massage.  i accept the pain willingly.  it could be a lot worse.

now i'm thinking of purim.  we have another two months but you can never plan too early.  i am also looking forward to cleaning the house for pesach.  this place does need a serious spring cleaning.  i hope that i'll be able to cope.  i definitely am very tired lately.  i tend to nap a lot more.   the day after tu b'shvat, i couldn't make it out of bed.  i have never been able to pace myself.  especially now, i never know when i'll be pain free or have excess energy; so whenever i can, i do whatever needs to be done.  when i shop at the super, i try to look out for bargains and i try keeping the freezer stocked.

the other night the kids felt like pizza.  no one had any cash so i made a huge platter of ravioli.  i buy it on sale and keep it in the freezer.  i made two kinds: one batch of sweet potato and one batch of goat cheese.  it takes 5 minutes to boil up.  i take a box of cooking cream and a little butter and voila!  i  have a lovely sauce and a gourmet meal in minutes.   my daughter-in-law cannot tolerate the smell of  goat cheese or goat butter so i made her a separate batch with tomato sauce.   lately, she brings up food for me and sometimes i actually, eat it.  it's always a treat to have hot food.

i went off the south beach diet for a few days and i can already feel the pounds coming back on to the stomach area.  i have to get back on my diet tomorrow before there is a lot of damage done.  i feel like a beached whale.. .

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