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Showing posts from November, 2007

Slow down time

Well, we made it past Thanksgiving. It was a success as always and we were totally wiped out. We were invited to friends for last shabbat lunch. Dinner last weekend was leftovers. We still have a number of packages of frozen turkey and frozen corned beef. In addition, I've got enough stock to last for about 3-4 months of regular usage.

This weekend we once again accepted an invitation to lunch! That means that I only needed to cook for dinner. We have two guests for dinner tonight, so our magic number is 9. That's a pretty small meal for us.

Tonight's menu is simple but fun.

Parshat Vayeishev
Dinner - 9
Brussels Sprout and Red Pepper soup
Chicken Tangine
Pan fried Pargiot with Steak Rub
EggPlant and Garlic
Kimchi
Rice

Of course, my wife things that we don't have enough food...

Pre-Event

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We cooked 45 kilo of corned beef yesterday. Today we sliced it. Interestingly, we seem to have gotten two different cuts of beef. One was a softer grain, while the other had a tighter grain. It will be interesting to see if anyone notices the difference.


We arose and got started at 7:15am this morning preparing stuffings. We have eight birds this year and so we made eight different stuffings. The list included:

Creamed corn stuffing
Sun Dried Tomato stuffing
Pesto and Black olive stuffing
Celery and Thyme stuffing
Mushroom stuffing
Orange Rice stuffing
Rosemary stuffing
The accompanying picture shows the birds as they were prepped for the ovens.  We use baking bags for the birds, not because it makes them taste better, but because it reduces the mess.  We don't have even a single oven big enough for these birds, so we borrow ovens from our friends.  Each bird generates a very healthy amount of liquid which is nicely captured by the oven bags. 
The birds went in the ovens between 9:15 a…

Protein Arrives

We got our order from the butcher. About 102 Kilo of Turkey spread across eight large birds. 12 large Corned beefs weighing in at about 50 Kilo and another 10 Kilo of ground meat.

I took the necks off the birds and will roast them for an hour before putting them into a stock pot tonight to make stock for the stuffing. The corned beefs will go four at a time on the stove top for 2.5 hours each. They should be done by this evening around 11pm.

The ground beef will be made into sweet chili tomorrow morning after the birds get into the ovens.

Speaking of ovens, I now have to make calls to a few volunteers confirming their ovens for tomorrow. The birds usually take about 5 hours. I start stuffing at 7am, put them all into our car and deliver them to the ovens before 9am. I check on them around 11am and then finish between 1 and 2pm. The birds cool for about two hours until we carve them between 4 and 6pm.

The Feast starts at 6pm!

Thanksgiving kickoff

This the first of what I hope will be many smaller posts about Thanksgiving. Twenty one years ago, my wife and I were married on Thanksgiving day. We had a modest wedding thanks to the generosity of our parents. Times were tough because of an illness in the family and our wedding marked a turning point in that persons recovery. My wife and I decided that in honor of the events of that day, we would take on the task of hosting Thanksgiving dinners.

From that simple start, we have progressed to having about 300 of our family and friends over for Thanksgiving every year. It has been about 10 years since the event outgrew our house and so we now host the event in the local social hall. In keeping with the Thanksgiving harvest theme, we provide the venue and the protein and asks our guests to bring the side dishes, desserts and drinks. Our guests arrive throughout the event and hence the buffet tables feature an ever changing menu.

We don't set up separate tables, but instead lay…

Weekend recap

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The chicken and rice was really nice. A very good choice for shabbat lunch. I cooked it in a non-stick pot and put the put on the hot plate first thing in the morning. Some of the rice on the bottom of the pot caramelized and the rest warmed up along with the chicken. The grated lemon rind gave a wonderful taste. Next time, I would add a bit more cinnamon.



We hosted two young ladies from Michlelet Lindenbaum, Shoshana Bar-David and Rebecca Lasky. As it happens, I will be staying in Rebecca's home town next Shabbat, so I expect to take a blogging break for one week. The following week is Thanksgiving, which is a major event at our house. Stay tuned!

A new toy (Deep frier)

My wife and her partner run events. They organize the catering, setup, service and do anything else that the hosts need to make the event successful. Last week, they were working on a Bat-Mitzva for 80 people, mostly 12 years old girls. The hosts are very health conscious and don't serve hot-dogs at home. So of course, when they asked their daughter what she wanted to serve at her party, she responded with Hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries! No problem for us, but they wanted to see if we could deep fry the French fries. As one of the food consultants, i rose to the challenge!

First, the place where the event was held has no cooking facilities. It has a warming kitchen with hot plates but no burners or stove-top. My wife has an electric burner that she uses for some of these events. The last time we used it to make pop-corn, so it definitely gets hot enough. Yet, we were concerned that it might not have enough heat for deep frying. So, being of an engineering mind-set…

Relatives and Friends

Its been four weeks since the holiday's and it looks like the students are once again thinking of visiting places in Israel. We were asked to host two young ladies from Michlelet Lindenbaum (Brovenders) this weekend. We almost had two boys from another school, but they backed out on Thursday. In addition, my mother-in-law arrived yesterday. She will be staying with us for a few weeks. My wife spend the past week madly cleaning the house and organizing everything. I think its a blessing, since the house was looking very crowded with lots of stuff left out all over the place.

One of our good friends left suddenly on Sunday night to stay with his mother in the states. She was diagnosed this summer with advanced cancer. His family will be eating with us this evening. Its a hard time for their family. Our community is relatively homogeneous as far as adult ages (Between early 40s and mid-50s) and many of our parents have failing health. The community as a whole is very sup…

Post Alyn Weekend

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First, I took a break last weekend and never got to post. We were invited out for dinner and had a nice lunch with 17 people. My apologize for not posting. On to this weekend.




This past week was the Alyn Wheels of Love bike ride. Our community is blessed with many capable riders who train for months to participate in this charity event. The two young ladies on the bottom left of this pictures are our good friend Tzippy and Caryn. Caryn and her family will be eating dinner with us. Tzippy and her family will be our guests for lunch tomorrow. The Alyn Wheels of Love ride is all about supporting the Alyn Pediatric and Adolescent Rehabilitation Hospital. Together, the riders raised over 3 million dollars this year biking through Israel. I expect that at some point in the next few weeks, the riders will stop talking non-stop about the ride. For now, its fun to watch them express their excitement about participating and finishing!

Some of these recipes come from the The Sephardic …