We enter this Shabbat saddened by the death of my Aunt Rivka. Yet, life goes on and God seems determined to remind us of this fact. As I was leaving the funeral yesterday, I received a phone call from a woman named Karen. Karen's mother saw our post about Asaf's kidney problems and replied to tell us about her daughter. Karen received a kidney transplant 6 years ago at the age of 16. She, like Asaf was just a teenager with failing kidneys. Karen called to ask if she could talk to Asaf about her experiences. I was so pleased that all I could say was thank you, over and over again.
Asaf is a quiet, reserved young man. He does not open up to strangers and rarely discussed his illness or any other aspect of his life. We joke that one year in the future, we will open the paper to discover that Asaf received the nobel prize and forgot to tell us about it. I am hoping that by hearing of Karen's experiences, Asaf will be better able to handle his illness.
Now, back to weekend hospitality, we were invited out for lunch tomorrow. That means only one meal at home, but that does not mean we are alone. We invited a couple that I knew in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Somehow, they found their way this summer to our community.
I have a theory about self-selection in communities. The people who move in chose to live here because it appeals to their needs and background. Those who move out, do so because it no longer fits their needs. We live in a bedroom community and so the people who move here do so not because of proximity to their jobs or because of the price of housing (its way too expensive here). They move because they like the people and want to be part of this wonderful place.
So for dinner, we have ourselves and six guests (large families are common). 13 is on the small side for a meal, but not bad.
Dinner - 13
Brussels Sprout Soup (From A Good Day for Soup by Ferrary and Fiszer)
Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic
Roast Chicken with Cajun Dry Rub
Kohlrabi and lemon
Red Pepper and Brussels Sprout Soup
4 tbsp Oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
4 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 lbs brussels sprouts
12 cups chicken stock
Cook onions, garlic and ginger in a soup pot for about 3-5 minutes. Let the garlic color but not burn. Stir in sprouts and stir to spread the ingredients and heat the brussels sprouts. Add stock and cook for 20 minutes until the brussels sprouts are tender.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup.
Make a wonderful red pepper cream that looks beautiful when it is served and add a sweet taste to the soup.
4 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp balsalmic vinegar
1/2 cup of parve creme
Put the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve the soup and put 2 tbsp of the cream sauce in the bowl.
I just made the main soup. Its surprisingly thick and rich. I decided to add a bit more ginger and it needed a lot of salt (1 Tbsp). I would suggest that the red pepper cream is not just an option, but necessary.