Showing posts from November, 2009

Relaxing Weekend (yes)

After the Thanksgiving holiday, we need a break.   Fortunately, we have left-overs.  Tonight, we have the G families over for dinner.  These two families are probably among our closest friends.  That is a good thing since we will indeed be having leftovers.

We also have a niece and her friend staying with us.  Tonight's dinner will be 21 people.  Just a small gathering!  Tomorrow, we are going out for lunch, so we will get the break that we need.

Because things were too boring, I decided to get immunized for the winter flu and the swine flu today.  One shot in each arm.  Hopefully, I will not feel any side-effects.  After three hours, I'm fine.  I think it is important to get these inoculations, because the alternatives are worse.  I really don't enjoy having the flu.  It knocks me out for about a week.  I am hoping that the flu shots can keep me healthy, or minimally, reduce the impact if and when I do contract one of these illnesses.

On the cooking side, pretty plain foo…

Post Thanksgiving

The hall, just before opening

Carving staff: taking apart the birds before service
Photos courtesy of B. Gilor

We celebrate our anniversary on Thanksgiving. Its a rather large affair, with about 350 of our friends. We have been having this party for many years, learning from year to year and adjusting as we go. Last night was one of our nicest events. The decorations were wonderful, the food delicious and the company divine.

As usual, the big hit was our sweet chili. Here is a link to the recipe that we posted last year. Same recipe, just a bigger quantity. We made wonderful stuffings this year. The list included:

Traditional mushroom, onion and celeryDark bread with garlic and dried tomatoesJalapeno and hot sausagePesto and black olivesCreamed corn with soy milkApples and raisinsShredded carrots and onions
The first five were cooked in the birds. They were soft and rich. The last two were done separately in the oven. The crowd certainly voted with their plates, leaving much of t…

Out of time!

Boy a re we running late.  Five minutes until shabbat.

I'll post the menu and fill you in on the rest after shabbat!

Shabbat Parshat Toldot
Dinner - 10
Hot dog soup
Beef Burgundy (Julia Child's)
Orange-Ginger chicken turnovers
Red lentils
Zucchini and Peppers
Garlic Meat balls in a wine sauce

Lunch - 11
Roast Chicken
Stuffed Zucchini (with beef)
Garlic Green beens
Red Lentils
Roast Potatoes


My family woke up today in a bad mood.  Nothing serious, just not the usual patient, cooperative people I usually see in the morning.  My wife says that its the weather.  It has been overcast all day and is now drizzling.  When there is insufficient sunlight, people tend to be less happy and more depressed.

This week we got the news that my son in the army was asked to find a new unit.  We are very proud that he made it as far as he did, but now he needs to look for something new.  Just another bump in the road of life.  On the plus side, we love having him home until he is relocated.  His fiancee is equally happy to have him around.

For some reason, we don't have guests from the seminaries and yeshivot this weekend.  We invited over a family from the community for lunch.  We look forward to a quiet weekend.

With the onset of winter, I'm trying a new soup: Ginger Chicken soup.  The chinese believe that this soup is a cure-all for colds and flues.    It certainly smells good an…

Quiet on the eastern front, excitement in the west

Our house is very quiet this weekend.  We were invited out for dinner, and we have no guests for lunch!  Oh the travesty!  We will just have to make do with our own company.  Its clear and bright outside with highs in the mid eighties (around 30 for the metric crowd).

In the west (Cleveland to be exact), my brother's son is celebrating his bar-mitzvah this weekend.  Great excitement, many guests and highs in the low 60's (low teens).  Most of the US family will be there to cheer him on as he reads from the torah, gives a short speech and eats tons of good food.   I'm sorry to miss it.

On the cooking front, I went out to see Julie and Julia with my wife and our friends this week.  I really enjoyed the movie.  Julia Child was a larger than life person and the movie captures that quality.  The food scenes were great and I even learned something (mushrooms brown better when you don't crowd them).

So, this weekend, I only made one meal.  Meatloaf for the wife, stuffed chick…

Organ Trafficking?

There is an interesting piece in the Jerusalem Post:

"Sammy Shem-Tov, 67, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of facilitating deals in which patients received organs donated by Israelis who agreed to sell them."

The article goes on to say that Sammy solicited organs for sick patients, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars per transplant.  The claim is that only a fraction of the money went to the donors.

Having been through the legal process, I'm happy that he has been stopped.  I don't personally think that paying for an organ donation is necessarily wrong.  The big problem is that the financial incentives lead to donations from people who are not perfectly healthy (either physically or otherwise).  Furthermore, this system does not provide ongoing support for the transplant donors.

The existing legal mechanism is slow and insufficient, but it does make sure that donors are at a very very minimal risk.  It also provides for follow up medical support to the donors.