Sunday, November 29, 2009



We couldn't have done it without the turkey - or turkeys in fact - because there was more than one. I said "the turkey who gave his life" but Myra says I had female turkeys - I don't know how to tell the difference, to tell you the truth - but the turkeys were delicious - absolutely juicy and tender and tasty. No false modesty here, you notice.

Which is by was of saying that the "usual suspects" got together, once again, to eat, fress (Yiddish for really really eat - pack it away), laugh, tell stories, have fun and eat some more.

There were twelve of us - only two from America - but it didn't matter - good food is good food - and Thanksgiving is a wonderful excuse to pull out all the stops no matter what country you come from.

I, literally, cooked and prepared for three days - in addition to the marketing and some things I made weeks ago and put into the freezer - which I told you about before. (I keep telling you to read my blogs.)

So here's the menu - roast turkey, bread and chestnut stuffing, gravy, corn pudding, mashed sweet potatoes with glazed carrots and pumpkin, mashed white potatoes with gribenes (the well-fried onions and bits of skin that you get when you make schmaltz {rendered chicken fat}), homemade cranberry sauce, homemade cranberry relish, brussels sprouts with smoked goose breast (instead of pancetta - remember, I keep kosher), sauteed long thin green beans, lemon meringue pie, pecan pie and apple crumble. And Arnon's gorgeous wine - lots of it.

And in the interest of full disclosure I also served jellied cranberry sauce from a can! Can you imagine - in my house? Jellied cranberry sauce from a can? But - I have two friends who don't like "bits" in their cranberry sauce and - gracious hostess that I am (again, no false modesty) - I try to serve what my guests like.

We ate for hours! And I also put out the bones for people to gnaw on - just like home. And - just like home - everyone took home "care packages". Don't you just love leftovers?

Of course, I never made it to the hairdresser the next day - I couldn't get up after having gone to bed at 2:30 in the morning. I did, however, manage to get up in time to meet Marallyn for our usual "written-in-stone" Friday morning breakfast. I actually don't know where I put the food - we were still so full from Thursday night - but breakfast is breakfast on Friday morning.

And tomorrow two of my friends who were invited but couldn't come because they were still abroad will come for dinner to eat leftovers. Yes - leftovers from Thanksgiving. Ernesto called me to say they were coming home on Monday and did I think there would still be some leftovers - what a question. And so tomorrow will be a small replay of Thursday evening. Except for the lemon meringue and pecan pies. The two pieces that were left went home in someone's care package. Not to worry - we'll still have apple crumble.

Hope your Thanksgiving was as much fun as mine.

Yalla, Bye.

Monday, November 23, 2009



By now even my lists have lists. That's right - you guessed it - this week is Thanksgiving and I'm in my usual Thanksgiving mode. Make lists - shop - cook - cook - roast - bake - make more lists.....

To bring you up to date - all the guests have been invited - and all have accepted. Too bad I only have room for twelve at my table. As long as I'm cooking - what's the difference if I cook for twelve or twenty. But twelve it is.

I did all the marketing today - except for the turkey which has been ordered and can only be picked up on Thursday morning. And some of the preparing has actually been done. The tseer (broth, stock) for the gravy was made weeks ago and is in the freezer. The mushrooms and onions and celery have been chopped and satueed and are in the freezer, too, waiting for their chance to become part of the stuffing.

The bread is getting stale - waiting to be cubed and toasted in the oven - to become the basis of the stuffing - along with the chestnuts and vegetables. It will smell like Thanksgiving when the stuffing is in the oven and the smell of sage wafts through the house.

Tomorrow - although it will only be Tuesday - I'll open the table - iron the cloth - and set the table. I hate to have to iron the cloth at the last minute - I know I'm a bit anal - but I can't stand a table cloth with "closet folds" in it - so who's perfect? I suppose there are worse things to be than neurotic about creases. So that gets the table out of the way.

I'll also make the cranberry sauce and cranberry relish tomorrow. My friend, Riva, is the star of this year's dinner. Just as I was comforting myself that it wasn't really so bad to serve tinned cranberry sauce - and that no one would really mind, anyway - TA DA! Riva announced that she had to go Canada for a week - and asked if I wanted her to bring me back fresh cranberries. You mean you didn't hear me shriek? With joy? (It takes so little to make me happy these days.) And true to her word - she brought me fresh cranberries.

On Thursday Myra will perform her "usual" Thanksgiving chore - which she volunteers to do you must understand - I do not force her into this terrible job. Myra will show up early on the morning of Thanksgiving - just after I've gotten home with the turkey(s) - and pluck the bird(s) clean. This is not North America - our poultry does not arrive at the market absolutely denuded and featherless. Actually, I've learned to think of the feathers as just a bit more protein - but even I have limits.

The reason for "turkey(s)" - is that I won't know until Thursday if I will get one turkey or two. ( And you thought life here was easy?) There is no such thing as a "normal" North American-type turkey of 18 or 20 or 24 pounds. So - I'll either have one 8 kilo bird (17.6 pounds) or two 5 kilo birds (each bird weighing 11 pounds) Not to worry - I have an enormous oven which holds two small turkeys side by side. In either case there will be enough food. I always worry in case there isn't enough food - if there's not food left over then there wasn't enough!

Besides - I already have orders for "Care Packages" - you know - little packages of food from the dinner to take home - there's nothing like leftovers from Thanksgiving. A turkey sandwich the next day - there's nothing better.

Yalla, Bye.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



There is no such thing anymore as a "Blind Date"!

Let me tell you about a modern blind date. A good friend called me and asked if I were willing to meet a new man. What a question. Of course I was. She told me his name - he is someone quite well known in Israel - although I couldn't remember what he looked like. And - he said himself that he wanted to meet someone. (That's a good sign already, no?)

Aha! - I said to myself. I'll Google him - see what he looks like - learn a bit about him - be a bit prepared. And so I did.

When I arrived at the restaurant I recognized him immediately - remember, I Googled him - and walked over to greet him. "Hello", I said. "I recognized you because I Googled you". ( I thought that was a good beginning. Let him know that I was clever and computer literate.)

"Hello", he replied. "I didn't know what you looked like because you have no picture on Google - but I Googled you, too, and already know a lot about you".

Was that a good thing or a bad thing? He had read some of my blogs - about 15 or 20 of them - so he had a fair idea of where I stand politically, what I do in my spare time, what I read, my opinions on a lot of issues - you get the read my blogs.

And - he had already made up his mind that we weren't going to "work" together. How do I know? He told me so! The first thing he said to me was that we weren't on the same page politically - so we wouldn't discuss politics. Ooookaaay. Mind you, I didn't mind that we have opposing political views. (I already knew that - I read it on Google.) It makes life more interesting - I know what I think - I'd like to know what someone else thinks.

Then he told me that he noticed that I was a foodie and he was, too, and that I shouldn't think for a minute that he doesn't know how to cook. That was great with me. I love having company when I cook.

He continued by saying that he read that I have a lot of friends with whom I spend a great deal of time. He does not particularly like to be with people and I should understand that if we were to be together I would have to live a "split" life. My life with him and just with him - and my outgoing social life with my friends, without him. I should understand that if I invited him for dinner he would probably refuse the invitation. (I don't think so.)

I have a great life. The only reason I would consider adding someone to my life is to enhance it.

The truth is we ate and drank and talked for three hours. And we got on well together. Maybe if we'd had a chance to meet without Google getting in the way we might have decided we liked each other "in spite of.....".

As it was, Google had made up his mind for him. So - I'm not sure whether to say "Thank you Google for saving me a lot of time in a relationship that was not going to go anywhere." - or - "Damn you Google for putting the kibosh on a relationship before it ever had a chance to begin".

Was the old kind of blind date better? Her friend said she was gorgeous and funny and his friend said he was gorgeous and rich - now go knock yourselves out.

OK friends - keep looking - I'm still available.

Yalla, Bye.

Sunday, November 08, 2009



The other day I got up early - as is my wont - pulled in my newspapers - sat down with my cigarettes (yeah, yeah I know) and cup of morning chai masala - and on the front page of the International Herald Tribune - below the fold but on the front page nevertheless - read the headline "Love and politics in the White House".

And what did the article have to say - a long article continuing onto page -2- and taking up most of the page at that? Michelle and Barack Hussein Obama are bemoaning the fact that their "date nights" are very difficult to organize and are no longer private. Puleeeze.

Michelle pointed out that until last November they had not lived together full-time under one roof since 1996 due to the exigencies of business and politics. Today they spend more time together than ever before - they have time to send their kids off to school - together, exercise together - and "do not begin their public schedules until 9 or even 10 AM". Really? How many working couples can claim that they have time to do just that? Gimmee a break!

What the hell did he expect when he ran for President of the United States? Life to go on just as before? He is not a private citizen any more. He can't simply nip into his favorite bistro when he feels the need for an order of moules frites (mussels and french fries) or pick up two tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square when he wants to see a Broadway show.

He's supposed to be the leader of the free world - or is that too much to ask? But perhaps it's better for us that he's busy fighting with FOXNews and bemoaning his loss of privacy to the New York Times (that's the parent company of the International Herald Tribune). Perhaps it's better for the world that he has time to run to Copenhagen to plead for the Olympics to come to Chicago. Perhaps it's better for the world that he spends so much time playing golf. That way he has less time to cause more serious damage.

Certainly a lot better than that terrible health care bill he wants to foist on the American public. Well - the truth is that I don't know exactly how terrible the health care bill really is - but neither does anyone else since no one has seen it - let alone read it.

Nevermind - I'm sick and tired of Obama and Obamacare. I shudder to think that I could still be living in New York and having to deal with the health care in the States. It's enough that I have to worry about what he's going "to do" about Israel & Iran & Guantanamo & Iraq & Afghanistan and and and and.......

So now I'll begin to get ready for Thanksgiving - it's in 2 1/2 weeks - much to do. Follow this space.

Yalla, Bye.

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