Thursday, September 13, 2007

YUM - Best Kugel Ever!

So, I'd say, write that recipe in pen! Yes, it is high calorie, high cholesterol, high carbs - but SO delicious. We ate 2/3 of the pan.
You could taste the orange juice, and the kugel was not so sweet that you got sick of it. The raisins were plump and the corn flake/cinnamon crunchy stuff was like memories of great kid foods. So this is the official sweet new year family kugel recipe - in the style of Craig's grandmother Goldie.

The rest of last night's menu included -
Brisket Barbecue - ala Rhoda - the Heinz Chili Sauce recipe
Roasted potato wedges. I bought some fingerling potatoes at the Wednesday farmers' market from Nichols Farm and Orchard - they had purple streaks in them and they roasted up nicely.
Broccoli with soy and garlic - even Mack liked that.
Goldie's Kugel
A round challah and honey
Slices of Gala apples from Nichols Orchard
Green Salad with fresh mozzarella, pear tomatoes, spicy olives, and cucumber

Our centerpiece had pears, apples, and Niagara grapes that I got at the farmers' market. They looked plastic, but they were delicious!

Ellen, Mark and the kids came bringing a Labat Haut-Medoc and a lovely Pinot.
Liz also celebrated with us. She and I made tons of pesto on Saturday, but that is another post entirely as is the apple pie that I'm planning on making with those Wolf River apples that I bought yesterday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rosh Hashanah

So tomorrow night we celebrate the new year. I've got a delicious brisket ready for the last 30 minutes of baking. And there is a kugel in the oven. Big shift from the kugel recipe before. Here are the highlights. The recipe as it stood was like this:
12 ounces wide egg noodles
1/2 to 1 cup raisins (depending on how much you like them!)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil (plus a bit for the pan)

Here is what is in the 9x13 pyrex baker.
12 oz package Manishevitz egg noodles - cooked
3/4 C raisins - that's all I had
1C brown sugar
8 whole eggs - yes - I can hear your arteries clogging
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

The topping of 3 TBSP melted butter, 1/2 C white sugar, and 2 cups crushed corn flakes says the same. Will update tomorrow on what the flavor and texture are like. It's gotta be like bread pudding, I hope. Now if I can remember the prayers.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Reunion Food - Saturday

Five turkeys - no waiting

Delicious, and you should have seen the BBQ circle around the Weber grills and the troughs making charcoal.

We had not anticipated as much grilling as was necessary, so we decided to use the firewood in the de-commissioned shower house to make our own coals. The trough grills were hauled around to the east side of the building, and the making of coals was set to in earnest.

Way too much fun was had sitting in a circle in a favorite lawn chair, sipping a beer, telling a story, stoking the coal troughs, and occaisonally poking the birds. Three of the turkeys cooked in the Webers and two in the finally repaired oven. This gave the birds a lovely, smoked taste and they were moist and delicious. They birds were liberally rubbed with garlic, salt and olive oil before roasting. A hit all around with traditional mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, rolls and butter, sweet corn, and favorite beans (the soy/garlic treatment).

Must make this meal again!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pickle Postscript

They are great already. Garlicky and salty like the pickles I used to get in the pickle buckets on the tables at that Deli (whose name escapes me) in the Loop when I worked down there 25 years ago. Sam said they reminded him of the pickles at the Madison-Pine Restuarant in Perth Amboy (used to be across from the store).

NB - remove all the big seeds, even if it looks like they'll be okay. They got slimy, but the rest of the pickle is perfect.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pickles & Produce

Last night I dealt with the cucumber revolt of 2007 - or were they merely revolting!?

Huge cucumbers, left too long on the vine, needed a purpose - so I made pickles - half-sour chunks - and we'll see in a couple of days if they need anything besides throwing away. I'm not cooking pickles - down to the refrigerator they go.

In looking for a good recipe I found one from the Lower East Side that wanted me to get a barrel that had held olives and put in 50 lbs of cucumbers and 3# of salt with other brine making ingredients.

I ended up using:
20C water
7C Vinegar
1-3/4C Pickling Salt

5 Half Gallon Mason jars full of cucumber chunks
Fresh Dill (Picked by moonlight last night. I wonder if that will do anything?)

Packed the pickles, garlic and dill in clean jars.
Poured boiling brine into jars
Let them sit overnight on the counter.
Took 'em down to the refrigerator this morning.

We'll wait and see (tasted one as I put lids on them - half-sour and salty like the deli - yum!)

I tackled some of the weeds in the rose garden - and in the process pulled up a hunk of mint - so, I'll use some of the Roma tomatoes from the garden and make tabbouleh.

7.5 inches of rain in August! Things are jungly out there!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Friday addendum - two things

We had two guacamoles this reunion because Tim procured a case of ready right now avocados that made meal times bliss (think salads, chicken salad and avocado, avocados plain - well, you get the idea).

Guacamole - Katie style (as opposed to Katy style which was Saturday) is generally these proportions -

4 ready right now avocados
1 medium tomato - seeded and chopped
juice of 1 lemon
two medium garlic cloves - squished through a squisher or chopped
ground cumin
salt and pepper

I like to use a pastry blender to mix all this, but a fork will do just fine. Mash it, mix it, taste it, (correct the lemon, cumin, salt balance) and serve.

And another thing -
Steve's daughter Melinda delivered three Weber grills to the camp on Friday. These became the site for the "men (and a few women) around the grill" storytelling and generally enjoying a beer or two while tending to the pork loins. A peak reunion moment for some, I'm sure ('cause I'm one). Wait until the Saturday installment to get the full "make your own coals" excitement. Wait for it. It's worth it.

Reunion Food - Friday

Friday was our first cooked breakfast and another day of improvisation on the grills. Fortunately the flattop worked as did the six burner on the other stove.

As there was a lot of delicious grilled chicken left over from day one - and a load of gorgeous organic green grapes - Susan suggested a chicken salad with grapes and walnuts. Delish! Because we had all this fab grilled meat there was less eating of sliced lunch meat (except for salami which was very popular). My theory on the salami and chips flying out the door has to do with the incredible heat and humidity that had plagued us up until just before dinner on Thursday when it rained like you read about. It took until Friday for the front to fully move through, but it had stopped raining by campfire time Thursday and we were able to enjoy pies and s'mores.

Friday dinner was pork loin, grilled after it had been coated with a killer crust of fresh ginger, garlic and spices. Sushi rice, fraternal twin cabbage salads (the fabulous ramen soup almond cabbage salad and a spicy thai-style cabbage salad), broccoli with garlic and soy, and another amazing green salad. Fortune cookies and red plastic tablecloths to complete the Chinese theme. Appetizers that day were not theme based - but the classic chips and salsa and a bowl of killer guacamole-Katie style. Oh yeah, we made popcorn, too.

Recipes - we made most of this stuff "out of our fist" as my old baby sitter, Margaret Schmidt of Hoven, SD, would say. Here are general proportions and ingredients for the food preparations -
Pork loin for 45:
We had about 20# of pork. The loins were cut in half and rubbed with a mixture of:
salt (preferably kosher - funny, right?)
pepper (preferred fresh ground)
minced fresh ginger
minced fresh garlic
olive oil (a bit)

There was probably 1 1/2 to 2 cups of "rub" in that bowl that Katy made. I'll ask her what other spices went in.
If you have a mortar and pestle that would work too to smash everything up.

We had about half a loin left and it was eaten at lunches the next two days. Not one slice was left to toss out.

Thai-style dressing - this one works for raw vegans:
five fresh plums - pitted
2 jalapeños, seeds but no stems
juice of 5 to 6 limes
10 oz of coconut oil
agave nectar to taste (depends on how sweet the plums are)

put fruit and peppers in the blender with the lime juice. Blend it - if it's not juicy enough to blend up, add more lime juice.
With the blender on, pour in the coconut oil slowly. Now remember, we were in a non air conditioned building and it was in the 80's so the oil was liquid. It will be solid at room temp with temps in the 70s, so I suggest that you have it hanging out in the warmest corner of the room. Taste the dressing on a piece of cabbage. It's spicy, but the sweet should come through. If your plums need a little help, add some agave. [In the winter, substitute dried plums (that's prunes to y'all. Maybe 10 dried ones. They will be plenty sweet.] Adjust the seasoning - maybe it needs a smidge of salt. Up to you. It's a pretty pink, and it tints the edges of the cabbage as it sits.

Broccoli -
Saute/stir fry broccoli. Use enough oil. No, this is not a lo-fat dish.
Add chopped garlic about half way through the stir fry process.
Add soy sauce and let it all simmer - steam in the juice. It's done when it reaches your preferred al dente-ness on the broccoli. Some folks really like to chew; some don't. If you don't like it so salty (?) you can substitute tea. I always have a pot going, so it's easy for me. The smoky teas add a nice flavor.

The Continuing Saga of the Stove.
Sam continued his persistent search for someone who could officially declare the stove DOA or in the immortal words of Miracle Max only "mostly dead." Sam tracked down the Zen-master through the magic of the phone directory and Mr. Zen came and declared one stove in need of the dreaded part, but the other (and thankfully the bigger) stove he returned to the land of the functioning. Huzzah! Hooray!

So, happy, sated, and with one working oven, we retired to the campfire to hear Grandpa Tom sing the Bear Song and to witness the teens taking charge of the pie making. Quite an amazing day all around.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Reunion Food - Day 2

Thursday became a day of invention as we took stock of the supplies that we had and the tools to cook them. While the raw vegan set in the family would have been happy, what the heck were we going to do with all that chicken?

Lunch was a weird repeat of the flat top pizza - this time the meat lovers and the left over veg pizza were on the flat top cooking. Salty cheese I have to say.

So we fired up the barrel (trough) grills that had these intense rebar-like racks. Katy and I marinated the chicken in lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. We tossed in fresh oregano and salt and pepper and let the stuff hang out for a while. We had to grill up a ton of the Scattergood baby eggplants. After we grilled them (actually Matt, Sam and Pirc did most of the grilling) we cubed the eggplant and mixed it with sauteed onion and garlic, more lemon juice and olive oil, salt, fresh mint, and basil. It's our version of the Silver Palette Summer Eggplant. Serve it room temperature and even non-eggplant lovers will love it.

We had lots of grilled veggies and another amazing salad. Our appetizers on Thursday were quantites if hummos and baba ganoug from the Pita Inn carried in a cooler from Skokie by my husband. He managed to have a "driving on a permit" student driver hit the car in an ice stop somewhere in Minnesota, so we enjoyed and appreciated each delicious bite.

All Thursday, Sam was on the phone - to the appliance guy and then to every Propane dealer in the area to find the folks who would service the ovens. Lots of not much luck. The guys from Swish's Hardware (not kidding) a store that used to be owned by a guy named Zen (a name that gave us hope that all would work out) came out and declared, "It's broken. We don't do commercial machines." The propane guy said almost surely it would need a part that wouldn't arrive before Monday - and we kept hoping that someone would make the oven's work. We had 5 turkeys thawing in the walk-in.

Sam continued with the persistance for which he is renouned. More on Friday. Think Swish- Zen -accio part - ovenus repairo.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reunion Food Part Two

Once again the Potter family managed four days of amazing foods cooked under less than optimal circumstances.

Liz's menus had many more options for improvising and for vegetables many ways. This worked. Tim bought the produce and brought amazing eggplant, onions, beets, garlic, and other delicious stuff from the Scattergood School and Farm. Tuesday, Liz and I went shopping for most of the grocery items and she finished up the rest on Wednesday.

We got to the camp and one of the two ovens was eviscerated, a disappointment for sure.

Wednesday night was supposed to be pizza and I made my favorite pizza dough recipe from Anna Thomas's The New Vegetarian Epicure.
1/2 C Milk
3/4 C Warm Water
1 T yeast
1/2 t salt
1t sugar
3 C flour
a bit of olive oil -

I quadrupled the recipe and it made 3 full sheet pans of pizza - I put the cheese only - kid friendly - one in at 500+° oven and then after about 10 minutes when the sausage pepperoni carnivores pizza and the crimini mushroom, sweet pepper, onion, and olive pizza were ready to go in, it occurred to me that the cheese pizza was not almost done (as it should have been). Oven two - out of commission. So we cooked the cheese and vegetable pizzas on the flat top. This was creative, cooked the bottom of the crust nicely, but left the middle of the crust chewier than I love. All in all it worked just fine. That along with cold meat planned for lunches and an enormous, delicious salad by Tim and Duon made the meal late but tasty. We crashed into our tents - tired and full - even though it was still hot and humid and we were feeling cranky.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reunion Food

Liz has crafted a delicious menu this year - and no tacos! Not that I don't love tacos, but they are a lot of prep time. This year this is what Liz (and I) have come up with:
Wednesday - Pizza and potluck

Thursday -- Mediterranean in feel
Lemon garlic chicken
Grilled vegetables
Salad with feta and olives on the side
Roast eggplant and onions with lemon, basil, and mint

Friday - We are celebrating the year of the Pig!
Grilled Pork Loin with oriental/style rub
Chinese Cabbage Salad
Broccoli with Garlic & Soy
Sushi Rice
Fortune Cookies
Green salad

Saturday - A family Thanksgiving
Turkey & all the fixings
Mashed Potatoes
Durkee Green Bean Delish
Cranberry Orange Salad Raw style

More later - I'll post recipes as we go.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July food

There is very little cultural blending of food in July except when we hit the July 4th weekend and then head to the shore in August. Summer foods are more regional than cultural I've found. Yesterday we had our annual July 4th food fest. It featured the traditional Tabor foods:
Fried Chicken
Yellow mustard/mayo potato salad
Bing! Cherries
Chips and Lipton Onion Soup Chip Dip

Added to the list this year were:
Salsa and Guacamole with El Milagro Chips
A green bean/new potato salad that is like a niçoise salad without the tuna (a nod to my need to lower cholesteral for those I love.)

Missing this year - I had the stuff but lacked the mo-
Homemade ice cream

New beverage of choice for the summer has become the Vodka Tonic with a generous splash of pomegranate juice. Sqeeze of lime. Fruity without being sweet.

We head to the Jersey shore in August. Clam strips and raw bar and bloody marys. Must take the V & T recipe to the shore.

Our family reunion is in three weeks. We spend four days hanging out on the shores of Lake Shetek. Food is a central part of that event. More to come about that.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Easter food fest

We had the big Easter Egg hunt and Ham Feed on Easter. Shopping at the Marketplace was wild - with the convergence of Greek Orthodox and Western Easters, I had to elbow all the little Korean ladies at the produce aisle. The ham that I got was delicious and is now in the freezer awaiting a big pot of bean soup.

Small crowd this year. Liz made deviled eggs (better than mine from Seder) and we had ham, baked potatoes, beans - delish - but the potatoes took forever!!!! to bake. What was the deal with that?

Julie and Emma came over to fill out the ranks of the egg hunters and I (thank the good G-d) had chicken pot stickers (not pork - they don't do pork) and matzoh to eat with the SDSU cheddar that was fabulous!

Excellent Bloody Marys. Just enough horseradish (our Pesach nod) to make them irresistible.

I made a bunch of teeny crispy meringues (see previous post) with no chocolate chips. Ellen made fabulous macaroons that I must get the recipe for you.

The other desert option (besides the chocolate eggs) was Ella's famous lemon meringue pie. I'll post the recipe when I'm home and I have it in my hand. - and here it is:

Lemon Pie
1 C Sugar
2 TBS Cornstarch
2 TBS Flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 C boiling water

2 egg yolks
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
1 TBS butter

Place dry ingredients in the top of a double boiler and add boiling water slowly, stirring. Cook until mixture begins to thicken. Add lightly beateb egg yolks, lemon juice, and rind. Cook 1 min [this has to be a mis-print unless you like lemon soup - it often takes 10 minutes until the mixture coats the back of a spoon nicely- keep stirring]. Add butter and remove from heat.

Pour hot filling into a prebaked 9 inch pie crust. Top with merengue made with the reserves egg whites [I often add a third], sugar, and cream of tartar [if you must]. Spread merengue all the way to the crust. This makes it less weepy somehow. Put in a moderate to high oven until the merengue browns (not too long - really).

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

From Passover to Easter

So, we sedered. Monday at our home, Tuesday at Anny's. I find that Maxwell House Hagaddah sexist, old fashioned, dry, and lifeless.

We had wonderful homemade macaroons that I will get the recipe for. They were amazing!
Menus -
Monday - 1st night
Deviled Eggs
Chicken Soup with Matzoh balls
Token gefilte fish with lots of really amazing horseradish
Mashed potatoes and gravy (yes, leaven)
Sauteed green beans
Fresh strawberries

Tuesday Night - 2nd night
Hard boiled eggs in salt water
Lots of gefilte fish
Chicken Soup with Matzoh balls
Leg of lamb
Beet and Fennel Salad (yum! A meal highlight!)
Boiled new potatoes
Chocolate Covered Matzoh from Piron Chocolateer

So now, on to the Easter ham feed - We'll have those deviled eggs again because they are universally loved. Liz makes them better than I do.
Ham and baked potatoes
Mixed green salad
Maybe I'll work that beet and fennel salad out. This recipe looks promising!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cook for two hours

Check out the Joy of Cooking's recipe for Gefilte Fish!! Cook for two hours. Yes, seriously!

I've finally found someone who like gefilte fish. My friend Ellen! She and her family are joining us for Seder. They are also a blended family. She says that she is Jewish, the kids are diluted, and her husband is deluded. Anyway. She likes gefilte fish, so I guess we'll be having it for seder. I like it with enough horseradish. My daughter tells me that I'll eat almost anything with enough horseradish

She's making coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate and the chicken soup with matzoh balls. Yum. I'm going to make merengues. So - Here's the recipe:

2 egg whites - beat slowly until stiff
add 2/3 cup sugar - 1 Tbs at a time
add a pinch of salt
1 t vanilla
1 C chopped pecans (optional at my house - not everyone is a pecan fan and this recipe came from a sister of my - Catholic - grandmother from Enid, Oklahoma
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven t 350º. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Drop cookies onto sheet. Place ain the oven and turn off the heat! Leave them in all night.
Do Not Open Oven! (Double underlined and two exclamation points from my grandmother!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Almost Seder - time to look for the Haggadah

It's almost Seder again. I am trying to figure out what to do with this particular meal. As always I lean to turkey, but seder with just the five of us feels like a ton of bird and not that many eaters. I'd invite the neighbors, but they are all away for spring break. So that leaves me with a big pot of chicken soup.

Which brings me to chicken soup. Again, my mother-in-law gave me the great soup hint of putting a sweet potato in the soup pot. This improves the color and flavor, especially if you are souping a chicken that doesn't bring a lot to the pot. And remember - cook for two hours!

Chicken soup -

Into the pot goes -
1 Whole chicken - skin, bones - the whole meghilla (that's Purim I know - but hey)
2 ribs of celery, cleaned and chopped as small as you would like.
2 whole carrots - ditto
1 peeled sweet potato - cut it in half if you want to fish it out
1 large or two small onions - peeled and diced.
Cover with water.
Cook for two hours.

Cool and pull out the bones and anything you don't want in the bowls on the table. It's delish. Really.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The first seder - Taj the dog batting clean up

I remember the first Passover, long before any of us were married or thinking of kids. We had seder at the boys apartment on Simpson street - so that would have been Craig and Sam and John. The attendant girlfriends would have been Melinda, why do I think Daryl was there, and me. So two blonde non-jews, two Jewish boys. Craig called his grandmother for her noodle kugel recipe which she reminded him that he couldn't make for Passover because the noodles were flour. He lied and told her that he just wanted to know how to make it. It was delicious - like a bread pudding with noodles insead of day old bread. Yum.

I always think of this as the training seder. From here it was seders at Claire and Bob's (Schiksas come to seder aka the all blonde seder; the seder where Marjorie made it clear where her sexual preferences were), seder with Craig and Melinda after they were married with Craig's mother and father ("Did you count the silver? You should always count the silver.") seders at our home, the sorta seders where Sam was the lone Jew - to last year's Seder in Orlando - the Mickey Mouse Seder.

The menu that first night was turkey, asparagus, some kind of potato I am sure. Craig povided the hagaddah, and we avoided gefilte fish though we had deviled eggs and chicken soup with matzoh balls.

I'm going to promise to put the noodle kugel recipe here. I need to test out my bread pudding theory. The recipe included orange juice and the whole deal was topped off with crushed corn flakes tossed with butter and cinnamon and suger. What's not to like?

Craig's Bubbe's Sweet Kugle Recipe - recreated:
12 ounces wide egg noodles
1/2 to 1 cup raisins (depending on how much you like them!)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 whole eggs
3 egg whites
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup oil (plus a bit for the pan)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 13" X 9" baking dish.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions.

While they are cooking, pour hot water over the raisins to plump them up.

Mix the oil, brown sugar, orange juice, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and egg whites together. Mix well.

Drain the noodles, put them in the baking dish. Drain the raisins. Add them, too. Stir in the sugar/egg/oj mixture.

2 C crushed corn flakes
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 TBS melted butter

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Srpinkle on top of noodle mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked in the center.

Now - this is a recreation and I have not tried it yet, but it seems like all the right ingredients in the right order, with the one cholesteral lowering nod of substituting 3 egg whites for 2 whole eggs although in a big pan like this, a serving of kugel will have about 1/4 of an egg in it anyway if you made it with 4 whole eggs. I'll try it out and update the post if it doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

First Food

I think that the first dish that I learned to appreciate and make was the classic beef brisket. I figured out that there are two basic brisket recipies; the tomato - chili sauce - Jewish BBQ style and the Lipton onion soup mix, pot roast style. One of my daughters LOVES the chili sauce version. She wanted a brisket sandwich for lunch today. If you run out of conversation at a wedding, you can always ask the lady to your left about her brisket recipe. This is the recipe that I learned from my mother-in-law, who got it from her friend Rhoda.

2-4 lbs of brisket
1 large onion
1 12 oz bottle of chili sauce
a dutch oven or ovenproof roasting pan.

Chop the onion (as small as you would like)
Sautee the onion in a small amount of oil in a sauté pan or in the dutch oven until they begin to become translucent.
Trim as much of the fat off the brisket as you would like. Brown the beef. I brown fatty side up first, then turn it over so that it cooks with the fat side down.
Pour on the chili sauce and refill the bottle with water and add that to the pot.

Bake at 325º for two hours.
Take it out, slice off the rest of the fat, and slice the brisket against the grain of the meat.
Bake for two more hours, or store to finish later.

Jewish cooking equals cook for two hours. So my husband tells me was his experince of his bubbe's cooking.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

From Hypothetical to Theoretical to Real

First it was just hypothetical. So if we get married and we have children, how would we raise them? Jewish? Catholic? What do you think?

Well, we thought that we would just do both. Yeah. Great idea. Let's do both.

Then it was theoretical. The first child is here. A daughter. That's good, no urgent bris or not to bris questions. But now what? Well, she can't talk, so there's still time...

Not any more. Three girls and many Hanukah candles later we are in the thick of it. But what to do? So I'm starting this blog to keep a record of what we do, but mostly - WHAT WE EAT! Because, as far as I can tell, when push comes to shove, it all comes down to the food.

So, it's a start. Let's see where this takes us.
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So What Are We? Chewish? by Kate Tabor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.