The news from Israel was especially distressing this week. I knew one of the men who was murdered. He went to the same Jewish day school that I attended. His younger brother was in my class. The images of the bloodied tallitot and t’fillin were interspersed in my head with images of him playing basketball with his classmates.
Shabbat comes very week. The regularity of those rituals is often healing. My synagogue has a monthly Friday where they match guests to hosts. Tonight we are hosting a dear friend who we have known for ages. We are also hosting a family we have never met before. They have two teenaged boys which I assume means two giant appetites.
I decided to make curried chicken. I pretended that I was an Indian grandma and mixed up my own curry powder. I decided that my curry powder would consist of lots of turmeric plus flavors that I love. So this curry includes, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom,coriander, cumin, black pepper , cayenne and smoked paprika.
I massaged the curry into the chicken and added some cut up dates to the pans.
After the chicken cooled I cut it up and then added more cut up dates to the pan. The chicken is going to hang out for a long time in the oven between candle lighting, when Shabbat starts and dinner. I am expecting the dates to melt into the chicken.
I started the soup last night. it’s a bone soup with beef and chicken bones and a whole lot of vegetables.
I will add some multi-culti –sort –of- matza- balls made out of arepa flour to the soup. ( Make matza balls but substitute arepa flour for the matza meal. The corn flour is a nice change from the usual and has a good texture, unlike my past bad experiment substituting white flour for the matza meal)
One of my mother’s baking standards was mandlebroit, which is the Eastern European equivalent of biscotti. I have never made mandlebroit before, but I used to watch my mother bake it –often. I guess that is the baking equivalent of “ I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV.”
I did something one ought not to do, and I combined two recipes, one for chocolate biscotti from my box of cocoa and one for mandlebroit from the Sydney, Nova Scotia cookbook and made chocolate mandlebroit. Considering that I hadn’t made either recipe before it was a possibly really stupid thing to do.
Either I’m lucky or I have enough baking experience under my belt or mandlebroit are forgiving.
But they came out fine, actually better than fine. They are crunchy and not too sweet. a nice thing for grown up tastes.
The main dessert will be brought by our dear friend. My mother never served one cake for dessert. A cake had to be served with a plate of cookies to keep it company. You can tell that I am not really an elegant hostess because there is only one variety of cookie.
My guests are welcome to file their complaints.
Shabbat Shalom! With hopes and wishes for