Friday, May 18, 2012

The Menu

Another shabbos, another fun meal!

For dinner...

SUSHI BLOWOUT (special request for ima's birthday!)
asparagus tempura/cream cheese
cucumber
cucumber/avocado/surimi
egg/sweet potato/chard w/shiso gomashio
salmon/avocado/asparagus
salmon/cream cheese/cucumber
seared salmon nigiri (seared with a blowtorch!)
salmon/scallions/surimi
salmon nigiri with shiso
and LIME CHEESECAKE for dessert (if we can even eat dessert!)

And for lunch...

steamed carrots (from the garden!)
roasted balsamic beets (from the garden!)
salmon salad (from the garden!)
beef stew
shiso gomashio rice
guacamole/chips/salsa
roasted bananas
corned beef sandwiches
and ORANGE CAKE for dessert

And thank H' for shabbos. Still feeling tired post-bug and hoping to get plenty of extra sleep over shabbos. Good shabbos, all!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pastries

I've not really had all that many jobs in my life... music teacher has been my professional one, as was working in the fundraising office of a science museum at UC Berkeley. I still dream about being back there once or twice a year. It was a lovely place to work for eight years! I'm not doing much music teaching right now, but I know one day I'll go back to it again. I loved teaching classroom music for all those years, and teaching 50+ private students every week, but I imagine a much smaller schedule than that in my future. :) I did love creating/composing/writing operas with my K–5th grade students. Those operas were definitely the highlights of my school teaching years.

But the job I dream about the most often? Serving coffee and pastries at La Creme de la Creme P√Ętisserie for 8 years (all through high school and then during college vacations). I loved that place. The quirky owners, and the really stupendous food. I can still remember the tastes 30 years later, especially the...

coq au vin

spinach lasagna

quiche

raspberry vinaigrette for the salads (made in the giant dough mixers!)

handmade (often by me!) pasta - carrot & tarragon; onion basil; spinach; tomato; and plain

baguettes (real ones, crispy on the outside moist and soft on the inside but NOT chewy)
 Russian salad (carrots, peas, and turnips)

potato salad (French style...)

chicken apple salad (it was $8.95/lb!)

pasta salad with artichoke hearts, olives, and pimento

breakfast pastries - croissants (real ones!), chocolate croissants (fresh and still melted inside...), almond croissants, raisin croissants (YUM), apricot soleils (apricots over pastry cream on a round croissant), beignets

desserts - truffles, grand marnier chocolate mousse cake with raspberries, lemon mousse, strawberry mousse with lady fingers, lemon tarts (perfection), napoleans (perfect puff pastry), strawberry napoleans (perfection perfected), creme caramel (oh, sigh), chocolate mousse with rum, black forest cake, apple tart, the strawberry/kiwi fruit tarts, the raspberry tarts,

and the coffee, the perfect coffee... the hot chocolate (50% powdered sugar, 50% cocoa)... the iced lattes...

I'm sure there are many things I've forgotten. Every time I think of my time there I feel so happy. What a wonderful, wonderful place to be. Every time I put on an apron part of me visits back there and then. I don't know why I wanted to post this. I suppose it's just a small ode to a place I was very fond of once upon a time. :)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Readaloud: Fever, 1793

Tonight we finished this most riveting of readaloud books, Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson. The book follows the story of a young teenager, Mattie, as she endures the yellow fever epidemic that hit Philadelphia in 1793. The descriptions of life before and during the epidemic are wonderfully rich. The bravery and character of Mattie are inspiring. There were several very poignant moments where my own voice was cracking while reading the story. It gave us a very good sense of what it might have been like to live through such a terrible times.

The book also provides ample material for discussion on:

•18th-century medical science
•the first hot-air balloon, which is part of the story
•the role of the Free African Society and of black people in general in Philadelphia
•how food supplies were historically affected by a health crises
•the state of yellow fever today and the history of yellow fever in our own city, Savannah
•how panic affects people's decisions
•why Philadelphia was the capital at that time

I'm so very glad we read this book. The kids weren't enthusiastic about starting it (and were clamoring for another Nancy Drew mystery!), but we all became very enamored of this book, and particularly of the main character, Mattie. A very inspiring story.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Menu

Last week, the menu consisted of Gatorade for many of us, and a dinner/lunch brought to the rest of us. Terrible stomach bug. We're just now finally recovering. Gevalt, and baruch hashem!

For dinner:

challah
eggplant with fresh basil and red pepper
roasted zucchini with preserved lemons
stir-fried swiss chard with garlic, ginger, and cumin
baked Japanese sweet potatoes
coq au vin
linguini
roasted cabbage
layered sorbet: mango, tofu sour cream, strawberry

And for lunch:

beef barley stew w/homemade kishke
deli sandwiches
garden salad
anything left from dinner

No guests this week. :( Wasn't sure if we'd be operating at 100% or not, and I definitely didn't want to pass along this intensely nasty bug.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Calm Puppy

I never knew there was such a thing but (sh) our puppy is quite a calm little guy. I'm not sure if it's just a phase or what. I was expecting, well, mayhem! He politely eats his food, goes outside to run with kids,  and practically wipes off his feet on the mat before he comes inside. He's just... sweet. Mellow. Perfect. We were wondering about his hearing, but the vet says he seems to be hearing fine. He does roll two lazy eyes towards the source of a sound, but doesn't startle or cock his head or anything. He's just... mellow. This is just so unlike the puppy experience I was braced for (and still am braced for, really!). Could he change? Could he get a little more wild? Or is this it? So curious to see... He's in good health, other than testing positive for giardia, but then we are the poster children for giardia (no longer, thankfully) so we can help a puppy through that too. Seems like the medication is simpler for the puppy than it was for the humans. He did bark when Mrs. B. (formerly of next door) dropped in to say hello (but wasn't allowed in because of a stomach virus that had DH in the emergency room for several hours!), so we're glad he'll be a bit of a watchdog. He's just a dear, and I don't think of myself particularly as a dog person either. But this one? He's special.