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Working Cook February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010 4 comments

Yes, there was a blizzard in NYC. Yes, I went to work.  Someone has to feed my guys, right?  I did get there about a half hour late, having left fifteen minutes later than usual.  Did anyone care?  No.

Of course,the house was full.  Of course, Mendy wanted his hug.  And poor Papa.  Not only was he not in school today, but yesterday, he hurt his finger – he was dancing and he fell.  And, see, what Papa loves to do is draw circles on paper, but he hurt his drawing hand.  He refuses to wear his splint, too. And he kept trying to hold a pen and draw, and kept not being able to.   He was NOT happy.

I got the soup out of the fridge, as well as the chicken and the turkey roast.  Got the chicken and the turkey in the oven, got the water started for the fish (having purchased two more loaves en route), and put some broccoli in the microwave (for Mendy.)  Added vegetables to the soup and let it simmer, slipped the four loaves of fish into that pot, and made Israeli salad.

Got that made, put up a pot of water for the noodles (to be noodle kugel), told Nosson, who came to pay us a visit, that I didn’t want the apples this week, but next, and collapsed for fifteen minutes.  Did some washing up, got the gefilte fish out, put the noodles in the pot, finished washing up, drained the noodles (this brand cooks quickly, which is one reason I love it), and mixed them with eggs, oil, salt, pepper, matzo meal and spinach.  Put that in the oven. By this time, the Shabbos staff had arrived,and I could trust them to take the kugels out, but I set a timer to help them.  Ground up and portioned the broccoli.

Got the turkey out of the oven.  Put noodles in the soup. Finished cleaning up.  Did some babysitting (one guy needed changing.  Two person job; third person was not around.  Needed someone to keep an eye on the other two.  So I volunteered.)  Got much praise for my cooking.  Wondering what’s going on. Do I look that needy?

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m dreaming of a white…PURIM!  It was slushing out when I left the house today.  And I do mean slushing – it was just cold enough for big, wet flakes to form, but not warm enough for them to stick.  Instead, we had instant slush.  I usually don’t use an umbrella when it snows, but I did today.

Shulem was in the house, working the phone, in solvethisproblemNOW mode.  So I checked supplies and what was needed (Mendy needed egg salad, and while he didn’t NEED chicken breast, he was running a bit low.  And he needed soup.)  I had thawed ground chicken in the fridge, and I gathered up chicken drumsticks and bones from the freezer.  I got the herbs floating (best way to rid parsley and dill of grit and bugs and such – float it in water and a touch of surfactant.  I use dishsoap.  I use the tiniest amount of dish soap and sometimes I dump half the water out and refill it.  I want just a bit of foam.  The surfactant causes the unwanted stuff to fall off the herbs, and settle to the bottom.  Take a clear cup and scoop up a bit of  the surface water.  If it’s clear, the veg are clear.  Remove the herbs from the water.  Done.) and the chicken under water and simmering.

I also boiled water for eggs, and started a pot for rice.  Meanwhile, I skimmed the soup and added the herbs,and let it simmer.  I cooked a package of ground chicken for Mendy.  Not all of it went to Mendy – one of the nurses got some before I ground it.  I made a pot of sweet and sour chicken meatballs to go with the rice.

Meanwhile, I was put in charge of paying the guy who cleaned the lint pipe from the dryer in Keshet.  Mostly because Shulem didn’t know if there would be anyone else available.  As I had no plans to shop or anything,  that was fine.  Even better, he arrived as I was about to make the egg salad, so my hands weren’t covered with chicken uck.  One minor crisis – we use a handblender with a detachable blade unit to puree our dairy foods. Eggs are pareve, but the egg salad meal also contains yogurt, so I use dairy equipment. And the blade unit was nowhere to be found.  I mashed them with a potato masher.  And then I found the blade unit, hidden behind some counter wipes.  I finished with that. 

I portioned the soup, discovering that one more of Mendy’s soup containers was leaking.  Down to four.  Then I poured the rest into a smaller pot and dumped the debris.  In the fridge, finished tomorrow.  Portioned the rice and meatballs, and the other nurse came in looking for lunch.

Note. Today is a fast day.  Not so much in that house. Of course, I don’t fast anyway. 

She got a meatball and some rice, and was  happy.  I’m thinking seriously of fixing a lunch early on, so I can feed the nurses.  If they don’t eat it, the guys will.

I also got a request to make chicken patties again.  They seemed to be a hit. Then it was back into the slush for me.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010 2 comments

Not very exciting today – I made meat ziti for dinner, and some Mendyness – sweet potatoes and green beans.  The only real thing about the ziti was how large it was – I cooked about 10 pounds of meat for this, in a separate pot from where I cooked the veggies (which, yes, I had to buy. I also got some more sugar free cake.)

I also cooked the pasta in the sauce, which works well and makes life easier.   I know the nurse liked it, and everyone said it smelled great.  I don’t actually know myself because you get habituated, and more so if you cook it.

I baked the sweet potatoes, peeled the skins off by hand and mashed them with salt, oil and cinnamon. 

Good night, my lovely readers.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Tuesday, as my lovely readers all know, is dairy day.  Well, it’s mostly dairy day. 

And every Tuesday, I want more and more to have separate sinks in my own home kitchen.  Because it makes life SO much easier, you see.  We tend to wash our cereal bowls in the bathroom.

I did my normal morning Mendy check – he needed sweet potatoes (none in the house and none in the little Russian grocery on the corner) sugar free cake (and that’s a story, my lovelies.  I’ll tell it after.), gefilte fish and couscous, plus corn salad.  I decided the other guys would get cheese ziti.  Even if I couldn’t find the ziti and lacked all veggies – I could buy them, right?

I got the water started for the fish.  This means I put water and salt into a small stock pot, and set it to boil.  This is for Mendy – he gets sugarfree gefilte fish I cook in plain salted water instead of with veggies.  I also started the water for the couscous.  Meanwhile, I weighed the corn (again, 60 grams?  Not huge.) and got it cooking in the microwave.  Got that ground up with mayo and spices and then portioned out.  I wonder what I can do, hors d’oeurves wise, with pureed corn?  Any ideas, my dears?

At this point, all plans became derailed – the groceries arrived. That’s a half-hour gone, but it’s also an influx of new ingrediants.  Got it all put away, and realized I had a bunch of frozen fish now, but about an hour to make cheese ziti.  Not really enough time.  So, plan change – now making baked tilapia.  And noodles. 

One major plus – I now have a dairy colander.  This means noodles are MUCH easier.  So I made noodles.  And baked tilapia.  While those cooked, I did some washing up and portioned out the coucous, the gefilte fish and the cake.

Oh, the cake.  A story.  Not exciting, I’m afraid.  Last week, since one of the counselors was taking Mendy out anyway, I asked her to get me sugarfree cake.  She bought two.  And then it turned out I didn’t need it yet.  And then people started eating it, so I wasn’t sure how to portion it out.  But I needed it and needed it today, and I didn’t want to go shopping anymore.  Therefore, I got the cake down, and got five Mendy-sized portions out.  So, that’s almost enough for a week.  I’m happy.

I tossed the noodles with oil, salt, pepper, onion powder and parsley.  And the head nurse wandered in, and left with a couple of filets and the noodles (and, oddly, some mayo) and said it was yummy.  Got things portioned out, and some cooked fish frozen, and two packages of meat thawing.  And left before 1PM.  YAY.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010 4 comments

For the record, that date is fun to write on food labels – 2/22.  Just saying.

Say it with me, my lovely readers – “If it’s Monday, it must be split pea soup.”  For that is, was and may always be true.  The other half of the equation was beef stew, and there was also zucchini to grind, and both egg and tuna salads to puree. 

I’m wondering how those pureed salads would taste stuffed into cherry tomatoes, or chunks of kirbys, or maybe in tiny lettuce cups.  Must think on’t.

It WAS nice and peaceful because school had started.  I, and my mp3 player, was mostly alone.  I did run out to go shopping – potatoes, carrots, onions.  All necessary for soup and stew, after all.  I also did some secretarial work, meaning I took the clean copy of the grocery list and copied it ten times, and then collated it .  Our copy/fax machine/printer doesn’t collate.  Then I filled it out for the week.  I hope I get my produce this week. The little Russian grocery store on the corner has rather unimpressive produce. 

On the way to work tomorrow, I’ll get a cake.  And I’ll think about what sort of dairy dinner to make the guys.  And there will be corn salad, too. 

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook February 19, 2010

February 21, 2010 2 comments

Oh, Friday was a bit of work, I’ll say that.

I had to finish the chicken soup, which was made more difficult because, while the soup had been properly refrigerated, it had also been used.  That is, the level was lower in the morning than it had been the afternoon before.  To make it worse, one of the individuals in Keshet has strep and they wanted soup for him.  So, his counselor leaves with a pot, a quart and a half of stock, a potato, a carrot, an onion and some celery, plus some dried parsley.  Fortunately, it’s a very strong broth, so I could add water to make up for it.  I also had to put in, well, carrots, onions, celery, turnip and parsnip. 

Later, the nurse was hungry, so she took some leftover noodles (flavored with oil, salt, pepper and onion powder) and poured soup over them and treifed the dairy bowl and spoon she was using.  Once we got rid of that, and set the spoon aside, she got a fleishig bowl and started over. That was two cups more gone.

There was also turkey roast, and baked chicken fillet and four logs of gefilte fish.  And I made a potato kugel for the folks downstairs, which meant I had to buy an onion, plus the tomatoes, cucumber and parsley for the Israeli salad.  And I had to make the Israeli salad, too.  And cook some steamed green beans as well. I also put a bag of noodles directly in the soup.

But it did mean I left the house smelling good and full of nice food, even if it was a half hour later than I wanted to.

Categories: Uncategorized

Working Cook February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Today is Thursday.  Thursday means Mendy soup.  I gave my required hugs to Mendy, and said hi to the counselors, who wanted to know if I was going to make the same chicken I made on Monday.  That would be the fried chicken patties.  Wow.  Success.

I gathered what I needed – chicken bones and chicken breast fillets, plus tomato sauce, macaroni, frozen peas, dill and parsley, and a can of tuna.

Soup – bones and herbs.  Chicken fillets – to be partially thawed and cooked in pasta sauce.  Seriously easy, but yummy.  I got those started and then went out to get potatoes and other produce to make a potato kugel for the Ruach guys.  Skimmed the soup, added the herbs and let it simmer.

So, final tally of food – soup.  Chicken in tomatoes.  Frozen peas ground and portioned. Frozen cauliflower steamed.  Whole wheat macaroni portioned.  Tuna salad.  So why didn’t I leave until 1:45PM?

I blame Yo Gabba Gabba and Miss Spider and Maury Povich. Too much tv for one day.  🙂

Categories: cooking, work