Home > cooking, work > Working Cook April 23 and April 26, 2010

Working Cook April 23 and April 26, 2010

When I walked into the home on Friday, it was beautiful – streamers, tinsel, banners and posters, many of which said “Happy Birthday!” Now, Mendy had turned fifteen just before Passover, which left Misha and Ilya. Mystery was solved very quickly when I went to the back of the apartment, where I saw a sign wishing Misha a happy 21st birthday.

But I still had to make Shabbos. I got the soup and apples out of the fridge and the chicken filets and the gefilte fish out of the various freezers. I defrosted the chicken enough to flavor it and put it in the oven, and got the vegetables to finish the soup, and got a pot of salted water going for the fish, to which I added vegetables. Then I started peeling apples.

My normal procedure is to peel the apples, make the batter and then slice them. This minimizes the browning – although now that I think about it, I can make the batter *first*. Hmmm. Anyway, I then cut the apples off their cores (I get square cores and chunks in four different sizes. It’s cool) and then slice the chunks, toss them with cinnamon and sugar (for a SIDE-DISH) and then mix with the batter. Recipe calls for pouring the batter over the apples in the pan, but I prefer this. I tried the other way and don’t like it. Bake for an hour.

At this point, I added the matzo balls to the soup. BTW, the experiment repeated beautifully. I have a workable theory of

Then I shopped for the parsley and tomatoes I needed for the Israeli salad. We only had regular cucumbers, as opposed to kirbies, but I had them so I used them, even though that meant peeling them.

Meanwhile, Shulem asked me for idea for the party they were going to hold for Misha on MONDAY. He didn’t want a meal, just party food (yes, I was invited.) I suggested chips and dip, plus veggies. He liked that (even though he’s never met a vegetable he liked. I think he lives on beef, since he also doesn’t eat turkey or chicken. And leben (a form of yogurt) when he wants dairy. This, I assume, is preference, not kashrut.)

Today is, of course Monday, and Monday means split pea soup, and so it was. Also, Mendy (and Misha) needed potatoes, so I had to get those and carrots to finish the soup. I ask for redskin potatoes but I end up buying them myself. And I got small ones to “bake” (since I bake them in double wrapped containers, they’re really steamed.) Everyone else got turkey burgers, plus mashed potatoes after I took out Mendy and Misha’s portions. I also cooked a burger’s worth of turkey for Misha and ground it for him. This made two servings. I froze one as is, and mixed the other with mayo for a “turkey salad.” I put the baked potatoes with two slices of cheese into the freezer as well, plus the mashed potatoes. And I cooked a bag of frozen peas.

Then I went home for an hour, changed into a nicer blouse and exchanged my white pre-tied bandanna for a pretty green headscarf. Then I grabbed my shopping cart and umbrella and went shopping for “baby” carrots, celery, zucchini and red peppers, plus salad dressings – Thousand Island and non-dairy Ranch. I also bought tofu sour cream, mild salsa, onion soup mix and potato chips, corn chips and pretzels, and plastic bowls.

Then I went to a remainder store and bought four oval plastic serving bowls and two compartmented serving trays – the ones six wells plus a center place for dip. I got to the home at 4:30. Misha had an appointment and was not there yet, so I had plenty of time to get things ready.

I got my apron on (no jacket or cooking shoes), searched for my good if cheap dairy knife, and settled for something else. Cut up the veggies (except for the carrots), made the dips that needed making (including mixing some fake sour cream into the already mild salsa to cut the heat even further, which also gave me room in the fake sour cream container to mix it with the onion soup mix.

And then settled down with my knitting to watch Deal or No Deal until Misha came home. As soon as he came in, I filled the bowls with nosh and people started drifting in – including one of the young couples who spend Shabbos. Which they don’t any more because they have a beautiful 2 week old named Nechama Shifra. No way can they take care of three adults (two in diapers) and a baby.

Someone else brought a small child – it was supposed to be a costume party, but few of us dressed up. I was going to wear one of my own, but I couldn’t find part of it. Thus, the nicer clothes instead. This child was dressed as a very tiny policeman. SO ADORABLE.

So, Misha was changed and dressed, and appeared wearing a plastic vampire cape, to cheers and “Happy birthday.” And the other guys came in from the other group homes – the Ruach guys told me they loved my apple kugel and matzo balls and they now wanted challah kugel. Another recipe hunt…:) Yossi had to be held to keep him away from the kitchen.

We got the food on the table and pictures taken, and passed around funny hats. Then we got the cakes, showed them to Misha, and passed it around. Misha was placed in his new wheelchair, which makes him higher and more supported than his stroller. And he got cake, too. It was pureed with soy milk, but he got cake. And Michelle said Mendy could have his dessert right then, so his counselor thawed out a piece of sugar-free cake. Mendy was therefore able to be part of things. YAY.

Then the musician arrived, and the magician (James the Vampire.)

Yes, musician and magician. Misha is 21. We joked about taking him out drinking, but he enjoyed the magician. So did the other guys, and they liked the dancing, too. I left after the magician’s second shot.

Categories: cooking, work
  1. Kate
    April 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Challah kugel sounds like bread pudding with challah. Which sounds delicious.

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