Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It seems I'm not having too much trouble with this title thing. There are so many words to choose from!

I skipped the writers' group yet again yesterday. Saul had Monday and today off between the end of spring semester and the beginning of the first summer session. We used the opportunity to make a foray to Northeast Philadelphia to visit Simon's, our kosher butcher, and the nearby Shop Rite at Haldeman and the Boulevard, which is the repository for the area of all things kosher and Israeli. We can't even remember the last time we went to the butcher. We live mostly on fish, chicken (which we can get kosher at the local supermarkets), and vegetables. The one thing we cannot live without, though, is the Moroccan sausage that is made by Simon's wife Alla. I was down to my last package in the freezer. When it looked as though Simon's was going to go out of business because of a sharp rise in the rent, we all had put in a large supply. Thank goodness, they worked out the rent problem.

This coming Friday, I am preparing dinner for 14 with an Israel theme. We volunteered to host a discussion about Israel in conjunction with a program by the local Federation and our synagogue that is going on city-wide. Since we always have a special Friday night Shabbat dinner, I figured I would have the discussion then and also get to better know some of the new people we have met joining this synagogue.

Nowadays, we plan our trips carefully so as not to waste gas. We stopped at the gas station where we spent $67.00 to fill up the SUV, went to the bank to deposit some checks, stopped at Produce Junction to see if any inexpensive plants had come in, then to the supermarket, then to Simon's, then to Rhoads Gardens on our way home to see if they had pineapple sage plants (they only had one) and strawberry plants (struck out). We wound up spending over $300 at Simon's. The one 11 lb. whole brisket I bought was $74.16. In addition to preparing the dinner, our granddaughters are coming to stay with us for the summer soon and the youngest is definitely a carnivore. Eating out, which we do frequently the rest of the year, is more of a problem with two children in tow. I guess what we spent on food and gas yesterday in preparation for our summer will be made up for in not eating out so much.

The soup veggies were so beautiful and varied yesterday that I decided to make a large pot of chicken soup when we returned. At the supermarket, they were un-crating huge skids of fresh white corn on the cob from who-knows-where that was incredibly sweet and delicious. We had some for lunch when we returned and blanched and froze the rest. I have been trying to make felafel from scratch and have not been happy with the results. The first batch was too wet, and the second attempt too dry. I had made two different types of mandelbrot on Sunday--chocolate chip orange and lime/anise/pine nut. After a dinner of Alla's homemade cold cuts on fresh onion rye, for which Beth joined us, I glazed one half of each of the lime ones with a lime glaze, and one half of each of the chocolate chip ones with dark chocolate while Saul prepared his work for the summer session. Then, Saul and I made our first attempt at stuffing grape leaves. I think that went rather well. I was even able to use the surfeit of ginger mint that has been taking over the garden. Saul went out to pick some in the dark.

Ari flew to Seattle on business yesterday and landed safely around midnight, which is when we went to bed. I am feeling a little guilty that Saul didn't get to rest up from his cold yesterday, but I think he loves working with beautiful food and flowers almost as much as I do.

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