Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I took on Shabbat, and I OWNED it.

This past weekend, Tuvia and I headed down to the Poconos for an interesting and full weekend. We'd invited down Tuvia's friend and his fiance, as well as my friend Heather and her husband. As such, knowing that there'd be at least four people around for Saturday meals, I decided to seriously take on Shabbat in an effort to prepare myself for the impending weekend, as well as for the upcoming Shabboses when I'll be hosting folks in West Hartford. So what did I make?

For Friday Dinner: "Everything" Challah, Honey-Apple Chicken, Honey-Dijon Carrots, and a simple salad. (Meat)

For Saturday Lunch: More "Everything" Challah, Cholent, Corn Kugel, More Honey-Dijon Carrots, a simple salad, and Sabra Hummus. (Meat)

For Saturday Dinner: Baked Mac N'Cheese and Berry Crumble. (Dairy)

Now, most of these recipes were simply used, but did not define how and what I made. I've sort of realized that recipes are mostly meant simply to be followed, not completely to the letter. Of course, when it comes to desserts and breads, they usually have to be followed precisely. The Berry Crumble recipe came from Real Simple magazine and was a mixture of a few different recipes. The Baked Mac N'Cheese used some delicious White Cheddar Jalapeno cheese that melted gloriously for a delicious cheesy flavor. The Everything Challah is basically just your run-of-the-mill challah recipe topped with various things -- poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic salt, you  name it. Overall, I'd say that the food was outstanding, with the exception of the Honey-Apple Chicken. I wish I had photos, to be honest, but I don't!

At any rate, it was an amazing weekend with friends. We went to waterfalls, ate outside on a blanket, hiked around, and sat around chatting and catching up. And, most surprisingly, it wasn't so hard having non-Shomer folks around (some of our friends aren't Jewish, and some just aren't shomer), and explaining everything was fascinating. It was nice -- three couples out in the woods, hanging out and enjoying a beautiful summer day, probably one of the last. Stay tuned for some photos, because you know there's photos of the weekend.