Friday, February 8, 2008

Cooking Up a Storm

California Day 3
Marin County
The Kitchen

It's 1 pm and I'm in the kitchen, cooking away. Shabbos is in 4 hours. I've put up the chicken soup, the gefilte fish too. I have yet to start the challah but the beans and barley are soaking for tomorrow's cholent. Many people may think I'm nuts, but I believe cholent is the perfect food. And no matter the weather, it just doesn't fell like Shaboos without it. Besides these traditional foods, I have to make the guacamole and cabbage salad my mother so loves. (During the summer I even made sushi a few times.) I'll also make some kind of chinese chickeny thing for tonight, with rice and a vegetable dish TBA. If there is enough time, I will also make an eggplant salad. And tuna pasta salad for Suedas Shlishis. I already have few other salady things in the fridge. I'm not much of a dessert person so it'll be fresh strawberries and nice soy chocolate ice cream.

In further preparation, we will need to reread the instructions to set the oven to Shabbos mode (I didn't even know this oven had a Shabbos mode until we found the accidentally found the instructions while looking up something about the warming tray.) By means of electronics I don't really understand, it'll will allow me to keep tonight's food nice and hot while we wait the necessary hour after candles to make Kiddush. And I have to find the hot plate to put the cholent on. I guess there is still lots to do...

One of the things I enjoy about coming home is that I get a chance to do all this. What many may see as a minus, I have come to see as a plus. There is no strong, religious community here. There will be no meal invitations, no easily acquired food from the market. It's me against the elements (aka, my mother's kitchen and standard grocery stores.) It's a challenge and it's fun. I like baking my own challah. I like doing it all. And while I have enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people in my new community, I miss getting to do it myself.

So for now, back to my cooking.

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