This is the first time I’m not writing on Saturday night. That’s because last night, I was still engaged in a marathon day of social engagements. Everyone in Philly seems to have decided to have a party this weekend, and I’m exhausted.
Actually, the partying started back on Wednesday night, when there were at least four Tu B’Shevat seders happening around the city. There’s nothing prettier than a tray of fruit, especially when it’s 20 degrees outside.
Friday afternoon, Ilana and I took a trip out to the ‘burbs to pick up six trays of sushi, commenting repeatedly on how everyone was going to be taking home doggy bags (spoiler alert: it turns out 30 people CAN eat 6 trays of sushi). We also got caught in the freakiest of freak snow storms that only lasted 5 minutes and was centered exclusively in the Genuardi’s parking lot.
Lucky for us, Thursday night, Naomi managed to Tetris our fridge such that all six trays of sushi fit inside (and Ilana figured out that if we removed the lid on one of them, then they’d really fit).
Friday night, I had a lovely time at the Gershman Y Shabbat dinner, until I almost feel asleep at the table and decided I had to go home and go to sleep. Immediately. And then I realized it was only 8:00 p.m…
So, what was all the sushi for? Minyan Tikvah lunch! Tikvah was so fabulous this week: great energy, new people, lots of singing. There may have also been a jointly delivered d’var Torah comprised of correspondences between Marc and me about this week’s Torah portion. (This week was Yitro, and I highly recommend checking it out – it has great advice about delegation, plus the Ten Commandments, featuring the “zachor” [remember] version of the Shabbat commandment, a distinction from “shamor” [guard/observe] that I really like talking about. But, ultimately, this has very little to do with sushi.)
In addition to all the sushi (you know how when you use a word too much, it stops making sense?!), we had Asian cabbage slaw (thanks to Beverly’s recipe), and Peanut-free Peanut Noodles (thanks to my sister’s recipe).
Peanut-free Peanut Noodles
In a blender, combine:
1/2 cup soy nut butter (Some almond butter or sunflower nut butter also work well, but using only almond butter produces a too-thick sauce)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 T peeled fresh ginger (2 teaspoons of powdered ginger will work if you’re all of fresh, but it’s just not as good)
1 garlic clove
2 T red wine vinegar
1 1/2 T toasted sesame oil
1 t red pepper flakes
In a large bowl mix together:
3/4 pound cooked spaghetti
4 thinly sliced scallions
1/4 sliced red pepper
1/2 sliced cucumber
3 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)
Toss pasta and veggies with the dressing and chill. If you’ll be serving it the next day, cut the veggies and keep them separate from the dressed pasta, and add them right before serving.
For dessert, we had green tea ice cream, ginger ice cream, and, yes, the pickle ice cream made another appearance. Here’s the green tea concoction getting concocted.
Once we got cleaned up, finished the remaining noodles right out of the bowl, and sent 30 lovely people out into the cold, Marc and I moved on to Susan’s for appetizers and havdalah. Susan made the best green salsa I’ve ever had. There were also wonderful people, soulful music, and a smiley 5-month old to admire. And I learned that I’m not the only pregnant lady who drinks chocolate milk by the gallon.
The remaining social events of the night were not actually Shabbat-related, so I’ll restrain myself, but if ever there were a weekend to prove that young Jewish Philadelphia is an amazing place to be, this was it, though I know there’ll be many more opportunities in the coming year that will prove it just as well.
As it turns out, 30 people can eat most of six trays of sushi, but there’s still enough left for breakfast.