A funk has settled over the city. Maybe it’s the crazy changes in weather, maybe it’s the brutal nasal congestion that everyone (including me) is suffering from, and maybe it’s just that it’s still February. In spite of all that, Shabbat managed to be a bright spot in the week, though to be fair, I slept through most of it. Also, in my pre-Shabbat haze, I once again failed to take pictures, so use your imaginations, though feel free to imagine sunshine and flowers in place of food if that will make you happy.
Friday night, Dahlia hosted a potluck for the Grad Network, and it was really lovely to see so many new people there. Two students told me that they had such a good time at the “big dinner” last week, that they decided they wanted to go to a Shabbat dinner again this week. That pretty much made my night (and flew in the face of my “people only celebrating Shabbat once a year” rant from last week)!
My potluck contributions were baked ziti and hummus, both incredibly easy crowd pleasers. Recipes at the end.
Aaron made wasabi tofu, based on what I remember of his description, simply by pressing the tofu and marinating it in a pre-made wasabi sauce and roasting at 400 until browned, flipping once. He cut the pieces much larger than I usually do, which I found gave it a really hearty consistency. Laura made donut muffins for dessert, and I’ll include the recipe shortly. I was worrying about the real food to dessert ratio, but it was one of those perfect potlucks where there was the right amount of everything.
Saturday was a Minyan Tikvah day, which means a bright spot not only in the week but also in the month. Services were seriously fantastic: the davening, the crowd, the whole vibe of the morning. (It all went so well, it’s not even worth mentioning the 35 minutes we spent outside before we could get into the building.) Ariel planned a summer-themed kiddush, complete with popsicles and lemonade, which was fun and yummy, but it may have fueled some more sun-deprived angst.
Ilana hosted lunch, no small feat when an unexpected 35 people came over. But, as always, she hosted with grace, there was plenty of everything, and it was all delicious. And then I came home and slept for three hours. While that kind of serious nap definitely had more to do with my cold than with having a big lunch, the sesame noodles and pumpkin mousse didn’t hurt.
Dar Williams said it best, and I can’t get it out of my head: “February was so long that it lasted until March.” Fortunately, that’s only a few days away.
Hummus (based on a few recipes but mostly what I had around the house)
2 cans of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic
a handful of fresh parsley
Put it in the food processor. Eat with pita chips. Yum. If you don’t have a food processor, call me, and I’ll make some for you.
Baked Ziti (thanks Gill!)
1 pound of pasta
1 1/2 jars of sauce
8 oz. or so of shredded mozzarella
8 oz. of ricotta
Cook the pasta. Mix everything together, but save some of the mozzarella to sprinkle on top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 40-ish minutes. Uncover near the end if you like the top crispy. Comfort yourself with food and wait until spring.