As amazing as it was to receive so many meals from our friends, I have to admit that it’s a relief to be cooking for ourselves again. My ability to feed myself affirms that I’m still an individual able to fend for myself, and that I can still make decisions about what and when to eat that aren’t tied directly to the baby.
And with that in mind, we reentered the world of Shabbat entertaining this week, but we did so modestly, and hosted one person for dinner and a small handful for post-dinner hanging out. Ilana got here just as I was starting to make the main course, so I don’t quite have the timing down of cooking with a baby, but it all got done.
We had salmon patties for dinner, a dish I grew up with and rediscovered during pregnancy when I was trying to eat more protein. We also had Near East rice out of a box ( Marc and I aptly call it “salty rice”), salad (hooray for the start of CSA season!), and challah that we just had to take out of the freezer leftover from the last couple weeks of people’s generosity. Also, after about 10 months of not drinking, I poured myself a small, tentative glass of beer, which I didn’t come close to finishing, but it felt great to have it in front of me.
Here’s the pre-cooking spread; dinner didn’t include the butternut squash, but it was just too pretty to move. Also, I didn’t use this can of salmon, since it contained skin and bones and the note, “skin and bones are healthy and edible” (ok, that’s an approximation), and I just couldn’t deal.
This is a very forgiving recipe based loosely on my mom’s recipe, which is based loosely on how she actually makes it. So knock yourself out and don’t worry too much about being exact. I don’t. The patties are tasty served with horseradish sauce (as pictured above) or ketchup, and if you want a taste of my childhood, put them on saltines and squeeze the ketchup through the holes in the crackers.
10 oz. or so of canned salmon (I recommend sans skin and bones)
a healthy shake of bread crumbs or matzah meal
a squeeze of ketchup
a spoon of dijon mustard (whole grain works well)
some minced onion
garlic powder, salt, pepper
Mix everything together and fry in a bit of vegetable oil. Best served immediately.
Some other friends came over after dinner, and we had dessert: strawberry ice cream (homemade of course) with Utz Party Mix, Twizzlers, and M+M’s. It all went together quite well. The cheesy-flavored parts of the Utz Mix disappeared first, leaving the pretzels behind. The dwindling cheese puffs reminded me that this was the most popular snack for my 3rd grade students back when I was a teacher. I had to take the utmost care in serving snack on Utz Party Mix days in order to avoid fights over the cheese puffs. But I didn’t have to worry about hard feelings on Friday night, and I’m pretty sure I finished the cheese puffs myself.
I had been feeling kind of stir crazy, especially since it was so hot last week, but all the socializing over Shabbat cured me of that. We went to Beverly and Naomi’s for lunch and ate lots of yummy salads, and then we moved on to Josh’s later in the day for snacks, board games, and hanging out. I didn’t have any cheesecake over Shavuot, but Sherri fixed that for me!
I’ve also been feeling like this blog has been a little light on the recipes lately, so I’m including the salad I just made for myself, which was inspired by the new Bon Appetit’s article with summer slaw recipes and my CSA veggies, as well as the fact that Aliza was taking a nice nap just when I got hungry.
Random Summer Slaw
I tried to julienne the veggies to be as classy as Bon Appetit, but cut them however you like. And please, approximate quantities based on what you have and what you actually want to eat!
2 stalks celery
1 garlic scape
I would have added sunflower seeds if I’d had them
1 lemon’s worth of juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
sprinkle of brown sugar
splash of rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
I’ve been getting many requests for more baby pictures, so I posed my sleeping baby with my afternoon snack.