Better late than never

It’s been quite the week.  This past Shabbat was the big Penn dinner that you might remember from last year, and in recovering from that event, I never quite got around to publishing Rebecca’s post. But since Rebecca was also running late, we were in good company.  Though she is the first person to blog twice this year, hopefully she won’t be the last.  And, since I’m publishing this on Thursday, I may as well say Shabbat shalom!

Well Ya’ll the title may say it all, this past week, I guess it’s almost two now has been crazily busy, and not helped by the fact that I’ve spent the majority of the past 10 days in pain (it started as a really horrid toothache), followed by a whole lot of a different kind of pain (when I had an emergency tooth extraction, followed by a dry socket), and well with that and the rest of the chaos we tend to call life, I totally forgot that I signed up to write for the blog again this week.   So, oops, but of course I can just blame the tooth for that, right, I mean why should this night be any different than the last 10 or so?

So, for those of you who might have read my first guest blog post, this past Shabbat I finally had the opportunity to go with my friend Eve (a rabbinical student), up to her internship pulpit in Norwich, NY.  In case you’re wondering Norwich is about a 4 hour drive and located somewhere between Syracuse and Binghamton and a little bit to the East, or for those of you who like me are less familiar with NY geography, aka: the middle of nowhere [Miriam’s note: Being that I am from middle of nowhere New York, but further west than Syracuse, I both take offense and totally sympathize with this characterization.].  Truthfully, it kind of reminded me of  the Texas Hill Country!!!  The building which houses the Norwich Jewish Center is a historical building and the community it is a very heymish shul.  Friday night about 2/3 of the community (approx 8 people) gathered for services and oneg, we were joined by the confirmation class from one of the local churches, and all present had the opportunity to talk and think about our prayer services, what they mean to us, and how they may appear to others, as well as answer and ask questions about what we do and why?  And of course one kid stumped us all when he asked,  “What the origin of the shape of the “Magen David”/Star of David is?”

Since, following my tooth extraction, I have been on a diet of well  lots of soup and other mushy foods, which is not particularly exciting, in lieu of a menu of more overcooked pasta, and mashed potatoes we decided to pick up take-out for our Shabbat Meals! And sometimes, well, take-out is just right, particularliy when there happens to be a plethora of tasty and Kosher take-out options available, which there are in Long Island (and of course coolers and ice packs to take it on the road!  So for Friday night dinner, following an oneg of cookies for all, we enjoyed a fleish dinner of chicken soup w/matzah balls, chicken pot pie, smoked turkey and roast beef!

Saturday morning, we woke up to go to the Jewish Center of Norwich, for a study session.  In preparation of Passover (it’s less than 2 weeks away now!) we had an exciting and pretty lively discussion about the Four Children in the Passover Haggadah, using many different artistic and visual representations of the four children to inspire and help guide the conversation; Are they individual personalities?  Perhaps four characteristics of one person?  And what about that “Wicked” or “Rebelious” or “Alienated” Child? –well let’s just say that one led to a rather heated discussion…  Following our morning study we walked through town, (a few blocks) back to the hotel, where we enjoyed lunch consisting of  Egg Salad, Seafood Salad, and Summer Tuna Salad and grapes courtesy of Bagel Boss.  If you’ve never been to Bagel Boss, and you like tuna, I can’t recommend this tuna salad enough, it’s absolutely delicious, I don’t have the recipe for it, but I think they must whip it, and then it’s got dried cranberries and apples in it, seriously, if you’re ever near a Bagel Boss, stop in, have some for lunch, w/or w/out a Bagel, if you like tuna, or maybe even if you don’t, you won’t regret it!  The remainder of Shabbat afternoon was spent relaxing, reading, playing cards and going for a swim in the hotel’s indoor pool, all in all a nice 25 hours in the country!

Unfortunately since I didn’t cook anything I don’t have a recipe from Shabbat, so here’s one of my regular favorites, (hint sometimes I double it for a potluck)!

Cheesey Polenta w/tomatoes!

1 cup of corn grits to 3 cups of liquid (I usually do half milk, half water)
garlic (optional, but delicious)
Salt, pepper, fresh basil, and/or other herbs
Fresh grated parmesan or other cheeses (btw 1-3 cups, depending on your mood or cheese craving J
Sliced tomatoes and optional minced fresh basil

*If using garlic, sauté in a bit of oil first, add liquid and bring to a slight boil, add corn grits/polenta and stir until thickened, (it will pop at you quite a bit), takes about 5-6 minutes, remove from heat and add fresh herbs, salt, pepper and cheese to taste, top with a couple of slices of butter and bake @ 350 for about 20-25 minutes, till golden brown, then top with tomatoes, fresh basil, and more cheese and bake till cheese is melted to perfection, let cool so you can cut and enjoy!



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