Friendsgiving

So glad to have Alicia blogging again, though, of course, I preferred it when she was blogging from the East Coast!  Two important notes for anyone reading this: 1) There are TWO unclaimed weeks left in the blog (including this coming Shabbat).  Ever.  So if you want to write, it’s now or never.  2) The last Shabbat of 2012 is going to be another party.  It’ll be less blogstravaganztastic than last year (what was I thinking?!) but still a good way to wrap things up.  So save the date.

After I last wrote for the Shabbat Blog in May, and, especially, since I moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles this summer, I’ve been looking for the “right” Shabbat to blog again.  Ideally, I wanted to write about hosting (again) for the first time in my own home, but, I don’t quite yet have a home of my own and the year is running out. Instead, I chose to blog about one of my favorite Shabbat’s to host, Thanksgiving weekend Shabbat.   Prior to moving to Delaware my friends and I decided to have Thanksgiving foods on the Friday night after Shabbat, the twist being that we leave out the Turkey so that everyone can enjoy all the best side dishes, full of dairy (since most of my
friends keep kosher and do not eat meat and dairy in the same meal).

Last year a friend in Philly had a bunch of friends over the weekend before Thanksgiving for a Friendsgiving meal, so, I “stole” that name for this week’s Friendsgiving Shabbat.  Dinner was relatively small for me, with only 7 of us, and, what I was reminded of most of all is that I’m still not used to cooking in quantities more appropriate for 10 people or less (as opposed to the 80-100 I was cooking for in Delaware) – this has been a running theme in all the meals that my friends have let me host in their homes in the last few months. I spent lots of time thinking about what the best foods would be and settled on Pumpkin Black Bean soup, salad, Stuffing with vegetarian sausage, Green Beans, Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Mashed Potatoes with sautéed onion, garlic & cheese and mixed with purple cauliflower.  For dessert my friend made incredible Carrot Cake Sandwiches and Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookie) Cookie Bars.

I debated what recipe to include for you – the stuffing seems to be the biggest hit of the night (and the only photo I have is of the stuffing and potatoes) but, it’s a Weight Watchers recipe that my sister-in-law adopted for Thanksgiving a few years ago (you can find it here – we substitute vegetarian sausage and broth & I ripped up and toasted about ¾ a loaf of bread instead of the cornbread stuffing – http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=50553)

And, here’s my Pumpkin Black Bean soup recipe:

29oz can Pumpkin Puree
29oz can black beans, drained
1 med. Onion, diced
Spices: salt, pepper, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves

Sweat onions in olive oil in the bottom of soup pot.  When onions are
translucent/slightly browned add can of pumpkin puree and 1 ½ cans of water.  Add black beans and season generously.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer.

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