As long as no one signed up to blog this week, I figured I’d pick up the reins. It worked out, too, because I made a new recipe, I hosted a gathering that’s worth talking about, and I have an amazing picture of Aliza to share. Plus, as this thing nears the end (the real end this time), I’m getting a little nostalgic for the old days where this blog was all me all the time. (Speaking of which, there’s another end-of-blog [a real end this time] coming, so stay tuned.)
The first two hours of Shabbat were not the sweetest ever. My normally cheerful 18-month old tried out her toddler skills on a late-afternoon tantrum of epic proportions. By the time Marc got home from an hour stuck in traffic on 76 and we got out the door again to go to dinner, I was pretty sure we were doomed. Then, much to my surprise, immediately upon arrival at Ilana and Adam’s, Aliza gave a winning smile and proceeded to do laps around their first floor for about 20 minutes straight.
Dinner was truly delicious, and Marc and I are still talking about the soup (heavy on the turmeric) two days later, but I’ll admit I was distracted by having just barely survived the tantrum. Nonetheless, we ate, we enjoyed, we got to catch up with friends, Aliza said, “cat” upwards of 1000 times, and we had a lovely walk home.
Saturday was a Tikvah day, and we had big plans to try out a new baby wrangling system to allow us (and others in the not-so-distant future) to be part of the community while also keeping our kids contained. But, surprise! The William Way Center had a giant (and beautiful) Christmas tree set up right in our path, thwarting this set of plans, but forcing us to try out new ones that actually worked out much better than I could have expected.
For the potluck lunch, I made my old standby of baked tofu in a bunch of remnants of whatever marinades were in the fridge, plus, for the first time ever (like ever in my life), I made a sweet noodle kugel. My family only ever ate savory kugels, so there was no family recipe to rely on or childhood memory I was trying to recreate. Instead, I looked at a bunch of recipes then made up my own. And, most amazing of all, I actually wrote down what I did in order to recreate and/or tweak in the future. See below.
I sent Marc home from Tikvah early and took over his clean-up duties in order for him to have a nap. Sadly, as I rounded the corner towards home, he and Aliza were coming towards me, both bleary-eyed. The naps for each of them were short-lived, but at that point, it was only a couple hours till our guests arrived, so we pushed through.
Here’s the thing about this week: Marc’s grandfather passed away (you may remember him from the post about his 100th birthday last year), and Marc had a birthday. This is, on the one hand, terrible and sad timing, and on the other hand, just another reminder about how life goes on, and cycles renew, etc etc. It didn’t feel right not to commemorate both lifecycle events with our community, so we did. As I said in my invitation, it was going to be a strange kind of gathering that will hopefully not become anyone’s tradition, but we had a combination birthday and memorial.
Our friends came over, we ate pumpkin pie and onion dip and other snacks, and we shared the feeling that we’re really lucky to have so many wonderful people around regardless of the occasion.
A made up lokshen (noodle) kugel recipe that proves that if it has noodles, dairy, and eggs, it’s probably going to be good
1 lb egg noodles, cooked
2/3 stick butter, melted
1/3 block cream cheese, melted
1 lb cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
just under 1 cup of sugar
dash of vanilla (I gave up measuring at this point)
I melted the butter and cream cheese together, which I don’t recommend. Melt them separately, then mix the whole mess together. It’s amazing how instantly it started to smell like kugel. Put it in a greased 9×13 pan. I baked it at 350 for a half hour covered in tinfoil and a half hour uncovered. Not sure if that made any difference. Play with the proportions. Use what’s in the house. It’ll be good.