Shana Tova


To All My Jewish Friends I wish you a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year and may all your sins be erased on Yom Kippur.

(Boy I will be sitting all day for Yom Kippur with this post)

Why is it the only holidays we Jews celebrate are premised on punishment?  Why can’t we celebrate something joyful (felicitas) like Christmas; the celebration of a birth or Easter celebrating resurrection and re-birth?  No.  Purim, one of the few festivities we celebrate with delirium; costumes, dancing, playing games and breaking out in song, is based on some bad man who had his ear cut off.  And for us that was a good thing.  Today if one celebrates such an act, they are considered somewhat deranged in thought to put it mildly.

Passover we get to NOT eat bread – Yom Kippur we get to NOT eat at all.  No wonder our Delis have yard high sandwiches: so we can squirrel our food for the next celebration of NOT.

Succoth the equivalent of Thanksgiving we eat our meals in a cold covered tent-like construction of a room and if we are unlucky that day mitts and winter coats are worn to the dinner table.  Now THAT’S a celebration!

So hoping I have not offended anyone, now I have to say goodbye. Preparations are underway for a 16 people sit-down dinner and I have to be honest with you: I catered the side dishes.  The New York Times gave me the rest.

It’s okay, the Jewish guilt kicked in last week.

Just joshing about the New York Times, I made a chicken with Thousand Island dressing from a recipe I have had since 1977, a brisket, a veal brisket and of course pickled tongue.


September 16, 2009

There are so many people to thank out there whose blogs I have read and whose conversations and emails I appreciate and appreciated and whose efforts in creating those blogs were outstandingly perfect.

I had intentions of posting thanks as I went along but today I have a special thanks to make to Bob Del Grosso of A Hunger Artist.  It is unclear how I came upon his blog (probably through and I intended to mention Bob down the road but I have decided this is the post.

A couple of days ago I came upon someone’s post that had a funny first line to it and knowing Bob’s sense of humor from his blog and our communications, I emailed him a head’s up on it.  I’m not sure he got the point according to the query in his email, but Bob must have been one fantastic teacher, because he always makes sure he has written at least one line in his reply email of encouragement, a rhetorical question, and nearly always a compliment. It’s how he ends a conversation, with me, anyway.  Now Bob, et al, I NEVER EVER take offence at anything.  Nothing irritates me personally. It never has and it never will – call it a strong sense of self, I dunno. 


However, Bob ended that email with one sentence that stood out to me: ‘your blog is very lively’.  Lively.  I knew exactly with that one sentence that I was overcompensating for not yet creating any of the promised recipes and so my blog was a colorful and lively edited version of a diary. And I laughed, truly. I have a sarcastic sense of humor that not everybody can appreciate.  I think Bob does, but he is not quite sure I do.

Bob del Grosso of A Hunger Artist, I give you a big hug and just cause I am starting a blog in no way means I will not be contacting you for more advice.


Therefore, together with Bob and the Jewish guilt really kicking in, I felt it was now time to prepare and photograph a recipe if just because this is supposed to be a food blog.  Having a crap camera since the Sony DSC 75 (which wasn’t so good to begin with) died a sudden death; I was left to use my son’s $79.00 one-shot, pixel anonymous, digital. Plus I need reading glasses and that I discovered in and of itself is a problem when shooting with a camera.  This recipe, from Simply Recipes, actually read perfect and the distinguished Elise Bauer is a go-to blog for me ALWAYS.


One thing I promised myself was that no matter if the recipe I made was good or bad; I was going to be honest and describe the mistakes and errors I think I made.  I am not going to pretend I cook with or to perfection.  Absolutely no one does including the best of the best; you just have to read the critics to know that. If all I wanted was a blog to post someone else’s recipes that would be easy and for me, useless. I wanted a blog that would push my limits in the kitchen. Asian Food does that for me.


I have a Basil plant: one of the few I can grow successfully on my windowsill and what better way to use basil than for a pesto to layer over tonight’s pasta. I did my best: taking about an hour to prep, find the Cuisinart (after I moved I forgot which cupboard I put it in) do the mise-en-place and set the camera to shoot each step.  Admittedly I was so nervous that instead of using the recommended quantity of Parmesan-Reggiano, I used more and guess what?  Pesto too salty.  Pesto gorgeous color green which I hope comes out and I can taste the delicious olive oil but r everybody at dinner tonight will be forced to eat salty pesto and that’s unfortunate but it was the deal brokered when I decided to do this food blog. Elise I apologize and I have a strong feeling I will be doing a lot of that to Jaden.


mise-en-place ingredients

mise-en-place ingredients




this will never make it into Gourmet but look at the color green

this will never make it into Gourmet but look at the color green


wouldn't make it onto a Trump table; but considering this was a not thought out plan - pretty good ingredients to have on hand

wouldn't make it onto a Trump table; but considering this was a not thought out plan - pretty good ingredients to have on hand










The recipe for Fresh Basil Pesto as printed in Simply Recipes is as follows:


Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe


 !                2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

                            1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

                            1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

                          1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

                           3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

                           Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

<                        Special equipment needed: A Food Processor


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices









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