The Holidays are Comin’ In

challahRosh Hashanah, the start of the cooking season, is just weeks away. I’m always looking for recipes that update old favorites – keeping some of the flavors but with a new twist. Some become new family favorites; some just don’t make the cut.

Try these dishes which will appear on my holiday table this year.

But first start with hallah using the previously published recipe (Summer’s coming in, June 18, 2020). Make the hallah a little sweeter to reflect the new year and certainly make it round. Here’s a link to a four-strand hallah. Or to keep it simple, just make one long strand and coil it into a spiral.  No matter what, it’ll taste great.

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New Twists on Old favorites

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For many of us, summer time used to mean picnics in the park on concert nights or  frequent dinners on a restaurant’s patio or sidewalk. This summer most of us have changed our dining patterns and are cooking more.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to eat well and with variety just because our movements may be restricted. But it’s still summer; it’s hot; we may be lazy. We want fairly quick to prepare meals that won’t overheat us or our kitchens. And we may want new ways to serve favorite foods.

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Using Summer’s Bounty

Wild Grey Squirrel On the Run with a Crab Apple in an English Garden

I had high hopes. The eggplant and zucchini plants looked healthy and were putting out flowers; the tomato leaves were sturdy. The basil and thyme were overflowing their pot. My mini garden on our deck looked like it would be a success as the pretty eggplant flowers  morphed into lots of baby eggplants. The zucchini was promising with big yellow flowers and the tomatoes were the size of baseballs.

Then came the squirrel. He first went for a green tomato, one that was almost ready to turn red. He took a big bite and he left the rest  on the deck railing as if to taunt us. Guess the taste wasn’t right. Then he came for the four inch long eggplant, the largest on the plant.

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Summer’s coming in

zucchini soupMango chickenhallah

As the weather warms, we look for food that takes little effort and is light to counteract the heaviness of a summer day.

Soup is always a good starter. There’s gazpacho (Fit for the Fourth, 5/5/17), cucumber soup (Cool as a …,  8/1/19) , cucumber gazpacho (Summertime and the Cooking is Easy, 7/26/18) and cucumber pineapple soup (Cool Food for a Hot Day, 6/17/17), of course. But even easier is this versatile gluten and dairy free zucchini soup discovered  by Beryl Hiller on the Allrecipes website. Continue reading

MESH Report Jan 7, 2020

image (2)From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

Tuesday evening we welcomed 21 grateful guests and wished everyone good health and improved circumstances in 2020. Chef Lynne planned a seasonal menu centered around a generous contribution of organic produce from Judy Wildman and Ken Bannerman including winter squash, potatoes, parsnips and cabbage.

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MESH Report Dec 24, 2019

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From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

On a festive Tuesday evening, our Shomrei building was filled with warmth, joy and many happy, grateful people. In addition to our 21 MESH guests (plus 4 takeaway meals), we prepared and served a holiday feast for Shomrei’s 15 IHN guests.

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MESH Report Dec 3, 2019

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Gabriel scoops tuna salad

 

From Captain Aileen Grossberg:

On a cold, post snowstorm night, 24 guests including a five year old child, were warmed by the hospitality at the Carol Starr MESH Cafe.

After consulting with co-chair and kiddush planner, Aileen Grossberg, chef Lynne Kurzweil with expert help from sous chef Beryl Hiller, cooked a delicious meal of fresh-yes, FRESH, not canned- tuna salad accompanied by grape leaves, grape tomatoes, cucumber and crackers, baked tilapia with Israeli salad repurposed into a Mediterranean tapenade, rice, roasted broccoli and carrots, roll and butter, and finally a healthy dessert of pineapple and berries served with a chocolate chip cookie.

Our guests applauded the meal, enjoyed seconds, and left barely a scrap on the serving platters. When Captain Aileen went around asking people if they enjoyed their meal, faces beamed. Even our youngest guest loved this decidedly adult meal.

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MESH Report Nov 26, 2019

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From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On Tuesday night the MESH guests enjoyed a pre-Thanksgiving meal courtesy of chef Aileen Grossberg and chef’s assistant Beryl Hiller. After a whirlwind of preparation in the kitchen — directed by Aileen and captain Sarah Kravits and facilitated by volunteer Cheryl and teen helpers Amalia, Jake, Delia, Lauren, and Leah — guests enjoyed a starter of butternut squash soup with ginger followed by a mixed green salad with homemade balsamic dressing, an entree of turkey meatloaf with cranberry chili sauce glaze accompanied by roasted baby potatoes as well as roasted butternut squash with Brussel sprouts and cranberries, plus rolls with margarine and a side of cranberry sauce. The meal finished on a high note with apple pie and non-dairy ice cream. Guests went home with a snack bag of a clementine and trail mix. Everyone was satisfied! Continue reading