MESH Report 1/15/2019



From Captain Sarah Kravits:

On a sub-freezing night, the Carol Starr MESH Cafe at Shomrei provided many kinds of warmth — a hot meal, a warm place to eat it, and friendly people providing it. Chef Melissa Elbaum unfortunately was sick and could not cook, so Chef Lynne Kurzweil and sous-chef Aileen Grossberg came in to save the day, ingeniously repurposing food in the refrigerator and freezer. They created a delicious meal of a hearty tomato and roasted eggplant vegetable soup, a green salad with marinated tomatoes, a “flight” of quiches (broccoli and cheddar, mushroom and spinach, and salmon and goat cheese), a tuna chickpea salad on a lettuce leaf boat, toasted bagels with cream cheese and butter, and roasted root vegetables that were the last of the CSA generously provided by Judy Wildman and Zelda Greenstein (in the photos you can see the “before” and “after” of the roasting). Dessert was fruit salad and homemade chocolate/chocolate chip cookies.

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MESH Report 12/4/18

image1 (3)From Captain Stuart Green:

The third night of Hannukah saw a full house for the Carol Starr MESH cafe: 24 guests, 4 takeaways, 10 volunteers, and 3 MESH staff. We were so busy that unfortunately we had to turn away 4 latecomers.

Amidst this hectic scene, Chef Melissa Elbaum was a model of calm, almost single-handedly preparing a sumptuous meal of artichoke salad (repurposed) and bread, chop salad, broiled salmon, finger potatoes, root vegetables, and the obligatory Hannukah dessert of donuts and grapes. The meal was served and cleaned up by MESH teens Brenden, Jonah, Siona, Pacey, Molly, Louis, Max, and Kendall, plus MESH professionals Adrienne, Bonny, and Joe. Continue reading

MESH Cafe Oct 30, 2018

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Report from Captain Stuart Green:

Last night, we hosted an end-of-month full house of 26 guests (24 sit-ins, 2 take-aways) for a sumptuous meal. MESH superstar Lynne Kurzweil, ably assisted by sous-chefs (and dishwashers) Melissa Elbaum and Susan Rosenblatt, cooked up a feast of egg and tuna salad appetizer with cucumber and tomato slices and pita chips; cucumber salad; baked turkey meat loaf and sweet potatoes; sauteed onions, tomatoes, and green beans; and a dessert of ginger snaps, mini-brownies, and pineapple and honeydew melon fruit salad. MESH staffers Adrienne, Bonny and Joe also helped out.

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Mesh Cafe May 1, 2018


From Captain Alex Kent:

On the gorgeous first day of May, Shomrei’s MESH cafe fed a full house of 24 guests.  Shomrei member and Pre-School parent Melissa Elbaum was the chef, and she was ably assisted by a skeleton crew, who nonetheless pulled off the meal with no snafus.  Thanks to Melissa’s preparation and organization, the meal was good to go with apple chopping and other help from our regular MESH teens Amalia and Sarah.  Other than that, helpers included Chief dishwasher Captain Alex Kent, and the MESH staff of Adrienne, Mr. Tyson, and security guard Mary.   Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Oct 10, 2017


From Captain Stuart Green

On a warm October evening that felt more like May, fifteen appreciative guests dined at the MESH Café. A relaxed and level-headed Chef Melissa Elbaum cooked up a delicious main course of baked cod in citrus marinade, supplemented by food left over from the Syrian Supper Club – hummus, baba ganoush, crudité, pita, rice, pasta, green beans, green salad, rice pudding, and fruit.
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Mesh Cafe Sept 26, 2017

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From Captain Linda Ariel:

We welcomed 24 guests to the MESH Cafe this past Tuesday. MESH intern, China, joined teen volunteers Amalia, Davida, and Teddy in setting up and serving the appetizer of a multicolor salad with a whole wheat bagel on the side. This was followed by the entree of blueberry syrup glazed salmon, steamed brussel sprouts, and brown rice with carrots and herbs. For dessert, our guests enjoyed fresh fruit salad and apple cake. A goodie bag of fresh bagels were given as they departed for the evening. Not a morsel was left from this delicious repast. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Mar 7, 2017


From Captain Sarita Eisenberg:

Yasher koach to our preschool parents! This was the first of four MESH cafes involving our preschool parents. Bridget Placek is coordinating that effort. Melissa Elbaum was scheduled to be head chef but unfortunately was sick and unable to come. Robin Hobart was assistant chef. Josh and Jessica Kline contributed the salad course. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Feb 7, 2017

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From Captain Lynne Kurzweil:

Shomrei’s MESH Cafe welcomed 15 hungry and appreciative guests this past Tuesday night. Melissa Elbaum was Chef du Jour and when the menu was announced there was hearty applause. Along with Sous Chef Bridget Placek, Melissa prepared a delicious Red Lentil and Barley Soup, Teriyaki Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Brown Rice with fresh herbs. Fresh Fruit Salad and Chocolate Crinkle Cookies completed the meal. Continue reading

Mesh Cafe Jan 10, 2017


From Captain Stuart Green:

On a blustery January night, twenty guests joined us for the MESH cafe. The first course, classic Tuscan minestrone soup, was prepared by the gang from STOM. Lynne Kurzweil, assisted by Melissa Elbaum, cooked the rest — mouth-watering maple-crusted chicken legs, sumptuous farm-raised baked sweet potatoes, creamy salade de chou (cole slaw), and for dessert, madeleines and other curated cookies and locally-sourced (ie, Shop Rite) fruit salad.

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How to Save Your Knuckles and Have Your Latkes, Too


We’re all familiar with the tradition of eating latkes on Hanukkah. Technically the word latke means a small pancake. Latkes may contain many ingredients besides potatoes, but the potato latke has become the go-to pancake for the holiday.

However, the potato pancake is a late comer to the latke world. In fact, it would have been impossible to have potatoes in pancakes before about the 1500s as potatoes are not native to Europe and were imported from the “New World”, the Americas. Continue reading