Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Perfect Paella

well, almost. But I had to keep it kosher, so "almost" is as good as we get around here.

I was inspired by Marie at 66 Square Feet to whip up a little paella for dinner in the sukkah last night. It was tricky, given that Bad Cohen isn't eating fish (or tomatoes or peppers) and we don't eat treif. Here's what I did:

Start the rice:
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice, 3 cups water, a little olive oil, saffron, onion powder and garlic powder. (Bring to boil, reduce to low, cover)

Cut up the veggies for faux-sofrito on the table in the sukkah while watching The Kid play in the sandbox:
2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 onion, 1/2 of a zucchini, all about 1/4" dice

Cook the veggies in olive oil over med-high heat in a nice heavy sautee pan, stirring occasionally, with a little salt.

When they're nicely browned, add a squeeze of ketchup, about 1 cup of chicken stock, and the rice (only partially cooked at this point). Lower the heat to about med-low and cover, adding bits and pieces of whatever else you have around (I used leftover honey-lavender chicken, corn, peas, and cooked veggie sausages), and a good sprinkling of sweet paprika (maybe 2 Tablespooons).

Cook until the rice is almost done, remove cover, turn up heat, and get it all a little toasty and less wet.

I served it with quickie sangria (see below), good canned sardines on the side for me and The Kid, although I would have preferred real, separately cooked salmon and cod, but the line at the fish counter was too long and I was hungry.

Quickie Sangria
Mix equal amounts of:
Red wine
good lemonade
Reed's ginger brew

Stir, add a dash of cinnamon, and if you're making a whole bunch, add in some cut fruit. Real sangria is great, but let's face it, it's a lot of work for a single glass.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Cat Reflects on Sukkot

Our cats have been spending a lot of time in the sukkah lately. I'm under the impression that they think we built it for them, as a cool outdoor kitty club hangout. But generally, they think pretty much everything we do (except using the vacuum cleaner) is for their benefit, so that's a safe guess.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Zombies in the sukkah

We're welcoming WAY too many people into the sukkah tonight, including 8 small children, which got me thinking... does the mandate to welcome the stranger include the undead?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sukkah City - NYC

Hey, all you J-bloggers around NYC, go to Union Square Park on Sunday and Monday to check out the Sukkah City 2010 contest winners.

You can buy one of these sukkahs, too - winning bid proceeds go to Homelessness prevention efforts in NYC.


We've had a lot of sadness this year, and as we approach Yom Kippur, I'v been feeling more and more solemn. Leave it to Bad Cohen to find something perfect to cheer me up, and remind me of what we're really praying for. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Thanks for all the fish

Tonight at sunset we start a new year, which naturally makes me think about the one just past.

Damn, y'all. It's been one heck of a year.

We faced the reality that, with Bad Cohen's health problems, we will only ever be parents to one child.

An unusual cold snap brought us an appreciation of our ancestors' gumption and a new family member.

Bad Cohen's dietary restrictions made planning Pesach menus... umm... interesting, but we pulled through with all your suggestions. And even though I'm not a sports fan, I think I finally get why some people are.

The spring was looking great, with new garden plans and finally some sunshine, but then, just after Pesach, we lost Bad Cohen's dad. And then had to deal with the aftermath. Oh, and the drinking.

Turns out, though, gardening can be therapeutic. As can a tropical vacation. Which was good, because I got all riled up again mid-summer over the conversion narishkeit in Israel.

And unfortunately, Elul saw us more focused on physical health than spiritual, but things seem to be healing themselves alright there.

If I've offended or upset anyone, I am sincerely sorry. To atone, I offer the following:

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Goody bags! It's just like a birthday party! Sort of.

The best thing about the hospital is the swag.

Bad Cohen spent an entire weekend in the most expensive hotel in town, and left with no diagnosis, but they did give him a giant plastic cup. With a very, very large straw.

We scoped out the rest of the goods, but the linen was all wrong for our beds and we decided the clothing was designed to deter theft. I mean, Armani it's not. Although it was fun, trying to choose between the gown with the missing tie (ooh la la! scandalous!) or the one with the rip over the breast pocket, which you could use to slip your pills down if you didn't feel like taking them. Of course, he didn't get any pills, they just slipped stuff into his IV. But that's ok, the liquid is probably the good stuff, anyway.

Turns out if you take the giant straw out of the giant cup and blow into it you've got the world's most annoying whistle. The kid figured that one out. That may be why the straw got "lost" last time it went through the dishwasher.

(I'm not proud. But neither am I a saint.)

AWESOME mother

Jenny isn't sure whether she's a great mom or a bad one. I vote:


And (I know this will come as a shock to readers of my other blog) we don't even say the word "stupid" in front of Hailey so now I'm in the rather uncomfortable position of either telling her that she's no longer allowed to watch her favorite movie now that she can read so well, or explaining to her that she's mispronouncing the word "dumb-ass".

What say you?