Friday, September 30, 2011

Rosh HaShonah 5772

Mather Street, OAKLAND.

 Erev Rosh HaShonah 2011

The first night of the year and the last night in Thymeless Oakland.  We wish you all health and Za’atar..


We convened the Mather Street Regulars to circle round the round Challah.
The Challah consoles us:
          time is cyclical /or/ at least we have butter, eggs, and raisins

Neal and Ann
Mikej, Alanya, Selim, Naveed
Cyrus, Rumeli, Sandriz

oh yes, and the stuffies

(who pretty much stayed in "stuffy territory"):

Round Challah and Wine

Salad alaHannalamode
Stuffing Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms
Roasted Carrots with Sumac and Nigella
Turkish Green Beans in the manner of Sabahat’s sister Malek
“Apple and Honey Cakes” with two ice creams: Lemon-Ginger and coconut, and some Asian pears from Donna’s trees.


Inspired by: Hannalamode's New Favorite Sandwich of mustard greens and goat cheese on toasted French bread, I tossed mixed greens (couldn’t find isolated mustard) with little French bread croutons on which goat cheese had been spread.  Tossed in some Asian pears and used bottled Newman’s Own Balsamic Dressing (which Donna used with pears and toasted walnuts.)   

Verdict: Good, but not worth a repeat.  The greens were too “uncooked”.  (Yeah.  They were raw.)
Next time: cook the greens, top with croutons and drizzle with dressing.   Or just ask Hanna to make me a sandwich.


I used two different stuffings:  

1. Bread stuffing: sauté onions and celery in butter and add to stuffing mix along with vegetable broth and melted butter. 

Make a wet stuffing.   Stuff cleaned mushrooms.  Place in baking pan.  Pour hot water with some melted butter over it all and bake for half an hour at 350.  Or till mushrooms are cooked.

2. Cornbread stuffing.
This one didn’t call for onions, celery or broth,  Just water. I did pour butter water over it, as above.

My comments:  A plate-licker for sure.

Both stuffings were so good they didn't need a turkey because the portabellos were meatier than meat.   In fact, since both were good, next time maybe I’ll just do the corn stuffing mix.  Too easy!


Inspired by Rose at Avocado & Bravado, I decided to add Heirloom NigellaHeirloom because the original Nigella seeds were brought by Maya from Istanbul to L.A. and then picked up by Alanya and brought to Oakland.  A small bag went to Ray, who planted them and sent me seed pods to harvest.  Wow.

Naveed “hatched” all the seeds

then took a rest.

Chef's Thinking Cap is ON
The sumac'd and nigella'd carrots were gorgeous.  And everyone ate them up because, basically, they were gorgeous and  roasted and sweet and organic and carrots.
My Thoughts:  The sumac and nigella flavors did not come through.

Next time: honey roast the carrots in butter ! with nigella.  At the end, sprinkle with sumac and a bit of fresh lemon juice. (?).

Side Benefit:
Gorgeous carrots yield gorgeous compost.

                                       TURKISH GREENBEANS


This is a long time family favorite, made in the way I remember Istanbul Sabahat’s sister, Ankara Malek, making this for us in Oakland.

1 lg can good quality tomatoes
1 lg onion (or 1.5 med onions,) roughly chopped
olive oil
4-5 cups green beans, tipped and tailed.

"We all have personalities, you know.."

          ...OR YOU'LL NEVER EAT ANY.  
                                                                             TRUST ME.

I couldn't stop myself from picking up a few in my hand.. 

The first ones started to sing

Others were predicting the weather
None of these yakkety yakkers could agree on anything.
And these guys just took off.

The rest lost their personalities (and their heads) and went in to the pot.

Blend the tomatoes (with their liquid)  and onions on “high” till all are mashed together.
Heat in a large pot.
Add tipped and tailed green beans and about a quarter of a cup of olive oil.  More is fine. More is always fine. Proportions are not fussy.
Put some water in the blender and in the tomato can to get out all the juice and add.  The liquid level should look like it can take at least 2 hours of simmering.  But keep checking.

Simmer for a few hours. Yes. This timing is not a mistake.  The beans should be nice and soft.  Two hours minimum.

YUM to the Green Beans!
This dish is always wonderful: sweet, toothsome, satisfying, vegan, and goes with everything, even just bread for lunch or a bread and an egg (or eggs and yogurt ala Turka) for dinner.

And both girls turned out OK.
(So far.)
Turkish Green-beans are probably the only dish consistently
requested by Rumeli and Alanya.


Some day I'll get this right.
Honeycake is the Jewish version of Fruitcake (or v.v.) because everyone makes it but no one seems to like it.  However, I loved my grandmother’s honeycake; but even though I have her recipe (honey and coffee), I’m still trying to get it right: moist, dark, crusty.

This time, I added apples (good idea, but they should be canned apple pie apples) and made them into cupcakes. 

My Notes in Sum:
This was an easy to do in advance dinner, and inexpensive.

Thank you, Dreese, for doing the dishes..

1 comment:

  1. These are wonderful pictures--made me see the whole night over again, and in even better detail than the first time! When I came to the line, "Don't make friends with the green beans" I started to laugh, and laughed harder and harder with each succeeding captioned picture, completely losing it with the runaways on the train. All blogs should be this much fun!