Tag Archives: Family

Countdown to T Day

images  Happy Thanksgiving via creative commons and Gluten-free in the Hudson Valley

Well the countdown clock has started. My husband picked up our Thanksgiving turkey from the market yesterday. We like to get one that is all natural and a hen. We are not having many guests this year. That is fine with me. My kids will be here and a brother-in-law.

We have a funny tradition that has developed over the years. Seems like every year we take a picture of the turkey after it comes out of the oven with me standing by it. I told my husband’s Aunt Audrey, who is more like a sister friend, that I should have a Turkey Album to have a record of all the turkeys over the years. The only way you can tell the difference between the photos is that I am getting older.

I always want to make the Thanksgiving Dinner here at our house. I think it is because I like my own cooking. I like the way my own food tastes. So we usually have it here. My daughter likes to cook with me now as well.

When I was younger, I would usually be the one to do it all. The chopping of the vegetables for the dressing, the sautéing of the vegetables and giblets and making the side dishes. Over the years more and more I have let others bring some of the food and let my daughter and husband help with any preparation that goes on here.

I still make the stuffing and stuff the turkey, get it in the oven and watch over it. Last year I made the candied yams. I use fresh yams. My daughter helped with side dishes like the mashed potatoes and a vegetable. My husband chopped all the vegetables for my stuffing and made the fresh cranberry sauce. Our cranberry sauce recipe is a variation on Aunt Audrey’s recipe. She now lives in Australia and has not been able to join us every year like she used to. She always brought her delicious fresh cranberry sauce.  My daughter will sometimes make a pie. Otherwise my brother-in-law will buy the pies. I usually buy my bread rolls from a nice bakery.

It is much easier and more fun to make it a family effort. Looking forward to a relaxing and peaceful day. Many things to be thankful for. My family and our health are two big ones.

Thinking about some fellow bloggers that  are having some hard times right now and sending love their way. Celebrating a holiday like Thanksgiving is not just for people who have Norman Rockwell type families if there really are any families like that. I read an article on Next Avenue by a blogger who is estranged from some of his family and he talks about how we can create our own families. I think this is very true we can chose to celebrate with our friends.

While we are celebrating with the people we love we can be thankful for them while remembering there are people who are not so lucky.

I wish everyone to have peace and love on Thanksgiving.


|Nano Poblano|  Happy Thanksgiving to The Peppers and all my blogger friends!



Rosh Hashana Dinner

I had a small family dinner party for Rosh Hashana. My menu for the dinner included fresh chicken soup and brisket. I added the home-made kreplach we had in our freezer to the soup along with matzo balls.

Homemade Chicken Soup with kreplach

Homemade Chicken Soup with kreplach and matzo balls

20140927_123504   Chicken Soup with Matzo Ball and Kreplach

I don’t have many of my own pictures because I was cooking all this the day of the dinner and it is a lot of work. Next time, I hope to cook some of the food ahead of time.

I really enjoy cooking holiday meals with my family.  We all work together to make all the dishes.

My daughter was here and she helped a lot with shopping and some of the cooking. She made a delicious noodle kugel and a spinach salad with pomegranate seeds and pear. She bought the flowers, sage honey and some scented candles.

20140925_125959  Rosh Hashana 2014

My husband helped with some shopping as well and picked up a pretty round chocolate chip challah.

4969120397_68a6dc0563_z   Round Challah

It was hard getting everyone together. My daughter Kate had special plans for this weekend so I decided to make the dinner on Thursday night. My son Scott was working late but managed to come over with his lovely wife Jennie. They had helped make the kreplach with me a few weeks ago.

Two of my husband’s brothers and one of their wives made up the rest of our dinner party. I feel it is important for the family to be together and make happy memories.

I have a recipe I follow from my mother-in-law for the chicken soup. I have made it so many times over the years and it changes slightly each time I make it. This time I added a larger rutabaga and I think it gave the broth a sweeter taste. My daughter suggested I add some kale.

My mother-in-law Mary Lynn used to tell me that many Jewish women in the old days did not have their recipes written down with the exact ingredient measurements. Or they might leave out an ingredient when passing on a recipe. She told me a Yiddish expression ” shitararyn” which she said meant put in it or pour it in when adding an ingredient.

I used Judy Zeidler’s The Gourmet Jewish Cook book recipe for the brisket which is made with prunes and apricots  and with brown sugar in the recipe. This gives it a slightly sweet taste.

2731918560_f9f4c3173e_z  Brisket

It is a tradition to include sweet foods like honey for New Year because this means you will have a sweet year.

One of my brother-in-law’s made a Honey Cake from his mother’s recipe.

My daughter had a lovely idea about doing a Tshuvah activity where we would all set our intentions for the New Year and ask ourselves what do we want to cast off and what do we want to keep in our lives.

I regret we did not get to this activity at the dinner but I would like to incorporate it into future Rosh Hashana dinners. I want to think about my own intentions during this week for the coming year.

It’s Time to Make Kreplach

Today part of my family got together for what has become one of our yearly rituals, making kreplach. For those of you who may not know, kreplach is like won ton or ravioli. The way we make it takes more than one day and it is a group effort.

First I shopped for the brisket. Then my brother-in-law cooked the brisket at his house because he has a meat grinder. He grinds up the brisket with kasha. We use the meat and kasha mixture as a filling for the kreplach.

My husband makes the dough for the pasta that is wrapped around the filling. He uses a hand operated pasta machine which I gave him as a birthday present many years ago. He does not make fresh pasta anymore but for this once a year kreplach tradition. We usually make keplach before Rosh Hashanah(Jewish New Year). We make a pretty large amount.

We get an assembly line going on our kitchen table. My husband on the pasta machine, cranking out a long flat pasta sheet. My brother in law cutting out circle shapes from the flat pasta. Me, my son and daughter-in-law, complete the last steps by placing a spoon full of filling in the center of the pasta circle.Then folding the pasta over the filling and crimping the edges a bit and bringing the opposite corners together. You’ll have to look at the picture because it is hard to describe.

The kreplach are then cooked in boiling water. After they are cool I put them in separate plastic bags, a dozen to a bag. We sometimes like to sample our work. Today we made about 120. I divided up the bags between us. We freeze the kreplach and it can be used later as an addition to soup or can be baked or fried and eaten alone as the main course or appetizer.

It’s fun making the kreplach together but a lot of work.  You can see some of process in the photos I took.

Mike makes the dough

Mike makes the dough

Jennie making kreplach

Jennie making kreplach

Kreplach before cooking

Kreplach before cooking