Saturday, April 15, 2006

Q: Why is tonight REALLY different from all the other nights?

A: Because tonight is the evening formerly known as Joke's All-Gentile* Seder.

I say formerly because actual Jews (and observant ones, at that) will make an appearance. My friends D & N and their VERY newbornish daughter will be here.

I actually make an effort to do two things:

1- Play it straight, and
2- Make the food yummy

Part of the reason I play it straight [seriousness] comes as a result of having a lot of Cuban-type affinity (today is the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs) and the theme** of "once thou wast a slave, and the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a strong arm" kinda resonates ovah heah.[/seriousness]

I make the food yummy because if I didn't my head would burst into eleventy gazillion flaming splinters.

Menu:

Hard Boiled Eggs and Salt Water
Gefilte Fish (I make it with fresh grouper and in the style of "quenelles")
Matzoh
Arugula & Frisée Salad with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Matzoh Ball (the trick is to make them VERY small and also to use very highly carbonated soda water) Soup
Haroset
Roast leg of lamb (trimming this is a COLOSSAL, monumental PITA...but worth it, because, frankly, lamb fat tastes like death and on top of that, it's like squirting silicone into your arteries)
Roast potatoes (roast w. the lamb and so as to maximize the EVOO/rosemary/garlic goodness
Roast carrots
Flourless chocolate cake

Everything, for the most part, has been made ahead. All I have to do is roast off things "low and slow" and make the vinaigrette. This gives me ample time to search the web for a replacement DVD player.

-J.

* Once, N's mom asked, incredulously, about the AGS "Do any Jews go to this?" to which I replied with a deadpan: "It's restricted."

** I'm all Douay-Rheimsish, but if you want to, KJV will suffice.

Posted by Joke at 9:44 AM

12 Comments

  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 11:13 AM, April 15, 2006  
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  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:13 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Grouper works out quite well in quenelles. The straight-on gefilte fish recipe, well, that I have issues with.

    Oh, the Woody Allen routine? It involves a Jewish guy who gets shot by a hunter.

    -J.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 2:04 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Joke:

    So when are you making the kreplach, already?

    And why haven't you mentioned wine?

    And what's all this about your not liking the standard gefilte fish recipe? What's the matter--you don't like having a live carp swimming in your bathtub?
  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 3:03 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Well, here I am back from Trimming the Lamb. I had missed a bunch of silver skin, to boot, so it was an effort worth spending. The apricot chutney is done and room-temping; the lamb she's a-restin', nicely Morrocan-spice rubbed and tucked back into the web sleeve; the salad and dressings are made and chilling; the brown rice is loaded into the rice maker; the garbanzo and spinach salad is left to be done. I like to do that closer to the meal as it's nice warmish.
    I cheated and bought a fruit tart at the store. I hope it's decent. I hope the hubby remembers the wine on his travels. Last festivity we had, Oldest remembered the wine, which was amusing. Like we are all such sots, even the children know Got To Get The Wine.
  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 3:08 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Poppy - I thought the PS WAS the wine - Douay Rheimsish and KJV - But I guess it wasn't a German wine or BV. OOPS.

    And Yes, that's the WA routine I was thinking about! Gads, I'm old enough that I remember seeing BANANAS at a theatre.
  • Blogger Badger posted at 4:57 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Nasty fat is a dealbreaker for me, meat-wise. Because the fat should be the BEST PART. Except when the skin is the best part.

    We are having ham. But not for Passover, because that would be wrong, obviously.
  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:09 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Poppy,

    The Chosen guests will choose the wine and bring all the menut itmes needed to round things out.

    Vickee,

    Is that "mechoui" lamb you're making?

    Badge,

    Lamb fat is grody, like, to the max. But I'm roasting the lamb low and slow (Les Halles cookbook recipe Lamb "a la Sept Heures") and with a ridiculous amount of garlic and rosemary.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 7:21 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Well, color me perverted, but I like lamb fat. My favorite part of my favorite meat (rib lamb [NOT loin] chops) is the fat at the end of the rib part. It is with mega-pangs of regret that I cut it off and leave it on my plate.

    And Joke, I asked about the wine because I figure you'd have all kinds of foodie/Kosher wine recommendations to make. Even for those of us who are having ham for Easter dinner.

    (I grew up eating leg of lamb for Easter, but we were a large family and one curry and maybe a few sandwiches (with my mother's awesome home-made chili sauce) took care of the leftovers. But there are only the four of us, and the children aren't really going to tuck into much meat, so Ham it am.)
  • Blogger MsCellania posted at 11:07 PM, April 15, 2006  
    Mostly Mechoui but no mint (cilantro instead) and not kebab'd. Also, LOTS more paprika. It was good. But I overcooked it by about 10 minutes - Grrrrrrrrr.

    And we ended up with a guest - the psychiatrist next door came over. A Spaniard, who is Jewish. Our grace is real Jesus-y (the traditional Bless Us Oh Lord and These Thy Gifts which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord Amen). We make the sign of the cross before and after.

    Well, I just sat back down and I forgot where I was going with that... OH! I remember; he scratched his nose as we were all zigging and zagging for the sign of the cross and I about fell out of my chair, thinking he was doing it too. Isn't the standard joke: A plane crashes, a rabbi and priest survive. The priest crosses himself, as does the rabbi. The priest is incredulous "You just made the sign of the cross?!" "NO!" states the rabbi "I'm checking for Spectacles, Testacles, Vallet and Vatch!"
  • Blogger Joke posted at 7:44 AM, April 16, 2006  
    Poppy,

    I don't know JACK about KFP wines. There, something about which I'll admit to being ignorant.

    However, for the big family Easter thing at my sister's we'll have some variant of ham. I suggest you drink: 2003 Schloss Wallhausen Riesling Kabinett. It goes well with all those sweet/salty/savory flavor touchpoints of ham.

    Vickee,

    Get thee a leave-in, digital meat thermometer. They're, like, $15.

    -J.
  • Blogger Poppy Buxom posted at 11:41 AM, April 16, 2006  
    I'm not processing anything you've said about Reisling (although I love it.)

    I'm just basking in the moment. You. have. admitted. ignorance.

    Hallelujah! The Lord has risen indeed. :D
  • Blogger Joke posted at 1:05 PM, April 16, 2006  
    It took as long as it did because I had yet to find something about which I was wholly ignorant.

    But be of good cheer, perhaps I'll find something else in 4-5 years.

    -J.
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