“I’ve got persimmons coming out my ears!” After work, Sally and I went over to Alice’s to help her with her “persimmon situation.” If we didn’t harvest the fruit, the birds surely would.
Roasted Fresh Atlantic King Salmon
Potato Zucchini Red Pepper Latkes
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Heart Healthy Cabbage Carrot Slaw
On this the Sixth Night of Hanukkah, I invited with my older brother, Bill, who is in town from Florida, over for dinner and to help make latkes! At nightfall we lit the menorah and recited the blessing over the candles.
Blessing over Candles
Hebrew: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Hanukkah.
English: Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Hanukkah.
Every year, it is my absolute pleasure to plan the Holiday Party for our workplace, Rolling Hills Country Day School. This year, we kicked off the holiday season with a celebration at Sushi Sen Nari in Gardena, California. If you are within driving distance of Gardena and you love sushi, put Sen Nari on your list. From the traditional to the exotic, Sen Nari delivers!
Voted the Best Sushi
Sonny is the owner. He and his wife and the entire staff could not be more hospitable. Sonny and Carol’s daughter graduated from Rolling Hills Country Day School in 2002 so it was especially neat to hold our party in their restaurant. Many photos were taken of Jennifer’s old teachers to email back to her while she studies in Japan.
Mushroom, Barley, Kale, Carrot in a Rich Roasted Turkey Stock
The weekend after Thanksgiving is always bittersweet: memories of a magical week spent with family mix with a bit of sadness that we won’t be seeing each other for a while. Over the past few years it has become a ritual to make a comforting soup with the rich turkey stock while I wash piles of sheets and towels, store all the huge pots & platters, and put away the turkey decorations including “Albuquerque the Turkey” and “Plymouth Rock” until next year.
See ya next year Albuquerque!
The stock was made by simmering the turkey carcass in filtered water with rough chopped carrot, onion, celery, and a couple bay leaves. Two and a half hours later, the stock was strained, cooled, and refrigerated over night.
Remove any fat from the stock then add rinsed pearl barley and cook until the barley is al dente, about 45 minutes to one hour. Meanwhile sauté sliced mushrooms in olive oil with thyme until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. In a separate pan, sauté 2 parts sliced carrot with 1 part each diced onion and celery in olive oil with some minced rosemary until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables to the barley soup and simmer another 15 minutes. Add torn pieces of Tuscan kale (center ribs removed) and simmer until the kale is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve with red pepper flakes on the side.
Since the kids have already left by the time I boil the carcass, I save this year’s wishbone for next year’s wish. I let it dry out then tuck it into a plastic baggie and store it with the rest of the turkey decorations, to come out at our next Thanksgiving meal.
Wishing you wonderful holiday memories…
French Green Bean/ Portabella Mushroom/ Gruyere
With Fried Onions
It dawned on me a few days before Thanksgiving that my nephews, Stone & Jett, would not ever know of the iconic green bean casserole unless I served it. You see, I always host the Thanksgiving meal now, as I took over that delightful task from my mother well over a decade ago. Stone and Jett, being 8 and 6 years old respectively, have only celebrated Thanksgiving at my home. So all of a sudden I realized, they would be going to college soon (well, not that soon) and someone in the fraternity house would mention their mother’s classic green bean casserole, and they, being foodies, would not know anything about it. “Aunt GeeGee?” they might ask one day, “why didn’t you ever teach us how to make the green bean casserole?”
So…the green bean casserole has made a come-back! And it was, dare I say, popular! We all agree that it should grace the table again next year.
The original recipe created in 1955 by home economist Dorcas Reilly in Campbell’s Soup’s Creative Food Center, the one my mother always made, found on the Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup can, is now on their website here. My recipe is a variation of one from Trader Joe’s where we double the mushrooms and add gruyere cheese. Stone made the entire casserole, by himself.