Wednesday, December 4, 2013


When it comes to celebrating the Jewish holidays there is one motto that we live by.  “We fought. We won. We eat! “.   I guess you are aware by now that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell out on the same day this year.  Now, that’s a whole lot of eating!   How did I handle the two days of gorging?  I combined the traditional foods.

Venturing to Fairway Market in Douglaston I started with the fowl.  Although they had fresh turkeys that are antibiotic-free, I’m not a fan of turkey so I opted for a nice size (what exactly is “a nice size”?) kosher chicken.   Having learned from a Fairway cooking event, I prepared a stuffing separate from the young bird (which should have been fried in oil…to remind us).  I switched to using Challah bread, of course.  

Yams, sweet potatoes…I don’t really know the difference.   I made fried-in-oil sweet potato latkes (pancakes) and topped them with a cranberry-apple sauce.    Bought cranberries and apples.   Fairway has a pretty good variety of organic.   Testing out gala, pink lady and fuji to see which is sweeter.  
I know I could buy ready-made chicken broth but I prefer to make my own.   Grabbed a package of chicken backs which has the chicken fat that I need to make chopped liver.   A chicken-corn soup was the outcome.  As for the chopped liver,  I thought about shaping it into a pilgrim and placing a sign reading, “What am I…chopped liver?”   Unable to locate a turkey-shaped menorah, I opted for using candles of orange, brown and red.  

The truth is if it weren’t for it being Hanukkah a couple of lobsters would have commemorated Thanksgiving.  After all, the Pilgrims first landed in Provincetown, MA and there were no turkeys to be found. 

Experimenting with cold-brewed coffee, I purchased a Fairway blend (light roast) and a hazelnut flavored one.   Coarsely ground, I placed the coffee in a large bottle and added a bit more cold water than the amount of coffee and let it stand out for about 16 hours.  I then strained it and placed the coffee into a different jar.   However, this now becomes a concentrated coffee which means that you have to add water or milk when you use it.   It can be heated as well. 

Rooibos tea is my choice of herbal (not made from tea leaves).   Not many supermarkets have a variety of loose teas, if any.  How could I resist a rooibos with cranberry and orange for this occasion?   

Making my way to the frozen food section for ice cream, I noticed another new Fairway item.   Frozen shrimp.  Not just any frozen shrimp.   “No chemicals”.   OMG.   There are chemicals added to shrimp?  I will research this.  I did see another brand alongside that had something added.   Look for a future article with the 101 on what you’re consuming. 

Over at the meat department there is a sale on beef.   Porterhouse steaks are about $8 per lb. 

Why would you also get a Porterhouse for about $30 per lb?   The former is an angus USDA “choice” while the latter is a “prime aged” steak.   How much of a difference in flavor, texture, and quality?  I’ll test it out. 

The first night of Hanukkah fell the night before Thanksgiving thus the first big meal commenced.  Breakfast needed smoked fish.  Instead of lox I opted for a white fish chub…smaller ilk.  With Fairway having a sushi making stop, I couldn’t resist whatever was on sale…just for a nosh. 

Dessert.   What’s this?  A gelato called Fiasco?   Interesting flavors and certainly not a run of the mill gelato (“run of the mill”…must look up origin).   Produced in Maine.   Impressive packaging.   Not only is it in a jar, it’s sealed across the top and then sealed around the top in plastic.   Great for one who is paranoid about someone else having opened the lid to check it out…like me.   Probably should have eaten fried ice cream…to remind us. 

What am I thankful for?  Oy, the invention of seltzer and knowing that the phenomena will not occur until something like the year 27798.  You don’t believe me?  Hang around and find out.  

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