Yesterday I was wonder woman/sister/wife. Allow me to explain.
For those who didn't know/don't observe so why would you know, last night started Passover. A holiday remembering the exodus from Egypt and when the Israelites were freed from slavery. Each year to commemorate, we have two seders. Last night was the first.
Now backing up for a minute. During past holidays that I've hosted, I usually cook food early, freeze it and then reheat/thaw it for the meal. In hindsight, this allows me to break up the cooking so I'm not quite as zombie-ish at the end of the day. But I digress.
What usually happens though is all that perfectly cooked and super yummy food doesn't taste as good reheated AND nothing is every warm on time. Ever. So this year I decided to try something new. To cook everything so that it was all ready for dinner time.
I made a few things before hand, but only things that could be served cold (like the salmon, gefilte fish and cole slaw). I also made the matza balls on Sunday but those get reheated in the soup so no biggie.
Since I only have one oven (serious dream here is in the future a home with TWO ovens, correction, two SELF-CLEANING ovens since my current oven isn't self-cleaning either) I had to figure out a way to cook the brisket in the slow cooker. And I did! (If you want any recipes for food I mention here just let me know, I'm not going to post any).
So all day Sunday I prepped a few items (mainly the roasted veggies) and cooked the few things. Yesterday was a marathon day where I was cooking, prepping the potatoes, realizing my boxed potato kugel wouldn't be big enough and winging a full size kugel, all the while setting the table. Yes, just any other day.
(Now I have to add or he'll be upset that D did help with the cleaning yesterday, all the while complaining he gets the crappy jobs. It's true. But I can't cook and clean simultaneously. The apartment still isn't clean enough in my opinion but too bad at this point.)
Also, yesterday is what is called the fast of the firstborn. D and I are both firstborns meaning we are supposed to fast. However, if you do some Jewish studying, you can be exempted. So that meant getting our tushes to synagogue at 7am so that we wouldn't have to fast yesterday.
AND, for those who also follow me on twitter, my sister had surgery last week. She's home and slowly recuperating, but it will take a few weeks. Her fiance had to work (he'd taken time off last week) so he couldn't be at home all day with her. My mother would have been willing but she has MS and doesn't have the strength to lift my sister. So I naturally volunteered. I was pleasantly surprised how well it went. My sister was a very thoughtful guest and there was no fighting between us. (Today she is going to the doctor's office to remove some of the bandages and then her fiance is bringing her here again for the afternoon).
So my yesterday was cooking, some cleaning (thanks D!), setting the table, praying/studying early EARLY am, prepping some dishes, washing and rewashing the same kitchen tools, all to have a perfectly timed out meal.
And you know what, it all worked out. All of the food was ready at the same time (even if there was a slight delay for someone running a bit tardy ;)) and everyone kept assuring me it all tasted great. Someone (for his safety I won't even identify the first letter of his name!) said my brisket was better than his grandmother's brisket. You have to understand ... that's almost like blasphemy!
[I say not according to my brother because as usual, he had to complain about something. He can't ever just compliment me! This time the first complaint is that the charoset is dry. D was very sweet and made some kind of comment standing up for me. I love him!]
The only thing I didn't do was make any dessert. I am more of a cook than a baker and on Passover what you can bake gets very interesting. In years past I haven't asked my siblings to bring anything but they are almost 25, it's time to start contributing! Now before you get upset that I made my sister post-surgery bring something, I did discuss it with her before surgery and it was her fiance who brought something.
All in all it was a delicious meal. That I am now going to go replicate. Wish me luck!
What cooking/hosting tips do you use?