Saturday, September 29, 2007

Kvater vs. Kneidel

Chag Sameach! We hope everyone out there is enjoying the holiday. And, we feel awful for our Chul friends who are dealing with a 3 day Chag this year! I bet right now all you want is a big ol' shower and some TV! I feel for you, even though it is so sweet to only have 1 day Chag.

Where to begin? I can't even remember what I ended up doing on erev chag, but for some reason I think it had me in the kitchen. I baked a velvet sponge cake that completely flopped. Still not sure how or why, but we had to deep six it before Yom Tov. As you all know, we finally entertained in the apartment and hosted 10 people last evening for dinner. More on that in a minute.

The first night of Succot was very nice. We went to Buggy's Aunt in Katamon and I baked my sister's recipe of chocolate chip butterscotch bars. They were really, really good and I think everyone really enjoyed the food. I got a bit weepy in the middle of dinner though and Buggy and I had to have a bathroom conference so he could calm me down. Long story short, one of his Aunts insulted me and it just made the homesickness that much worse. You know, when I imagined getting married, I always thought about spending the holidays with my family. I never envisioned that I would be married and not spend the Chagim at home. So, it can get a little lonely this time of year. I was telling Buggy how Succot is the start of soup season for my family (we don't eat soup from Shavuot until Succot because it's too hot) and how much I missed helping my Mom for the holiday. I also really miss everyone at home because, well, Succot means it's my birthday and it's my absolutely favorite Jewish holiday. So, all those emotions combined left Buggy with a weeping wife and so we beat it out of there shortly after benching.

We decided to just eat the two of us in the Succah on Thursday as opposed to going out to people. We woke up early and went to Nitzanim for shul. We both agreed that it's not the shul for us and, after Yom Tov, we're going to go shul hopping in the hopes that we'll find someplace we like. Nitzanim is nice if you've been there forever, but as a new couple, it's a little unfriendly for our tastes. The good thing is that in Jerusalem, shuls are like a dime a dozen, so we're gonna look around.

We took LONG naps after lunch and then, as soon as 6:06 p.m. hit, I jumped out of bed and got to work. Buggy best friend from Yeshiva called us to tell us that his son's bris was going to be on Friday at 10:30 in our neighborhood and so I told Buggy he would have to go without me because I had all this cooking and cleaning to do. Well, then he called back and asked us to be kvaters and I couldn't say no. How could I pass up the mitzvah? I decided kvaters over knediels and cut those off the list so that we could go.

Thursday night, I cooked from 6:06 until 2:00 p.m. and boy was in fun! I made two types of chicken, the cauliflower kugel, the salt and pepper kugel I didn't end up serving (bad noodles, we had to toss that too), orzo with roasted vegetables and toasted pine nuts, the mocha frosting for the chocolate cakes, noodles for the soup and then Buggy convinced me to put up the soup and then transfer it to the crock pot and have it simmer for 24 hours. It was about Midnight and I thought it was a good idea, as it would mean all I had to cook on Friday was the shallots for the warm shallot dressing and grill the steaks for the steak salads.

Unfortunately, when Buggy went to unpack the crock pot we discovered it was TINY! So, we prayed it would be ok and left it over a low "flame" (we have an electric range) overnight.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep much on Thursday night, I was really afraid to leave the range on overnight. Fortunately, when I jumped out of bed at 7 yesterday morning, everything was great. I removed all the greens from the soup and tossed them and then got to work on the cleaning. I was so nervous about Buggy's parents coming to dinner, I was very short with Buggy and had to apologize later. Fortunately, he is a very forgiving man and he understood and tolerated me.

We got dressed and made it to the bris one of the first. It was really nice being the kvaters, and it was such a great honor, that I was happy we decided to attend. We hung out with Buggy's other good friends and then left a bit early to come back and get the house ready.

And that's when my husband turned into such a SUPERSTAR! He cleaned the toilets, again, and helped set the table and move things out of the living room and into the bedrooms (you know, when you move the junk from one room to another type of thing). He was amazing, I was soo appreciative!

Check out the tables in our succah!

I was a stressball by the time I lit candles for Shabbos, but was relaxing because everything was ready and just waiting for the company to come. And, it was so nice to have Buggy's family here! Buggy's Dad LOVED the chocolate cake and ate three pieces (for a man who stays away from carbs, that was a big compliment) and Buggy's Mom really like the grilled steak salad. Overall, everyone had a great time. It was nice that the first thing his 2 year old niece did was knock over a big glass of red wine. I was able to show off my new black tablecloth that just let liquids beed up on the fabric instead of soaking it in. My MIL was so impressed, she asked me to find her one for her house too. Everyone was a bit on edge though because we were using nice stuff, but I told them that they shouldn't be nervous and that everything is replaceable (except for people). I hope that calmed everyone down :)

Buggy's Dad brought us scotch, which really helped a lot, and I look forward to sharing it with him in the future. When everyone checked out around 9ish, they were satisfied and happy. After cleaning up, Buggy and I passed out! Now, we have 15 people coming for Simchat Torah dinner and that's gonna be a whole different kind of fun!

Buffet style!

Moed Tov everyone!

And, a BIG Happy Birthday to my sister! Welcome to the wonderful world of 28 Rick! May it be a fantastic year! We missed you TONS today but ate chocolate cake in your honor!

I'm off to finish picking photos for our wedding album. I managed to narrow down 800 pictures to 84 - only 14 more photos to weed out!

Till tomorrow!

PS. The new Maximo Park song, Girls Who Play Guitar is fantastic, Buggy and I both highly recommend it!

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