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Oh, the Places You'll Go at Purim
It's Adar, and it's time to laugh. As our sages say, “Mishenichnas Adar marbim besimcha – When Adar comes in, one must 'get happy.'" I therefore very much like being in Adar, even more so than many other times and places...
In fact, I have been many places, but I have never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go there alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my family, friends and those with whom I have worked.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump and I am not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go and I try not to visit there too often.
I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
Sometimes I visit in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense. It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart. At my age, I need all of the stimuli I can get. Now if only I can just avoid getting in Continent.
Now truly, I don't know where I got the clever piece above, but I know this– Please come to be in cahoots with Hazzan Walvick and me on March 9th and 10th as we read the Megillah. You need not come incognito, though that is encouraged! You might be driven insane by the joyful silliness and satire as we read and grog our way through the story of Purim, but I would not necessarily jump to that conclusion. I have, however, no doubt that our Klezmer band, our children reading from the Megillah, and our story in voices of the Ganze Megillah will keep you, if not in suspense, then in stitches to the end! So don't be inflexible. We know your are capable, and in time, you will be a regular participant.
B'simcha rabba– Read More
With Pesah coming up, it's never too early to start thinking about seders. So I've been asked to offer up my chicken soup recipe, but the truth is that I can't give it to you–and not because it's top secret–but rather, I don't exactly use a recipe. Sure the ingredients are mostly the same: water, chicken, vegetables, spices, etc. But the truth is it varies: sometimes I use chicken thighs, sometimes I use gizzards. In fact, sometimes I've even used turkey necks for my "chicken" soup. I always try to use celery, carrots, onion and dill, but often I try to add parsley or parsnips, occasionally a turnip. This time, on Mary's suggestion, I added thyme, a lovely addition. But there are still some key tips and tricks I can give you to improve your chicken soup, no matter which recipe you use:
1. Don't cook the soup the same day you serve it. Soup is ALWAYS better a day later, when the ingredients have had an opportunity to mix and mingle. Waiting a day or even two can make all the difference between a good soup and a GREAT soup.
2. Brown the chicken before putting it in the soup. Sure, if you're in a rush, you can toss the chicken in a pot of water, but by browning the chicken in the pot before adding the water, you add an immense amount of aroma and browning flavors that will intensify your soup and bring it to the next level.
3. Sauté the vegetables as well, while you're at it. While not quite as impactful as cooking the chicken, you can make the vegetable flavors stand out more. Often I will do the chicken first, then remove the chicken and cook some of the vegetables in the chicken fat, and then add back in the chicken and the vegetables.
4. Skim the soup to eliminate extra fat, etc. Especially when using chicken wings, you often have to deal with feathers, and those things don't dissolve in the soup but float to the top, so you can skim that off along with any extra fat.
5. Know your audience. Some people prefer clear soups, and so you might want to wrap ingredients in cheesecloth, while others don't mind "stuff" in their soup. Some actually prefer it! Some people like throwing in thin egg noodles, or making kneidels/matzoh balls. But if you want to know about how to make those, you'll have to ask Libby, the Kneidel Maidel herself. She even as a song about it! Read More
Last month was very busy at the ENJC, with numerous activities for all. The turnout at all our events was outstanding, starting off with our second annual SOUPER SHABBAT!
Our Shabbat service was enjoyed by all, and was highlighted by the soups that over 85 congregants tasted while celebrating Shabbat together. A very special thank you to our chef’s – Steve Alberti, Beth Schlesinger, Ilene Glatman, Karen and Jason Tyll, Allan and Donna Berman and Hazzan Walvick. Look for their recipes in this month's Bulletin. I enjoyed all the soups I tried and my only regret was that I did not get a chance to try them all. Thank you as well to Robin Kain, the salad maker. YASHER KOACH to all that helped make it a very special Shabbat.
On Sunday morning, February 2nd, it was time for East Northport’s participation in the World Wide Wrap. The Daled and Hay students made their presence felt with a large turnout. Steve Krantz and the Men’s Club provided hot sliced bagels. Over 40 people got up early on Super Bowl Sunday to attend!
The following Shabbat was another busy weekend! Our Friday night Service was followed by 35 congregants enjoying our annual Tu B’Shevat Seder. It is one of my favorite nights of the year, as my 23-year-old daughter Amanda joins me in participating in the Seder. She was happy to attend and both Rabbi Silverman and Hazzan Walvick made it enjoyable and memorable.
The Engage Program is involving many ENJC members in the many activities offered. Mah Jongg Sundays have started up, and on February 23rd we were treated to some insights from Yossie Mermelstein about the War on Entebbe. Yossie was a pilot with the Israeli Air Force at that time and when he spoke, we all felt that we were there too.
February is ending with our participation in Shabbat Across America, highlighted by a Mexican Dinner. I’m sure it will be MUY BUENO!
Purim is next – SEE YOU IN SHUL! Read More