So...we have the Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, the Soul Train Awards, the RITA Awards...and I now declare the grand prize winner of the 2005 Yummy Awards: TorontoPearl's husband.
This past Yom Tov, we hosted ALL the meals at our home; the number of guests ranged. Five in our family plus: one guest on Monday night, four guests for Tuesday lunch, six guests for Tuesday night and eight guests for Wednesday lunch.
When you host so many guests, many of them children, you need to offer a variety of foods. We like to refer to these days as "marathon eating" days, or as I wished a fellow blogaholic, a "happy foodfest!" She was going to have 27 people at one meal, but thank G-d, it was to be a potluck meal -- 27 people at one meal can either be a grand success or a dismal failure, and I give her credit for even having so many people sit at one or two tables. If it were in my home, I think the meal would end up like a meal that I used to have in the hotels in the Catskills or Florida: some of the guests would be at the first sitting for dinner, other guests would show up for the second sitting!
In any case, let me get back to my situation, my menu and my husband, the recipient of the Yummy Award.
Mr. TorontoPearl has a knack for easily finding his way around the kitchen; while I'm still reviewing the ingredients necessary for a recipe, he's already whisking, or chopping, or pureeing those same ingredients. He is quick, he is able, and he's g...o....o....d!!!
As I'd been busy for the past several weeks with freelance projects, yet had had the "brilliant" idea to invite countless people for Yom Tov, and the holiday was nearing, something had to be done. So hubby took the bull by the horns, started to plan menus, which we debated at great length in between my tackling a manuscript on Yiddish curses, and a manuscript on Reform Jewish identities and affiliation with a particular synagogue. As we debated the menus, I threw out some of those newly learned curses, and but then decided that if hubby was going to help me prepare for the chag, maybe it wasn't such a grand idea to want to reform him or his meal suggestions.
But variety, variety, variety was to be the key. And variety means several choices. And hosting four major meals means not wanting any repetitions. And not wanting any repetitions means lots of dishes that need to be housed in the refrigerator. And two full-size refrigerators and a bar fridge means learning to stack your dishes. And stacking your dishes means labeling them first so you know what's under all that aluminum wrapping.
So in one breath I will tell you some of our -- "our" meaning mostly hubby's prepared -- menu items. Chicken soup. Chicken soup with matzoh balls. Chicken soup with homemade kreplach. Broccoli-leek soup. Ashkenazi gefilte fish. Moroccan fish balls. Middle-Eastern eggplant. Orzo salad. Green salad. Meatballs. Turkey schnitzel. Honey-mustard chicken. Turkey legs. Barbecued chicken. Sweet-sour stew. Brown rice. Roasted potatoes. Honey cake. Chocolate cake. Apple cake. Brownies.
We even came up with a food-related joke. One of our meals had several dishes that used cumin to flavor them. It was decided that Sephardic cumin is the new Ashkenazi cinnamon.
In any case, my hubby is the master chef; I'm the sous chef. He prepares many dishes. I wash many dishes. He gets the Yummy Award; I get to eat everything yummy.
And best of all, we have enough food left over to feed a small army, to sustain us through most of this month's chagim, if not at least a couple more Shabboses.
Of course, after all the chagim are over, it's probably to be the diet route for us. Hmmm...wonder what goodies hubby will think up for our menus then. Water with ice. Water with slice of lime. Or maybe our intended diet will just be "food for thought"!