Thursday, September 10, 2009

Best laid plans (now, ganging agley)

Okay, for accuracy, I should note that Burns (I believe) said best-laid schemes. But schemes has such an unsavory connotation, or at least sounds very Lucy and Ethel. Our plans for this Shabbat have been all over the place. We had invited a new family for Shabbat lunch, which invitation they enthusiastically accepted. A couple of days later, I got a call from the wife, who is an old friend, sounding very sheepish. She had been reminded by someone else that she had been invited by them for the same Shabbat lunch about two weeks before we tendered the invite. She wanted to know if I had started cooking already (ha, ha, funny), and if not, could they take a raincheck. It was, of course, okay, and we will just have to spend some time together in the near future.

Then our neighbors returned from a long trip to the States (so good to have them back!), and we invited them to lunch, thinking it would be helpful since they returned on Tuesday and had back to back wedding and sheva brachot. They also happily accepted, but as the days passed, the group got larger and larger: married daughter, son-in-law, and grandson, then friend of one of the daughters. In the meantime, two former students, now both citizens (Mazal tov Rivi on your aliyah - we are very proud!), asked to come for Shabbat. As they are always a pleasure to have around, we quickly said yes, after a minute of figuring. The next day, they called and asked if we would be insulted if they went out to a cousin for lunch. They are the sweetest and most thoughtful girls, who I am sure did not want to impose too much. Finally, after a very procrastinate-y week of baking, while I was still working in the kitchen, our neighbor knocked at the door at about 11:30 on Thursday. She too wanted to know if I had cooked yet. I laughed in her face, yet again. The boyfriend of one of her daughters was going to come for Shabbat, and she decided it was too much for everyone to come over. So in that way, we went from 17 at lunch to five. On the plus side, it freed us up to go to a kiddush at friends', who were very thankful that the husband, a builder/handyman, had been extremely lucky in a work accident (a phrase that means something very different in the Israeli press). Also, the whole thing ended up being gam zu l'tova, thanks to Dani, as you will soon see. If only all things showed themselves to be that way so quickly; but then where would the challenge to our bitachon be?

So Friday morning, I finished up all the baking finishing and packing and labeling, and then at about 11:30, thought it might be a good time to think about Shabbat food. Somehow Shabbat came together. The platters came out well (pictures to follow when I have the chance to post them), and I especially liked the ones that were hostess gifts for the bar mitzvah we were attending. The mother of the bar mitzvah bought very cute glass platters, and I filled them for a really nice gift.
Some of the flavors were chosen by the bat mitzvah girl, Penina, whose party I attended on Sunday (more to follow), and her mom, Shiffy. Shiffy said the nicest thing - for this weekend, she wanted to treat herself with a great caterer, and special things she loved for herself and her guests, including yours truly's cookies! Hope they enjoyed. Mazal tov to the whole family! The flavors wereespresso double chocolate chunk cookies, cherry oatmeal crumble bars, sugar cookie ganache sandwiches, cinnamon squares, lemon drop sandwiches, and polka dot cookies.

Shabbat was nice. We had a fun time with Rivi and Mindy on Friday night, and got to sleep at a normal hour. Shalom, the bar mitzvah boy, did a nice job, which David was sure he would. Kiddush at Nicky and Alan's was fun and meaningful. Then we got home and Dani was hysterical from a headache and stomachache. When he started throwing up, things improved measurably. After about an hour of that, he was worn out and emptied out. Then he managed to sleep for a few hours and started to feel better. We napped a bit as well, and headed for seuda shlishit for the bar mitzvah. Soon Shabbat was over, and a new week was starting - but not without a simcha! We headed for Marci and Michael's for a Chanukat Habayit/Simchat Bat. They have a lovely home and a very cute baby, baruch Hashem.

Sunday brought another bat mitzvah - but only I was invited. It was an erev nashim BESARI - a barbeque in the forest. It was a beautiful setting - tables and chairs with linens and china set in a clearing in the woods, with generator powered lights strung between the trees. It was fun, and now we are bar/bat mitzvah free for a little while. Smachot are wonderful, but with chag coming we need a little break! Apropos of that - back to the mixer!


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