Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What's Cooking? A post (loosely) related to baking

Well, we already celebrated "Franksgiving" a few weeks ago, when my publicity-shy sister and brother-in-law were here (I think I'm allowed to say it was a GREAT visit, as long as I don't post photos [apologies to cousin Gil, who always says that there are not enough photos in my blog....]).

I had an interesting morning yesterday, when I got up early to cook for the Lone Soldier's Thanksgiving Dinner.  1000 soldiers who are here without family (and able to get the afternoon off, which evidently disqualified another 6000 soldiers) will be joining together for the meal.  It's quite impressive to see the loooong Google doc get slowly filled in as the weeks go by and more and more people sign up to bring parts of the meal.  50 people signed up to bring cooked whole turkeys!  I, perhaps not unsurprisingly, was not one of them.  I did, however, make two of the 25 pans of rice (much more my speed) and brownies.  Thanks to having a car this year, I am helping out two neighbors and taking their cookies and sweet potatoes up.  Teamwork!

I also baked for neighbors who had had a death in the family.  Walking down the street, I saw this taped to the wall:
This is how deaths are announced here (additionally, sometimes a car with a loudspeaker on top drives slowly around town announcing funeral details, as funerals happen here usually on the same day and many people are not on the internet either at all, or as much as their US counterparts.  Of course, I have also seen funerals announced on Facebook and via the city list-serv).

I don't really know these neighbors at all, and they are sitting shiva in another city, so I sent a cake over.  While baking, I thought to share this photo, as I find it hard to believe that this is how baking ingredients are sold here:
I have never seen boxes of baking soda (the ad campaign to pour it down your sink has not yet arrived here), and both baking soda and baking powder are sold in tiny packets.  The middle product is powdered sugar.  You need something like 1000 of them to frost a cake (to her credit, Penina pulled it off recently, when she made a cake for a girl in her school [love the school's program--when it's a girl's birthday, someone else in class makes a cake for her, rather than *her* bringing in a cake to share)
Anyway, while a kilo of white sugar is certainly not a small amount of a dangerous substance, there is nothing bigger--no "let's buy a 5 lb bag of sugar so all that Thanksgiving baking will be easily accomplished".  I also need to say that the idea of sugar in paper bags (that often leak) in a warm country is, while great for the environment, probably nicer to the local ant population than it needs to be.

A final note regarding food issues: while at a routine appointment at Hadassah Hospital yesterday, I wandered into the new mini market that had just opened.  I was surprised to see something I truly cannot imagine seeing in a US hospital:
Happy Thanksgiving!

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