I gave up many thing when I married Ju-Boy. I gave up the Jerusalem mountain air. I gave up quiet streets and living in a town with no stoplights. I gave up a certain amount of my independence. What I feel the most, however, is that I gave up my friends. Okay, they are still my friends, but because I now live a one-hour’s drive away (long distance in the Israeli psyche), I don’t get to see them often, or at all. I don’t get to bump into them at the grocery store, wave to them as I take my evening power-walk (oh yeah, I also gave up power-walks), I don’t get to exchange gossip outside the synagogue, and I don’t get to just hang out with them, either at the Shabbat table or for a coffee evening during the week. I miss them.
I gained many things when I married Ju-Boy. I gained a house with stairs (my first time living in a house, not an apartment). I gained living in a somewhat cosmopolitan city with a main street full of fun shops. I gained the Cooking Channel (the X said we couldn’t afford it because we were already paying the cable company a ton for all his sports channels). I gained the use of Ju-Boy’s amazing turbo oven, and I gained his friends.
When we spoke about them I used to call them “your friends,” and he would always correct me and say “our friends.” But, tachles, they started out as his friends, and I then began to refer to them as my friends-in-law. Regardless of the fact that I even knew some of them longer than he did, they were his friends. But little by little, I have taken over. Shar calls on the phone and Ju-Boy is ready for a chat, but she wants to speak to me! Yummy Mummy calls my cell phone for the Shabbat meal invitation. Most of them read my blog, but how many of them even know he has one, huh?
I like his, erm, my friends, they’re good people, and they make sure that with all the hustle and bustle of busy families, smachot, grandchildren and life in general, that we still get together for a laugh. We make sheva brachot celebrations together for our children, we try to go away together for a Shabbat here or there, we drink Marc’s whisky and eat Yummy Mummy’s cake creations. We’re in and out of each other’s houses on Shabbatot for meals, and a few times a year we get together for holiday potlucks.
It was the annual Simchat Torah potluck that made me go headless chicken. I had just started a new job and needed to put in some time on erev chag. Shar was hosting the event at her house (at least 50 people were expected) and Ju-Boy had volunteered four dishes — challah, fish pie, couscous salad and chocolate babka. Isn’t he the most altruistic husband you can imagine? Four dishes, when most people were making only two. But both of us cook, so that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is that all four dishes are MY specialities. Ju-Boy helped by giving a running critique of my fish-skinning skills. Brave boy, I was holding a sharp knife…
So it’s erev chag and I have four dishes to make in two hours. I didn’t get a chance to make any the night before because we were out late (visiting one of my, erm, our friends from my Jerusalem days), and that morning my boss decided he needed just one more email, just one more thing, just one more… aaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhh! I got home from the office, saw the mess in the kitchen, the mayhem in the rest of the house, and that’s when I went headless chicken!
like a headless chicken (British) also like a chicken with its head cut off (American)if you do something like a headless chicken, you do it very quickly and without thinking carefully about what you are doing (usually in continuous tenses) I’ve got so much work to do – I’ve been running around like a headless chicken all week. He was racing around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to do the work of two people.Definition thanks to The Free Dictionary
- 350 grams couscous (1 package)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soup mix
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch parsley
- 5 carrots, peeled and quartered
- 2 teaspoons grated gingerroot (or to taste, I use almost a tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Pour the couscous into a large bowl. Mix in the soup powder and olive oil, stir well to combine (I use a fork). Add the boiling water and let soak until all the water has been absorbed.
- Place the carrots and parsley in a food processor (steel knife). Zest the lemon with a Microplane and add it to the food processor. Process until a minced finely. Add the juice from the lemon, olive oil, ginger and pepper. Process until a paste has been formed.
- Add paste to the ready couscous and mix together.
- Add the chickpeas and mix together.
- Turn into a salad bowl and chill for at least two hours.
This is a great dish to serve on Saturday lunch, or to take to a potluck with 50 of your best and newest friends.