Indio, California: Today we celebrate a
very fun Jewish holiday -
Purim. On this
day, a really, really, really long time ago (4th century), the Jews of Persia were saved
by yet another clever woman - famed vegetarian,
Esther. The victory
is celebrated by wearing costumes, drinking wine and eating pastries. Purim is a "there was a war, we won, let's
Before the holiday cooking commenced, I clocked 10,000 steps around the
resort while a cleaning crew scoured our casita, pavilion and motorhome.
(Why I didn't have them clean AFTER I cooked all day is mystery.)
Please notice all the
snow on the mountain west (towards Los Angeles) of town. The Coachella
Valley received a lot of
rain on Sunday, and the
snow levels dropped much lower than usual. It is rare to see snow on the the
mountain tops on the left of the photo. Yeah! Southern California needs rain
snow - and the desert can always use a nice long drink of water.
NOTE TO OREGONIANS: Mt. San Jacinto (the high peak centered between the two
palm trees in the above photo) is 10,835 feet tall, so only about 500 feet
shorter than Oregon's famed
Mt. Hood. It really shoots out of nowhere too,
because our campsite is barely above sea level.
This is what a perfectly clean, tidy, dusted covered
shade pavilion looks like for about five minutes after
the cleaning crew left and five minutes before I started
And this is the view from our campsite. It never gets old.
Hamantaschen are served on Purim. Triangle-shaped butter pastries,
traditionally filled with poppy seed, date or apricot filling. The triangle
shape mimics the shape of the evil Haman's hat (or so some say). If you ever
find these delectable pastries in a bake shop in the spring - do not miss
the opportunity to try one.
And when I say "if you find one in a bake shop", I mean,
"if you find one in a bake shop". Do not attempt to bake
them yourself. Of all the pastries I bake, these
triangles are the trickiest. Difficult dough.
50/50 chance they will/will not seal and spread in the
Apricot was the only filling I used today. Not lazy, it
is simply my favorite. For some reason, today my
pastries turned out very well. (Last
year - disaster!)
Friends gathered at our campsite this evening. I made a salad using tomatoes
from our garden... but not from our new tomato plants. We are still harvesting
Roma tomatoes from a tomato we planted last season! Tomatoes - old and future:
Dinner was a super simple recipe that has been recently
resurrected from ancient Gourmet magazine pages
by Deb Perelman of
Oven Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic has just
those named three ingredients (plus salt and pepper) -
beef chuck roast, canned tomatoes and garlic - placed in
the oven or 3 for 4 hours.
The recipe calls for unpeeled cloves... which then
requires the cook (or the diners?) to squeeze garlic out of
the skins... so I opted to simply slice the cloves...
eliminating all squeezing, yet diners could easily see they
were eating garlic.
And run away.
Ready for the oven
I put the tomato-smothered roast, covered, in the oven
for four hours at 300°. (There is no reason this dish
cannot be cooked in the slow cooker. Ms. Perelman gives
direction in the comment section on her site.)
There is a slice of roast beast under all that red sauce
and basil (from our garden) garnish, and Pappardelle
noodles. Very popular dish tonight.
Cook. This. Now.
Oops! I also made an apple and hazelnut tart. Hey, it's
Speaking of partying... look who is sitting up in a high
Lucy (6+ months) is in a high chair but she isn't eating.
(The orange thingy on the tray is a mesh bag to hold
foods for toddlers to gnaw.) Lucy does not yet like food. Bananas
will not cross her lips. Sweet potatoes, rejected.
Still, odds are Lucy will be noshing on Bubbe's
Hamantaschen next year.
Until my next update, I remain, your sweet correspondent.
RV PARK: The
Motorcoach Country Club
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