Either Sara’s Tell Simmer was riveting – it was – or I’m hidden deep in the kitchen, up to my ears in kugel.
Guess what? It’s both.
The laser focus right now is on Josie’s impending Bat Mitzvah, a seismic event counting down in three weeks. Were I a sane-type person, I’d either a) pay someone to do all this, b) let people help me, or c) pay someone to do all this. But we are who we are. So there is rugelach, strawberry and apricot. There are chocolate chip shortbreads, and there are mint brownies. There are espresso brownies and pecan brownies and cinnamon coffee cake, cut into small pieces specially designed to crumble down one’s dress.
And then there is kugel.
Don’t tell my Aunt Rose – or is it Aunt Ruth? – but I messed with her recipe. I ran the cottage cheese, sour cream & eggs through the blender for silkier texture; in one batch I poured on the cinnamon, and in another, combined pineapple with – ready now? – dried cranberries. Let’s just say I’m glad that Aunt Ruth is a non-Internet using 90-something, and will not get the news from me.
On the plus side, the cranberry-pineapple kugel – made specially for Josie, who loves both – is excellent, and she munches the trimmed ends as fast as I can cut them.
When I’m not mercilessly altering family tradition, I’m baking 200 dog biscuit-shaped cookies (hello, dog theme), stuffing candy into guest bags, and up late sketching centerpiece plans. Glittery dog house, no, striped dog house, no – well, you get the idea. What I’m saying is that right now, be glad you’re not me. While it’s unlikely you’d ever want to be me anyway, right now is especially not the time. Be glad you are you. Can I be you?
On the other plus side, Mother’s Day provided, if not a break in the action, a little progress in action. My mother-in-law and Josie helped with stacks of unthinkable tasks, I was gifted with a speedy new printer, and Greg and I briefly stopped bickering over how much candy should be on what table. At the end of the day we all went out, where I enjoyed a glorious parmesan-crusted filet, truffled fries, creamed spinach and a warm, welcome glass of red. After, we stopped for cappuccino and a leisurely stroll home under cool, beautiful skies.
Back at my dining room table, I gulped the last of my coffee and tied ribbons onto guest bags.
And that’s the way it is here at Kugel-palooza. I said to someone recently, “what is this? When did I become an extra in a shtetl musical?” But – shh, don’t tell my family - it’s okay. We’re quite proud of our girl, and what’s more, I think she might be secretly fond of her crazy mom. Overall, looming kugels aside, a pretty good Mother’s Day. How was yours?
* during party countdown, expect less frequent but possibly meatier posts, including one juicy story on its way. Not down, just a bit out – and thank you, as always, for Simmering.