who's in the kitchen

Another Pesach, another tale of Jerry on the run


Since I began writing this column in December 2011, I’ve been asked over and over, “Are all the stories about your husband Jerry true?” “It’s not possible that he actually did all those things, is it?” “I finally met Jerry in person. All along, I thought he was this short, fat and bald guy. I was shocked to see that he’s actually in great shape and 6’1,” or “You didn’t write about Jerry this past week, we love when you write about him.”

So, to answer that burning question: Yes, every “Jerry” story is authentic. Not one bit is made up, which actually is kind of scary, because the stories sound so far-fetched.

One day, when I had a mental block about what to write about, I was in Trader Joe’s, when someone came up to me and said, “You look so familiar, where do I know you from?”

We figured maybe from shul, or just the neighborhood, when she suddenly said “You’re…” and before she had time to say anything else, I sheepishly replied, “Yes, I write the weekly column for The Jewish Star called Who’s in the Kitchen.” She immediately said, “You’re married to Jerry Joszef, right? I love reading all about Jerry Joszef, he is so hysterical.”

Part of me wanted to scream, “Hey, I’m the one who put Jerry on the map. It’s my articles that introduced him to his “fans.” I held myself back, and told her I was indeed his wife. She rattled off at least six of her favorite ”Jerry” escapades.

And talking about Jerry stories…

The week leading up to Passover was very hectic, as most of you who stayed home know all too well. I barely slept. I was running back and forth to the city, visiting my granddaughter Arielle, shopping, cleaning, changing over and filling my cabinets at home. Then came the baking, cooking and setting up the guest rooms for company. I think I slept three hours a night Tuesday and Wednesday night. Thursday night I might have slept an hour and a half, if that much. When Friday morning came around, I was beyond exhausted.

Dani Lasky of Plum Pro Pluming and Heating graciously agreed to install my new sink faucets because one had broken, and I decided I would replace the one in my other sink as well, because I felt it was on its way out, and it would be better to do both the same time. Of course the faucets promised to be delivered on Wednesday did not arrive until late Thursday night, but thankfully Dani squeezed me into his schedule.

The plumber removed both old faucets and I took them out to the street so that bulk could pick them up. And then it happened. The faucet in my meat sink was factory-defective. I ran outside to retrieve the faucet we had thrown out 45 minutes before and it was gone. I did not have a faucet in my meat sink. Since I wanted the two faucets to match, and this faucet was not available in any stores, I was stuck over the holiday with one sink. I wasn’t a happy camper.

Jerry, who was about to leave to work, was putting small bottles of orange juice into the freezer. The only time he does that is when he plans on going to the gym. I looked at him, and you know that look, and said, “You’re planning on going to the gym today?” “Now now,” he said. “I was planning on running over when I got home from work.”

The moment those words left his mouth, he regretted saying them. I’m not sure if it was because he realized he probably shouldn’t be going to the gym, after he basically did nothing for the Pesach prep and I was killing myself, or if it was because I had that killer look in my eyes.

When he returned home at 3:30 pm I was still the same place in the kitchen, cooking and prepping. The only time I left the house was to bring the chametz to be burned at the local fire station (thank you for organizing it, Jay Goldmark!). Wouldn’t it have been nice if Jerry would have found the time to do that like most of the other husbands, but then he would ruin his record of doing absolutely nothing for Pesach.

But wait, he actually did do something —the bedikat chametz the night before. It went something like this: “Ju, what should I do?” I responded, “Are you seriously asking me that question? You don’t know what to do? Just put the pieces of bread out and then do the bedika,” I said. “I know that, I just meant like where should I leave the pieces of bread?” I’m not going to repeat exactly what I said but you get the idea.

Back to it being about three hours before Yom Tov, when Jerry was taking his frozen orange juice out of the freezer. I told him to pick up his shirts from the cleaners on Central Avenue and then to pick up an extra dozen of eggs from Smitty’s (both stores within a quarter of a mile from my house) on his way home from the gym.

He called me up an hour and a quarter later. “You’re out of the gym already” I asked. “I didn’t go in the end, I figured it wasn’t a good idea” he replied. “What were you doing for the last hour and a quarter?” I asked. “I bought the eggs and picked up the shirts” he answered.

“Both those stores are two blocks from each other and a five minute drive from our house!” I said “I got lost”Jerry replied. I honestly thought he was kidding. There was no way he could’ve gotten lost, not even him! He’s been living in this neighborhood for 12 years. He tried to explain that after he picked up the shirts he just kept going straight trying to find Rockaway Turnpike and then turn around. What he did to was end up on 878 and then he decided to go to Costco an hour before Yom Tov to buy a dozen eggs that he could’ve bought basically around the corner. Yes this actually happened. And there you have it, this week’s Jerry story, which leads to this week’s recipe…

Tom and JERRY Batter By Genius Kitchen

6 eggs, separated

1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 lb powdered sugar

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow cream (I use marshmallow fluff)

hot water





Separate the 6 eggs

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff.

Mix in the powdered sugar and set aside.

Beat egg yolks until thick and light colored.

Stir in the marshmallow cream (fluff) with a wooden spoon.

Fold egg white mixture into egg yolks.

refrigerate all leftovers.

To make a Tom & Jerry:

Boil water.

Spoon several heaping tablespoons of batter into a mug.

Pour a shot of R&B (rum/brandy mix) or about 1/2 a shot each of rum and brandy (or whatever amount you care for). Pour hot water into the mug until fill.

The batter will rise to the top.

Sprinkle with nutmeg.