who's in the kitchen

Time to put away the schach, Thanksgiving’s near


Seriously, how is possible that it’s almost Thanksgiving. Wasn’t it just Sukkot, didn’t we just put away our sukkah? Oh, wait, no, we didn’t.

My husband Jerry and his son Elliot did manage to take our sukkah apart, roll up the canvas and bring it inside. The poles, wood beams and schach were left outside for another day. Well, it rained for the next two days, and each of the four schach mats were soaking wet. They had to be unrolled and dried out then rolled again and put away. But, of course it never got done, not even close. I can’t really blame Jerry, being that the day after Sukkot was a Sunday, which meant his beloved Giants were playing, or what they call playing.

 Jerry had a plan. He would head for the gym, come home and take down the sukkah, and then watch the game at night. As usual, morning turned into afternoon as Jerry puttered around the house successfully doing nothing for hours. Jerry is great at doing nothing and can spend hours happily doing nothing, the less the better.

He managed to finish doing nothing at around 3 pm when he headed to the gym. According to Jerry, working out at the gym is almost as great as doing nothing. When he got home, he showered, ate dinner and decided it was too late to start taking apart the sukkah as he had to get ready to watch the game wearing his Mark Bavaro Giant’s uniform. Bavaro’s nickname was Rambo and Jerry used to love watching him play. The game was starting at 8:30 pm and for once in a very long time, he didn’t have to tape the game, he could watch it live.

If the game was on at a time he wasn’t home to watch it, he would tape the game and watch it in its entirety when he got home. Problem is, he had to make sure that no one told him the score. We’d be at a wedding, someone would come over to say hello, Jerry welcomes him by shouting, “Don’t tell me the score, I’m taping the game!” Usually, the person just wants to say hello.

My favorite scenario is when we’re walking in the street and we’re about to pass a bunch of people that neither of us know. As we’re nearing them, Jerry anxiously insists that we cross the street. “Are you worried about those kids?” I ask. “I’m not just worried,” he responds. “I’m really, really concerned about these kids as they might be talking about the game and I’ll find out the score.”

Then there’s the issue of me knowing the final score, which is usually disastrous, as the Giants specialize this year in getting pummeled. Knowing that Jerry is going to spend three hours watching the game, there’s a part of me that wants to scream, “Please, Jerry, don’t sit through the whole game, it’s not going to be pretty.” But of course I make believe that I don’t actually know the score and I don’t say anything. I’m usually in the other room, and every now and then I hear a cheer, which I know ten minutes later will be followed by a jeer. Then the inevitable sigh, followed by “Can this get any worse?” “Yes, Jerry,” I whisper to myself,” it’s going to get much worse!”

Which brings me back to, I can’t believe it’s already almost Thanksgiving and the schach and wooden beams are still out in my backyard! And talking about Thanksgiving, here’s a great recipe that goes well with turkey.

Mini Honey Butternut Squash Stuffed with Red Quinoa,

Sugar Slivered Almonds

and Dried Cranberries


5 Mini Honey Butternut Squash (Gourmet Glatt)

1 cup organic red quinoa (Trader Joe’s)

1 tsp canola oil (optional)

1/6 cup craisins

4 tablespoons sugar

1/4 tsp salt

4 Tbs honey roasted sliced almonds

Instructions :

Preheat oven to 350F

Wash squash and slice each in half. Scoop out seeds and place on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until tender.

While squash is in the oven, prepare Quinoa according to directions, and add the cranberries as well. I also add 1 tsp canola oil, but it’s optional. Be sure not to overlook. Once quinoa is cooked add the sugar, salt and slivered almonds. Spoon the quinoa mixture into the circular cavity of the squash. Can be served immediately or made a day in advance.