Nov 21, 2010

What I Fed My Mystery Guests

The bake.
For the second time since we've been in the Teaneck community, we were privy to take part in Mystery Shabbat. It sounds a lot more mysterious and spooky than it really is, and it is simply a way for the greater community I live in to get to know one another. People sign up as hosts or guests, the sisterhood matches people, and you find out at shul who you're eating by. The hosts find out who is eating with them the moment they, well, show up at the door. It's an up-to-the-last-minute surprise, and it allows people not to decline or prepare for certain guests (aside from dietary restrictions).

We had two couples and a single over for Shabbat lunch, with a total of three kids (one child, one toddler, and one baby). The only restrictions? A dislike of gefilte fish (bummer, but resolved) and dressing on the side. And, of course, my gluten restrictions. Here was the menu I chose, and the crowd was mighty pleased. The item that got gone the quickest? The Crapple, the recipe of which I got from @wifeofmottel, I simply de-glutenized for my noshing pleasure. Dig in!

Homemade Challah yes, I make it and don't eat it

Salad with cashews and craisins with a Raspberry Vinaigrette
Gefilte fish baked with honey and cinnamon
Matbucha, chummus, and chickpea salad

Crapple an oat and flour crust, cranberries and pineapple, with an oat topping
Roasted Potatoes a simple blend of potatoes with rosemary and garlic, roasted
Butternut Squash Cranberry Bake my favorite standby
Tarragon Corn the easiest thing to make, even mixing tarragon into cooked corn
Sweet & Spicy Chicken a huge crowd pleaser
BBQ Turkey Meatballs crumb-less meatballs bound with minced onion and egg in store-bought sauce

Dessert was provided at the community oneg, which was part of the ending of the Mystery Shabbat festivities, providing a way for everyone to get together with old friends and new friends alike. Unfortunately, no gluten-free goods for me outside of fruit. Next time? I'm going to make some Coffee Cake or Brownies or my beloved Chocolate Mousse Torte!


Lily said...

So did it accomplish its goal? Did you meet new people? Who was the single person?! I missed the mystery Shabbos, but I was curious to participate another time. However, I felt it was really meant for married couples. Maybe I will be successful as a single? Hmm :)

The menu sounds fabulous though! I would have been happy to be your mystery guest! :P

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

It's definitely not for just married people. I think you probably miss out on a lot of the awesomeness in the community because of perceptions about how people will treat you or how the couples view singles. In truth? No one would care or notice if you came solo. The after-lunch oneg with the entire community was awesome, and we even did sheva brachos for a newly married couple. There were at least two single girls there, and I think a few single guys. Remember: don't separate yourself from the community!

And yes, it accomplished its goal. I met some folks I wouldn't have otherwise, and I think I might have garnered some new blog readers in the process, which is nice. I was just happy to feed willing people :) And the toddler loved my gefilte, which, seriously, how could I possibly have not loved that!?

Scott Wasserman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Wasserman said...

The dessert Oneg was awesome! We got to meet so many new people from Terrace Circle. Your lunch menu sounds amazing; we had a great lunch at the Parvers, but hopefully we can have a meal together soon.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

You are QUITE the chef these days! And what a fun way to get to know new people.

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

@Scott it was, wasn't it? Hope you guys didn't get overwhelmed! It can be crazy at first.

@SS Cooking is something I've learned to love, thank G-d. Otherwise, we'd be eating cereal and Tuvia's grandma's chicken every day.

Sarah said...

Can I please have your recipe for the cinnamon honey fish? Thanks!

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