A Second Chance

It was their second time. Their chuppah was on the rooftops of the Old City facing the Har HaBayis.  It was a beautiful night; the breeze swept the heat away from the day.  As they walked to the chuppah, Arabs called out on the muezzin calling their faithful to join in prayer. The night filled with sounds of contrasting peoples with divergent wills.  For the couple it was a moment to treasure and celebrate in spite of their personal difficulties that got them to this point. The crowd of 70 mostly of family members seemed to fill the roof.  But as the evening went on at least that many neighbors from the Rova Yehudi (the Jewish quarter) came to rejoice enchanted by the music.  The rooftop filled, the music became louder, the dancing more intense.

The rooftop owner’s glowed as they fulfilled the mitzvah hanachas kallah in such a grand way. They were attuned in to each guest’s needs (including me as the caterer). They provided not only their roof top, full use of their kitchen to baby bottles, carriages, Tylenol as well as helping in serving.

 

We set the tables, with couscous and apple ginger topping, a noodle with vegetable kugel, and a parve tuna quiche for the bar.  While we did the fixings and waited for the guests to arrive my kids found time to steal away to take advantage of the proximity of the Kosel. Even when my kids were clearing tables near the end of the evening my daughter sent me to daven.  “Don’t worry Ima we can finish without you. Go!  How can you miss this opportunity?”

 

Coming back from the Wall weaving through the streets, I felt the incongruence between the worlds of greeting the exiting wedding guests and the heartfelt tefillahs I heard cried out at the Kosel. Yet we know on the same day, a Jew can have the commandment to visit a shiva house and to make a kallah b’simcha.

 

Jews survive through generations by focusing on what is important.   A Jewish wedding is sacred. It is an opportunity to connect to Hashem through happiness. It can be a chance to build our relationship with Hashem and give merit to our people in need.  And sometimes we even get a second chance.

 

Couscous with Apple–ginger topping and orange sauce

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 8

 

Sauce

¾ cup fresh orange juice

1 ½ Tbls orange flavored liqueur

Couscous

1 1/3 cups apple juice

3 Tbls vegetable oil

¼ tsp salt

1 cup uncooked couscous

2 tsp grated orange rind

Topping

1 ½ Tbls margarine

2 Tbls brown sugar

2 cups green apples deiced peeled

2 Tbls raisins

2 ½ tsp ginger

1 ½ Tbls orange flavored liqueur

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Mint sprigs

 

To prepare the sauce, bring the orange juice to a boil in large pot. Cook on a lower fire until the liquid reduces to 1/3 cup about 6 minutes.  Stir in 1 ½ Tbls liqueur.  Pour into a small bowl and set aside.

 

In a larger pot add the apple juice, the oil and salt to a boil. Gradually stir in the couscous and orange rind. Remove from the heat; cover and let it stand 5 minutes.

 

Fluff with a fork.

 

Melt the margarine in a medium pan over medium high heat.  Add sugar and cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Stir in the apples and raisins. Cook for 5 minutes or until the apple is tender, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat. Stir in ginger, 1 ½ Tbls liqueur, and cinnamon.

 

Spoon about 1/3 cup couscous into each 8 dessert glasses or bowls.  Top each serving with about 2 Tbls topping, 1½ tsp of the sauce.  Garnish with mint sprigs.

 

Vegetable Noodle Kugel

 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Baking Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6-8

 

1 lb (500 grams) curly noodles

1 onion, chopped small

1 garlic clove, minced

1 Tbls oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup spinach, frozen thawed and drained

1 cup mushroom, canned

1 tsp hot pepper sauce or 2 Tbls harisa

½ tsp black pepper

7 eggs beaten

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

 

Prepare noodles like normal. In a frying pan heat the oil and add the onions.  Saute the onions for about 2-4 minutes until the onions are tender.  Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. If using fresh mushrooms add to saute another 2 minutes.  Remove from the fire and drain the vegetables.

 

Mix together the tomatoes, spinach with the other vegetables with harisa and black pepper.  Beat the eggs and add into the vegetable mixture.  Mix in the noodles.

Pour the noodles into an 8×10 baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.

 

Parve Tuna Quiche

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Refrigeration Time: 12 hours

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Baking Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 8-10

 

Dough

½ cup margarine, softened

2 ¼ cups Flour

½ cup cold Water

Pinch of Salt

1 Tbls oil

Mix together the ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight. Roll out the dough and fit into a 10”diameter pie dish.  Fork the bottom. Set aside.

 

Quiche

1 onion, finely chopped

1 Tbls onion

2 cans (260 grams net) tuna drained and forked

5 eggs beaten

2 cups parve vanilla Soya milk

1 tsp salt

½ tsp white pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a frying pan heat the oil and add the onions.  Saute the onions for about 2-4 minutes until the onions are tender.  Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Remove from the fire and drain the vegetables.

Mix together the eggs, soya milk, salt and pepper.  After it is well beaten fold in the tuna and then the onion mixture.  Pour the egg mixture into the uncooked pie dish.

Bake for 40 minutes until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.

 

Tip: If you don’t like ginger in couscous with apple, substitute it with cinnamon and a pinch of allspice.

 

 

Tip: The Tuan quiche can be much more vegetable laden, add corn, mushrooms, red pepper strips or even spinach.  Try out different ideas. The vanilla flavoring makes it slightly sweet, use the regular

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