The weekly preparation for Shabbat can be quite exhausting, especially when, like me, you're trying to please everyone (except for myself....unfortunately I'll eat anything).
Shopping starts early in the week with a fill-up of vegetables that I don't find in the supermarket at Wednesday's shuk (open air market). This week I found some nice juicy artichokes which, thanks to writing in this blog, I just remembered that I have and I need to cook up.
On Wednesday I try to make sure that the meats are prepared and frozen, and the challah dough and cake dough are ready. Thursday evening is a marathon of peeling and cutting so that on Friday I can simply stick stuff into the oven and pull it out fresh.
That, of course, is where the fun lies. The basics have been prepared, so at that point I'm just plopping everything into the oven or on the stove, and as each thing comes out it's so fun to anticipate eating it. I also like when the kids come home after school and ask "what's for Shabbat" and when they hear that there are some of their favorite dishes, make some appreciative grunts.
The winter shuk is so much fun. I try to go in the morning before work. There are some regular items to pick up -- mushrooms, parsley, avocados -- but as I mentioned, sometimes there are some items that catch my eye, like broccoli (for tonight's dinner) and artichokes (tomorrow)and as I stuff my fridge I look forward to serving.
Many guests tomorrow, which is also always nice. Surprising to my offspring, who think that my 51-year-old conversation needs should be fulfilled by their bickering, I really look forward to having people my own age around to chat with. This is a friendly community and people like sharing Shabbat meals. I'm thankful that I live in such a great area.
My article-writing for a pay-for-content website is going well. Some of the titles that they give are quite, um, unusual (How to color your child' hair for Halloween with food coloring; How to do magnet therapy) but I can choose as many article titles as I want per week (I average about a dozen) and I've learned to, theoretically, paint a trailer, disable a GPS, find where someone may have stuck a GPS on my car, start a thrift store, make an Indian Ribbon shirt.......some of the topics are quite fascinating and I've learned to look at it as my hobby (which pays).
My hobby keeps me awake until midnight every night, which is another reason that I anticipate Shabbat. Thank goodness that the computer is shut off for 25 hours.