Friday, July 17, 2009

Between Two Meals, or How Not to Explain Cuts of Meat on a Menu

Thursday Night

Rachel and I went out for a lovely mean at Selina with our friends. We had received a prepaid meal coupon from Rachel's study group as a thanks for a year's worth of teaching. Yum.

We speak a mixture of Hebrew and English, and so the waitress tried to explain specials to us in both Hebrew and English. At one point, she struggled to translate the Hebrew word for "breast", which resulted in her patting herself on the breast as a visual aid.

This is so wrong, I'm not even going to get into it. I won't. I won't. I won't. No, no, no, no, ok, I will.

Now that I was thinking of cutting off the waitress' breast and coating it in a roux and brandy concoction, I began to wonder what sort of visual expression she was willing to give us for chicken thighs or rump roast. One of my friends, thinking along similar lines, was hopefully scanning the menu to see if she could find bull testicles, and the other asked if the English name of the dish was Chicken Mastectomy.

All the food was delicious, and service was good.

Today is going to be a rather different experience.

We are friends with a Christian couple residing in Israel, who contacted us originally about gaming. Bill is from Kansas City, Shirley is from China. They're lovers of Jews and Israel, and here doing volunteer work.

We've had them over for dinner a number of times, and they've always wanted to reciprocate, but they don't keep a kosher house, of course. They took us out for dinner once, which was lovely.

Last week we went to see Coraline (great movie, by the way). Before the movie, my daughter Tal bought some crappy Chinese food at the mall court, about which Shirley declared that "that is NOT Chinese food". So I invited her to come over and cook real Chinese for us. Her eyes lit up.

Turns out to be exactly the opportunity she wanted.

Shirley spent a few days this week planning the menu, and in the process learned what was involved in kosher food preparation. And, since Chinese food really has to be cooked and served immediately, we decided to eat before shabbat, and have only the kiddush, challah, and dessert after synagogue. (And my brother and his four kids are coming, so dinner won't be too late for them; another plus).

The menu and ingredient list is extensive and sounds fantastic. It's going to be quite an experience.

Chicken Lettuce Wrap
Egg Drop Soup

Chicken & Green Peppers
Lemon Chicken
bean sprouts with green onion
mixed cucumbers
rice or maybe fried rice


Simon said...

Isn't bulgogi a Korean dish? I wouldn't let that stop you though; it is very delicious.

Yehuda said...

Yes, she sneaked that one in there.