Wednesday, December 07, 2011

There's No Such Thing as a Holiday Tree

A week ago, the governor of Rhode Island declared the 17-foot spruce in the State House rotunda to be a "holiday tree," not a Christmas tree. Governor Chafee is not Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, or any other religion that doesn't celebrate Christmas. He's Episcopalian. But for some reason, he seems to think that it is more inclusive to call it a holiday tree than to call it what it clearly is: a Christmas tree. Governor Chafee, I know you want to include us, but next time, include someone else.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Reflections on the Anniversary of 9/11

Like many others, I've been thinking a lot about 9/11 as the tenth anniversary approaches. It was a strange time in my life. The Jewish High Holidays were approaching -- Rosh Hashanah fell on September 18th that year. The software company I worked for was developing a new product and had most of the staff (including me) working from home. I thought I'd share my experiences from that time, much of which has some Jewish context.

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Very Veggie Pesach 2011: Butternut Squash-Cheddar "Risotto"

Last year, I offered a number of kosher-for-Passover vegetarian recipes.  Those posts went over very well, so I'll be providing a few new ones this year!
This recipe is based on one I got from Cabot Cheese, which makes an excellent kosher-for-Passover run of sharp cheddar cheese. UPDATE: Cabot has discontinued its Passover run of cheese! Heartbreaking! There are other sources of Passover cheddar; I recommend Les Petites Fermieres if you can find it; I find it at Wegmans. Make sure it's certified for Passover; it isn't always. Most of the ingredients were already vegetarian and kosher for Passover, with one key exception: Rice. "Risotto" is a rice dish, and rice isn't kosher for Passover (by Ashkenazic standards).  I initially thought of substituting matzah farfel, but I realized that quinoa would give it much more of a risotto look and feel. Of course, not everybody accepts quinoa as kosher for Passover (see my discussion from 2010), so you can try it with matzah farfel if necessary, and let us know how it goes in the comments! UPDATE: Even OU now accepts quinoa, but of course they insist on using KFP certification.

I also made one other change that has nothing to do with Passover: I don't like mushrooms, so I substituted asparagus. My taste-testers, Rachel and Claire, gave this quinoa version two thumbs up, even though I made a few mistakes in my test batch! And yes, they liked the way the squash and asparagus went together.

This is not a particularly difficult recipe, but it is a time-consuming recipe, because the squash takes quite a while to roast.  Don't try to make this after you get home from work on a weekday!