It’s Wednesday again, and tonight I may not cook dinner for the boys. I woke up this morning after a very late night of entertaining, where at last I served up the Jewish dish my boyfriend’s mom sent me the recipe for: Tzimmes: a rich, rather sweet brisket and prunes and carrot dish, to generous praise from all present: an ex-husband and his girlfriend(a first meeting of the girfriend), my boyfriend and a friend of his(both Jewish and therefore well qualified to assess the tzimmes). When I eventually got to bed it was almost two in the morning!!

The blog title does not only refer to my choice to take a break tonight from cooking, but also to an unexpected interruption on Sunday evening in my cooking: the tzimmes was planned for Sunday, when all the guests were going to be Jewish. Earlier on the day I had been doing my usual round of butchers and bakers and buying candles(if not from candlestickmakers) and flowers and wine, and at around three in the afternoon I started slowly getting the mise en place done, mother-of-my-lover’s recipe at hand(I copied it into my handwritten recipe book from the email that she sent from Canada), leasurely browning the brisket, chopping carrots and parsnip and onion, soaking the prunes, parboiling extra potatoes, toppping and tailing green beans, cooking beetroot to have roasted and cooled off in a green leaf salad. The brisket is slowly cooked for three hours before being sliced and cooked further with prunes and the vegetables and honey: delicious it turned out to be…

Earlier in the week, on Thursday I had sons(mine and my boyfriend’s) and friends over for the midweek pasta(I had a seminar to attend on Wednesday) and made penne with fresh green asparagus which is gloriously and abundantly in season at the moment. On Friday night I cooked at my boyfriends apartment, making a favourite sole dish: deboned and dressed sole rolled around asparagus and cooked in wine with a creme fraiche sauce, and on Saturday I cooked a chicken tagine since I had a jar of leftover chermoula which I made last week, for a favourite cousin and her photographer friend(pictures of the cook in her kitchen will soon appear on my facebook profile: not here since I write anonamously!!)

So as you can see, I was on a roll so to speak, when, half an hour before my guests for Sunday Tzimmes were supposed to arrive, I suddenly was afflicted(an old fashioned word but accurate) with the worst pain I have even felt since birthing pains, but colic-like: I was doubled up in pain when my boyfriend arrived, having rushed over straight from a classical concert where he played Dvorak’s New World Cor Anglais solo(wish I was there: there were accolades). The guests had to be cancelled of course, and I was lovingly taken to an emergency room at a clinic where the doctor on duty diagnosed a possible billiary tract infection or blockage: the urine sample was not very useful because I had nibbled on cooked beetroot earlier!! He mercifully gave me a painkiller injection which soon had me feeling floaty and fine, and giggling over the raspberry pink urine.

Getting home all the food was packed away and I was tucked into bed, and in the morning I was fine, if a bit worried that I had suddenly developed a gallbladder problem. Further investigations, namely an ultrasound showed that everything was absolutely fine, so this cook is not to be interrupted, not yet, except voluntarily, like tonight!

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