Jun 4, 2011

RV Shabbat in CA

It has been just couple days since I posted my last blog post, but these last couple days were so full of events, that if I will wait few more days the blog would either be too long, or I will just forget it. Yesterday was actually a great night, and I am pretty proud of myself for what I prepared, so if you want the menu and recipe, it’s right here, and much more.

Dining table ready for Shabbat

Him who prepares for Shabbat, Rest in Shabbat. Really?

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 – It is a long day today and I have lots of cooking and shopping to do. 5:30am the annoying alarm is singing again. in 45 minutes I have to be on my way out. Getting dressed, making lunch, coffee, glance at my computer to see if there are any urgencies, and – oops we got to go.

IMAG0083Dropped my son at school, and started to plan my errands: I need to buy a book for him, a Challah bread for Shabbat, and I wanted to have a half-way decent looking candle holders for tonight. Using Google places on my android, I find a Barnes & Nobles, but they open at 10:00am, That is three hours away! There is also Borders in Irvine that opens at 9:00am. OK, I got an anchor – a starting point, now I need to find a grocery store close by. Again, punching some keys and android comes up with trader Joe’s – just by the Irvine Campus. Great!

I got to the store at 7:30am and had 30 minutes to kill. A coffee place close by was a perfect start for the day. Sat down with a hot coffee and a chocolate Croissant. Had to plan the rest of the day, and even found a Judaica store close by.

IMAG0085Trader Joe’s is a special grocery store, small but full of special products, mainly organic. I found Challah bread, Kosher Wine, Persian cucumbers, Organic Chicken and fruits for my dessert. Got everything in a recycled paper bag that proudly carried the store logo, put everything in the truck and continued to my next stop.

Art in the Judaica StoreA short stop at Borders where I got a book for my son, and couple photography books for myself, and I was ready to head out the my next stop – Golden Dreidel – a Judaica store. This is a beautiful store with anything a Jewish person may need – Tallit (a Jewish prayer Shawl), Kippah (yarmulke), Menorahs, Candle Holders, Challah covers, Mezuzas – and so much more.  Many of the items were handmade by Israeli artists and were just amazingly nice. I found a set of wooden candle holders for Shabbat, and a Challah plate – a glass platform to put the Challah bread on, and finaly was on my way back home.

So what’s Cookin’

When I got home it was already about 11:00am, so I did not have much time. I have to start with the items that needs the longest time to cook, I was thinking to myself – and that is my main dish. So here is my first dish (with my modifications)

OrtegaOaks 007Lemon Rosemary Chicken



  • 4 skinless bone-in chicken thighs and 4 Drumsticks (about 5 lbs)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 0.5 Lbs. Tri-Color baby potatoes
  • About 10 Tri-Color miniature Cauliflower
  • about 10 miniature onions, they have a name, can’t remember it)
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced, and about the same amount whole.
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper


  1. OrtegaOaks 005Rinse chicken and pat dry. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  2. OrtegaOaks 008Place the potatoes, onion, Cauliflower and garlic in a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker; top with chicken.
  3. Stir together honey,lemon juice, cornstarch, rosemary, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Ok, the slow cooker is going now. Rinsing all the dishes and starting me next dish – an Israeli salad. I think I already gave the recipe sometime before, but here it is again:

Israeli Salad

OrtegaOaks 013Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers (I used about 6 Persian cucumbers which are much smaller but tastier)
  • 3 tomatoes (I love those on the vine)
  • 2 large onions
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • salt and pepper


  1. OrtegaOaks 017Cut cucumbers tomatoes and onions into small cubes (about 1/4 inch)
  2. Add oil and spices
  3. OrtegaOaks 015Mix and serve. It can sit in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before you have to throw it away.

OrtegaOaks 020The salad is cooling in the refrigerator, and I am headed to my next dish: Mixed some raw Tahini with water lemon and salt to make a Tahini dip. That would be served tonight with Hummus, pine nuts olive oil and Paprika. I also have the eggplant salad I prepared yesterday, so I am down to my last dish – Fruit salad.

I cut 3 oranges, 2 apples and big pack of strawberries, put in a bowl add topped with orange juice until all the fruits were covered. Added 1/2 cup of sugar, some vanilla extract and 1 tsp. of cinnamon. That’s it – ready to go!


By 2:00pm every thing was done. Time to go and pick up my son from school. I stopped at the grocery store for couple last items and another quick stop at the gas station. When we got back home it was already going on 4:00pm. Don’t eat anything, I told my son – there is a lot of food tonight and I don’t want you to fill up! OK, Aba (That’s how my son calls me – it means dad in Hebrew).

My son in the 'known' gaming positionAt 5:00pm Patti’s brothers’ FiancĂ© (let’s just call her Allison) calls. I am back from work, we are on the way, she said. That’s great! I replied. We will be waiting for you hungry – come fast – I joked around.

So I am cleaning up, getting the table ready and my son is playing with the XBOX. 6:30pm. My son is asking – OK, when are they coming? I don’t know, I said. I am hungry too. 7:30, and it is starting to get darker. My son looks at me, and I look at him back. Don’t know. Maybe traffic, I said. Let’s wait a little more…

8:00pm we heard a knock on the door. They are here! They made it! time to eat!!

RV Friday Night

Ready to start the feastI took the extra folding chairs back from the storage underneath the bed. The table was set and we were anxious to start dinner. I lit the candles and read the Hebrew blessing for the Shabbat, while Allison reads the English translation from the printed papers I prepared earlier for everyone. I cited the blessing for the wine and let everyone drink a sip. Even Patti’s brother and his FiancĂ© (yes,  AKA Allison) who usually do not drink alcohol, tasted the wine. Well appreciated!
My son sang the blessing for the Challah, cut a piece and handed everyone, and the meal started.

RVShabbat 002I started with an appetizer – an artichoke I steamed with lemon, garlic and bay leafs, served with spinach dip. That was followed by the salads and the main course. I think the food was good, as the plate came back empty, The only left overs we got are some salads - I think it was just too much.

I put up some Shabbat Song by Dudu Fisher (a very famous and talented Jewish Cantor) in the background, and we moved to the living area. After a short while I served the fruit salad and coffee and we just sat and talked. The conversation got somehow to music, and I mentioned that – yeah, we do have a musical instrument in thus house.

Patti's Brother and his Fince playing and singing I pulled my keyboard from underneath the bed, wiped off the dust and brought it over. I did not touch it for over two years! Allison played some Christian music and sang while her to-be-husband is joining and singing along. I played some songs too, surprisingly I remembered something. Not much but enough to make a recognizable sound.

The conversation went on and on, and it wasn’t before midnight when our guests were too tired and had to drive back home. Might be back tomorrow they said. That would be lovely!

I was too tired to do anything at all, so I just put the keyboard away, handed my son his bed sheets (he sleeps in the hide-a-bed couch we have in the living room) and went to sleep.

Saturday, June 4th, 2011 – Woke up to a big mess. Well I knew that, so I wasn’t surprised. Had my morning coffee outside absorbing the morning sun rays while talking to Patti on the phone, filling her up with the last events. I also let Diva out, fed her and gave her some fresh water.

A disaster that didn’t happen

It is going to be a long cleaning day. I washed all the dishes, got all the furniture away and vacuumed the carpets. Then I mopped the floors, put the dishes away and was going to organize the refrigerator. But wait – there is no light in the refrigerator. My son did notice earlier that the light was flickering, so maybe the bulb just burnt. I looked at the microwave – yes – there is electricity. Closed the refrigerator door, and looked at the panel – it was dead! no lights, no response from any button. Oh My God. I have so much food and its going to go all to the garbage!

The refrigerator panel looked just fineMy son was in the shower, when I called him: Hurry up, we are packing and going to the shop,. We got to fix the RV. I went outside to the refrigerator panel, maybe I will see something, but nope. I checked electricity in the sockets – and the sockets were live. I called the shop and told the service manager – we are on the way.

Rushing to clean and fold everything I finished the inside (usually Patti is doing it), and was ready to pull the slides in. Opened the panel door, push the slides button, and – nothing. Not a sound. Pushed the other slide buttons – same nothing. I t didn’t make sense. Both the refrigerator and all the slides are out? Must be something else – something in common to both. But what is common to Slide Out motor and a refrigerator? Of course! DC power. I have AC but DC is out…

First thing to check is the main switch for the Battery. It is a red big key type switch used for storage, and disconnects the battery completely. I opened the basement door, and voila – there it it is – the switch was in the ‘off’ position. I must have moved it when I fed Diva earlier this morning. Turned it on, and the refrigerator came back to life, and so is the color to my face. Whew – that was a scary moment…

Called the shop and cancelled my visit. I told him what happened and he laughed. It’s better you found it before you drove all the way down here. the service manager said. You Bet! I replied.

After that incident – not much. Drop my son in town to visit some friends, came back home, and finished my cleaning, another load of laundry – and sat down to write this blog. Only two days and so much to write.

Hope you liked it..

1 comment:

  1. Good catch on the battery switch, sometime you just get lucky the first time, Glad to see your Shabbat went well, I had several Jewish friends growing up and will verify that Jewish Mothers were great cooks.It is so good to see you son has an interest in keeping your faith going at home, a lot a kid's today don't want to participate in church functions.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..