I have something to share about my husband. He has a tendency to reveal the ending of a play or movie plot before the rest of us have seen it, or share the final score of a sports event when others are watching in a different time zone. It is something we joke about, and as a family we often censor him just when we realize from the twinkle in his eye that he is about to spill the beans.
Here is another thing that he loves to do. Every year at this time, Norm comes home from shul and announces that they began to read from the Book of Exodus. Can you guess what the next line is?? He casually adds, “that means Pesach is not far off.” Norm knows that this is not an announcement that elicits a reaction that I might have with a slightly more “fun” piece of news. Don’t misunderstand, I love Passover but he knows that in mid-January thinking about Passover is pretty much an excercise in anxiety.
I am simply refusing to take heed and am putting Passover out of my mind, at least for now. Tu Bishvat is around the corner, and though I don’t really do anything to celebrate this particular holiday, it is a reminder that Spring is not too far off, that in Israel the Almond trees will soon blossom, and that the days are once again getting longer.
Last night I made an eggplant relish and added toasted almonds instead of the pine nuts that were called for in the recipe. (it is an adaptation of an Ina Garten recipe) It would be a good dish to have for a Tu Bishvat Seudah and will be a perfect accompaniment to matzoh. Something to think about.
See downloadable recipe here Eggplant Relish
3 Globe Eggplants
8 oz. Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, diced
2 medium Onions, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
4 Tb Tomato Paste
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
4 Tb olive oil
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and roast whole eggplants on a cookie sheet until tender, about one hour. In the meantime, sauté chopped onions in olive oil till onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté an additional minute or two. Remove to bowl and add tomato paste, red wine vinegar and a dash of olive oil. After the eggplant has cooled, scoop out the flesh and process for a few minutes before adding to onion mixture. Mix in finely diced red peppers and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and parsley. Serves 8