Family Time

This weekend, we took a quick trip to New Jersey where Howard’s sister Sheryl lives. Also, Howard’s parents were visiting Sheryl for Passover. We hadn’t seen my in-laws since they went to Florida for the winter, and they haven’t met their new grand-dog Bella yet. So, we headed down.

Sheryl will be quick to tell you that she doesn’t cook, but she actually does. We always eat very well when we go to visit. I think Sheryl just means she doesn’t do a lot of chopping or dirty a lot of pots. She knows where to buy high-quality ingredients and put them together simply but delicously. That counts as cooking in my book.

We arrived in time for lunch, and we had a delicious salad: baby spinach, goat cheese, pecans, dried cranberries, and seared tuna. I made a balsamic vinaigrette, and we tossed it all together. It was yummy!

Later in the afternoon, the “girls” headed out to check out a tea shop that Sheryl had noticed in her travels. The owner of the Admari Tea Shop in Midland Park really knew her teas. Howard asked me to pick up some green tea to replenish our supply. She let us smell the canisters of teas. I prefer Japanese green tea to Chinese. I learned that Japanese tea leaves are steamed and Chinese is roasted. That must account for the flavor difference. I bought some Matcha Genmaicha, which is green tea powder and green tea mixed with roasted rice, and Honyama Sencha, which is premium tea, shade-grown in the mountains of Japan near Shizuoka.

Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have tables to sit and savor a cup, but we each selected a flavor, which she brewed for us to “takeaway”. I tried the Himalayan Delight (a white tea), Sheryl had Java Mate (which was like coffee-flavored tea) and Helyn tried KickAssam (their own special blend). I think we were all pleased with our choices.

Before dinner, we had snacks. We enjoyed cheese and crackers, fruit, and bruschetta. Howard made his special mango guacamole. Nice spread!

Then, as if we needed to eat some more, we had a nice dinner out at an Italian restaurant.

For breakfast, my mother-in-law introduced us to Shakshuka,
an Israeli breakfast dish made with tomato, peppers and poached eggs that they discovered during their recent trip there. It was delicious, and something we’ll try at home.

We headed home after breakfast on Sunday. It was a quick visit, but a nice time spent hanging out with family. Also, despite our pre-visit worries, Bella behaved admirably.

As I said before, we always eat well at Sheryl’s, even if she says she doesn’t cook.

Mango Guacamole

1 yellow mango (Champagne or Ataulfo), peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
1 handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)

Toss all the ingredients together and serve with tortilla chips

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Posted on 30 March 2010, in General. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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