Meanwhile, I'm left thinking about what I can make for the shisha after this little girl is born. Many people aren't aware of the very old Sephardic custom of welcoming a girl on her 6th day of life, not unlike having a brit for a boy on his 8th day, but with less blood and more casual. The naming ceremony is repeated, everyone says Mazal Tov (and hopefully they mean it!) and then we all have a nice chance to admire the baby and eat. My plan for serving food is to have lots of salads and spreads to go on fresh pitas, because most can be made days, if not weeks in advance. So, here is my first "don't panic" recipe-Olive tapenade! (we recently had a guest for Shabbat who loved this stuff and I told him I would post the recipe. I never thought it would take so long, however.)
You will need a food processor or blender for best results.
Canned green olives
oil (preferably olive, but any kind is fine)
How to: Peel your cloves of garlic (2 cloves per can of olives is my standard, but you can do more or less, depending on how much you love it) and put them through a garlic press or chop them up finely. Drain olives. put olives, garlic, a few tsp of oil and 8-10 capers into food processor and grind up liberally. Add more oil if needed to achieve a semi-smooth consistency. THAT'S IT! Seriously, wasn't that easy?
I love this stuff spread on challah, pitas, and it makes a really nice addition to grilled cheese. it keeps forever in the fridge (6 months) and gets more mellow with time. This recipe also totally invites ad-libbing ingredients. you could add roasted red peppers, cook the garlic, add lemon juice instead of some of the oil, add whatever fresh herb is lying around (basil or oregano would be nice), anything really, and come out with an AMAZING spread.