We're in the Three Weeks, which is the three week period leading up to Tisha B'Av, during which we do not have weddings or purchase new clothing (or if we do purchase it because to not is to lose the chance, we do not wear it until after it's all over.) No hair cuts, either. These are minor mourning practices.
During the Nine Days, the mourning gets stronger. We do not wear clean clothes (custom is to wear, piece by piece, the outer clothes for those days, before they begin. Just a second is enough. We kinda rub them on the floor.) or bathe unless we are sensitive. We're sensitive. :) We also do not swim for pleasure, or listen to live music, and there are those who avoid canned as well. Men do not shave. And we do not drink wine or eat meat. All of these rules are suspended for Shabbat, of course. More to the point, they are customs, not rules. Which is why we can get around them by wearing clothes ahead of time, or by calling ourselves sensitive, or by arranging required festive meals or taking advantage of them to eat meat during the Nine Days.
Five years ago, for example, good friends of ours had a baby boy, and his bris happened to take place during the Nine Days. We drove down to Maryland from New York...:) What's funny is that the normal stuff served for britot is dairy - bagels and lox and such.
This, then, is why we had beef for dinner last night, and I'm cooking beef now, and we will try to get a meat eal in before sunset tomorrow night.
And this is the true purpose of this post. Any one have a good technique - not a recipe, just a technique - for vegetable curry? Just for something to serve besides fish and pasta.