September 27th, 2002

Mama Deb

I am the Queen of Multitasking

Just ask my husband.

The easiet way to handle the rules of cooking Shabbat and Yom Tov is to cook in advance. So, I came home from shopping and started cooking. Just two dishes - a salmon and pasta dish I'm serving cold for lunch on Saturday, and a chicken and rice dish I'm serving hot for dinner and lunch on Sunday. This took three pots, a colandar, a cutting board, a knife and several bowls. At the same time, I had to be careful that nothing that touched chicken touched the fish and vice verse, unless they were washed first, because while fish is neutral and can be served with meat or milk meals *and* can be prepared on clean meat or milk utensils, it cannot be cooked with meat. Also, of course, have to avoid cross contamination, but the restriction also applies to cooked foods.

I started at 2:30 by filling my pasta pot with salted water and setting it to boil on a rear burner. Then I chopped the main veggies for the chicken dish and started them stewing in my dutch oven, adding bay leaves. At this point, I could hear the pasta water starting to boil, so I chopped up garlic and cubed the fresh salmon. I'd had the fishman remove the skin of the fillet. I poured the bowties into the boiling water, heated olive oil and cooked the garlic and then the salmon. Towards the end, I put in freshly ground pepper and good balsamic vinegar. When they were done, so were the bowties. I drained them in a colandar with frozen peas, and combined everything. I also washed the knife and cutting board, because the veggies for the chicken dish were done. I added the paprika and tomato and diced chicken, and let that cook while I washed everything up. Around then, the chicken was cooked and I could put in the rice and water. And it was done. It took 45 minutes from start to finish, and I had the main courses for three meals done. And none of it was *hard* or took more than thinking, "okay, this step takes the longest,and this one is the shortest and this must be done before that."

But husband is amazed anyway.