Thursday, March 17, 2011

I'm Gonna Drink

Happy Purim! Chag Sameach!

It's time again for my annual Purim song. I used to have an annual tradition of ranting about the lack of good, original Purim songs, but I decided that a much more constructive use of my time would be to write the songs that we need and share them with the world.

The trick, of course, is to write a song that hasn't been written before. We don't need another song to teach us the story of Purim. We don't need another song to entice us to eat hamantachen. We don't even need another song that suggests that since it's Purim, we might want to, you know, get happy. We need songs that explore all of the other, forgotten themes of the holiday. Such as last year's song about partying with King Ahasuerus.

Of course, getting drunk has not nearly been explored nearly enough in the pantheon of Purim melodies. There is Az Di Rebbe Elimelech ("Elimelech of Gilhofen/Drank l'chaim once to often/Drank l'chaim and became a trifle gay..."). But other than that, it's an entirley unexplored terrain.

Until now.

I offer up to you, "I'm Gonna Drink Till I Can't Tell Haman From Mordechai." This rockabilly song is possibly the only place in the world that you will find the phrase, "I'm hangin' like a tallis in the breeze." Why? Because someone had to write it. And everyone ELSE was apparently out that day.

I've posted the lyrics below, because my Microsoft home mixing capabilities leave something to be desired (to put it mildly), and I want you to savor each brilliantly crafted line. Please feel free to rerecord this song and make your own video. Just please attach my name onto it as the songwriter. I'll even do the vocals for you. I'll even do it in costume. And, I might even let you choose the costume.


I lost my baby, the other night
I don’t know why but we got in a wicked fight
Now my honey is not my honey anymore
Now it’s Purim, I’m all alone
I couldn’t even call her on the telephone
And I lost it, when I lost her out the door.
I’m a regular court jester
I’m a king without his Esther
The only mask I wear is a mask of shame
So now I twirl a grogger
While pouring back a lager
And burying my head in a pile of blame

I’m gonna weep
I’m gonna sigh
I’m gonna sleep
I’m gonna cry
I’m gonna drink Manischewitz and tequila with a bottle of rye

The days of Purim
I can’t endur’em
They make me shudder
And make me squirm
I’m gonna drink till I can’t tell Haman from Mordechai

I lost my baby, the other day
Now I don’t know what to do or what to think or say
And I’m hanging like a tallis in the breeze
I tried to reason, I tried to beg
I tried to sing her songs of passion on a bended leg
But my action just bought me achy knees
My life is full of sorrow
I fear there’s no tomorrow
My holiday will never be the same
‘Cause when she starts the blamin’
She treats me like I’m haman
She stomps and screams and tries to erase my name

I’m gonna weep
I’m gonna sigh
I’m gonna sleep
I’m gonna cry
I’m gonna drink Manischewitz and tequila with a bottle of rye

The days of Purim
I can’t endur’em
They make me shudder
And make me squirm
I’m gonna drink till I can’t tell Haman from Mordechai

I’m gonna weep
I’m gonna sigh
I’m gonna sleep
I’m gonna cry
I’m gonna drink Mogen David and tequila with a bottle of rye

The days of Purim
I can’t endur’em
They make me shudder
And make me squirm
I’m gonna drink till I can’t tell Haman from Mordechai

Saturday, January 15, 2011

(Gluten-Free) (Vegetarian) Tamale Pie

One of the most successful dishes at my son's bar mitzvah was the Tamale Pie. I am very proud of the recipe; it is both vegetarian and gluten-free. I know the dish was successful because no one said to me, "You know, this isn't bad for gluten-free vegetarian food."

The recipe can be found at the Website below. I am trying to win a contest with this recipe, so please feel free to leave a post on my recipe entry about how much you liked the recipe. Or hated the recipe. Or found the recipe intriguing. Or hate rampant self-promotion.

And just in case the link above is no longer active, here is the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup prepared picante
  • 2 tsp. (6 Tbs.) chili powder
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 cup masa flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby or Cojack cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Finely chop the onion, green pepper, and carrot. Saute the vegetables in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Mix in the tomato sauce, picante, chili powder, and beans and cook for another 5 minutes on low to medium heat. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, mix together masa flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, oil, and milk. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix together.

Spray a 9” x 14” glass baking dish with cooking spray and spread 1/3 of the corn meal mixture to make a thin layer that covers the entire bottom of the baking dish. Bake the thin layer for 3-5 minutes, just until firm. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the shredded cheese on the bottom crust, add the beans, and spread the remaining corn meal mixture over the beans. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cornbread covering is firm.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Siman tov u' mazel tov!

And I'm back. Yep. Just like that. That's the way blogs go. One day it's July...then next day it's January. You see, I got kind of busy...

My oldest son just had his barmitzvah celebration last weekend. Oy. Months of work on his part, on my part, on his mother's part...all for one weekend. But what a weekend!

First of all, Buck (not his real name, but I am going to maintain the illusion of his privacy and anonymity) did a wonderful job. He chanted his Torah and Haftarah portion beautifully, led the prayers in the service jes' fine, and delivered a d'var torah that has had us rethinking our understanding of the story of Exodus. My wife, my father, and I also chanted Torah, partly out of a sense of duty, partly out of solidarity with my son, and partly because we can't help that we are bigshot showoffs. We made one of the mothers in the congregation a little nervous. Her son will be barmitzvah in a couple of years, and after the service, she asked me skittishly, "They don't make all the parents chant Torah as well, do they?"

However, on top of everything else, I decided to cater the barmitzvah myself. It seemed like a brilliant idea a year ago; a great way to cut costs. We originally planned for over 100 people, about 80 people showed up, and I made enough food to feed at least 120. So, we have been eating leftovers all week. And we probably will next week as well.

The lunch was Mexican-themed. Originally, I had planned to do a congregational lunch at our synagogue, and I convinced Buck that a Mediterranean-themed lunch that would work best as a cold (or room temperature) lunch, seeing as we could not use the ovens on Shabbat. But due to various twists, turns, and decisions, the lunch was moved to a different location with a kitchen, and Buck convinced me to create a Mexican lunch with hot dishes: black bean soup, tamale pie, and fiesta rice. I even developed a new recipe for the occasion; a gluten-free tamale pie that should be suitable for those with gluten or wheat intolerance. Oh, and my mother and her friends pitched in to bake about 350 cookies. So, we're eating leftover cookies now with our leftover tamale pie.

Now the weekend is over, and I am left with nothing but bills, thank you letters, and leftovers. I can not help but feel the post-barmitzvah malaise, a sense of loss as I try to fill in the massive vacancy in my schedule. I have this urge to tell my son to go practice his Torah portion. I am doing my best to stifle this urge. Besides...he has his science fair project to work on now. Maybe I'll do my own science fair project as well; just to lend him moral support. And then I can cater the science fair. I wonder if the judges will like tamale pie?