Archive for September, 2011



14
Sep
11

Dalton Winery Tasting


Aron Ritter, from the Kosher Wine Society, organized last evening’s tasting of Israel’s Dalton Winery with the participation of Alex Haruni – the winery’s owner. While the original invitation only listed five wines, Alex brought in nine, each a truly remarkable selection.

We started the evening with a Dalton Sauvignon Blanc 2009 – Straw colored, I found it crisp and very fruity with aromas of grapefruit, pineapples and a hint of freshly cut grass. On the palate it exhibits a rich array of citrus and apple blossoms all lingering nicely for a refreshing long finish.

Next in line was a Dalton‘s new Alma White 2010 – A delightful wine aged in small French oak barrels with hints of vanilla and chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Zinfandel 2009 – With grapes originating from vineyards at the foothills of Har Meron, on red clay soil, it is a somewhat spicy wine with berry flavors.

The Dalton Alma 2009 consists of: Cabernet SauvignonMerlot and Cabernet Franc grapes. Dark, full bodied wine offering nice aromas of cherries, plums and sweet dark fruits; on the palate it shows a buttery combination with hints of vanilla and green tea and rich, yet gently caressing tannins.

Then came their Dalton Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2009. Dark garnet in color, fruity and with a hint of cigar smoke on the nose, it reveals black and red berries with notes of mint chocolate.

It was followed by a Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009. Dark garnet in color, it has silky tannins, lightly spicy with lots of blackberry, red plums and notes of bitter citrus peel. It shows hints of vanilla and leather.

Dalton Alma Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2009 came next. Deep garnet in color, round and full-bodied,  it displays black currant, dark cherries, and tobacco followed by white pepper and assorted berries. Perfect pairing for a perfect steak!

Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009 followed, very dark in color, the nose is intense with black fruit, plums, berries, liquorice, and pepper tones. It has soft integrated tannins and a long finish.

We finished the evening with a Dalton Reserve Shiraz 2007, dark garnet in color, medium- to full bodied, developed in new French oak. Opens with a floral and nutty nose, going on to show spicy wood and gentle tannins. On the palate it exhibits a well balanced array of black and purple fruits, nicely complemented by notes of Mediterranean herbs and cigar tobacco.

A beautiful tasting with imported crackers and assorted foreign cheeses, grapes and chocolate kisses between the rounds. It proved, once again, how well Aron Ritter and his crew plan an evening of superior wines.

Don’t miss the Kosher Wine Society‘s upcoming New Wines For The New Year , this coming Wednesday, the 21st, again at Sanger House 347 West 34th Street, in Manhattan.

CS

12
Sep
11

This Week’s Events…


Monday, September 12th:

Lévana Kirschenbaum resumes her weekly cooking demo (Cooking and a Show) series this evening:

Upcoming Cooking Demo in NYC: Monday September 12th: Asian Feast. Gluten-Free

You may have trouble going back to ordering in a Chinese restaurant after you realize how superior homemade is, thanks to all the glorious  Asian flavors. We will never know why Chinese cookies are called Chinese, but we do know they are fabulous! 
I’ll be demonstrating:
  • Mock Crab salad
  • Hot and sour egg drop soup
  • Steamed chicken breasts with shitaki and baby bok choy
  • Vegetable fried rice
  • Chinese Cookies

Click Here to Register!

Tuesday, September 13th

Read until the end for an amazing 2 for 1 deal! Aron Ritter, founder and President of The Kosher Wine Society presents:

SPECIAL TASTING WITH ALEX HARUNI!

Join us for the season’s first sit-down guided wine tasting with Alex Haruni, owner of Dalton Winery.

Sign up today to meet Alex and taste his newest wines!

Tuesday September 13, 2011

7:30 – 9:30 PM

Zanger Hall
347 West 34th street
New York, NY 10001

Price: $65.00

Wine List Includes:

Dalton Alma White (Chardonnay-Viognier) 2010
Dalton Alma (Cab Sauv-Merlot-Cab Franc) 2009
Dalton Alma Smv (Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier) 2009
Dalton Estate Shiraz 2009
Dalton Reserve Shiraz 2007

Event Sponsor:
Allied Importers
Dalton Winery

Although the price is $65.00 per person for the above tasting, you can a 2 for 1 deal IF you email: info@kosherwinesociety.com AND mention The Kosher Scene Radio Internet Show OR The Kosher Scene blog and my first name (Chaim). at: info@kosherwinesociety.com. You must contact them today, no later than 6:30pm. Tell them you want the 2 for 1 deal.

I hope to meet you, gentle reader, I’ll be at both of these events.

CS

11
Sep
11

Elul Reflections, 9/11- Despair and Hope


Usually when Elul – the month signifying the beginning of Jewish New Year – cycles round I find myself absorbed with feelings of contriteness for all the things I could have/should have improved upon during the year. My bucket list includes everything from switching the early childhood imprinted critical j’ accuse confrontational rules of engagement with saner problem solving language and mannerisms, to not giving in to anger, to doing more for those I love and those I don’t, to praying better, to all the ways I could/should have been a better parent, child, sister, friend, person, etc.  This year however, my whole being feels beyond inconsolable…

The familiar paths toward repentance feel distant, out of my reach; I am like a devastated body transfigured by unrelenting pain and shame from which there is no easy peace or solace. I feel partly to blame Leiby’s heinous death. I feel that even though so many of us joined together to look for him, if only I had been better, if only we were a better klal- group – this could never would never have happened. I feel that somehow, collectively, we’ve reached an all-time low that facilitated someone from our own midst perpetrating such a horrendously inhuman deed. I cannot help but feel that somehow we all are answerable for the actions of this one individual, and that we are obligated to repair the sickness within us that enabled such monstrous measures in our midst.

I try to bite back other thoughts that race at train wreck speeds with increasing velocity propelled by unaskable questions. You steer the world, nothing happens lest You allow it! There were so many moments when You could have saved Leiby, made a good hearted pedestrian appear that would steer him back on path to his waiting mom, a self-correcting moment in time that would have taken a happier turn, or a change of choice or happenstance while waiting for the predator – disguised as one of us – as he descended deeper and deeper into unspeakable depravity.
You, who changed Pharaoh’s thoughts, could You not have changed this dark malicious abducting heart, to contritely return the child? So many moments of possibilities to choose life especially once the predator saw the posters and all-out campaign to locate our lost child? The whys don’t stop! And  once you take the lid off of the vaulted why thought-bank, the outpouring of unanswerables becomes a flood gate incapable of resealing. The essence of my Elul endeavor to become closer to Him, is falling apart. The whole Elul concept of Ani leDodi veDodi liI am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me (Song of Songs 6:3) -  is slipping from my grasp as I find myself sinking into the rabbit hole of despair.

Down the rabbit hole of despair... Photo from: http://lucasknisely.blogspot.com/2011/02/despair.html

Childhood memories filled with stories of death, survival, Hashem‘s seeming absence, His miracles, Divine Providence, good and bad, return with a sickening familiar spewing. Any child of Holocaust survivors, will tell you how powerless,  unfixably frustrated and burdened they feel with the historical back-pack they are obliged to carry forward as a living testament to our Diaspora’s deepest  abyss.  And if that were not enough for a midsummer’s night nighmare, then Irene stormed in with two more stories. The story of a brave Monsey rabbi who lost his life saving a young boy from electrocution and got electrocuted himself; or the one of the 90 year old vacationing survivor swept away and drowned in her cabin during the storm. Why? Why?!?!?

Couldn’t You have made that Rabbi a living hero? We certainly could use more present day heroes in Klal Yisrael. And this poor woman, who merited survival from the fires of Hitler’s WWII gehinnom only to be drowned in a vacation box terminating her old age? Where were Your waters back then when You could have extinguished the raging fires that ashed a million, nay two, nay three, nay four, nay five, nay six million of Your beloved ones?  All actions, we are taught, are clearly Yad-Hashem, His role, His actions, His will, perfect; no consolation to be drawn from the evil actions of man versus G-d argument.
The bile of injustice rising within me this year was compelling and not so good for the state of my desolate, inconsolable, soul.  There were the countless stories of miraculous moments where we felt touched by Hakadosh Baruch Hu, assisted by angels watching over us or our loved ones, where Divine Providence - hashgacha pratit - was palpable, (I fully acknowledge them, I don’t want Hashem to strike me down for not appreciating each and every one of those moments of celebration and victory over defeat). And then… and then… as my mind uncontrollably, feverishly, delved upon all these heart searing whys, I chanced upon the 9/11 story of stairway B that put me back on track somewhat, with its powerful implications.

Fireman Bill Butler - Photo by: The New York Times

Sixteen people – most of them firefighters carrying 100 pound packs on their backs – were trying to make it down stairway B of the north tower from the 22nd floor and doing so at a hopeful pace. The building’s shaking, debris flying everywhere, the south tower had just collapsed, the stairway itself buckling… On the 15nth floor they meet up with a 59 year old bookkeeper, Josephine Harris.  who had miraculously made it down 50 flights with an injured braced leg from a car accident sustained several months earlier.  She had stopped unable to go further without some help. The firefighters were faced with a dilemma; they were progressing well, and if they kept pace they might escape alive, should they stop and take her or not?  Survival adrenaline, waiting loved ones, a building collapsing over and around them… Jonas, a 43 year old firefighter didn’t hesitate. “Grab her, let’s go!” “If somebody needs help, we got to give it a shot. It wasn’t a difficult decision.” “We got to bring her with us,”  Butler, the fire company’s strongest man put her arm around his shoulder and helped carry her down; it was a slow process her legs were giving out; slowing the group’s progress significantly.  When they reached the fifth floor, the injured woman could not  go on, and she told the fire fighters to leave her. The clock was ticking away their deaths seemed imminent. Foreceful rushes of air hit the group, blowing some of them down to the first floor, the floors above them were collaspping like stacked dominos. Floor upon floor, upon floor, quickened to collapse on top of them and ten seconds later, the building gave fell. All were sure they were about to die. They hoped it would be fast. Instead, they were enclosed within a small pocket of debris, bubbled in a cavity of stairway B, all surviving to tell their stories.

Had Josephine not slowed him down, Lim later said, he’d have been dead. The consegrity of their righteous, courageous, choice and good action saved them. Obviously the Boreh Olam went along with the plan. There have been times, many have experienced, where they are so focused on the task of good  action that it feels like the universe and shamayim synchronically move in unison with their movements to achieve a good outcome.  This story resonated within me, it brought me back a hopeful sense of rhyme and reason to a world I so often don’t comprehend.

Sometimes we are not saved, it’s true.  We claw at shamayim’s gates with our cries, our protests, our prayers, knowing full well we are but lowly creatures unable to fathom His ways. Yet sometimes in the course of our hishtadlut, the wings of His nesharimsurround us and and carry us into the palms of His hands, rushing with us joyfully toward the accomplishments of our right and good actions.

Kotel at sunrise - Photo from: http://www.askabba.com/gen123.html

As we travel through this final leg of our millennia old galut, as we approach this holy time of the year, the grieving Shechina again pours out her heart right  beside us. This year her presence is almost palpable. We are a sister to her tears, her pain, her sense of loss for Yerushalayim, as never before, knowing that our tefilot, our actions, have the power to imprint the outcome of our fates. May all our tefilot be answered letova- for the good. G-d give us the strength to be the best that we can be, to make the right choices and hasten the bringing of Mashiach tzidkenu, bimhera beyamenu. Amen!

SYR
08
Sep
11

Documentaries, Books and Wine – This Evening’s Radio Show


Joseph Dorman - Photo by: Pepi di Giacomo

Our guest this evening on BlogTalkRadio will be award winning documentary filmmaker and author, Joseph Dorman. Mr. Dorman, as founder of Riverside Films has made the award-winning theatrical feature Arguing the World, about the controversial sixty-year political journey of the eminent Jewish writers and thinkers, Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, Irving Kristol and Nathan Glazer and how they shaped the American political debate. The New York Times described it as “enthralling…  one of the deepest portraits of… of ideas ever filmed.” Currently, another of his movies is showing around the country and its subject is again a very Jewish one: Sholem Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness.

Check out the schedule of screenings around the country here. It’s coming back to New York in a couple of weeks.

Joseph’s work has appeared on PBS, CBS, Discovery Channel and CNN. He will be with us this this evening at 7::30pm (Eastern Time). I found Joseph Dorman to be an interesting conversationalist, someone who loves to deeply research the various subjects he writes and films. You’ll find his subject matter fascinating. I did!

Aron Ritter, President and founder of the Kosher Wine Society, will revisit us next on the second half of the show for a discussion of KSW‘s upcoming wine tastings this month.

Meanwhile, if you missed our show last week with Martin Davidson, you can hear it here.

Please, listen to us this evening on BlogTalkRadio.com at 7:30pm (Eastern Time), I know you will enjoy it!

CS

08
Sep
11

Lemon Tarts, Lemon Tarts!!


Since my earliest days there was something about the taste of lemon I always liked, ever since I’ve tried to include lemon as an ingredient wherever possible… and sometimes even where it was not always possible to make it work.

Lemon Tarts are and have long been personal favorites, here is a a parve (and a dairy) version of the recipe:

Lemon Tarts

(adapted from Eat, Play, Love)

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Tart Crust

  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons margarine (butter, for a dairy version)
  • 6 tablespoons parve cream cheese (regular cream cheese,  for a dairy version)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tart Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon peel, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
Directions
Tart Crust
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Use a pastry blender to mix the dry ingredients. Next slice the margarine and parvecream cheese into 1″ slices and add it to the flour mixture. Use the pastry blender, or two knives in a scissor fashion, to combine the ingredients until mixture has the texture of a coarse meal.Next combine the water and the vanilla extract and sprinkle it over the flour mixture. Using two forks pull the flour from the bottom up over the top. Then with your hands, gently begin kneading the dough to form a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or freeze it for up to one month).Finally preheat the oven to 375F. When you’re ready to use the dough, roll it out on a floured surface and place it in 6 to 8 mini tart pans (or one 9-inch tart pan). Add some pie weights or dried beans to the tart pans and bake the shells for 10 minutes. Then carefully remove the weights and return the shells to the oven for another 5 to 10 more minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool completely.While the tart shell is baking, prepare the filling.
Filling
Carefully remove the peel from one lemon. Cut the peel down so that it?s paper thin and slightly translucent. Then using a sharp knife mince the lemon peel. The peel of one lemon makes approximately one tablespoon.Add the minced lemon peel, sugar and eggs to a small sauce pan and whisk together. Stir in the lemon juice and then add the butter in pieces. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture simmers. Do not let the mixture boil.Once the butter is melted, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir constantly until the mixture thickens (5 to 7 minutes). Finally remove from heat, cover and let cool, stirring occasionally.
Assembling the tarts
When the tart shell has cooled and the lemon filling has cooled. Pour the filling into the mini tart shells, using approximately 1/3 cup per tart. Refrigerate the tarts for at least an hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
CS
07
Sep
11

No Radio Show This Evening


Photo from: HowStuffWorks.com

I got back from Richmond, VA, this morning where I had some important family business to take care of. My guest for this evening had his own emergency. The show I pre-taped earlier needs some editing and there was no  time left before show time; we will have a 60 minute show tomorrow evening, instead, with three guests.

Our guests will be award winning documentary filmmaker and author Joseph Dorman, founder of Riverside Films he will talk to us about his current movie showing around the country: Sholom Aleichem: Laughing in the Darkness. In the second half of the show we will host Aron Ritter, President of the Kosher Wine Society and Alex Haruni, owner of the Dalton Winery in Israel

Please listen to our show tomorrow evening, at 7:30pm (Eastern Time) on BlogTalkRadio. See you there!

CS




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